Skip to comments.Padre Pio confided in young JP II that shoulder wound was his greatest suffering [Catholic C]
Posted on 02/19/2011 8:54:52 AM PST by NYer
From a fascinating article by Frank M. Rega.
Shortly after World War II was over, a young Polish priest who was studying in Rome, Fr. Karol Wojtyla, visited Padre Pio in San Giovanni Rotondo. This encounter took place around 1947 or 1948. At that time in post-war Italy, it was possible to have access to Padre Pio, since travel was difficult and great crowds were not besieging the Friary. The young priest spent almost a week in San Giovanni Rotondo during his visit, and was able to attend Padre Pio’s Mass and make his confession to the saint. Apparently, this was not just a casual encounter, and the two spoke together at length during Fr. Wojtyla’s stay.
Their conversations gave rise to rumors in later years, after the Polish prelate had been elevated to the Papacy, that Padre Pio had told him he would become Pope. The story persists to the present day, even though on two or three occasions "Papa Wojtyla" denied it.
Recently, new information about this visit has come to light, according to a new book in Italian published by Padre Pio's Friary, Il Papa e Il Frate, written by Stefano Campanella (1). As reported in this book, the future Pope and future Saint had a very interesting conversation. During this exchange, Fr. Wojtyla asked Padre Pio which of his wounds caused the greatest suffering. From this kind of personal question, we can see that they must have already talked together for some time and had become at ease with each other. The priest expected Padre Pio to say it was his chest wound, but instead the Padre replied, "It is my shoulder wound, which no one knows about and has never been cured or treated." This is extremely significant, not only because it reveals that Padre Pio bore this wound, but because, as far as is known, the future pope is the only one to whom Padre Pio ever revealed existence of this secret wound.
Centuries earlier, Our Lord himself had revealed to St. Bernard of Clairvaux in a vision, that his shoulder wound from carrying the heavy wooden cross caused him his greatest suffering, and that the cross tore into his flesh right up to the shoulder bone.
As ever, I am indebted to Frank M Rega for his fastidious research on Padre Pio.
Rest assured, you will live to see that day.
:) Thank you, friend.
Amazing info - I never knew about the shoulder wound. Glad to learn something new today!
Do you mean Ruffin? If Padre Pio did tell someone else, fine, the story has legs.
I have read a lot on Padre Pio.
My objection was to this particular story, claiming that JPII was the source for an otherwise unreported story. I agree with Aremis Webb that JPII is not likely to have revealed something told him in confidence.
If someone else claims to have heard this from Padre Pio, then one needs to check that person’s credibility. The fact that there’s a remote source in Bernard of Clairvaux triggers skepticism in a hagiologist.
Michael Freze has an extended interview with Fr. Joseph Martin, OFMCapuchin, one of Padre Pio’s confreres from 1988. Martin explicitly says that Padre Pio never commented on which wound hurt the most. (Freze, They Bore the Wounds of Christ).
My copy of Ruffin is at the office. What does he say about the shoulder wound?
I have seen accounts that attribute it not to carrying the cross but to the scourging. A google search suggests that nearly all hits are variants on this recent Rega story which includes the Bernard of Clairvaux aspect.
Look at the pictures if you have the Ruffin book. It shows the shoulder wound on one of the pictures of the undershirt.
That’s not what Artemis Ward and I are questioning.
I am questioning:
1. that PP said the shoulder wound hurt the most (which Rega breathlessly reports as hitherto unknown)
2. That this hitherto unknown fact was transmitted by JPII who heard it from PP.
That PP had a shoulder wound is not new. But whether it represents a scourging wound (as the sources I’ve seen say) or abrasion from the cross, is disputed. Rega’s JPII story says it’s from the cross. Do you have credible evidence from Ruffin to support that claim? Or is Rega (and behind him, JPII) the only source for this?
If the latter is the case, then it’s suspect because it just oh so neatly matches a Bernard of Clairvaux vision, which is the sort of thing a legend-creator would latch on to to modify the scourging wound into something new and unique and then breathlessly retail.
Finally, one of PP’s close associates (Fr. Joseph Martin) said explicitly that PP never said anything one way or the other about which wound hurt most.
The story is dubious until someone can offer some corroborating evidence. Do you have any? If Ruffin does, fine, I’ll drop my case.
“Both Padre Pio and JPII made decisions, out of humility.”
Humility is a form of Truth.
OK, I finally get what you are saying. I was working on the idea that this article was NOT the first time the shoulder wound was mentioned.
About the hurting...I don’t know.
Probably Padre Pio didn’t say anything. He was very relectant to talk about any of it.
Another amazing fact that some don’t know is that Padre Pio’s wounds started healing — then he died the next day with no trace of the five wounds of Christ. Amazing, huh?