9/20 Saint Pio received the Stigmata in 1918
Luisa said to my aunt (Fr. Bernardino Giuseppe Bucci, O.F.M. referring to his Aunt Rosaria Bucci) “You will be my witness” and one day Padre (now Saint) Pio told her point-blank in his Benevento dialect: “Rosa’, va nanz, va nanz ca Luisa iè gran e u munn sarà chin di Luisa” (Rosaria, go ahead, go ahead for Luisa is great and the world will be full of Luisa). My aunt often recounted this episode, but things were not going well: everything indicated that Luisa would soon be forgotten.
After the venerated Padre Pio’s death, my aunt said one day: “Padre Pio prophesied that Luisa would be known throughout the world“. And she repeated the phrase Padre Pio had said in his dialect.
I answered that there would be no easy solution to the case of Luisa Piccarreta Indeed nothing further was said of it in Corato either, and Padre Pio’s words could have been considered merely a comforting remark. But Aunt Rosaria retorted “No! During my confession Padre Pio told me that Luisa is not a human factor, she is a work of God and he himself will make her emerge. The world will be astounded at her greatness; not many years will pass before this happens. The new millennium will see Luisa’s light“.
Padre Pio and Luisa
an excerpt from the book
LUISA PICCARRETA collection of memories of the Servant of God
BERNARDINO GIUSEPPE BUCCI, O.F.M.
Blessed Padre Pio, Luisa Piccarreta and Rosaria Bucci
Luisa Piccarreta and Blessed Padre Pio of Pietrelcina knew one another for some time without ever having met, for Luisa was always confined to the bed where she sat, while Padre Pio was enclosed in the friary of the Capuchin Fathers of San Giovanni Rotondo.5
One question naturally arises, how did they come to know one another?
This is difficult to discover, yet one thing is certain, that the two did know and esteem one another.
My aunt recounts how Luisa would speak with respect and veneration of the blessed father, describing him as a “true man of God“, who still had great suffering to face for the good of souls.
In about 1930, a well-known figure arrived at Luisa’s house, sent personally by Padre Pio. He was Federico Abresch, a convert of Padre Pio. Federico spoke at length with Luisa. What they said we are not given to know; but one thing is certain. Federico Abresch became an apostle of the Divine Will and regularly visited Luisa, with whom he always had long conversations.
When his little son received his first communion from Padre Pio’s hands, he was also immediately taken to see Luisa who, according to the story, foretold that he would become a priest.
The small boy of that time is now a priest and works at the Congregation for Bishops in Rome; he is known by the name of Mgr. Pio Abresch.
When Luisa was condemned by the Holy Office and her works put on the Index, Padre Pio sent her this message though Federico Abresch: “Dear Luisa, saints serve for the good of souls, but their suffering knows no bounds“. At that time Padre Pio was also in very great difficulties.
Saint Padre Pio sent many people to Luisa Piccarreta and would say to the people of Corato who went to San Giovanni Rotondo: “What have you come here for? You have Luisa, go to her“.
Padre Pio recommended to certain of his faithful (including Federico Abresch) that they open a spirituality center at San Giovanni Rotondo, inspired by the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta.
Miss Adriana Pallotti (a spiritual daughter of Padre Pio) is currently an heir to Padre Pio’s wishes. She has opened a House of the Divine Will at San Giovanni Rotondo, keeping alive the torch lit by Padre Pio with Federico Abresch. Miss Adriana Pallotti says that it was Blessed Padre Pio who encouraged her to spread Luisa Piccarreta’s spirituality in San Giovanni Rotondo and to help disseminate the Divine Will throughout the world, as Padre Pio desired.
Aunt Rosaria went regularly to San Giovanni Rotondo, especially after Luisa’s death. Padre Pio knew her very well, and when Luisa was still alive he would ask Aunt Rosaria when he saw her: “Rosa’, how is Luisa?“.
Aunt Rosaria would answer him: “She is well!“.
After Luisa’s death, Aunt Rosaria increased her visits to San Giovanni Rotondo, in order to receive enlightenment and advice from Padre Pio.
Aunt Rosaria was the one lamp that stayed alight to resolve Luisa Piccarreta’s case regarding the sentence of the Holy Office, visiting various ecclesiastical figures and, in addition, confronting the Congregation of the Holy Office. Once she managed – it is not known how – to enter the office of the Cardinal Prefect, Ottaviani, who heard her kindly and promised to take up the case.
Indeed, a few days later, Aunt Rosaria was summoned by Archbishop Addazi of Trani, who said to her: “Miss Rosaria, I do not know whether to reprimand you or to admire you for your courage. You have faced the guard dog of the Church, the great defender of the faith, without being bitten“.
The conclusion was that permission was obtained to move Luisa’s body from the cemetery to the Church of Santa Maria Greca.
Jesus to Luisa – Volume 16; February 10, 1924
. . . in my All-seeingness, I see that these writings will be for my Church as a new Sun which will rise in her midst; and men, attracted by its radiant light, will strive to transform themselves into this light and become spiritualized and Divinized, and therefore, renewing the Church, they will transform the face of the earth.
The doctrine on my Will is the purest, the most beautiful, not subject to any shadow of the material or of interest, either in the supernatural or in the natural order. Therefore, just like the Sun, It will be the most penetrating, the most fecund, and the most welcomed and appreciated. And being Light, It will make Itself understood and will make Its own way. It will not be subject to doubt or suspicions of error; and if some words will not be understood, it will be because of too much light, which, eclipsing the human intellect, will not allow them to understand the whole fullness of the Truth. However, they will not find one word which is not true. At the most, they will not be able to comprehend it fully.
Therefore, in view of the good which I see, I push you to neglect nothing in writing. One saying, one effect, one simile on my Will can be like beneficial dew upon the souls, just as dew is beneficial on the plants after a day of burning sun, or like a pouring rain after long months of drought. You cannot understand all the good, the light, the strength contained in one word; but your Jesus knows it, and knows the ones whom it will serve and the good it will do.”
Now, as He was saying this, He showed me a table in the midst of the Church, and all the writings on the Divine Will placed on it. Many venerable people surrounded that table and were transformed into light and divinized; and as they walked, they communicated that light to whomever they encountered. Then Jesus added: “You will see this great good from Heaven, when the Church will receive this celestial food, which will strengthen her and make her rise again to her full triumph.”
Blessed Padre Pio, the wonder-worker of San Giovanni Rotondo – In the book “The Little Daughter of the Divine Will” translated from a biography written by Fr. Pablo Martin Sanguiao, it states “…Luisa (as referred to by some witnesses) wrote to Padre Pio of Pietrelcina – the only time in her life. Padre Pio answered only this: “I Santi si fanno, ma guai a chi fa i Santi!” [“The Saints are made, but woe to those who make the Saints!”]
Luisa was bedridden in Corato since her teen years and Padre Pio was cloistered all his adult life at Our Lady of Grace Friary in San Giovanni Rotondo, therefore they never met in person. However, Luisa and Padre Pio exchanged greetings and prayers, and each referred visitors to the other. This is evidenced in the follow excerpts from the letters of Luisa Piccarreta:
“With all my heart, I thank the Lord, and additionally for the visit you made to venerable Padre Pio.”
“Thanks be to God, for that young man returned safe and sound. He went to see Padre Pio, went to confession, and cannot thank you enough for your goodness and hospitality. He brought me your dear letter.”
“Thank you, my child, for remembering me when you went to Padre Pio. Tell him to pray for me for I have great need of it.”
“Very dearest Son, why not tell the holy Padre Pio to pray in a very special way that the Divine Will be made known?”
“Tell the holy Padre Pio to pray to the Lord that the Kingdom of His Will come if we want peace; but I believe that Our Lord will put His limit with a general scourge throughout the world and perhaps with an epidemic for only in this way will the heads of governments surrender.”
“Tell Padre Pio to pray for me, because I need it and with all respect I kiss his right hand.”
“The dearest Jesus says: “The first one to sacrifice will be I because you want to do My Will.” For this reason it will not harm the many miracles worked by Padre Pio to add this one also. Beg Padre Pio to pray to the Lord and obtain this cure that can produce much good for souls. Kiss His hand and tell him to pray for me.”
“With respect to Padre Pio, He is right because, the poor thing, he has had to endure great problems and therefore it is necessary to obey the Holy Church; but we do not say what is printed in the books, but rather that which the Holy Church does not know yet and what is printed in the book is but a few drops; the seas of the Divine Desire are not known yet.”
“I leave you all in the sea of the Divine Desire. I kiss the hand of Padre Pio and tell him to pray for me.”
“I leave you in the Divine Desire so that you become holy; Kiss the hand of Padre Pio on my behalf, greet him with the love of the Fiat; pray for me.”
“I leave you in the Divine Desire; pray for me, kiss the hand of Padre Pio for me and receive the greetings of the love of the Fiat.”
“Kiss the hand of Padre Pio and I would like to know what he thinks of the writings.”
“He knew and loved Luisa and her Writings”—an interview with Adriana Palotti.
Adriana Pallotti is a wonderful lady who lives in San Giovanni Rotondo (Foggia, Italy), where she founded the “House of Prayer for the Kingdom of the Divine Will.” She is originally from Modena (Northern Italy), but she moved to San Giovanni Rotondo many years ago, “…to live close to Padre Pio…”, as she says. Padre Pio, then, became her Confessor and Spiritual Director.
In San Giovanni Rotondo, she attended the Cenacles of Federico Abresch on the Divine Will, when Luisa was still alive. During the 40’s , Federico Abresch became a close friend and disciple of Luisa. He used to visit her house and learn, directly from her and from her manuscripts, of the Sublime Truths of Living in the Divine Will. He exchanged frequent correspondence with Luisa.
In the following interview, made in 1994, on the occasion of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the passage into Heaven of Luisa Piccarreta, Miss Adriana Pallotti gives clear testimony on the fact that Padre Pio knew and loved Luisa and her Writings. She also gives wonderful testimony on the conversion of Federico Abresch through Padre Pio, on the First “Divine Will” Cenacle in the San Giovanni Rotondo, and on direct and specific comments of Padre Pio regarding the spreading of the writings of Luisa.
I was surprised upon seeing that the lunch of Luisa consisted of just 4 or 5 orecchiette [pasta with the shape of “little ears”, typical food from Puglia] and a few grapes, which I myself had brought an hour before. Everything was placed on a little plate. After my aunt put grated cheese on it, she told me: “Take it to Luisa.”
Surprised by this strange meal, I brought the food to the little room of Luisa. She welcomed me with a smile, placed the plate on the appropriate bed table, made the sign of the cross, and began to eat. Feeling my state of amazement, Luisa smiled at me again, then took a grape and offered it to me. When Luisa finished her lunch (so to speak), she rang a little bell, and soon my aunt appeared,
Padre Pio and Luisa Piccarreta
carrying a little tray in her hands. Here began the scene, which I will never be able to forget: Luisa brought up everything in a strange way; I say this, because I felt no repugnance; on the contrary, a strange fragrance diffused throughout the room. Then, removing the little bed table, my aunt closed the shutters and said: “Come Peppino, let’s go eat, for Luisa has to sleep.” My aunt brought to the table the food brought up by Luisa, and there it remained
during our lunch. I counted the orecchiette – they were six, and all the grapes, whole and bright – precisely eleven.
Highlights on Federico Abresch
Federico, Amalia and their son Pio Abresch, friends of Padre Pio, were also admirers of Luisa. The book “Padre Pio: The True Story” by C. Bernard Ruffin, states “Friedrich Abresch, a native of Germany who came to see Padre Pio in 1925, at the age of twenty-eight, out of pure curiosity. A nominal Lutheran in his youth, he had become Roman Catholic on marrying an Italian but did not practice his religion. “I had no faith,” he admitted. …. Padre Pio did not expel Abresch from the confessional, but he did make him, as he put it, ‘understand immediately that in my previous confessions I had committed certain mortal sins.’… ‘He concealed his knowledge of my entire past under the form of Questions. He enumerated with precision and clarity all of my faults, even mentioning the number of times I missed Mass!’
Pio became a Monsignor
In 1926, a year later, Abresch’s wife began to hemorrhage, and doctors diagnosed a tumor in her womb….Amalia Abresch was devastated by the certainty that a hysterectomy would leave her incapable of bearing children, so she went to Padre Pio. He told her not to submit to the knife. After that, the hemorrhages ceased and, although the tumor remained, to her great delight, she conceived and, at the age of nearly forty, gave birth to a son. The boy, who was named
Eventually the Abresch family settled
in San Giovanni Rotondo, where Friedrich opened a photography studio. For many years he was something of an official photographer for Padre Pio and his brethren.”
AP = Adriana Pallotti
Question — Well, Adriana, we are very happy to have you with us today, to witness to the world, which is getting to know Luisa. We know that you are very important in this process, since you have been one of the first and most persevering persons to spread this message, so important for the world. We would like to hear from you a little bit about your story. Let’s start from the beginning, when you came here to San Giovanni Rotondo. How did you begin your growth under the guidance of Padre Pio, and then, your first meetings with Federico Abresch?
AP — I came to live here in San Giovanni Rotondo in 1945, when I heard from some friends that here there was a saint, so great, so holy, and with the stigmata. I decided to leave the house of my father and all my things to come here, to live in poverty close to Padre Pio. After a few years, I met Federico Abresch, who was German, a convert through Padre Pio. He had come to live in San Giovanni.
Question — Wasn’t Federico a doctor, from Bologna?
AP — No, Federico was a photographer, who had established his laboratory in Bologna.
Question— And how did he arrive here?
AP— He was here because a friend of his invited him to come and visit this great saint. He didn’t know him, but he came out of curiosity. As soon as his eyes met the eyes of Padre Pio, his heart was touched and he felt the desire to kneel at Padre Pio’s feet. And Padre Pio told him: ‘What are you doing here after so many years without going to Confession?!’ He said: ‘Father, please help me!’ And Padre Pio: ‘Start from your last Confession! No, I don’t mean this confession now. I mean from your last Confession before you got married!’ So he started his new Confession and then, touched by the words of Padre Pio, he was converted.
Adriana Pallotti Founder of
the “House of Prayer for the Kingdom of the Divine Will”
in San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy
(Photo taken October 2005)
Federico Abresch visits Luisa
After his conversion, he started to go around in search for spiritual things and beautiful souls. He heard that there was a saint in Corato, bedridden for 70 years, so he went to visit this soul, who began to talk to him about beautiful spiritual things on the Divine Will. He was very touched, and continued to visit Luisa with the permission of Padre Pio. Luisa continued to talk to him about living in the Divine Will, and he wrote notes. Sometimes, he saw her when she received the stigmata.
One day, he was visiting Luisa and saw her bed shaking. He asked: ‘What’s happening?’ And Luisa said: ‘I suffer, I suffer! — but gladly!’ She was suffering the Passion of Jesus. Abresch went to her very often, also with his little son Pio, who was three years old. He asked: ‘So, what are we going to do with this little boy… a Priest?’ And Luisa said: ‘Eh, eh, let’s pray.’ In fact, Pio became a priest and now he is in the Vatican. Abresch always continued to go to her. He learned from her diaries, which she wrote at night. He would copy them and then return them to Luisa. We learned this spirituality from him, since he always continued to keep these writings.
First little cenacles
Question— So he started his first little cenacles?
AP — Yes, at night we used to go and listen to his talks about Luisa. We were enthusiastic! I couldn’t wait to go there, every Saturday night. We were about 5 or 6. He spoke every week for one hour and a half, but we never wanted him to stop, so much we loved this spirituality! It was about to give our human will to God, and to receive His Will in exchange, so as to become divinized. In hearing this, we felt that we had found Paradise on earth! We were enthusiastic, and Padre Pio was happy too.
Once I asked Padre Pio: ‘Father, is it good for me to listen, write and print the writings of Luisa Piccarreta? And he said: ‘Yes! Repeat it!’ So, I asked again: ‘Father, can I give some money to Andrea Magnifico to buy the equipment to print the books of Luisa? And he again: ‘Yes!’ So I understood that it was really the Will of God to have the writings printed…and we did it.
Question — In which year did Federico start these conferences?
AP — Before I came, in 1945, he had already started with another group.
Question — So, Luisa was still alive?
AP — Yes, Luisa was still living.
Question —So, you started during the 50’s?
AP —Yes, I started from the 50’s to talk about Luisa in my home to my guests. All were enthusiastic about this spirituality of the Divine Will.
Question — Who were some of the other souls? You and who else?
AP— There was a certain Giulietta Marchi from Bologna. She was very happy. Jesus spoke to this beautiful soul. She died all of a sudden, after many years in which we were going together to Abresch. Before dying, she told me: ‘Adriana, you must get some tapes and record all that Abresch says, because in the future you will have to talk about this spirituality. The Lord wants this, because He wants to free us from the misery of the human will, in order for us to live in a divine manner!
Question — Tell us about Andrea. When did you meet him?
AP — Andrea Magnifico from Milan came to my home to “change air.” I told him that we were going to listen to Abresch who spoke about the spirituality of a certain Luisa from Corato, who lived in bed for many years, and that the spirituality that Jesus taught to Luisa was so sublime and so great that we felt that were living in Heaven, no longer on earth! He said: ‘I want St. Padre Pio to come and listen’ And after he came, he said: ‘Oh, finally! I had asked St. Joseph to let me know if there was something, in the spiritual life, much greater than the things I knew. And here it is! St. Joseph is now letting me discover this great novelty, much greater than anything else.
Question — So he started to make copies of the books?
AP— Yes, he started with photocopies, which we gave to many people, and we started to distribute them also to Priests and others. Many souls followed them and were very happy about these spiritual lessons which Jesus had given to Luisa, and which — through Luisa — we were able to know.
Question — Are there other things that you remember that Padre Pio said about the Divine Will? Did you talk with Padre Pio about Luisa?
AP — Yes, I asked him if it was a good thing to get a recorder in order to tape the writings of Luisa, and he said: ‘Yes!’ After this other positive answer, I went to Milan to get it.
Question — So he was aware of this?
AP — Yes, yes, yes, very much… Even more, among the young people who came to Abresch to listen to the lessons on the Divine Will, one of them told us that he went to Confession to Padre Pio, asking him: ‘Father, is it true that the Blessed Mother is Great not because She has been the Mother of God, for her virginity, her being Immaculate, but because — as Luisa says in the writings — She never did Her human will, but only and exclusively the Will of God?’ Padre Pio answered: ‘Yes, my son, this is the truth! This is the truth!’ And he continued:
‘Father, allow me to ask you one more thing. Is it true that Jesus would have remained on the Cross even till the end of the world in order to save humanity? And that His Cross is just as long as the centuries, and just as large as humanity?’ And Padre Pio: ‘Yes, my son, this is the truth! This is the truth!’ And he said: ‘Father, please, can we hug each other?’ And they hugged.
Question — Adriana, you have been reading about this spirituality, teaching it to many people, for years. What does this spirituality of Luisa mean to you?
AP — It means that as we give to the Lord our own will, and we no longer use it, receiving His Will in exchange, we feel such an interior peace that we are able to bear things that, humanly speaking, we were not able to suffer. But with His Divine Will, the Lord gives us His Power, His Divine Power, His Creative Power.
Question — He says that these writings will renew the face of the earth.
AP — We will live on earth as the Blessed in Heaven. It is the fulfillment of the Our Father!
Question — So, in your opinion, this is the future of the Church?
AP — Yes, in the writings of Luisa it is said that when the Church will possess them, there will be a fire within the Church. It will be that same fire which the Gospel talks about: ‘They came to bring the fire on earth. Oh, how I wish that it could be already burning.’ This is the fire of the Divine Will!
Question — And do you think that Luisa herself is important in this? I mean, is it possible for people to know the Divine Will without knowing Luisa?
AP — The two things go together!
Question — Is Luisa a saint?
AP— Remaining in bed for all those years, writing all these things. We know from Abresch, who knew Luisa personally, that Jesus Himself called her “My Divine Luisa. I exalted her up to the highest Seraphim.”
Question — Will she be canonized, in your opinion?
AP — It might be that the Lord does not need this, since He is already glorified if we live this spirituality. If we do it, this is His Glory! But it is up to us to live this spirituality, so that It may open its ways. In this way Luisa is “ipso facto” (by fact) a Saint!
Question — Well, is there anything else you would like to tell us? What would be your advice to someone who has just heard about the Divine Will for the first time?
AP — If these souls have sufferings, problems and many other things, they can say to the Lord: ‘Lord, I can do nothing, but I know that You can do everything. Take my will, and come to act in me…to work, to walk, to breathe, to suffer in me.’ As we empty ourselves and let Him act, our lives become more simple, and perfect. It will be easier to proceed along the path of this life.
Question — Are you happy to have known this spirituality?
AP — It has been the greatest grace I have received on this earth. Even greater than knowing Padre Pio, who has been a great Confessor and Spiritual Director. But with this spirituality we become divinized. We find this also in the Gospel, but Jesus teaches this to Luisa with many examples, which make it easy and attractive. This is the greatest grace for us, which allows us to bear and suffer things that we could not bear before; but with the suffering of Jesus within us, everything becomes easy!
Question — Adriana, do you know whether Padre Pio did ever read any of the writings of Luisa?
AP — One lady who went to Confession to Padre Pio told him that she had read the Hours of the Passion. Padre Pio said: ‘I read it four times! Oh, how beautiful! And now, another one is about to come out — about the Blessed Virgin in the Kingdom. Oh, how beautiful that one, too!’ So, Padre Pio was aware of everything that came from Luisa’s hands.
Question — Adriana, do you know whether any vocations matured from the conferences of Federico Abresch?
AP — Yes, many vocations! There was a young lady, who left her boyfriend to become a cloistered nun. When Padre Pio told her that those things were the truth, she said: ‘So, what am I doing here in the world? I want to be in a Convent and lead a cloistered life.’ So she went and died in the Convent.
Also, other young people, when they heard Abresch talking about this spirituality — which is living on earth as the Saints and the Blessed live in Heaven — decided to become priests or monks. Yes, listening to Abresch, saying that, as we exchange our miserable human will, which is only capable of evil, with the Divine Will, we start living in a divine way, and our acts become like shining suns…like stars…divine things! So they said: ‘What are we doing in the world? We’d rather spend our lives thinking about these things!’
Padre Pio and the Stigmata
Padre Pio bore the wounds of Jesus on his hands, feet, and side for 50 years.
Several days before he died in 1968, all evidence of the wounds disappeared.
On October 22, 1918, Padre Pio wrote to his spiritual advisor, Padre Benedetto, describing how he received the stigmata. “On the morning of the 20th of last month, in the choir, after I had celebrated Mass, I yielded to a drowsiness similar to a sweet sleep. All the internal and external senses and even the very faculties of my soul were immersed in indescribable stillness. Absolute silence surrounded and invaded me. I was suddenly filled with great peace and abandonment which effaced everything else and caused a lull in the turmoil. All this happened in a flash.
“While this was taking place, I saw before me a mysterious person similar to the one I had seen on the evening of 5 August. The only difference was that his hands and feet and side were dripping blood. The sight terrified me and what I felt at that moment is indescribable. I thought I should die and really should have died if the Lord had not intervened and strengthened my heart which was about to burst out of my chest.
“The vision disappeared and I became aware that my hands, feet and side were dripping blood. Imagine the agony I experienced and continue to experience almost every day. The heart wound bleeds continually, especially from Thursday evening until Saturday. Dear Father, I am dying of pain because of the wounds and the resulting embarrassment I feel in my soul. I am afraid I shall bleed to death if the Lord does not hear my heartfelt supplication to relieve me of this condition. Will Jesus, who is so good, grant me this grace? Will he at least free me from the embarrassment caused by these outward signs? I will raise my voice and will not stop imploring him until in his mercy he takes away, not the wound or the pain, which is impossible since I wish to be inebriated with pain, but these outward signs which cause me such embarrassment and unbearable humiliation” (Letters 1, No. 511).