New book on Padre Pio

Padre Pio’s own account of how he received the stigmata, or wounds of Christ, has been revealed for the first time in a new book just published in Italy.

The book contains the complete version of a report written by Bishop Raffaele Rossi who was sent by the Holy See in mid-June 1921 to secretly investigate what was happening. He received detailed replies to 142 questions he put to the then 34-year-old Capuchin friar.

The remarkable new information became available thanks to the recent opening, at the request of Benedict XVI, of the pre-1940 archives of the Holy Office.

Until now it was generally assumed that Padre Pio had never told anyone what had happened on the day he received the stigmata.

The only comments he was known to have made were in a letter to his spiritual director, Fra Benedetto da San Marco, in which he wrote about the appearance of “a mysterious person” to him.

But Bishop Rossi’s report reveals that this person was, in fact, the crucified Christ, and that the friar did not request to have the wounds.

Speaking under oath, he said: “On 20 September 1918 I was in the choir of the church after celebrating Mass, making my thanksgiving when I was suddenly overtaken by a powerful trembling and then there came calm and I saw Our Lord in his crucified form.

“He was lamenting the ingratitude of men, especially those consecrated to him and favoured by him. His suffering was apparent as was his desire to join souls to his Passion.

“He invited me to let his pains enter into me and to meditate on them and at the same time concern myself with the salvation of others. Following this, I felt full of compassion for the Lord’s pains and I asked him what I could do.

“I heard this voice: ‘I will unite you with my Passion.’ And after this the vision disappeared, I came back to myself, my reason returned and I saw these signs here from which blood flowed. Before this I did not have these.”

In his report to the Vatican, Bishop Rossi said there was no festering in the wounds, they did not close and did not heal. They remained inexplicably open and bloody, despite the fact that the friar had tried to stop the bleeding by treating them with iodine.

The new book, “Padre Pio Sotto Inchiesta” (Padre Pio Under Investigation: The ‘Secret Autobiography’) was edited by Fr Franceso Castelli, a leading Church historian in Italy.

Thanks and a tip of the beret to Robert Banaugh from the Yahoo Group "Post Conciliar Catholicism".

DDieu Le Roy!
de Brantigny

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