I just read a wonderful story about Padre Pio in the July issue of CATHOLIC DIGEST and I have to share this. It is an excerpt from the book Meet Padre Pio by Kathleen Stauffer.
In Padre Pio’s later years, as word of his stigmata spread, well-meaning crowds gathered around the rustic monastery in Foggia, Italy, where his Capuchin Order resided. Seeing miracles, people pushed and pressed and jostled and bickered. Worse, superstition grew rampant. Pio hated that.
As the friar made his way to the confessional or to the church, the people would shout out to him. “Padre Pio! My mother had cancer and I put your picture upon her and the cancer disappeared.” “Padre Pio! My son had pneumonia. I put your picture on his chest and the pneumonia disappeared.”
The shouting about the healing powers of his picture began to gnaw at him and he tired of it. One night, quite late, Pio was praying in the choir of the old church, by the window above the square. He heard a footstep on the sidewalk below.
Pio looked out the window and saw a shadowy figure in a dark cape. The stranger was holding something in his hand, but the object was unclear. Pio sensed trouble. Political unrest was brewing in Italy in those days, and Pio felt a little uneasy, he later told his brother monks.
They asked what Pio did then, and he explained with characteristic humor. “At first, I was so scared that he would throw a bomb at me. But then I said to myself, ‘Oh, don’t worry. I think I’ve got a picture here of Padre Pio.’ “