Padre Pio – Stigmata and His Wounds

In September 1911, Padre Pio wrote to his spiritual advisor Padre Benedetto.

Yesterday evening something happened which I cannot understand.   In the centre of the palms of my hands a redness appeared.    There was also an intense and acute pain.    Even under my feet I can feel some pain.

Six months later he described what is commonly known as the “transfixion” of his heart.

From Thursday evening until Saturday and on Tuesday I experienced excruciating agony.    My heart, my hands and my feet seemed to be transfixed with a sword. I felt tremendous pain

It was he said as if someone has plunged a fiery sword into his heart.

The wounds disappeared after a few days but the occurence was repeated every week.    After a few years the wounds became permanent, and also the constant pain, always the pain!

In September 1918 he wrote

The intense pain of the open wounds makes me angry against my will.    It leads me to the pain of delirium

And again

I have endured terrible and sorrowful hours.    I die every moment, and fear for the loss of faith in God.    My soul doesn’t know God.   Oh God where are you?     Where have you gone to hide?    Where can I look for you?    Have you given me up for ever?    My God, my God why have you forsaken me?

Then he described in detail the beginning of the stigmata.

It was the morning of the 20th of last month.    I was in choir after celebrating holy mass when I was overcome with drowsiness.    When this was happening I saw in front of me a mysterious exalted person spilling blood from his hands, feet and heart.    The vision faded away and I noticed that my hands, my feet and my side had been pierced and were bleeding.

The wound of my heart pours blood profusely.    My father I am dying from suffering through the pain and confusion which I feel in my soul.    I fear that I will die from the loss of blood if my Lord does not heed the groans of my poor health and stop what is happening.

Will he take away the pain that I’m experiencing from this external sign?    I will cry to him at the top of my voice and will not stop begging him so that in his mercy he will take away, not the suffering, not the pain but I will beg him to remove these external signs which utterly confuse me and which cause indescribable and unbearable humiliation.

Finally in December 1918 he wrote to Padre Benedetto.

For many days I have been aware of something like a shaft of iron entering from the bottom of my heart and penetrating through to the lower part of my right shoulder.    It causes me excruciating pain and does not let me get a bit of sleep.

I offered myself to God as a victim for you

And he offered himself as a victim for us too.    So as we gather today we give thanks to Padre Pio for taking our sufferings on himself and we ask him to continue to bless us and to intercede for us with God.


By Father Canice Murphy O.P.


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