When the Vatican exhumed the bodyÂ of Saint Padre Pio recently for public viewing on the 40th anniversary of his death, it sparked chatter around the Interwebs in both the religious and skeptical communities. Some in the religious community were pleased to have the body of a saint displayed in time for Easter, and some in the skeptical community grabbed their collective crotch and said, “I got your Pio, right here.”
At any rate, you allÂ remember Padre Pio. He was the Italian monk from the Capuchin orderÂ who, it was said, demonstrated a whole host of miraculous abilities. TheseÂ wonderful abilities garnered the monk quite a following of the spiritually hungry in his day, and many of the faithful swore to the legitimacy of his magical talents.
For example, the word among his followers was that Pio had wrestled with and overcome the devil inÂ his cell at the monastery. Unfortunately, no video of the event has everÂ surfaced on YouTube, and none of the sanctioned wrestling organizations that I checked with have any record of the bout. Still,Â can you imagine if today’s sports promoters were around for that battle?
SUNDAY! SUNDAY! SUNDAY!
Don’t miss the monastery cell match of the millinnium, between the Penitent Monk,Â Padre Pio, and the Dark Lord himself, the Devil!!!
One reveredÂ friar and one evil demon monster enter, but who will walk out?!?!
With special guest ring announcer, Tom Cruise look-alike,Â Larry “Skitch” Morgan.
Live On Pay Per View!!!
SUNDAY! SUNDAY! SUNDAY!
Many people also said that the bearded monk had the power of “bilocation”, that he was often seen in two places at once.Â Of course these daysÂ we all know the secret behind bilocation. IÂ seem to recallÂ they made a movie about this particular Pio power, starring Hayley Mills. I think it was called The Pontiff Trap.
Seriously though, what a cool super powerÂ to have. Unfortunately, no one has ever been able to verify such an ability tied to anyone other than the Flash. And it only seems like he’s in two places at once because he’s so fast.Â All we have for Pio is the anecdotal ramblings of the Pio Posse.
Another reported Pio power,Â was hisÂ ability to know the penitents’ sins before they had confessed them. Wow, how convenient would that be these days? You wouldn’t even have to goÂ near the confessional. Immediately after a round of self-gratification for example, you’d simply receive a text message: OK, 5 hail mrys & 2 our fthrs. CU 2mro @ BINGO ;-).
Some folksÂ also saidÂ Padre PioÂ emitted the scent of flowers.
Now, this one kind of disappoints me, as far as saintly super powers go. I mean, unless a cow shits on the altar during mass, when would it ever be useful. Plus, anyone can duplicate it.Â It’s not difficult to emit the scent of flowers. Maybe Pio had a part-time gig at a florist. Or maybeÂ the Avon lady was simply paying regular visits to the monastery. I hope he was able toÂ use the flower scentÂ powerÂ when they pulled him out of his coffin, but somehow I doubt he was.
I don’t know. I just don’t get that one.
But there were also those among the flock who claimed that the revered Padre could predict future events. Now we’re getting somewhere. Of course, it seems less impressive when we learn that he could only predict things that he himself put intoÂ the church bulletin.
“Heed ye all my vision: There will be midnight mass, at which time you will all be bored silly, wishing you could go out for cocktails instead. And then, just when things look their darkest, sunrise service, followed by Easter breakfast.”
If Pio could indeed predict future events, one has to wonder if he ever predicted the post-mortem humiliation of being dug up and having his rotting corpse put on display 40 years after his death. I’m guessing that if he did make that prediction, he kept it to himself, so as not to give any dumb ass old men in robes any ideas.
Not to be outdone, however, it seemsÂ they came up with it on their own anyway.
In addition toÂ all those powers, Pio (Italian for pious) was said to have regularly exhibited stigmata â€” the wounds on the hands, feet, and side that supposedly matched thoseÂ enduredÂ by Jesus during his crucifixion. The stigmata wounds were kind ofÂ Pio’s trademark, his showcase power. He gained wide notoriety thanks to a little smears of blood here and there.
Unfortunately, the Catholic church was alarmed at the nature of the “miracle”, as well as the cult-like following that sprang up around the good Padre because of it, and they banned him from celebrating mass in public.
The good news is,Â he onceÂ made a pilgrimage to Foggia for confession, andÂ a man who made the tripÂ with him was a young Pole who later became Pope John Paul II. That encounterÂ had huge repercussions for the monk’s influence, as John Paul II would eventuallyÂ makeÂ him a saint, thereby removing the stigma of the stigmata.
All he had to do was die, and await canonization. Simple.
The funny thing is all the explanations for the stigmata wounds I’ve been reading about; not just for Padre Pio, but for the various other people around the world who claim the wounds are divine. Some folks seem to think those exhibiting the wounds have confederates working with them, and others seem to think the “afflicted” use some type of acid to achieve the effect.
Well,Â dear readers, youÂ are smarter than that.Â Let’s use theÂ Comments section to create a miracle kit. What would one need to pull off the powers supposedly exhibited by the late Saint Padre Pio, as well as any other miracles assigned to the saints?
Be creative. Be silly. Be brilliant.