Padre Pio bore the stigmata, but one secret wound was more painful than the others
The saint only revealed it to one person — Karol Wojtyla, the future Pope John
Padre Pio bore the stigmata, but one secret wound was more painful than the others The saint only revealed it to one person — Karol Wojtyla, the future Pope John Paul II Gelsomino Del Guercio – Aleteia Spain January 31, 2017February 1, 2017 Public Domain Padre Pio is one of the few saints who has suffered the wounds of Christ’s Passion in his body, the stigmata. In addition to the wounds of the nails and the spear, St. Pio was also given the laceration that Our Lord endured on his shoulder, a wound caused by carrying the cross, which we know about because Jesus revealed it to St. Bernard. The wound that Padre Pio had was discovered by one of his friends and spiritual sons, Brother Modestino of Pietralcina. This friar was from Pio’s native land and helped him with domestic services. The future saint told him one day that changing his undershirt was one of the most painful things he had to endure. Brother Modestino didn’t understand why this would be, and presumed that Pio was referring to the pain that came from pulling the cloth away from the wound in his side. He realized the truth after Padre Pio had died, when he was organizing the vestments of his spiritual father. Modestino had been given the task of collecting all of Padre Pio’s belongings and sealing them. On the priest’s undershirt, he found a large stain on the right shoulder, close to the shoulder blade. The stain was some four inches across (somewhat similar to the stain on the Shroud of Turin). He realized that for Padre Pio to take off his shirt, peeling the cloth from this open wound would have caused tremendous pain. –
“I immediately informed the father superior of what I’d found,” Brother Modestino recalled, and the superior asked him to make a brief report. He added: “Father Pellegrino Funicelli, who had also assisted Padre Pio for many years, told me that many times in assisting Father in changing the woolen undershirt that he used, he would always note — sometimes on the right shoulder, sometimes on the left — a circular hematoma.” Wojtyla, his confidante Padre Pio did not speak about this wound except to the future John Paul II. If the holy brother revealed it only to him, there must have been a reason. Historian Francesco Castello writes of an encounter in San Giovanni Rotondo, in April of 1948, between Father Wojtyla and Padre Pio. It was then that Pio told the future pope about his “most painful wound.” Brother Modestino later reported that Padre Pio, after his death, gave him a special understanding of this wound. “One night, before I went to sleep, I made a petition to him in prayer. ‘Dear Father, if you really had that wound, give me a sign.’ And then I went to sleep. But at 1:05 in the morning, a sharp and sudden pain in my shoulder awakened me from a tranquil sleep. It was as if someone had taken a knife and stripped the flesh from my shoulder blade. If the pain would have continued a few minutes more, I think I would have died. In the midst of this, I heard a voice that said, ‘That is how I have suffered.’ An intense perfume surrounded me and filled my cell. I felt my heart overflowing with love for God. I felt a strange sensation: to have this unbearable pain taken away from me seemed even more difficult than enduring it. The body wanted to reject it but the soul, inexplicably, desired it. It was extremely painful and sweet at the same time. Finally I had understood!”
[Translated and adapted from Aleteia’s Spanish edition]
Hours of the Passion
… The Eighteenth Hour: From 10 to 11 AM Jesus takes up the Cross and walks toward Calvary, where He is stripped
….In saying this, eager, You let It be placed upon Your Most Holy Shoulders. Ah, my Jesus, the Cross is too light for Your Love, but the weight of our sins unites to that of the Cross—enormous and immense, as the expanse of the Heavens. And You, my wearied Good, You feel crushed under the weight of so many sins. Your soul is horrified at their sight, and feels the pain of each sin. Your Sanctity remains shaken before so much ugliness, and as the Cross weighs upon Your shoulders, You stagger, You pant, and a mortal sweat creeps through Your Most Holy Humanity. Oh please, I pray you, my Love—I don’t have the heart to leave You alone—I want to share the weight of the Cross with You; and to relieve You from the weight of sins, I cling to Your Feet. I want to give You, in the name of all creatures, love for those who do not love You, praises for those who despise You, blessings, thanksgivings, obedience on behalf of all. I promise that in any offense You receive, I intend to offer You all of myself in reparation, to do the acts opposite to the offenses the creatures give You, and to console You with my kisses and continuous acts of love. But I see that I am too miserable; I need You to be able to really Repair You. Therefore I unite myself to Your Most Holy Humanity, and together with You I unite my thoughts to Yours in order to Repair for the evil thoughts—mine, and of all; my eyes to Yours, to Repair for the evil glances; my mouth to Yours, to repair for the blasphemies and the evil discourses; my heart to Yours, to repair for the evil tendencies, desires and affections. In a word, I want to Repair everything that Your Most Holy Humanity Repairs, uniting myself to the Immensity of Your Love for all, and to the Immense Good You do to all. But I am not yet content. I want to unite myself to Your Divinity, and I dissolve my nothingness in It, and in this way I give You Everything. I give You Your Love to quench Your bitternesses; I give You Your Heart to relieve You from our coldness, lack of correspondence, ingratitude, and the little love of the creatures. I give You Your Harmonies to cheer Your hearing from the deafening blasphemies It receives. I give You Your Beauty to relieve You from the ugliness of our souls, when we muddy ourselves in sin. I give You Your Purity to relieve You from the lack of righteous intention, and from the mud and rot You see in many souls. I give You Your Immensity to relieve You from the voluntary constraints into which souls put themselves. I give You Your Ardor to burn all sins and all hearts, so that all may Love You, and no one may offend You, ever again. In sum, I give You all that You are, to give You Infinite Satisfaction, Eternal, Immense and Infinite Love.
The Painful Way to Calvary
My Most Patient Jesus, I see You take the first steps under the enormous weight of the Cross and I unite my steps to Yours, and when You, weak, bled dry and staggering, are about to fall, I will be at Your side to sustain You; I will place my shoulders beneath It, so as to share Its weight with You. Do not disdain me, but accept me as Your faithful companion. O Jesus, You look at me, and I see that You Repair for those who do not carry their crosses with resignation, but rather, they swear, get irritated, commit suicide, and commit murders. And for all You impetrate Love and resignation to their crosses. But Your pain is such that You feel crushed under the Cross. You have taken only the first steps, and You already fall under It. And as You fall, You knock against the stones; the thorns are driven more into Your Head, while all Your Wounds are embittered, and pour out new Blood. And since You do not have the strength to get up, Your enemies, irritated, try to make You stand with kicks and shoves.
My fallen Love, let me help You to stand, let me kiss You, dry Your Blood, and repair together with You for those who sin out of ignorance, fragility and weakness. I pray You to give help to these souls.
My Life, Jesus, making You suffer unheard-of spasms, Your enemies have managed to put You on Your feet, and as You walk, staggering, I hear Your panting Breath. Your Heart beats more strongly and new pains pierce It intensely. You shake Your Head in order to clear Your eyes from the Blood that fills them, and You gaze anxiously. Ah, my Jesus, I understood everything—Your Mama, who is searching for You like a moaning dove, wants to tell You one last word, and receive Your last gaze; and You feel Her pains, Her Heart lacerated in Yours, and moved and wounded by Her Love and by Yours. You notice Her now pushing Her way through the crowd, wanting at any cost to see You, to hug You, to give You the last good-bye. But You are more transfixed in seeing Her mortal paleness, and all of Your pains reproduced in Her by force of Love. If She lives, it is only by a miracle of Your Omnipotence. You now move Your steps toward hers, but You can hardly exchange a glance!
O, pang of Your two Hearts! The soldiers notice it, and with blows and shoving prevent Mama and Son from exchanging the last good-bye. The torment of both is such that Your Mama remains petrified by the pain, and is about to die. Faithful John and the pious women sustain Her, while You fall again under the Cross. Then, Your sorrowful Mama does with Her soul what She cannot do with Her Body, because She is prevented: She enters into You, makes the Will of the Eternal One Her own, and associating Herself in all Your pains, performs the office of Your Mother, She kisses You, Repairs You, soothes You, and pours the balm of Her sorrowful Love into all Your Wounds!
My suffering Jesus, I too unite with the pierced Mama. I make all Your pains, and every drop of Your Blood my own; in each Wound I want to act as a mama for You, and together with Her, and with You, I repair for all the dangerous encounters, and for those who expose themselves to occasions of sin, or, forced by necessity to be exposed, remain entangled in sin.
Meanwhile, You moan, fallen under the Cross. The soldiers fear that You may die under the weight of so many martyrdoms, and from the shedding of so much Blood. In spite of this, by lashes and kicks, with difficulty, they manage to put You on Your feet again. So You repair for repeated falls into sin, for mortal sins committed by every class of people, and You pray for obstinate sinners, shedding tears of Blood for their conversion.
My Love, overcome with pain, while I follow You in these Reparations, I see You stagger under the enormous weight of the Cross. You now are shivering all over. At the continuous shoving You receive, the thorns penetrate more and more into Your Most Holy Head. The Cross, with Its heavy weight, digs into Your shoulder, to the extent of forming a Wound so deep that the bones are exposed. And at every step, it seems that You are dying, and unable to move any further. But Your Love, which can do everything, gives You Strength, and as You feel the Cross penetrate into Your shoulder, You Repair for the hidden sins; those which, not being repaired, increase the bitterness of Your spasms. My Jesus, let me place my shoulder under the Cross to relieve You and repair with You for all hidden sins.