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The Challenge of Padre Pio

Fr. Scott A. Haynes



Taking a child, he placed it in their midst,

and putting his arms around it, he said to them,

“Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me;

and whoever receives me, receives not me but the One who sent me.”

Mark 9:36-37


A woman carrying a suitcase got in line with the other ladies waiting to confess to Padre Pio. He was, by now, famous for the many wonders obtained by his prayers and intercession. When her turn came, she opened the suitcase in front of the well known priest and burst into tears. In the suitcase, along with the clothing, was the body of a little boy about six months old. She had traveled to San Giovanni Rotondo, the home of Padre Pio, with the intent of asking him to heal her sick son. On the way, the boy died. However, with immense faith, the grieving woman put the infant into the suitcase and continued her journey.


As the poor hysterical mother screamed in desperation, Padre Pio took the little boy’s body in his arms and prayed for a few moments. Then he said authoritatively to the mother, "But why are you yelling so much? Don’t you see that your child is sleeping?" The woman stopped her shouting to find that her little boy was breathing normally — sleeping tranquilly. A baby was raised from the dead — a miracle. One of Padre Pio’s closest friends estimated that he witnessed more than one thousand miraculous cures over the years of his association with the saint. At least another thousand are attributed to Padre Pio’s intercession after his death.


St. Thomas Aquinas defined a miracle as an effect produced by God in the bodily universe, outside the order of created nature. Miracles give the divine stamp of authority to the works of the saints of God, and always serve as a testament to the soundness of the doctrine of our Catholic Faith. Like the young boy who was dead, if we are slaves to serious sins, we are dead spiritually. During this Easter season, this season of life and light, let us invoke Padre Pio that Our Paschal King will raise us from our sleep of sin to stand victorious with Him on the Last Day. St. Pio, pray for us.

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