- Category : Healing-Fields-Religious-healer
- Type : MGE
- Profile : 5/1 - Heretical / Investigator
- Definition : Split - Small (12,35)
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Duality 1
Italian healer, a Capuchin monk and stigmatic. He was a special, unique case as he was the first priest "marked by God" in two thousand years. Nuns, monks and even lay persons have experienced the stigmata but never a consecrated priest. His phenomena was witnessed and reported by tens of thousands of people.
Francesco Forgione was the eighth child in a poor family. He followed his vocation at 16 by joining the Capuchins, the most austere order of Franciscans, and he studied with them for eight years before being ordained in 1910. Conscripted in 1916, he attracted the attention of military doctors when he went on "sick call." He fell gravely ill with a temperature that climbed to 118 degrees, leaving the doctors gasping. He was given leave, sent home to die. His father superior sent him to the monastery at San Giovanni Rotondo. Once there, he recovered suddenly.
His stigmata first appeared 9/20/1918 when one of the brothers found him with his hands bleeding copiously. He was taken immediately to his cell. When the doctor arrived, he insisted that photographs be taken. There was no reason for the wounds and the blood did not coagulate, but left a pleasant odor. These stigmata remaining visible for his lifetime.
The church did not welcome the phenomena and they restricted Pio to his quarters, not allowing him to give the Mass or sacraments, while conducting examinations and inquiries, both by medical specialists and church dignitaries. He was kept under tight watch to see that he was not physically mutilating himself, with his hands in tight dressings and sealed with wax. No fraud could be found; indeed, the bloody bandages remained sweet smelling. With a dilemma on their hands, the Vatican forbade him to show his hands to anyone other than his inquisitors. From 1931 to 1933, he was literally sentenced to remain incognito.
On 6/05/1923, the Vatican had published an apostolic act officially informing the public that the phenomena associated with the Capuchin brother Padre Pio had not been authenticated by Rome as supernatural. In 1933, to silence the Padre, his superiors ordered him to another monastery. When word got out, the people revolted. Peasants, businessmen, hotelkeepers and even the mayor blocked all the exits from the monastery, armed with hatchets, scythes and rifles, ready to stop any attempt to take their priest away. Business was booming in the town due to the rumors and declarations of evidence, and the good Italians wed their sense of devotion with their sense of commerce. Never again did Padre Pio receive orders of transfer.
While the priest was in solitary confinement, people reported that he was seen at different bedsides of the ill and stricken. At times he was seen hundreds of miles away, comforting and healing, at the same time that he was known to be at prayers in the chapel. Pio was allowed once more to celebrate the Mass - - at 5:00 AM. The people were not deterred by the hour but flocked to the church to see the man whose hands bled when he lifted them in blessing, as had those of Christ.
No mystic was ever victim of so many attacks by his peers or faced such hostility in the bosom of the church. It was the sheer weight of the mass of people who sustained him. During WW II, soldiers from Europe and as far away as American made the rugged trek up to the mountainous village, and carried the awesome story home with them of the priest who bore the wounds of Christ. One day in 1947, a Polish priest, just ordained, came to the monastery to make his confession and heard Pio say, "One day you will be Pope." Later, John Paul II prayed before the tomb of Padre Pio.
His miracles numbered in the thousands. In the tradition of stigmatics, he had the graces of bilocation (being seen in more than one place simultaneously); distant vision; knowledge of the past, present and future life of the faithful; reading of souls; and healing. He suffered continually, with the wounds also on his feet, and it was witnessed that on occasion, while saying the Mass, he levitated. While in the state of mystical ecstasy, he appeared to be catatonic, though at times he was heard conversing with unseen angels. Known as a great healer, he was visited by multitudes, whose donations helped build and support a hospital.
Padre Pio died on 9/23/1968. On the day of his death, the stigmata disappeared, leaving a clear and immaculate skin.
He was beatified by the Roman Catholic church on 5/02/1999 and declared Saint on 6/16/2002, Rome
at 10.21 AM (time from TV).