Pio centers say canonization may occur this year but nothing definite yet

Spokesmen for both the Padre Pio Foundation in Connecticut and the Padre Pio Center in Pennsylvania say that as yet no date has been set for the canonization of Padre Pio, the astounding mystic from Italy who died in 1968 and was beatified last year. There are reports that the canonization may occur on September 23 (the anniversary of his death), but there has been no Vatican confirmation and those at the centers say officials are still investigating a third miracle (three miracles are needed for canonization). A later date may also be possible if it occurs as expected this year.

The Roman newspaper Il Messagero has reported that a study is under way of the scientifically inexplicable cure of an eight-year-old child who reportedly saw Padre Pio in a dream. He lived in San Giovanni Rotundo, where Pio's monastery was located, and was healed of a fatal case of meningitis. In the dream Padre Pio had smiled at the boy, who had been hospitalized in desperate condition. Five doctors are studying cases for the Vatican. The other two involved a young Italian from Modica who recovered from an "irreversible coma" and a Naples man who was miraculously cured of partial paralysis.

There should be no problem documenting miraculous healings. Pio cured thousands in his lifetime. Although not part of the formal inquiry (as far as we know), one of the best documented, according to author Bernard Ruffin, one that can be classed unambiguously as a miracle, took place in February of 1949, and involved Giovanni Savino, a construction worker in the vicinity of San Giovanni Rotundo who lost his entire right eye during a dynamite mishap. Doctors confirmed that on February 14 the eye had been annihilated and that the socket was empty. On February 18, Savino told his surgeon that Padre Pio -- whom he personally knew -- had paid a "visit" at the hospital. He was certain of this because he smelled the odor of sanctity so characteristic of Pio, although Pio himself did not actually leave his monastery. On February 25 there was another mysterious incident as Savino, whose face was bandaged, felt a light slap on the right side of his face. Later, when an ophthalmologist came to examine him and took off the bandage, there was amazement that Savino's face had fully healed and he could see out of his right eye.

"Are you crazy?" said the doctor. "I am telling you that your right eye isn't there anymore. I'm treating only your left eye."

When Savino insisted, the doctor, who had been paying attention only to the left, saw to his astonishment that Savino had a right eye as well.

"There have been cases in which diseases considered terminal and incurable by every physician in attendance have suddenly and inexplicably disappeared," wrote Ruffian in Padre Pio: The True Story. "For a missing part of the body to be restored, however, is quite another matter. There is no way that such a thing can occur by natural means. Yet this is precisely what seems to have happened to a laborer named Giovanni Savino. There is excellent documentation for the occurrence."

(We'll be having much more on Padre Pio and are offering both his beatification video and books about him. The print below is available in our gift shop. When a date is chosen, we will offer an opportunity to attend the canonization.) 

Padre Pio Foundation  

         E-mail this site to a friend