I once noticed a small picture of Padre Pio on a woman’s desk in a Miami-Dade government office and asked about it. The woman explained that as a girl in Italy, she suffered from a crippling and potentially mortal medical condition that doctors could not treat. Her parents brought her to Padre Pio and she was soon cured, to the astonishment of the doctors — until Padre Pio was mentioned. Years later, the now late middle aged woman had the sense that Padre Pio still watched over her and her family.
One reviewer wrote:
This is a very factual, down-to-earth, well-researched and enjoyable biography of our new Saint, Padre Pio. The author goes to great lengths to examine and sort out all the claims made about Padre Pio in a fair-minded, nonjudgmental manner. And the most wonderful thing about Padre Pio turns out to be not just the miracles and the wonders that he performed, but his great love and devotion for Christ. Not to mention his great (and underrated) sense of humor! A terrific book which I've already read twice!
The author, C. Bernard Ruffin, is Lutheran.
As for the stigmata, the saint never sought the visible wounds and even asked our Lord to take them away, or make them invisible. As for why these wounds are centered in the palms and not the wrist is not something that can be explained. How God chooses to whom, why and how these marks are given is inexplicable.