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Padre Pio's first bilocation

Discussion in 'The mystical and Paranormal' started by garabandal, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. garabandal

    garabandal Powers

    Padre Pio first experienced the gift of bilocation at the age of 17 in 1905

    Every September 23rd, the Catholic Church celebrates the feast day of St. Padre Pio. This holy Capuchin priest, from Pietrelcina, Italy was widely known for his supernatural gifts of bi-location, reading souls and the bodily marks of Christ; better known as stigmata’s. What may be less known, however, was the debt he willing to pay in order to save souls. As one being baptized in Christ’s death, he joyfully suffered as a victim priest for sinners. Indeed, Jesus did not die on the Cross to exempt us from redemptive suffering; on the contrary, His Passion enabled us to participate in it. This truth is confirmed by St. Peter who wrote: “Love covers a multitude of sins” and that “for whoever suffers in the flesh has broken with sin.” (I Peter 4:1,8) It was this kind of love and sacrifice that made St. Pio’s ministry so fruitful. His biography contains a long litany of stories which convey profound lessons for life’s spiritual journey.

    One such story took place before St. Pio became a priest in 1905. At the time he was a divinity student at Sant’ Elia a Piansi. While in a choir at church, at 11:00pm at night, he was mystically transported to an enormous house looking much like a mansion. In this house was Giovanni Battista Rizzani, a man who was on his deathbed. His wife, Leonilde Rizzani, who was eight months pregnant, was at his bedside but was unaware that she was about to give birth prematurely to a baby girl. As a committed Mason and opponent of Christianity, Giovanni had his friends stationed outside his house so as to prevent any priest from coming in. He knew that his wife, a devout Catholic, wanted him to receive Last Rites. Sure enough, a priest soon arrived at the house but was unable to get in, thanks to the efforts of Giovanni’s friends. Matters went from bad to worse when Leonilde went into labor and gave birth to a baby girl named, Giovanna.

    It was during this time the Blessed Virgin appeared to St. Padre Pio in order to brief him about his mission in this regard. She said: “I am entrusting this child to you. Now she is a diamond in the rough, but I want you to work with her, polish her, and make her as shinning as possible, because one day I wish to adorn myself with her.”

    St. Pio simply asked, “How is this possible?” He reasoned that he was not a priest yet (out of his humility, he did not presume he would be a priest). Also, at the time, the Rizzani family lived some 350 miles away. Needless to say, the young Pio couldn’t see how he could possibly carry out this mission. Nevertheless, the Madonna simply replied, “Do not doubt. She will come to you at St. Peter’s Basilica.”

    "Do not doubt!" St. Pio would have to learn this lesson time and time again- as we all do. The circumstances which daily press upon us; the difficult circumstances which demand recognition, may seem meaningless and even an obstacle to what God has called us to. Still, heaven bids us “not to doubt.” We are to trust that Divine Providence brings order out of disorder, meaning from what seems meaningless and interior joy out of disappointing circumstances. St. Padre Pio would later say we are like little children who, while sitting on the floor, look up at the bottom of the embroider our mother is working on. From the bottom view, the embroider is full of uneven threads and knots. But from the top view, however, a beautiful design is emerging; one that is pleasing to the eye.
    Back to the mansion: The priest waiting outside managed to convince Giovanni’s friends that he should at least be able to baptize the newly born Giovanna. As the priest entered the home, Giovanni, the unbelieving Mason, was breathing his last. But before he died, he asked God for forgiveness. Several years later, St. Pio would tell Giovanna that her father’s soul was saved through the intercession of Mary.

    Fast forward to 1922. Leonilde had moved to Rome with her children. Giovanna was seventeen or eighteen at the time. In high school, Giovanna’s teachers had sown some seeds of doubt in her mind about the Holy Trinity. She was troubled by this, so she went to confession at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. However, confessions had just ended and security personnel were trying to usher the people out of the basilica. Giovanna was told to go home. Nonetheless, a voice from one of the confessional's said that he would hear her confession. She then confessed her sins and the doubts she entertained about the Trinity were dispelled by the confessor. Giovanni, inspired by the good counsel she received, wanted to wait for the priest who, she throught, was still in the confessional so she could have a word with him. At this point, the security personnel were growing more irritated with Giovanni because she had not left. After expressing her wish to talk with the confessor, one of the guards opened the confessional curtain and said to her, “See, no one is there.” Indeed, it was true. The confessional was empty.

    A year later in 1923, Giovanna, her aunt, and several friends of hers wanted to go see St. Padre Pio in San Giovanni Rotondo. At this point, Giovanni did not know much about the holy priest. The following account is taken from the book, Padre Pio: The True Story by C. Bernard Ruffin:

    It was late afternoon when, standing in the crowd of people in the sacristy of the church, Giovanna caught her first glimpse of Padre Pio. To her amazement, he came right up to her and extended his hand for her to kiss, exclaiming, “Why, Giovanna! I know you! You were born the day your father died.” She did not know what to say. The next day, after hearing her confession, Padre Pio said to her, ‘At last you have come to me, my dear child. I have been waiting for you for so many years.' Giovanni replied, 'Perhaps you’re mistaken and have confused me with some other girl.'”

    Padre Pio assured her by saying, “No, I am not mistaken. I knew you before…Last summer, one summer afternoon, you went with a friend to St. Peter’s Basilica and you made your confession before a Capuchin priest. Do you remember?”

    “Yes, Father I do.” “Well," Padre Pio replied, "I was that Capuchin!”

    Padre Pio went on to explain, “Dear child, listen to me. When you were about to come into the world, the Madonna carried me away to Udine to your mansion. She had me assist at the death of your father, telling me: ‘See, in this very room a man is dying. He is the head of a family. He is saved through the tears and prayers of his wife and through my intercession. The wife of the dying man is about to give birth to a child. I entrust this child to you.’ Padre Pio concluded my insisting, ‘And now let me take care of your soul, as the heavenly Lady desires.’”

    Giovanni burst into tears and asked Padre Pio, “Tell me, what I must do? Shall I become a nun?” “By no means,” he said. “You will come often to San Giovanni Rotondo. I will take charge of your soul, and you will know the will of God.”

    This story is important because it says a lot about how indispensible we are in carrying out the mission that God has given us. The Blessed Virgin could have ministered to Giovanna herself; the young girl was a diamond the Blessed Virgin easily could have shined herself. Nevertheless, Divine Providence had preordained from all eternity that St. Pio should take under his wing his spiritual daughter who was about to be born. At the time, St. Pio couldn’t even imagine how such a thing could be done, given the distance and all the imagined obstacles. But the crosses he carried and the sufferings he offered up was precisely the thing Jesus Christ wanted to use to ransom the soul of Giovanni. We cannot forget her father either. Giovanni, a penitent at death but a Mason during his life, was rescued from eternal darkness through the tears of his wife, Leonilde, and the intercession of the Madonna.

    Another point to consider is this: The story of Giovanni and St. Pio reveals at what lengths the Lord and the Blessed Virgin will go to save a soul. As for us, the sheer number of people in this world overwhelms the human mind. As such, we see ourselves as one soul out of six or seven billion. But as for God, the Angels and the Saints in heaven- which is beyond time and space –gazing upon the multitude in no way subtracts from the love and knowledge they have of each and every individual.

    A dying father and a fatherless girl needed help. Heaven took notice and sent St. Padre Pio. We too are called to provide the kind of help to people no one else can provide. God may even send you in what seems like an impossible situation. Nonetheless, we should have faith and be resolved to help carry our neighbor's cross, to offer spiritual sacrifices and to pay their debts. To every soul who finds themselves in prison, our Lord says, "I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny." (Lk 12:59) The life of St. Padre Pio teaches us that we can free our neighbors from their spiritual and moral prisons by helping them pay back those pennies.
  2. jmj

    jmj New Member

    What a beautiful story! Thank you for sharing!
  3. padraig

    padraig New Member

    Apart from raising the dead, bi location seems to me to be pretty well the most amazing mystical phenmena the saints get up to. :D

    In Padre Pio's case it was not only a case of bilocation (appearing in tow places at the one time) but of appearing at multiple places at the oe time, which is just mind blowing. :shock: When asked about this by someone Padre Pio described it as an, 'Exstension of the Spirit '. I am not quite sure what that that means :D , but is the only case I know of where a saint actually tres to explain what is happening. It seems to me very mcu hlike St Thamas Aquinas's description of how it shall be in heaven when we shall have glofified bodies and be able to move from one part of the Universe to another in the blink of an eye..at the speed of thought. I remeber one descriptio nof Padre Pio as he was doing this in San Giovanni, some one observed him at pray and he seemed to go into something like a trance as he visited a dying person at another part of town.

    The earliest account of this in scripture seems to be in Acts 8:

    Philip and the Ethiopian
    26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” 27 So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian[a] eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means “queen of the Ethiopians”). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet. 29 The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”

    30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked.

    31 “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.

    32 This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading:

    “He was led like a sheep to the slaughter,
    and as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth.
    33 In his humiliation he was deprived of justice.
    Who can speak of his descendants?
    For his life was taken from the earth.”

    34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” 35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.

    36 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” [37] [c] 38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. 40 Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.

    In fact I believe this translation to be faulty, other translations speak of Phillip being taken out of himself or carried by an angel of the Lord to perform this conversion.

    I think the most remarkable saint performing bilocation was the Ven Mary of Agreda who bilocated on numerous occasions to the New World to convert the native Indians there before Christianity had even arrived. When the first Franciscan Missioanries arrived long after they found that Mary of Agreda had done much of there work for them!!

    Perhaps the most extraordinary case of bilocation is that recorded in the life of VEN. MARY OF AGREDA (d. 1665), a humble nun who spent forty-six years in the Convent of the Conception in Agreda, Spain. Not only did the Venerable travel mystically across Spain and Portugal, but she also crossed an ocean to visit another continent that was known as America. Her final destination was New Mexico and the Indians of an isolated tribe. The event took place in the following manner. One day in the year 1620, while rapt in ecstasy, Maria was transported to New Mexico, where she was commanded by Jesus to teach the Indians. She spoke in her native Spanish, but was nevertheless understood; she, in turn, understood the language of the Indians. Because they did not know her name, the Indians called her the “Lady in Blue” because of the blue mantle she wore over her habit. When she awoke from her ecstasy she found herself in the convent in Agreda. Two reports of a nun teaching the Indians reached Don Francisco Manzo y Zuniga, Archbishop of Mexico. One report was from Mary of Agreda’s own confessor, Fray Sebastian Marcilla, who contacted the Archbishop to learn if Mary of Agreda’s report to him that she had bilocated to the Indian territory was correct. The other report came from missionaries who related how the Indians sought them out under the direction of a Lady in Blue. To determine the truth of these reports the Archbishop assigned Fray Alonzo de Benavides of the Franciscan Order to investigate. Fray Benavides was then the director of the missionaries who labored from Texas to the Pacific. One day in the year 1629 Fray Benavides was sitting outside the Isleta Mission when a group of fifty Indians from an unknown tribe approached him and asked that he send missionaries to their territory. In his letters to both Pope Urban VIII and King Philip IV of Spain, Fray Benavides revealed that the Indians had travelled a great distance from a place called Titlas, or Texas, and that they knew where to find the friars from the directions given them by a Lady in Blue who had taught them the religion of Jesus Christ. Two missionaries were sent back with the Indians. These holy men found the Indians well instructed in the Faith and baptized the entire tribe. After searching for eleven years, Fray Benavides finally found the mysterious nun, not in America, but in Spain. On his return to Spain in 1630, he visited the Superior General of his order, Fr. Bernardine of Siena. It was he who told Fray Benavides that the Lady in Blue was Sr. Maria of the convent in Agreda. Realizing that the nun, out of humility, would not reveal her secret to him, the holy nun was placed under obedience to tell all she knew about the visits to America. In the presence of her confessor, Fray Benavides questioned her in regard to the various peculiarities of the province in New Mexico. She described the customs of the different tribes of Indians, the nature of the climate and other details. Fray Benavides later wrote that “she convinced me absolutely by describing to me all the things in New Mexico as I have seen them myself, as well as by other details which I shall keep within my soul.” Fray Benavides was later installed as the Auxiliary Bishop of Goa, India. He was ordered by His Holiness Pope Urban VIII in 1634 to write an account of his personal investigations. Of Sr. Mary of Agreda, Fray Benavides once wrote, “I call God to witness that my esteem for her holiness has been increased more by the noble qualities which I discern in her than by all the miracles which she has wrought in America.”

    The Provincial of Burgos, Fr. Anthony da Villacre, submitted Mary of Agreda to a rigorous ecclesiastical examination. In the end he declared her mystical favors to be authentic. Abbe J. A. Boullan, a Doctor in Theology, wrote of Sr. Mary, “In the highest rank among the mystics of past ages, who have been endowed with signal graces and singular privileges . . . must be placed, without hesitation, the Venerable Mary of Jesus, called of Agreda . . .” Ven. Mary of Agreda bilocated to America during an eleven-year period from 1620 to 1631. She experienced more than five hundred “flights,” sometimes making as many as four visits in one day. Mary of Agreda is also the author, with the help of the Blessed Virgin, of The Mystical City of God, which is regarded as the autobiography of the Mother of Jesus.



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