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It took me a day to muster enough courage to return to the Padre. I prepared
myself, carefully I examined my conscience before meeting the Padre who kindly
welcomed me and gave me absolution I needed.” Even Blessed don Orione spoke
about padre Pio’s bilocation. He said: “I was in Saint Peter’s Church in Rome in
order to attend the celebration of Saint Teresa’s beatification. After receiving
the absolution, I talked to the Padre about my wife’s condition. Then I asked
him: “Father, help me to pray!” Immediately I smelled a delicious and persistent
perfume that surprised me. I returned home in the late evening. The church was
crowded and everybody watched the door through which Padre Pio would enter. The
search for the perfume’s source was fruitless! Awhile later the perfume smell
faded away and the room emanated the usual odor of a stench. An Italian General
of the Army, called Cadorna, felt in such condition of depression after the
defeat of Caporetto, that he was contemplating suicide.
I turned to him with as much faith as I could muster. Padre Pio didn’t take long to hear my prayers. After the war, the General went to the Capuchin monastery with some pilots. Just entering the sacristy, the General found himself in front of various monks, among whom he immediately recognized the monk that had stopped his airplanes: he was Padre Pio. Another person once remarked : “Some years ago, I had a heart attack. The doctors recommended I undergo surgery to improve my condition. I entered the hospital at once. The aircraft exploded before the rest of the crew had the chance to parachute. Only I succeeded in going out of the airplane. I don’t know how I did it. A woman tells this story: “I had great problems with both of my eyes. I experienced pain and could see very little.
The American Commanding Officer wanted to lead a squadron of bombardiers to destroy a depot of German war material that had been located in St. Giovanni Rotondo. I wrote a letter to Padre Pio asking for his help. A few days later, my wife and I were in different rooms, yet at the same time, we both smelled a mysterious aroma of roses. The voice and the presence of the Friar helped the general change his mind. He wondered how it was possible that a Friar had entered his room. He asked for explanations from his orderly but he answered he had seen nobody going into his room. Confide in God! The arm will recover.” Toward the end of July, 1930 the woman returned to Bologna without any improvement of her arm. Was it possible to think that Padre Pio had been wrong? For months nobody thought anymore of the problem. This was another father Pio’s gifts. The two became friends and the General, who was Protestant, became Catholic. Some Saints possessed the gift that is known as “odor of sanctity”. The phenomenon is called osmogenesia. Afterwards, the man told the people present there, “I was a Captain of the Infantry and one day on the battlefield in a terrible hour of battle, not far from me I saw a friar who said; ‘Sir, go away from that place!’ I went towards him and as soon as I moved, a grenade burst in the place where I was before and opened a chasm.
She said to me: ‘If I were you, I would leave for San Giovanni Rotondo right away.’ The next day, we were on our way. We met with Padre Pio and he said to me ‘Ah, here is our hero. Many Officers were said to have been saved by Padre Pio during the war. Despite the weather, they embarked on their journey. They spent their first night in Bern in a lowly hotel for that was all they could afford. Doubts filled them once more. In 1946, an American family went from Philadelphia to Saint Giovanni Rotondo in order to thank Padre Pio. In fact, their son, a bombardier plane pilot (during World War II), had been saved by Padre Pio in the sky over the Pacific Ocean. When they got there, the young man, who was well versed in Italian, spoke to the Padre in Italian: “We wrote to you, Father, but since you have not answered us…” “What?” Padre Pio interrupted saying: “ Why do you tell me I did not answer you? Did you not smell anything that evening in the Swiss hotel?” After some minutes he started to receive the penitents. I didn't say anything, and I thought I was dreaming, but when I met him I asked him: "Father Pio, How did you manage to walk above the heads of the people?". A gentleman met Father Pio through a series of strange coincidences. He says: “The first time I heard somebody speak of this extraordinary religious man was after the war. At the moment when the telegram reached Padre Pio, the woman, who was in the dinning room alone, saw a capuchin friar enter through the door. “I am Padre Pio of Pietrelcina,”he said. I had been praying for my relatives and all of a sudden, caught the scent of an intense burst of incense.
The airplanes had reversed course without being maneuvered by the pilots or by the other Officers. From my small window (I was on one side of the confessional) I saw that Padre Pio was hearing the confession of a lady on the other side. Bilocation can be defined as the simultaneous presence of a person in two different places. Numerous witnesses connected to the Christian religious tradition have reported events of bilocation, which have been attributed to many Saints. The perfume often emanated from his body or from the objects that he touched or from his clothing. Here is Padre Ascanio's story: - "We were waiting for Padre Pio who was coming to hear confessions of the penitents. On the third day, as I was finishing my prayer, despite being surrounded by other patients, I noticed something significant. I caught a whiff of an overwhelming aroma of flowers. They responded that they had not seen Padre Pio and furthermore, they had not opened the door to anyone. The next day, the surgeon did a medical check-up on the woman in preparation for surgery; however, he could not find any tumor. I had gone to the post office to mail a letter. The post office in question did not normally lace its air with perfume. I don’t know of any that do.
All wondered who that monk was which the airplanes had obeyed. Someone told the General, “At San Giovanni Rotondo was a monk who worked miracles”, and he decided that, as soon as the country had been freed, he would have go to seek if he was the same monk they had seen in the sky. This was especially true when my friend told me about various phenomena attributed to Padre Pio, especially the scent of perfumes. “Many people claim to detect an aroma of perfume even when they are not any where near the sainted Friar. After Mass, the nuns went to the sacristy to offer Father Pio coffee in order to thank him for his unexpected visit, but they did not find the holy man in the sacristy. Thus the nuns realised that Father Pio had bilocated there. Catching the scent, my wife said to me ‘ Where is this odor of perfume coming from?’ Excitedly, I asked her ‘Can you smell it too?’ “Then I told my wife about Padre Pio and about the stories of unusual perfumed aromas surrounding his presence. He jokingly responded: "I can assure you, my child, it's just like walking on the floor... ". They added there was a probably a tumor present also. To make matters worse, the doctors told me this form of blindness was final. Some years later, the General read in a newspaper of a Friar that worked miracles in the Gargano area. He secretly went there but he was astonished when father Pio said to him: “Hello General, you ran a great risk that evening, didn’t you?”. At that moment a cloud of perfume wooed me. It was an intense perfume, marvellous to the senses. I was confused. It soothed me instantly and I felt inside me a great desire to return to Padre Pio.
The General said, “When the airplanes were near the target, his men and himself, saw in the sky, a monk with the uplifted hands. Any surgery performed to correct this problem had to succeed, or else. On May 3rd, I was desperate. Mrs. Maria, one of Padre Pio’s spiritual daughters, said that one evening her brother was praying when suddenly he fell asleep. He was immediately awoken by a slap on his right check. He realised that the hand which hit him was covered with a half glove. During the trip to Rome to analyze the gauze, an Officer and other people that were traveling with the doctor said “they smelled the perfume that usually emanated from padre Pio”. Padre Pio walked toward him and as he approached him, he said: “Are you the one who wanted to kill all of us?” Relieved by the look and by the words of the Padre, the General knelt in front of him. After an operation followed by a long painful recovery the surgeon told the girl’s father that she would not have use of the arm anymore. In fact the arm was completely immobile, because of the removal of a section of the shoulder blade. I approached him in order to kiss his hand, but he did not notice my presence and I noticed that his hand was rigid. At that time, I heard that he was clearly giving absolution and pardon to someone. A man said: “One day I decided to follow my wife’s suggestion to go see Padre Pio. It had been twenty-five years precisely from the day of my marriage since I had seen the inside of a church.
Even the General Commander had been a witness to one amazing episode. Sometimes the perfume was perceivable in the places through which he passed. The surgeon told her to be patient and to wait some days before establishing a date for the surgery. In the meanwhile, her son-in-law sent a telegram to Padre Pio asking him to pray for his mother-in-law. When the perfumed aroma faded, I felt a sensation in my right leg. I knew at once my prayers had been answered.” In Bari (Italy) during the Second World War there was the headquarters of the American Air Forces General Command. As was my custom, after the Mass was over, I went to greet Padre Pio. He welcomed me saying ‘Were you a little disoriented today?’ I sheepishly said ‘Yes, Padre.
Someone who had news of the imprisonment had asked Father Pio directly: “Father Pio you have served the Mass to the Cardinal of Hungary, so you have spoken to him! I accompanied Padre Pio to St. Francis altar, I closed the gate, and I started to serve the Holy Mass in profound awe. The door stayed closed but suddenly I saw father Pio walking above the heads of the people, he reached the confessional, and then disappeared. A gentleman from Toronto said: “In 1947, my wife that fell seriously ill and was hospitalised in Rome, requiring surgery. I travelled to St. Giovanni, Rotondo to see Padre Pio. While I was there, the good Padre heard my confession.
One day, a former Italian Army Officer entered the sacristy and watching Padre Pio said; “Yes, here he is! I am not wrong!” He approached Padre Pio, and kneeling in front of him crying, he said; “Padre, thank you for saving me from death.” So I decided to go as far as Pietreicina, where I would have an opportunity to visit Padre Pio’s monastery. During my visit to one of the last rooms where St. Pio had lived, I was deeply moved. The bombs had dropped away by themselves and fell into the woods. The desire was immediately granted me and it was like I was wooed by St. Pio’s perfume. The perfume increased more and more, so much so that the perfume caused me to breathe irregularly. He took me in his arms and put me sweetly at the entrance of the base. You can imagine the astonishment inspired by my story. Nobody could believe it, but given my presence there, they had no choice. A man from Canicatti (Sicily, Italy) tells this story “At the start of 1953, my wife was pregnant. As usual Padre Pio spoken to him in dialect, but the General was convinced that the monk had spoken in English. Friar Modestino said: “Once I was on vacation at St. Giovanni Rotondo. It happened before the Bishop’s death. Padre Pio bilocated there in order to give the Bishop his spiritual support. On the 17th.of September (the celebration of the stigmata of St. Francis), suddenly, the apartment where the family lived became scented by a delicious odor of jonquils and roses.
Looking around me, I knelt down without thinking anything about the unusual perfume that hovered above me. The two lovers were joyful and full of thankfulness. They understood then, the perfume that they had smelled in the room of the hotel, was the perfume of Padre Pio. Mother Speranza, who founded the order of the Handmaids of the Merciful Love, said she had seen Padre Pio every day for one year in Rome. He had bilocated there. How much effort I expended to get you here.’ That same day, I had a chance to speak with Padre Pio personally. From that moment on, my life was changed.” There was no cure. “Upon hearing this bad news, I became very depressed and anxious. I was on a trip and I knew I would be passing close to Benevento. “God intervenes to allow somebody to smell the perfume whenever He wants.” Someone was thanking the superior of the convent for having sent Padre Pio to Turin to assist a dying person. I realized that the man was dying in the same moment Padre Pio was blessing him in San Giovanni Rotondo. A lady said: “My husband was in an automobile accident and was critically injured. He was transported to the hospital in Taranto, Italy. The doctors had no hope of his survival. The gauze was saturated with the blood and the doctor had enclosed it in a container in order to bring the gauze to his laboratory. They wondered what they would do if the Padre did not receive them. Should they continue with their journey or turn back. As they were debating on their options, the room was filled with a sweet, intoxicating perfume, that had a very relaxing effect on them.
Padre Pio had this charisma and had been seen by eyewitnesses in different places at the same time. Here are several testimonials. I began to wonder about myself. I started to doubt my senses. I even told myself I must be dreaming. “One day the phenomenon happened when I was on vacation with my wife. I have been a bit absent-minded today, but fortunately, your perfume woke me up.’ He said simply.: ‘For you, perfume is not necessary. For you, slaps are necessary.’” A friend of mine knew the Padre well. He spoke enthusiastically of him. But I thought to myself his stories about the holy man were a bit much.
There also was Father Pio, despite the fact that he was in his convent at the same time. I saw him. He was smiling and coming towards me through the crowd, but when I was not far from him, he disappeared. “While I was returning to Rome by train, I thought a lot about what had happened in that room in Padre Pio’s monastery I decided to plead with Padre Pio to heal my damaged eyes. In fact, my sight progressively improved and before too long, I was totally healed. The doctors who examined me later could not believe I was completely and inexplicably recovered.” As soon as I opened the door, I smelled again that same scent that I had smelled when I was next to Father Pio. I became confident. My wife underwent the operation without any problems. I told her the marvellous experience that I had and together we thanked Padre Pio.” One evening he went to his room and he commanded his orderly not to allow anybody to come in. He took his gun from a drawer and pointed the gun at his head, but suddenly he heard a voice: “Oh General, why do you want to do such stupid thing?” It was in June 1991. During the surgery, the doctors did a quadruple bypass. When I awoke from the anesthesia, my leg and right arm were paralyzed. The doctor saved that gauze in his laboratory, and the strange perfume had stayed in the room for long time, so that when the patients went to him for the medical visits, they asked him for an explanation. This gift allows somebody to perceive the Saint’s presence in the smell of personal perfumes. At that point, the woman called for the maid, her daughter and son-in-law. She asked them why they allowed Padre Pio to enter without announcing him. The married couple shared their experience with the innkeeper. He was surprised as it was the first time that any of his clients believed to have smelled perfume in their room. A lawyer who was very devoted to Father Pio says: “Once I was in the old church in the monastery attending one of Padre Pio’s long Masses. I was really discouraged. After awhile, my faith returned and I began to pray to Padre Pio for help. I pleaded with him for three days. After a while, Padre Pio shook like awakening from a nap. He looked at me and said; ‘you are here. I did not realize it!’ After some days, a telegram from Turin was delivered. The woman began to look for the source of the perfume and thought that some distracted traveller, before them had left a bottle of perfume in the room. When the Mass got to the point of the “Sanctus” I suddenly had a desire to smell again that indescribable perfume that I had already perceived when I had kissed Padre Pio’s hand. My wife, who had seen me go out of the Church, reached me at the hotel. “What has happened? What are you doing?” she questioned me. “I am packing my suitcase and I am leaving,” I answered.
In 1956, Padre Pio served Holy Mass for Joseph Cardinal Mindszenty of Hungary in his Budapest prison. You can imagine my surprise when this started to happen to me. I would catch the aroma of violets in unusual places, where even the hint of a flower could not be found. In that precise instant the perfume disappeared. In the evening, while I accompanied him to his room, I asked Padre Pio for an explanation about that phenomenon. He answered me: “My child, I am not able to explain it. I consulted several doctors and after several examinations, they gave me the diagnosis: irreversible ocular hemorrhage. The son explained; “the airplane was flying near the airport on the island where it was going to land after it had loaded its bombs. However, the airplane was struck by a Japanese attack plane. A married couple in England were experiencing problems and were at a point of despair. They did not know where to turn to. Someone spoke to them about Padre Pio.
One day, a famous Doctor had removed a bandage from a sore on padre Pio’s chest. A married couple in England were experiencing problems and were at a point of despair. They did not know where to turn to. Someone spoke to them about Padre Pio. So you have been in jail with him and you have seen him!” - Father Pio answered: “Of course, if I had spoken to him I have also seen him”. He was bilocating. These aromas could be detected even if one were at a distance from the good Padre. My wife was moved. I felt my years of guilt weighing me down and I needed to confess my sins, but as soon as I was next to Padre Pio, he said brusquely (without looking at me): “Go away!” I answered: “I am here to confess, that you may give me Jesus’ absolution.” I had spoken roughly to him, but he roughly responded: “I have said: “Go away.” I went away running across the garden from the small Church then onto the hotel. Not one of those persons knew that the doctor had the gauze soaked with the blood of St. Padre Pio in the container. I tried to open the parachute, but I didn’t succeed. I would have smashed to the ground if I had not received a friar’s help who had appeared in midair. He had a white beard. But all of a sudden I smelled the unmistakable odor of violets.
At that precise moment, the mail carrier knocked on our door and delivered a letter to us from the monastery of St. Giovanni Rotondo. We read that Padre Pio would pray for my wife and our unborn child. A lady from Bologna, who was 24 years old, had her right arm fractured. The same arm had been operated three years prior because of a serious accident. Padre Pio visited the Bishop who had ordained him on the 10 August 1910 in the Cathedral of Benevento. With just a few words of counselling, Padre Pio helped them to resolve their problems.” Suddenly, I was overwhelmed by a powerful aroma of violets. The scent was so strong it jolted me back to the present moment. I leaned my hand on the communion rail so as not to fall! I was about to faint when I mentally asked Padre Pio to save me from embarrassment in front of the people. Father Alberto, who met Padre Pio in 1917, stated “I saw Padre Pio standing in front of the window, looking at the mountain. He was speaking to himself. So I must confess my initial reactions were indifference and disbelief. I went to Padre Pio in the sacristy that morning to serve the Holy Mass, but other monks were already arguing in the sacristy as to who would have this privilege.
Padre Pio interrupted those discussions by saying – ‘only he will serve the Holy Mass’ - and he pointed me out! Then, after asking her what the doctor had said and encouraging her to trust in Our Blessed Mother, he made the sign of the Cross on her arm and went out of the room. On the hospital grounds there was a shrine dedicated to Padre Pio. Before visiting my husband I would stop and pray to Padre Pio for my husband’s recovery. A bone graft had not succeeded! Father and injured daughter departed for St. Giovanni Rotondo. Padre Pio met them, he blessed them and he declared: “Above all do not despair! The couple instead took it as a sign to continue with their journey to St. Giovanni Rotondo and to meet Padre Pio. He suddenly thought of Padre Pio. The next day he asked Padre Pio if he had slapped him. Padre Pio answered; “this is the way to cast away sleeping while praying?” With a slap Padre Pio had “awakened” the attention of the praying man. From that moment on, the condition of my husband improved and he healed from the injuries he sustained.” Yet, this really got me confused, because I had never believed the stories of the perfumes, and so I myself was convinced that padre Pio’s perfumes really existed. While I thought that I was going to speak to the saint, I was wooed by a strong perfume of lilies. We know that padre Pio had never been to Rome, except once in 1917, in order to take his sister to a convent she had decided to enter. The next day, my wife underwent another medical exam and we were told by the examining physician the kidney ailment had disappeared.” One day, as I stood there praying, the “Saintly” Pio smells, a marvellous perfume of lilies engulfed me. I took it as a sign that my prayer request had been heard. From England to Puglia (Italy), the journey was long! Moreover, it was in the middle of winter with snowy conditions prevailing. I recognized the friar who saved my life some days later while on home leave, I saw the monk in one of my mother’s pictures. She told me she had asked Padre Pio to look after me.” An X-Ray which she preserved jealously, showed that the bone and the cartilage were completely fused and healed. They wrote to Padre Pio about their problems but did not receive any answer. They, then decided to go to St. Giovanni Rotondo to meet the Padre and obtain his wise counsel.
The problem was she also had a serious kidney problem. The doctors told her that because of this kidney problem, ‘the child’s life was in danger.’ Obviously, the superior of the convent had not sent Padre Pio to Turin, but he had bilocated there.” At the moment of the consecration of the Sacred Host, I became distracted. I was the only person standing in the middle of the crowd of believers who were all kneeling. In 1951, Father Pio celebrated Holy Mass for a convent of nuns in Czechoslovakia. St.Pio has the gift of holy perfumes called odors of holiness, therefore; the people who were next to him, could very often smell his perfumes. I turned around in order to find the friar, but he was not there anymore.” Padre Pio, who was bilocating, had saved his life. The scented phenomenon lasted about a quarter of an hour while everybody tried to understand where that perfume originated. From that day the girl started to use her arm again. A woman was at her daughter’s home in Bologna. She had a tumor in her arm. So she agreed with her daughter to go for surgery.