Padre Pio Author:Oscar De Liso "Padre Pio, the first priest in history to have the stigmata, bleeds from open wounds in his hands, in his side, and in his feet. His side wound spills two ounces of blood a day. It is a cut shaped like an upside down cross, the vertical line vanishing as a light mark at the end. The wounds on his palms go through his hands. They are festere... more »d holes of red and brown membranes, but present no inflammation of the tissues. The flesh is alive. Even the slightest pressure causes a great deal of pain. The wounds in his feet are wider on top. The stigmata befell him on the morning of September 20, 1918...."
With this factual, almost prosaic opening, Oscar De Liso begins the dramatic and inspiring story of the Italian monk-priest who has borne the five open wounds of the stigmata for over forty years.
Under medical observation since 1918, he has been examined and treated by many doctors, as well as specialists and psychiatrists from all over the world, who have tried to explain or cure the phenomenon, but the wounds have never closed, and the pains have never been alleviated.
Born to a poor hardworking family in an impoverished mountain town of Pietrelcina, Francesco Forgione--who was to become the great and beloved Padre Pio--was a frail child, already ascetic and devout, "a born monk." His early determination to serve Christ led him to a mysticism that was not readily understood in the little village, but attracted the attention of his teachers, the priest, and all of the townspeople. Even in his early religious training, young Francesco studied too hard, and impaired his health further by a harsh self-imposed discipline.
He took up residence in the Capuchin monastery at San Giovanni Rotondo, where he lives today, and it was there that the stigmata became visible in 1918. Although at first there were many efforts to discredit him in the press, and among doctors and psychiatrists, he has become the center of a spiritual community that draws thousands of pilgrims yearly.
Devout, very reticent and profoundly humble in the midst of his fame, Padre Pio is also a man of practical action. Under his guidance, the great internationally financed hospital, named in honor of the late Fiorello La Guardia, has been built near the monastery at San Giovanni Rotondo.
Based completely on fact and careful research, but at the same time deeply moving, this full-length biography is drawn from old records, letters, the testimony of friends and doctors, accounts in newspapers, and statements by the vast number of people who today owe their health, even their lives, to Padre Pio's great power. It is the story of his faith, and the might of faith in a world where hope and reason often seem to have vanished.« less