by Chris Mcals
On January 6, 1903, Francesco Forgione entered the Novitiate of the Capuchin Friars at Morcone, a Municipality in the Province of Benevento, located about 50 miles northeast of Naples where, on January 22 of the same year, he took the Franciscan habit and the name of Fra’ (Brother) Pio, in honor of Pope St. Pius V, the Patron Saint of Pietralcina.
In 1911 when, during one of his mysterious illness, Padre Pio became confined to bed for three weeks during which he received frequent Heavenly visitations (sometimes up to three a day) that were either preceded or followed by diabolic apparitions.
The following is one of Padre Pio’s ecstasies that occurred during his illness in Venafro. His ecstasies were eye-witnessed by many, including Padre Agostino who recorded them in his journal while they were taking place. They were later found (after Padre Agostino’s death) and published under the title: “Diario.”
Nov. 29, 1911
Jesus, I entrust to You these Brothers . . . they get up at night . . . You know . . . tell me, why are You so afflicted? . . . people offend You very much . . . people do all sort of wicked things . . . Jesus, I’d like to ask You a favor . . . but I see You so afflicted . . . someone must have offended You . . . My Angel you remember that I abused your presence . . still tell Jesus . . . may I have those Graces? Although He knows . . .
Jesus, I love You . . . my soul is torn . . . You are so serious . . . You don’t think about it . . . It’s true . . . people are wicked . . . Your mercy . . .
Why, Jesus? . . . only one thing . . . come to me always . . . with what should I nourish myself? . . . with love! . . . but my love is weak . . . Jesus I love You very much . . . compensate where my love is lacking . . . oh, how sad I see You this morning! . . . yes, You remember. . . I’m weak . . . at any moment . . . My God, I don’t mind that You look at me like that. . . but I wish my voice could reach all sinners . . . Come all of you sinners into this wound where everything is Love . . .
My Mother, remember what I told You about that person . . . Jesus, You know, he is one of my Brothers . . . look at the habit of our Father (St. Francis) if he had been like me he would have killed himself . . . My God don’t punish him . . . Our Priests too . . . At the Altar who knows what they do . . . don’t punish them . . . Jesus, I entrust You with that person that Padre Agostino mentioned to me . . . Jesus, why so afflicted this morning? . . . Can it be that I didn’t Communicate myself well? . . . but what do You expect from this miserable wretch? . . . I am unworthy! . . . You want to glorify Yourself in me? . . . in me? . . . what glory? . . . Jesus, don’t let me see You like this . . . it breaks my heart . . . to whom should I turn? . . .
Jesus, why yesterday morning the others didn’t notice? . . . Nobody must know . . . My Father. . . he can . . . but the others despise our things . . . Jesus, I entrust my Spiritual Father to You . . . who knows what that dirty scoundrel is cooking up for him! . . . To me, instead . . . do not allow it . . . I know, it’s a test . . .but who knows what could happen to him . . .
Jesus, was the doctor here yesterday? . . . well . . . he is a secular ! . . . the Brothers yes, but a secular! . . . I know he is good, but he is still a secular! . . .
Jesus don’t say “no” . . . to whom should I turn? . . . Your Mother, and You too . . . Jesus, don’t say “no” . . . remember that You spilled Your blood for everybody . . . and what does it matter if that man is hard-hearted? . . . it doesn’t matter . . . I too renounce. . . meanwhile he . . .
Jesus . . . My Jesus, still afflicted . . . always afflicted this morning . . . Tell me, is it I who offended You? . . . for mankind . . . My God, men afflict You all the time! . . .
Jesus, look . . . whether You want it or not . . . You see . . . I must deafen You . . . or You will no longer appear to me . . . or You will no longer appear . . . there we go again . . . there we go again . . . there we go again . . . people! . . . People do favors either to their children or to their acquaintances . . . Our Order was instituted for men . . . why don’t You grant me this favor? . . . Would this be the first time I’m asking You for it? . . . why so afflicted? . . . I want to see You laugh a little . . . You look at me in that way . . . it’s people, including Priests, even in front of Your Altar . . . In the end You are a Father . . How many times I too left a lot to be desired! . . . when I lived at home my father saw my little pranks . . . still! . . . Jesus they are offending You grievously . . . this morning You are afflicting me . . . My God if I could place Your heart in mine! . . .
I appeal to Your Mother! . . . Jesus, I love You so very much . . . I keep repeating it, yes I love You, Love, Love! You alone! . . . You alone be praised! . . . Jesus, don’t forget those people who are sacrificing themselves for me . . . last night they could have easily rested, instead they got up to visit me . . . In the end, who am I? . . . Please help them! . . . as far as I’m concerned I’m not even good enough to say Mass, but let them do their ministry.
Jesus, I don’t want to keep boring You . . . I talked a lot. My Jesus, my Superior tried to persuade me that last night that dirty scoundrel was here . . . Stay always close to me! . . . Who knows what will happen!
Jesus, one more thing . . . in our Province him too . . . The Rule is better observed . . . I too will suffer . . . even if You send me out (of the Order) . . . . Help these Superiors . . . You already know . . . You already know . . .
Jesus . . . why that thirst the other morning? . . . You are right, I missed You who are my Father and my Spouse.
Angel of God, my Angel . . . are you not my guardian? God gave you to me . . . Are you a creature? . . . Either you are a creature or you are a creator . . . are you a creator? No. So then you are a creature and you have a law and must obey it . . . you must stay next to me whether you like it or not . . . you are compelled . . . And he laughs . . . what are you laughing about? . . .
Tell me something . . . no, you must tell me . . . who was present here yesterday morning? . . . And he laughs again . . . please, tell me . . . who was it? . . . either Padre Agostino or Padre Superior . . . well, tell me . . . was it their guardian angel? . . . answer me . . . if you don’t tell me I will say that it was one of the other four . . . and he laughs! . . . come on, tell me . . . I’m not letting you off the hook until you tell me . . .
Otherwise I’ll ask Jesus . . . and then you’ll have to deal with Him! . . . And He laughs! . . .
So, young man, tell me who it was! . . . you made me talk quite a bit, you know! . . . yes, yes, Padre Agostino, the Father Lector, the teacher! . . . well then, my Angel, will you save him from the warfare that that dirty scoundrel is preparing for him? Will you save him? . . .
Tell me, Jesus, why allow it? . . . You don’t want to tell me?. . . if You won’t appear to me anymore. . . but if You will come again I will have to tire You . . .
Jesus. . . but tell me, are You really Jesus? . . . Say Jesus! . . . Good!
Jesus, when You come back next time, I need to ask you a few things . . . You already know them . . . but for now I want to touch on them briefly . . . What were those flames in my heart this morning? . . . If it weren’t for Rogerio who held me down . . . and then even the Lector . . . my heart wanted to race out of my chest . . . what was it? . . . and another thing . . . What was that thirst? . . . My God . . . what was it? Last night after the Superior and the Lector left I drank a whole bottle of water and the thirst wasn’t quenched. . . it devoured me . . . and it afflicted me until Communion . . . what was it? . . .
Jesus is that dirty scoundrel coming back tonight? . . . Well, help those two who assist me; protect them, defend them . . . I know, You are here . . . but . . . my Angel stay with me!
Jesus one last thing . . . let me kiss You . . . what sweetness in these wounds! . . . They are bleeding . . . but this Blood is sweet, it’s sweet . . . Jesus, sweetness . . . Holy Eucharist . . . Love, Love who sustains me . . . Love, I will see You again soon!
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