How Padre Pio Stopped Allied Forces From Bombing His Monastery During WWII
In the midst of World War II, Italy was invaded by Nazi Germany and Allied forces made many attempts to liberate the country. According to various accounts, intelligence reported a cache of German munitions near San Giovanni Rotondo, the town in which stood the monastery of St. Padre Pio.
However, at the beginning of the war Padre Pio reassured the people that no bomb would touch their small city. True to his word, Padre Pio reportedly went out of his way to make this happen.
According to author Frank Rega in his book Padre Pio and America, “none of the Allied planes sent to bomb the San Giovanni Rotondo area were able to complete their missions successfully. There were often mysterious malfunctions, causing the bombs to drop harmlessly in the fields, or mechanical failures which caused the planes to veer off course.”
Most remarkable of all were the stories of a “flying monk.”
An American pilot was just about to bomb the city when, “Suddenly, the pilot saw in front of his plane the image of a monk in the sky, gesturing with his arms and hands for the plane to turn back. The shocked pilot did just that, and jettisoned his bombs elsewhere. When he returned to the base and told his story, his commanding officer decided it was best to put this pilot in a hospital under observation for mission-fatigue.”
The pilot couldn’t get the image from his mind and after the war he made inquiries to find this monk. He eventually made the journey to San Giovanni Rotondo and recognized the “flying monk” as St. Padre Pio.
Prophecy of a Future Long and Happy Marriage
Christina tells the story of the time her parents went to Confession to St. Pio of Pietrelcina. It was the custom of their town that all the school children would take a bus to San Giovanni Rotondo for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
On this particular day, Christina’s parents, who were in the fifth grade, stood next to each other in the Confession line. They were friendly, but not really friends at that time. Giancarlo went to Reconciliation first, followed by Dina. As she was walking out, Padre Pio stopped her. He told her that he had just heard the confession of the person she would marry one day.
In the not-too-distant future, this couple will be happily married for 50 years. I’m sure St. Pio of Pietrelcina continues to intercede for them.
Nevertheless, the Mother Superior asked the sister to bring along a glass of water. The Mother Superior had a presentiment that it was the beginning of the end. Lucia told her with a happy smille: “I will die soon, Mother, Padre Pio came to see me. He was just like picture on the bureau. He said I could not be cured (i.e. by the doctors). But he also told me to hope, and to have faith in the help of Heaven.
Evidently, from the succession of events we will read below, Lucia has initially misunderstood Padre Pio. Two sisters assisted her to the chapel. She did not ask for water, and even refused when offered the glass that had been taken along. It was now already a quarter of an hour since she had taken anything to drink. After finishing her prayers she was brought back to her little room as it appeared that she was fainting. The chaplain was called and a drinking tube was put into her mouth, but she immediately pushed it away. Suddenly she opened her eyes with a strange smile on her lips. She sat up in her bed and gesticulated joyously, saying Padre Pio had just told her in the name of God: “You are cured. Get up! Come immediately to my monastery. I want to bless you and thank the Almighty with you.” Lucia went to the monastery with two of the sisters on June 17. When they appeared before Padre Pio, he said with a smile: “I was waiting for you,” and he blessed her.
St Padre Pio’s Visions of the Souls in Purgatory
“While in the friary on a winter afternoon after a heavy snowfall, he was sitting by the fireplace one evening in the guest room, absorbed in prayer, when an old man, wearing an old-fashioned cloak still worn by southern Italian peasants at the time, sat down beside him. Concerning this man Pio states: ‘I could not imagine how he could have entered the friary at this time of night since all the doors are locked. I questioned him: ‘Who are you? What do you want?’
The old man told him, “Padre Pio, I am Pietro Di Mauro, son of Nicola, nicknamed Precoco.” He went on to say, “I died in this friary on the 18th of September, 1908, in cell number 4, when it was still a poorhouse. One night, while in bed, I fell asleep with a lighted cigar, which ignited the mattress and I died, suffocated and burned. I am still in Purgatory. I need a holy Mass in order to be freed. God permitted that I come and ask you for help.”
According to Padre Pio: “After listening to him, I replied, ‘Rest assured that tomorrow I will celebrate Mass for your liberation.’ I arose and accompanied him to the door of the friary, so that he could leave. I did not realize at that moment that the door was closed and locked: I opened it and bade him farewell The moon lit up the square, covered with snow. When I no longer saw him in front of me, I was taken by a sense of fear, and I closed the door, reentered the guest room, and felt faint.”
A few days later, Padre Pio also told the story to Padre Paolino, and the two decided to go to the town hall, where they looked at the vital statistics for the year I908 and found that on September 18 of that year, one Pietro Di Mauro had in fact died of burns and asphyxiation in Room Number 4 at the friary, then used as a home for the homeless.