Skip to comments.The Vatican Turns Away Followers of the 'New Padre Pio'
Posted on 02/27/2007 8:21:20 PM PST by marshmallow
To his thousands of followers in Italy and around the world he is the new Padre Pio.
Like the country's ever-popular 20th Century saint, who displayed stigmata for the last 50 years of his life, Brother Elia is revered. With his face, hands and feet appearing covered in blood each Easter, he has earned celebrity status and his fans range from the country's poorest to World Cup-winning footballer Francesco Totti.
Yesterday was supposed to be a chance for as many as 10,000 people, including visitors from Britain, to meet Brother Elia, 45, at the headquarters of the Jesuit movement in Naples. Now that Lent has begun, time is running out to see him before he takes to his bed over April to undergo his annual torment.
Instead, his appearance was cancelled at the last minute by the Catholic Church, which is growing increasingly fearful about the rapid spread of Brother Elia's fame.
"We had to turn away 33 coaches of people," said a spokesman for the Apostles of God, the religious movement established by Brother Elia in 2003. "The whole of the south of Italy wanted to see him, but an order came down from the regional church that the permission for the meeting had been withdrawn."
The Vatican is reported to have asked Brother Elia not to give interviews or to hold any public religious services until it has made up its mind on the veracity of his stigmata.
"For the last four years, the Vatican has sent doctors to his bedside over Easter to find out whether he really does show stigmata. Some of them said he did, others said he didn't so we still do not have a conclusion," said the spokesman.
Doctor Carlo Marcelletti, one of Italy's foremost heart surgeons who witnessed his suffering last year, said the phenomenon was "scientifically inexplicable".
Officially, the Vatican has refused to comment, but one source said the silence was "actually because we are not sceptical".
Fiorella Turolli, the author of a book on Brother Elia, said: "He suffers the Passion in exactly the same sequence as Christ. On Wednesday night he gets a crown of thorns pattern, and then he sheds tears of blood, and then signs of beating on his back. Finally on Friday he is a mask of blood and then the rebirth."
Brother Elia claims to have had his first vision of the Virgin Mary at age seven and claims he can talk to angels.
He used to work as a postman, a grocer, a flower-seller and a prison chef before he joined a Capuchin monastery in Calvi, Umbria.
His followers swear to his healing powers, and thousands queue outside his monastery from 3am every weekend. "The number of visitors keeps rising," said Silvano Lorenzoni, mayor of Calvi.
Cesare Prandelli, the manager of Fiorentina football club, says Brother Elia healed his sick wife. "It only took one look to know he was an extraordinary man," he said.
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It has all the aroma of divinity making its hand felt here on earth. Powerful.
Your right,And the Blessed and always humble Padre pio would always say..
> I performed no miracles -Christ performed the miracles,all I did was pray for you in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.Don,t thank me ,thank God
Padre Pio experienced far more "difficult" treatment from the 'authorities'
Padre Pio was sought after for good confession, not as a carnival side-show, as this article makes it seem this man is. The stigmata merely confirmed Pio's works. May this man have similar blessings to his crowds.
sounds like a fake.
If it was the real thing, he'd go out of his way to hide it.
Padre Pio was mostly known for his holy life, and how he helped people with the sacrament of confession. Yet the Vatican "locked him up" to prevent him from becoming a celebrity. True stimata is about the person and God not about showing off...
Sounds good to me.
Not knowing about this person, the headline struck me as maybe relating to new electronic device used by Catholics. Like an iPadre, maybe.
No offense intended. It's just where my mind went.
some more info here:
Since this is the British press it might be prudent to look for a second source on the story. You know, if you're skeptical of them.
Nothing seemed to jump out at me when I searched for another mention of Brother Elia or the Apostles of God.
I'm not sure it is accurate to say that Padre Pio "displayed" the stigmata. Bore the stigmata might be a better phrase.
LOL! Do you need some coffee this morning? :o)
Interesting article but I'm always leery of stuff like this. On a barely related note...I just saw something about Mary being on a pizza pan at some school. Sorry. I don't know any more than that.
Interesting. I had never heard of Br. Elia before this. But given the recent condemnation of Br. Gino of San Vittorino (who also bore the stigmata), the Church is going to step even more carefully than it usually does.
The world thirsts for holiness and sanctity.
LOL! You are too clever.
(BTW, I don't know of any Catholics here who would take offense.)