Blog | Padre Pio and stormy relations with the Vatican and his confreres: ‘He procures the stigmata himself’

“I’ll make more noise dead than alive.” Never was a prophecy more true. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina he often repeated it with that far-sighted gaze that made him perceive the course of events. The Capuchin friar was born exactly 135 years ago, May 25, 1887, in a very small village in the province of Benevento. A tormented life, especially by the two real persecutions of the then Holy Office, but marked by a very intense ministry in the convent of San Giovanni Rotondo, in the province of Foggia. A lost place in the mountains of the Gargano which, thanks to Saint Pio, has become a pilgrimage destination from all over the world.

Much has been written about this Capuchin friar: from his immense correspondence with his spiritual children to his relations with the future St. John Paul II who asked Padre Pio and obtained the miracle of healing for his friend Wanda Póltawska, still living at 101 years old. It was Karol Wojtyla himself who beatified him in 1999 and canonized him in 2002. Recently the journalist Raffaele Iaria has published a very interesting volume entitled Zi ‘Tore (Tau) which tells the life of the parish priest of the future saint, don Salvatore Pannullo.

“In 1912 – recalls Monsignor Felice Accrocca, archbishop of Benevento, in the preface to the book – Padre Pio wrote that the archpriest she loved him ‘more’ than a father, regretting not being able to help him in confessions because the provincial had denied him permission; in 1915 he will choose him as his confessor: Don Pannullo will thus be set apart from the secrets of the soul of Padre Pio, which made it possible to establish a deeper intimacy between the two, an intimacy that would have allowed each of the two to transmit something of oneself to the other “.

The prelate also underlines that “Padre Pio he was no ordinary man. But he was still a man, who had learned so much from that small world in which he was born and lived and from the people with whom, in that same world, he had come into contact. Among these, Don Salvatore Pannullo certainly had a role that was anything but secondary ”.

As is known, the relations between Padre Pio and the Holy See were enough stormy. Twice, in fact, first under the pontificates of Benedict XV and Pius XI and then under that of St. John XXIII, the friar of the Gargano was persecuted by the former Holy Office.

Suspended and subsequently readmitted in both cases, Padre Pio never opposed the decisions of the Holy See, he never met any Pope, nor did he ever set foot in Vatican. If not in death, when, in February 2016, Francis wanted his body to be exhibited in the Vatican Basilica during the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy.

The first to write a very harsh report against the friar was his brother father Agostino Gemelli: “It’s a bluff. Padre Pio has all the somatic characteristics of the hysteric and the psychopath ”. And the religious and psychologist had no doubts about the stigmata: “The wounds he has on his body are fake, the result of a morbid pathological action. He is a sick man who takes his own injuries. It is about soreswith a destructive character of the tissues, typical of hysterical pathology “.

The other persecutor of Padre Pio, Monsignor Carlo Maccari, was of no different opinion from that of Gemelli only then, several years after the death of the friar, who became archbishop of Ancona-Osimo, repent and become a great devotee. To defend the friar of Gargano from the accusations of Monsignor Maccari was the then Archbishop of Manfredonia, Monsignor Andrea Cesarano, a personal friend of Roncalli from the years in which the future Pope was an apostolic visitor to Bulgaria. The prelate clarified that “Padre Pio is an apostle who does souls an immense good. A man of God. A saint. All slanders are said about him ”.

Blog | Padre Pio and stormy relations with the Vatican and his confreres: ‘He procures the stigmata himself’ – Il Fatto Quotidiano