A Search for Faith, Family, and Miracles
by Justin Calanoso

The power of Pio

With the possible exception of St. Francis of Assisi, Padre Pio likely ranks as Italy’s most popular saint. He’s surely popular in America, too, as this blog post details. He’s even popular in Reggio Calabria, home of my cousin the saint, Padre Gaetano Catanoso.

Padre Pio

There is a lot of lure and legend and mysticism connected with this southern Italian priest (1887-1968), who famously bore the stigmata much of his adult life. Some of his powers, quite frankly, are beyond belief. The Vatican was highly skeptical of him in the 1920s, when his fame first rose (as I discuss in my book). But Pope John Paul II believed in Pio intrinsically, and revered him in life and death.

According to a web site about him: “As Padre Pio’s fame grew, his ministry began to take the center-stage at the friary. Many pilgrims flocked to see him [including Padre Gaetano in 1922, as I write in my book] and he spent around nineteen hours each day saying Mass, hearing confessions and corresponding, often sleeping not even two hours per day. His fame had the negative side effect that accusations against him made their way to the Holy Office in Rome (since 1983, known as the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, causing many restrictions to be placed on him. His accusers included high-ranking archbishops, bishops, theologians and physicians.”

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One Response to “The power of Pio”

  1. Josephine Says:

    I love to hear stories about Padre Pio, so thanks for posting this comment.
    I am returning to the Catholic Church after 20 years. When I was home in Ireland in 2009 my Dad gave me a Padre Pio rosary beads (one that was given out in a vigil at a catholic church) – I started saying the rosary again. Now in January 2009 I am returning to the catholic church. I have asked Padre Pio to not let me step off the straight and narrow again because I am tired of falling in and out of faith. I feel he is my friend. I have asked him to guid my husband who is a non practising minister back to the Church as I feel it is his divine calling.

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