The Apparitions

and the Souls in Purgatory


Padre Pio started to have apparitions when he was a child.  The little Francesco didn’t speak of it because he believed that the apparitions normally happened to all people. The apparitions were of Angels, of Saints, of Jesus, and of Our Lady, but sometimes, also of devils. In the last days of December, 1902, while he was meditating on his vocation, Francesco had a vision. Here is the description that he gave several years later to his confessor. “Francis saw on his side a stately man of rare beauty, shining as the sun, that picked him up by the hand and encouraged him with the precise invitation: ‘It is convenient for you to come with me and fight like a good warrior.’ He was conducted to a spacious country, among a crowd of men divided into two groups: on one side were men with very beautiful faces and dressed in white dresses, candid as the snow. On the other side there were men with horrid faces and dressed in black dresses; they looked like dark shades. Francesco was situated in the middle of these two groups of spectators and he saw that a tall man, so tall that he could touch the clouds with his forehead and with an ugly face, came toward him. The character that shined exhorted Francesco to fight against this monstrous character. Francesco prayed in order to avoid the fury of the strange character but the bright character didn’t disappear: ‘Your resistance is useless. It isFOTO1.jpg (3604 byte) worthwhile to fight against this bad character. Please, be faithful and enter confidently in the struggle. I will be nearby you; I will help you and I won’t allow him to defeat you.’ Francesco agreed and the fight was terrible. With the help of the bright character that always was nearby him, Francesco won the fight. The monstrous character was forced to run away and he dragged with him the big crowd of men with horrid faces, among howls, curses and cries. The other crowd of men with beautiful faces roared with applause and praises for him who had assisted the poor Francesco in that great battle. The splendid and bright character, more bright than the sun, put down on the head of victorious Francesco a wonderful crown that is not possible to describe. But then the crown was removed from Francesco’s head and the good character said: ‘Another crown, more beautiful than this one, I have preserved for you if you will fight with that character with which you have now fought. He will always return to the assault; you will fight without having any doubt of my help. Do not worry about his strength; I will be nearby you, I always will help you, and you will succeed in winning.’” Such visions were followed by real clashes with the Devil.  Padre Pio had several clashes against the “enemy hostile to souls” during his life. In fact, one of Padre Pio’s first goals was to tear souls from the clutches of the Devil. 

One evening Padre Pio was in a room, on the ground floor of the convent, turned guesthouse. He was alone and had just laid down on the cot when, suddenly, a man appeared to him wound in a black mantle. Padre Pio was amazed and arose to ask the man who he was and what he wanted. The stranger answered that he was a soul in Purgatory. “I am Pietro Di Mauro” he said “I died in a fire, on September 18, 1908, in this convent. In fact this convent, after the expropriation of the ecclesiastical goods, had been turned into a hospice for elderly. I died in the flames, while I was sleeping on my straw mattress, right  in this room. I have come from Purgatory: God has granted me to come here and ask you to say Mass for me tomorrow morning. Thanks to one Mass I will be able to enter into Paradise”. Father Pio told the man that he would say Mass for him..., “but…“padre Pio said: “I, wanted to accompany him to the door of the convent.  I surely realised I had talked to a dead person, in fact when we went out in the church square, the man that was at my side, suddenly disappeared”. I have to admit that I re-entered in the convent rather frightened. Padre Paolino of Casacalenda, Superior of the convent, noticed my nervousness, after explaining to him what happened, I asked “permission to celebrate Holy Mass for the deceased soul,”  A few days later, Father Paolino, wanting to verify the information, went to the office of the registry of the commune of St. Giovanni Rotondo.  He required and got the permission to consult the register of the deceased in the year 1908. The story of Father Pio Father was true. In the register of deaths of the month of September, Father Paolino found the name, last name and cause of death: “On September 18, 1908 in the fire of the hospice, Pietro Di Mauro died.”

Mrs Cleonice Morcaldi of St. Giovanni Rotondo was one of the Padre Pio’s spiritual daughters. Her mother had died.  One month after the death of her mother, Father Pio told Mrs Cleonice at the end of the confession: “This morning your mother has gone to Heaven, I have seen her while I was celebrating Holy Mass.”

Padre Pio told this story to padre Anastasio. “One evening, while I was alone in choir to pray, I heard the rustle of a suit and I saw a young monk that stirred next to the High altar. It seemed that the young monk was dusting the candelabra and straightening the flower vases. I thought he was Padre Leone rearranging the altar, and, since it was supper time, I went to him and I told him: “Padre Leone, go to dine, this is not the time to dust and to straighten the altar”. But a voice, that was not Father Leone’s answered me”: “I am not Padre Leone”, “and who are you? “, I asked him. “I am a brother of yours that made the noviciate here. I was ordered to clean the altar during the year of the noviciate. Unfortunately many times I didn’t reverence Jesus while passing in front of the altar, thus causing the Holy Sacrament that was preserved in the tabernacle to be disrespected. For this serious carelessness, I am still in Purgatory. Now, God, with his endless goodness, sent me here so that you may quicken the time I will enjoy Paradise. Take care of me.” I believed to be generous to that suffering soul, so I exclaimed: “you will be in Paradise tomorrow morning, when I will celebrate Holy Mass”. That soul cried: “Cruel!” Then he wept and disappeared. That complaint produced in me a wound to the heart that I have felt and I will feel my whole life. In fact I would have been able to immediately send that soul to Heaven but I condemned him to remain another night in the flames of Purgatory.”

        Friar Pio wrote some experiences in his letters to his spiritual father:

Letter to Friar Augustine, on April 7, 1913, “My dear Father, I was still in bed on Friday morning, when Jesus appeared to me. He was battered and disfigured. He showed me a great crowd of priests, among whom were different ecclesiastical dignitaries. Some were celebrating or where donning or removing their vestments. To see Jesus in this condition caused me much pain. I wanted to ask him why he suffered so much. He did not answer me, but showed me that priest being punished. But shortly after, he looked sadly at these priests and I noticed, to my great my horror, two tears running down his face. Jesus went away from that crowd of priests and with a great expression of disgust on his face, cried’: “Butchers!” Then He told me: “My Child, do not believe that my agony has been only three hours, no; actually I will be in agony till the end of the world because of the souls I love. During the time of the agony, my child, nobody can sleep. My soul goes looking for some drop of human pity, but they leave me alone under the weight of their indifference. The ingratitude and the sleep of my ministers increase the agony for me. They badly respond to my love! The greater torment for me is that these people add their contempt to their indifference and disbelief. How many times my wrath was to strike them like lightning, but I was stopped by the angels and the souls who love me..... Write to your confessor and describe to him what you saw and heard from me this morning. Tell him to show your letter to the Provincial... “Jesus continued to talk but I may never reveal what he said...”

Epistolary I (1910-1922) PADRE PIO DA PIETRELCINA:  a cura di Melchiorre da Pobladura e Alessandro da Ripabottoni - Edizioni "Padre Pio da Pietrelcina" Convento S.Maria delle Grazie San Giovanni Rotondo - FG

Letter to Father Agostino of (February 13, 1913): “Don’t worry, I will make you suffer, but I will also give you the strength” - Jesus reveals to me. - “I desire that your soul be purified and tried with daily hidden martyrdom; don’t be frightened if I allow the Devil to torment you, and the world to disgust you, because nobody will win against those who suffer under the cross for my love, for I have decided to protect them. “

Epistolary I (1910-1922) PADRE PIO DA PIETRELCINA:  a cura di Melchiorre da Pobladura e Alessandro da Ripabottoni - Edizioni "Padre Pio da Pietrelcina" Convento S.Maria delle Grazie San Giovanni Rotondo - FG


Letter to father Agostino, (November 18, 1912), “... Jesus, his dear Mother, the Guardian Angel with the others to encourage me,  that they not forget to tell me that the victim, to be called victim, has to lose all his blood”.

Epistolary I (1910-1922) PADRE PIO DA PIETRELCINA:  a cura di Melchiorre da Pobladura e Alessandro da Ripabottoni - Edizioni "Padre Pio da Pietrelcina" Convento S.Maria delle Grazie San Giovanni Rotondo - FG

Letter to father Agostino, of (March 12, 1913), “... my father, listen to our sweet Jesus’ complaints: “My love for men is repaid with so much ingratitude! Those people would have offended me less if I had loved them less. My father doesn’t want to tolerate them anymore. I would like to stop loving them, but... (And here Jesus kept silent and, afterward taken aback) but my heart is made for loving! The tired men don’t try to overcome the temptations. Rather these men enjoy their iniquities. The souls I love more than the other’s when they suffer a temptation, when they don’t succeed in withstanding. The weak souls are dismayed and desperate. The strong souls trust Jesus. They leave me alone at night and in the morning in Church. They don’t take care of the sacrament of the altar; they don’t speak of this sacrament of love anymore; also, the people who do speak of the sacrament do it with so much indifference and coldness. My Heart has been forgotten; nobody cares for my love; I am always saddened. My house has become a theatre of plays for a lot of people; even my priests that I have always protected carefully, that I have loved as the apple of my eye; they should comfort my sorrowful heart; they should help me in the redemption of the souls, instead.... Who would believe it? I receive ingratitude from them. I see, my Son, a lot of them that... (Here he stopped, sobs tightened his throat, he wept) that under false semblance they betray me with sacrilegious communions, stamping on the light and the strength that I continually give them... “.

Epistolary I (1910-1922) PADRE PIO DA PIETRELCINA:  a cura di Melchiorre da Pobladura e Alessandro da Ripabottoni - Edizioni "Padre Pio da Pietrelcina" Convento S.Maria delle Grazie San Giovanni Rotondo - FG

Padre Alessio Parente said: "At the end of his life when Padre Pio was an old monk, Padre Alessio and Padre Onorato used to help him to go to bed. They washed his face and they helped him to go to bed. Once Padre Alessio said: "I have never been in Lourdes. We can go together and see Our Lady. But Padre Pio said: “I do not need to go to Lourdes to see Our Lady I meet with her all the nights". A few minutes after Padre Alessio said. “Ah! This is the reason for which you wash your face in the evening and not in the morning". Padre Pio did not answer but he smiled” (Ep. 1, p. 330-331).

Padre Alessio Parente said: "One day Padre Pio was praying with the Rosary when suddenlly he stop himself and start looking at the pavement. Then he jumped on the chair where he was sitting and raised his hands, In that moment his faces was covered with small drops of sweat. Padre Alessio took several handkerchiefs in order to dry him.

After few minute he had recovered and said: "Let's go to the Church for the Mass". After the Holy Mass we went to the garden of the convent and I asked Padre Pio: "Father, I saw you were suffering before the Holy Mass. What happen?

Padre Pio said. "If you had seen what I have seen you would have died".


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