Skip to comments.Italy's Padre Pio 'faked his stigmata with acid'
Posted on 10/25/2007 9:24:05 AM PDT by NYer
The Other Christ: Padre Pio and 19th Century Italy, by the historian Sergio Luzzatto, draws on a document found in the Vatican's archive.
The document reveals the testimony of a pharmacist who said that the young Padre Pio bought four grams of carbolic acid in 1919.
"I was an admirer of Padre Pio and I met him for the first time on 31 July 1919," wrote Maria De Vito.
She claimed to have spent a month with the priest in the southern town of San Giovanni Rotondo, seeing him often.
"Padre Pio called me to him in complete secrecy and telling me not to tell his fellow brothers, he gave me personally an empty bottle, and asked if I would act as a chauffeur to transport it back from Foggia to San Giovanni Rotondo with four grams of pure carbolic acid.
"He explained that the acid was for disinfecting syringes for injections. He also asked for other things, such as Valda pastilles."
The testimony was originally presented to the Vatican by the Archbishop of Manfredonia, Pasquale Gagliardi, as proof that Padre Pio caused his own stigmata with acid.
It was examined by the Holy See during the beatification process of Padre Pio and apparently dismissed.
Padre Pio, whose real name was Francesco Forgione, died in 1968. He was made a saint in 2002. A recent survey in Italy showed that more people prayed to him than to Jesus or the Virgin Mary. He exhibited stigmata throughout his life, starting in 1911.
The new allegations were greeted with an instant dismissal from his supporters. The Catholic Anti-Defamation League said Mr Luzzatto was a liar and was "spreading anti-Catholic libels".
Pietro Siffi, the president of the League, said: "We would like to remind Mr Luzzatto that according to Catholic doctrine, canonisation carries with it papal infallibility.
"We would like to suggest to Mr Luzzatto that he dedicates his energies to studying religion properly."
Another example of media misreporting. Catholics do not pray to saints.
No, we do pray to saints, in the sense in asking them to pray for us. The Hail Mary is a prayer directed to Mary.
I recently read the new biography of Padre Pio. There was a tremendous, long-running feud between Padre Pio and his supporters and others (going all the way up to the Vatican) who believed he was a fraud. Charges and counter-charges flew all over the place.
This was all hashed out in the cause for sainthood. It's not so much that the canonization closes the issue permanently, but that this was already dealt with.
I think there are people who really hate this man. I have no idea why. And I don't see why this information about carbolic acid amounts to anything at all.
Who do you think that prayer is to?
I know how Mr. Luzzatto feels!
Pietro Siffi, the president of the League, said: "We would like to remind Mr Luzzatto that according to Catholic doctrine, canonisation carries with it papal infallibility.
No,you are correct. We do pray to saints. We pray in petition or devotion (a desire to emulate their lives), but never in worship. They are not God. Nor are they equal to Him. They do no mediate in the sense that Jesus mediates with the Father, but being in total presence of the Holy Spirit, they perfect our prayers and bring them before the throne of the Lamb.
Also, there is an immense--really an infinite gulf--between how we pray to the saints and pray to God. Our highest prayer is not the personal prayers we say every day, but rather the Mass...and the Mass is always offered to God the Father and never ever ever to any creating being, and that includes the angels, Mary, and the saints.
Thank you for posing the question.
Eph. 3:14-15 tells us we are all one family ("Catholic") in heaven and on earth, united together, as children of the Father, through Jesus Christ. Our brothers and sisters who have gone to heaven before us are not a different family. We are one and the same family. This is why, in the Apostles Creed, we profess a belief in the "communion of saints." There cannot be a "communion" if there is no union. Loving beings, whether on earth or in heaven, are concerned for other beings, and this concern is reflected spiritually through prayers for one another.
If you read the prayers posted at your link, you will notice that they are intecessory - "please pray for us", "please intercede for us" - etc. Asking the saints to pray for us is no different from you asking a coworker, neighbor or friend to pray for you. In Rev. 5:8, the prayers of the saints (on heaven and earth) are presented to God by the angels and saints in heaven. This shows that the saints intercede on our behalf before God, and it also demonstrates that our prayers on earth are united with their prayers in heaven.
What!!! Has it since been corrected?
I think there are people who really hate this man. I have no idea why.
He had the charism to read souls, bilocation, and other great gifts. At night, Satan would attack him in his cell. Those who are 'of the world' usually dislike those who have overcome worldly temptations. You might enjoy this article about Padre Pio, and posted to EWTN.
Defamation of saintly Catholic figures has turned into a veritable cottage industry:
Pope Pius XII - Nazi collaborator
Pope Benedict XVI - President of the Adolf Hitler Youth Fan Club.
John Paul the Great - Committed suicide by euthanasia
Mother Theresa - A cruel and heartless thief who had no actual faith in God.
Lucia of Fatima - Secretly replaced with Folger’s Crystals.
Saint Padre Pio - Fraud.
It’s mind-boggling how well the secularists have concentrated their firepower on the Church. They have a public stacked wall-to-wall with nimrods who take this crap at face value because, well, Diane Sawyer said so. In a perverse way, though, it’s very comforting. Jesus promised this, and countless saintly prophets have predicted this persecution from centuries ago.
First case of vandalism I ever saw, and I immediately had to learn how to address it (not that hard). I got it fixed up in no time, don't worry.
Dozens of times in the King James Version of the Bible the word "pray" clearly means not "worship," but "ask" (the following are just the first 3 examples that turn up):
Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree
And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant's house, and tarry all night
And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.
Our beloved dead are alive in the Lord, and love us more dearly, and speak to the Lord more freely, than when they walked this earth. So, for instance, I can ask my departed mother's prayers now, even more confidently than I could when she lived here in my own home.
Or as I might even ask you, friend: "Please say a prayer for me."
This is why you pray to the Father and Jesus. They are not dead.
No where in the new testament are prayers offered to people, living or dead.
If your prayers to the saints are intercessory, and basically asking the saints to ask God because they are not mediators in the same way Jesus is mediator for us, why not pray directly to Jesus? After all, 1 Timothy 2:5 says: “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus....”
Why aren’t all of your prayers directed to whom the Bible says is our one perfect mediator, Christ? He’s God, he won’t be overwhelmed or annoyed at all your prayers.
I wonder how they explain bilocation?
St. Pio appeared in two places at once a number of times.
Praying to dead people is necromancy. Forbidden by God.
If the saints in heaven are "dead," then Jesus wasted his time. Besides, he explicitly rejects that idea in Mt 22:32.
Necromancy is consulting the dead for the purpose of fortune-telling, which is why it's condemned in scripture with other forms of fortune-telling, and why the Catholic Church regards it as seriously sinful.
Nothing wrong with praying directly to Jesus, we do it all the time.
Why does St. Paul as his readers, in several places in Scripture, to pray for him? Does he think he can't go directly to Jesus?
When my late pastor was in the seminary in the 1930’s he served Mass for Padre Pio and personally witnessed his bandaged hands begin bleeding at the Consecration. He told me this himself.
Good post. To sum up, the phrase, “Pray to X” doesn’t necessarily mean worshiping “X”.
Padre Pio, I pray you pray for us!
St Paul is asking believers who are alive on the earth, who can read his letter, to pray to God for him. He is not asking those who are not physically there and cannot read his letter, to pray to God for him.
If Paul wanted the dead to pray for him to God on his behalf, he would not need to write a physical letter. Your example thus refutes itself. The only reason therefore that Paul would write a physical letter to physical living people is because he was asking the people who were alive in this particular church to pray for him. If Paul wanted people to pray to dead Christians to interced for us, you would have cited an example from the Bible that shows Paul directly promoting or using such a practice.
Paul was not asking the dead in Christ to pray for Him, because they don’t make intercessions for us and are not in a position to make intercessions for us. You don’t have conversations with dead people, whether they are Christians or not. We can have intercession to God through his ONE mediator (the Bible says ONE mediator), the God-man Jesus Christ precisely because He is not dead. Christ, the first fruit, was resurrected (no other Christians who have died are yet resurrected and alive again) and He is alive right now and forever.
It is interesting that you try to use an example from the bible to justify prayers to teh dead when it actually shows asking living people to pray for you, not dead people. Further the real story of the rich man and Lazarus after death shows the dead cannot intercede on their own behalf or anyone else.
Paul was not asking the dead in Christ to pray for Him, because they dont make intercessions for us and are not in a position to make intercessions for us.
Revelation 5:8 flatly disagrees with you.
We can have intercession to God through his ONE mediator (the Bible says ONE mediator), the God-man Jesus Christ
The intercession of the saints in heaven depends totally on Christ's mediation with the Father and is not independent of it, so your objection is irrelevant.
Besides, if you read the verse in context, you'll find the chapter in question commands intercessory prayer, it doesn't prohibit it. You'll also discover that that word in Greek translated "one" is not monos (one and only one) but heis (one, unique, primary).
precisely because He is not dead.
And those who have fallen asleep in Christ are dead? (You'd better consider John 11:25-26 before answering.)
You call Christ your one mediator, and proceed to dismiss his words which condemn your argument. If you call him "Lord, Lord," why do you not believe him when he says that nobody who believes in him ever dies?
Oh, and by the way: Matthew 22:32. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob aren’t dead, according to Jesus.
Plus, "necro" means "dead."
Divination by means of conjuring the dead is something plainly forbidden: I think all Christians agree to that.
This does not exclude the fellowship we still enjoy with the departed who are in the Lord, and indeed with anyone in heaven or on earth who is a member of the Body of Christ: we love each other, we pray for and each other; nothing separates us from each other in the love of Christ.
The Body of Christ is not part-living and part-dead: Christ is not necrotic!
The Body of Christ includes the faithful departed, who are in fact closer to us than our own blood kin.
Besides, you cannot prove that something is not permitted solely because it is not found in the pages of the New Testament. The list of the very books of the New Testament is not found in the New Testament; neither are the certain truths of the Incarnation or the Trinity nor many other truths which Christ teaches us through His Church. I invite you not to take a truncated view of Christ's Church, as if it folded up shop or "petered out" some 1900 years ago.
And have you never asked another member of the Body of Christ to pray for you? Your mom? Your pastor? Your fellow servant?
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. I Timothy 2:5 (not the saints)
And you are purposefully twisting Matthew 22:32 to meet your agenda. They are dead in their body and their spirits are moved to Heaven or Hades. Talking to the dead is witchcraft.
That is why Saul got in serious trouble with God when he tried to call up Samuel.
As for Tolkien, I can pick whatever name I want as long as it's not taken by anyone else. If it's so important to you, why didn't you take it when you had the chance? I like him for his authorship, not his religion.
This stuff rears its head from time to time when ol' Nick cranks up the filth blowing machine and nobody is immune.
We've had the Jesus was married, Jesus was gay, Mary was not a virgin, schools of thought, so the saints are certainly not going to be exempt from the "treatment".
Where? It says "necromancy," not "talking to the dead for any purpose".
Was Jesus sinning at the Transfiguration?
And you are purposefully twisting Matthew 22:32 to meet your agenda.
And you're ignoring it to meet yours.
BTW, Saul clearly wanted his fortune told. He was also going through a witch.
Neither issue applies to Catholics asking for the prayers of the saints.
One of the best-documented cases of bilocation was that of Mary of Agreda, who in the 1600's bilocated in Texas/New Mexico while never leaving her native Spain; historian William Carroll says it is completely inexplicable outside of supernatural intervention.
Now, now, pillut . . .
we are supposed to ignore the RC’s rubber dictionary and rubber Bible.
prayer means prayer except when it doesn’t.
Intense adoration, reverence, veneration . . . = worship except when they don’t.
And, yes, one could construe RC theology to be a variation of THE MATRIX version . . . 5 or 6 or maybe even version 666 perhaps depending on the variation involved.
But mostly I think it’s another variation on humanity’s very human tendencies to politically control things; manage things; decide things . . . even supposed truth.
What kind of Bible teaches you to resort to derision and namecalling instead of actually discussing the issues?
And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him.
"Have you not read what was said to you by God: 'I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? He is not God of the dead, but of the living." And when the crowd heard it, they were astonished at his teaching." (Matthew 22:31-33)
I think the problem here is that you are looking at those who have passed away in a natural or fleshly way, as if they were dead; whereas as Christ has plainly shown us, they are living.
Do you doubt that they are alive in Christ? Do you doubt that we are alive in Christ? And if they and we are alive in Him, can't we not pray together in Him as one living body, in the living Christ?
In fact, this is the key to all of it:
so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
1 Corinthians 12:12
Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:27
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
My mother passed away this morning and my Baptist sister was telling me how she’s an angel now, I didn’t want to disagree with her but just agreed that, God willing, she is with Him now and also with us still.
We Catholics believe that we are no more separated from the saints than we are from the living, breathing humans on this earth. Through the power and presence of God they are aware of us and they hear our prayers. They have no power outside of God, they aren’t demi-gods that we worship but humans who have led the way and have attained what we hope to attain through the sacrifice of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Talking to the dead is doing what Christ did. Is He a witch?
Scripture has LOTS
of biting satire.
Reason and historical facts don’t seem to have any impact.
Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her, and may her soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, rest in peace. Amen.
We are one body. We are the Body of Jesus Christ. Those in heaven, those in purgatory and those of us on earth work together and support each other just as each organ of a human body benefits the whole body. If something is wrong with one part of the body the rest of the body reacts. If you dont believe this, ask yourself the following questions the next time you accidentally hit your thumb with a hammer. Why are my eyes tearing? Why has my respiration changed? Why do I feel nauseous? Do I look stupid sucking my thumb?
We pray directly to Jesus but also ask the saints - our friends - for their assistance. Imagine wanting to help someone who did not want your help. Imagine watching your friend become dejected because he couldn't find what he was looking for when all the time you could help him; except he never came to you. We're just one big family :-)
Re-read 1 Tim 24-26 and get back to me.
Reason and historical facts dont seem to have any impact.
I've noticed that myself. This thread is a fine example.
My mom, my pastor, my friend - are all able to be talked to by me, right now, on the earth, and they can even talk back to me.
I don’t talk to people who’s bodies are not animated at the present time (ie they are no longer inhabiting their mortal coil, and have not yet been reunited with it). They may be alive with Christ in Heaven, but we have no direct contact with them. As we have Christ as our one true mediator, there really is no need to. We go to Him directly in prayer because He tells us to. We ask other living Christians on the earth with us right now to pray for us if we want to, because we see examples of this and we see where there is instruction to do so (ex. elders of the church visiting the sick and praying for them). What we do not see are examples of anyone teaching or promoting the idea of praying to dead Christians (absent from the body, present with the Lord), so that they in turn can take our prayers to God for us. There is nothing biblical about this. Paul never taught it.
The fact that the Church Universal is comprised of those Christians on the earth, and those that are physically dead but alive in Heaven with Christ, that does not mean we can communicate with them, nuch less ask them to intercede for us. First there is no Scripture to back this up. Second, though we may be part of the Church Universal, and bound together through Christ, that doesn’t even mean we can with a prayer communicate to other living people if we don’t have the means to do so. We don’t even know everyone or earth or in heaven and we have no means to communicate with the dead, or many of the body of Christ on the earth. HAve you tried to get in touch with your brothers and sisters in China by name to aks them to pray for you? The ones who don’t have phone service or mail service?
What will convince me your point has Scriptual basis is to give me examples from the bible where Jesus or the Apostles teach that you can ask Christians who are no longer physically alive (but in heaven) to interceded on your behalf to God. Or to provide me examples of where Jesus or the apostles state that it is your choice to either to pray to God directly for what you need, or that you can also pray to a dead Christian and he or she will then take your prayer to God for you.
And please do not give me the examples of living people asking other living people to pray for them. It is not the same and you know it. If you believe it is the same, and you believe the dead can do things for you, then you must also believe that your dead Christian father can still pay your mortgage bill for you, and your dead Christian grandma can still bake cookies for you. You must believe that the next phone call you get could be from your dead friend. But they cannot, of course not, they are dead. They cannot do anything in the temporal/physical world, nor can they do anything FOR anyone anymore in the temporal/physical world. They could do many things for you when they were here and alive in the body, including giving you a phone call, baking cookies for you, or helping with the lawn work - even, if you asked them or wrote to them, to pray for you. This only works if they are actually here with you. Not if they are dead and no longer in the body.
Christ can be our mediator and we can pray to Him because He is ALIVE. He died, and was risen to life immortal. We do not pray to a dead person when we pray to Christ! Christ is Risen! Amen.
The practice of conjuring up spirits, and asking a servant of God to pray for you is quite different and this should be obvious to most people. Let me ask you a question. Do you think Jesus is an abomination to the Lord? Jesus conversed with the Dead. No I dont mean instances when he raised Jairusdaughter from the dead by saying, little girl arise.(Mark 5:41) or when he raised his friend Lazarus from the dead by shouting Lazarus come forth (John 11:44). Im talking about the time He chatted with Moses and Elias at the Transfiguration.
And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus.
Elias is the Greek form of the name Elijah that translators used in the KJV of the New Testament if you arent sure who Elias is. The KJV of the Bible is the only version that uses Elias all others use Elijah. Now we know that according to Scripture Elijah was carried away in a fiery chariot. There is no evidence in scripture that tells us he died so we wont even discuss him. But Scripture not only tells us that Moses died but we are even told his age at his death.
I believe what we are talking about is intercession. We ask them to intercede for us with Jesus.
The first time I heard about carbolic acid was in "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" where (IIRC) it was used for cleaning. It seems to be some strong stuff.
Maybe I miss the point of the original accusation, but purchasing carbolic acid does not seem to me to be necessarily "wrong" in any way. And the fact that Padre Pio died with no scars on his hands seems to argue strongly against a lifetime of carbolic acid abuse.
I just think the whole thing is a weak attempt at character assassination.