Another Miracle of Padre Pio: He Visited Cardinal Mindszenty in Prison

Quick Summary

  • Francesco Forgione, also known as Padre Pio, was a Capuchin priest born in Italy in 1885.
  • He was known for his holiness and various spiritual gifts, such as stigmata, bilocation, the ability to read consciences, and interceding for healing.
  • He was officially canonized as Saint Pio of Pietrelcina by Saint John Paul II in 2002.
  • Padre Pio’s apostolate focused on helping the poor and the sick, and his guiding principle was to save souls.
  • The book “Padre Pio: la sua chiesa, I suoi luoghi, tra devozione, storia e opera d’arte” reveals the story of Angelo Battisti, who witnessed Padre Pio’s bilocation to Cardinal József Mindszenty.
  • Cardinal Mindszenty was imprisoned by Communist authorities and falsely accused of conspiring against the government.
  • Padre Pio appeared in Cardinal Mindszenty’s prison cell by bilocation and brought him bread and wine for Mass.
  • Padre Pio confirmed the meeting with Cardinal Mindszenty and expressed sadness about the Cardinal’s suffering.
  • It is believed that Padre Pio provided help and support to Cardinal Mindszenty throughout his imprisonment.

A New Account Regarding the Saint’s Gift of Bilocation

The holiness of the Capuchin priest Francesco Forgione, born in Pietrelcina, Italy in the year 1885, was a devout certainty for many of the faithful, even before the “gifts” that history and witnesses attribute to him—stigmata, bilocation (being in two places at once), the ability to read consciences while hearing confessions, and to intercede in prayer for God to heal people—were common knowledge. Saint John Paul II officially canonized him on June 16, 2002, as Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, whose feast is celebrated by the Church on September 23.

Francesco was ordained to the priesthood on August 10, 1910, in the Cathedral of Beneveto, and on July 28, 1916 he moved to Saint Giovanni Rotondo, where he remained until his death on September 23, 1968. That is where the apostolate of Francesco (Padre Pio) begins, and touched the heart of the poor and the sick in body or in spirit, those whom he loved most. To save souls was his guiding principle. Perhaps that’s also why the devil attacked him constantly, and God allowed those attacks in harmony with the salvific mystery that he wished to express through Padre Pio.

Hundreds of books, movies and websites recount his life story and the action of God’s grace that reaches many people through his mediation. This is why many of his devotees will rejoice in the revelations contained in the book “Padre Pio: la sua chiesa, I suoi luoghi, tra devozione, storia e opera d’arte” (“Padre Pio, His Church and His Places: Devotion, History, and Works of Art”), according to a recent article by the renowned Vaticanist, Andrea Tornielli.

The witness who interviewed Padre Pio himself

Andrea Tornielli relates that the book contains the story of Angelo Battisti, director of the Casa Alivio del Sufrimiento (House for the Relief of Suffering), and typist for the Vatican Secretariat of State. Battisti was one of the witnesses in the process of beatification of the holy friar.

Cardinal József Mindszenty, archbishop of Esztergom, Prince Primate of Hungary, was imprisoned by the Communist authorities in December of 1948 and condemned to life in prison the following year.

He was falsely accused of conspiring against the Socialist government. He was in prison for eight years, then under house arrest, until being freed during the popular uprising of 1956. He took refuge in the United States’ Embassy in Budapest until 1973, the year in which Paul VI forced him to leave and to renounce his archdiocese.

During those years of prison, Padre Pio appeared in the Cardinal’s cell by bilocation.

In the book, Battisti describes the miraculous scene as follows:

“While he was at Saint Giovanni Rotondo, the Capuchin who bore the stigmata went to bring the Cardinal bread and wine destined to be transformed into the body and blood of Christ…”

“The register number printed on the prisoner’s uniform is symbolic: 1956, the year the Cardinal was freed.”

“As is known,” Battisti explains, “Cardinal Mindszenty was taken prisoner, thrown in prison and kept in sight by the guards at all times. As time passed, his desire to be able to celebrate Mass became very intense.”

“A priest who came from Budapest spoke to me confidentially about the event, asking if I could obtain confirmation from Padre Pio. I told him that if I had asked about something like that, Padre Pio would have scolded me right out the door.”

But one night during March of 1965, at the end of a conversation, Battisti asked the stigmatized Capuchin:

“Father, did Cardinal Mindszenty recognize you?”

After a first irritated reaction, the saint answered,

“We met and we had a conversation, and you think he might not have recognized me?”

This confirmed his bilocation to the prison, which had taken place several years earlier.

“Then,” Battisti added, “Padre Pio became sad and added, ‘The devil is ugly, but they had left him uglier than the devil,’” referring to the maltreatment that the Cardinal suffered.

This shows that Padre Pio had brought him help from the beginning of his time in prison, because humanly speaking one cannot conceive of how the Cardinal was able to resist all the suffering to which he was subject, and which he describes in his memoires.

Padre Pio then concluded, “Remember to pray for that great Confessor of the Faith, who suffered so much for the Church.”

How did Padre Pio demonstrate the gift of bilocation?

Padre Pio’s gift of bilocation is attested to by witnesses, including Angelo Battisti, who personally experienced it. In the book “Padre Pio: la sua chiesa, I suoi luoghi, tra devozione, storia e opera d’arte,” Battisti recounts how Padre Pio appeared in the prison cell of Cardinal Mindszenty while he was imprisoned. This miraculous event demonstrates Padre Pio’s ability to be in two places at once.

Did Cardinal Mindszenty recognize Padre Pio during the bilocation?

Yes, according to Angelo Battisti’s account, Cardinal Mindszenty did recognize Padre Pio during their encounter in the prison cell. When Battisti asked Padre Pio about it, he confirmed their meeting and conversation.

How did Padre Pio provide assistance to Cardinal Mindszenty during his imprisonment?

Padre Pio brought bread and wine to the Cardinal, which were intended to be transformed into the body and blood of Christ for the celebration of Mass. This act shows Padre Pio’s care for the spiritual well-being of Cardinal Mindszenty and his desire to support him in his faith.

What was Padre Pio’s reaction to Cardinal Mindszenty’s suffering?

When Angelo Battisti mentioned the maltreatment that Cardinal Mindszenty endured, Padre Pio expressed sadness and described the condition of the Cardinal as even uglier than the devil. This statement highlights Padre Pio’s empathy and concern for the suffering of the Cardinal.

How did Padre Pio manage to bilocate to the prison cell?

The gift of bilocation is a mysterious manifestation of God’s power and grace. While we may not fully understand the mechanics behind it, we can trust that God enabled Padre Pio to be present in the prison cell of Cardinal Mindszenty to offer him spiritual support and consolation.

Why did Padre Pio choose to bilocate to the prison cell of Cardinal Mindszenty?

Padre Pio’s bilocation to the prison cell of Cardinal Mindszenty was an act of divine providence. God, in His wisdom and love, allowed Padre Pio to be present with the Cardinal to provide him with spiritual aid during his difficult time of imprisonment.

What can we learn from Padre Pio’s bilocation to the prison cell?

Padre Pio’s bilocation to the prison cell of Cardinal Mindszenty teaches us about the power of prayer and intercession. It reminds us that God can work miracles and provide support to His faithful servants, even in the most challenging circumstances.

How can we follow Padre Pio’s example of caring for those who suffer?

We can follow Padre Pio’s example by imitating his compassion and concern for the suffering. Through acts of kindness, prayer, and intercession, we can offer support and comfort to those who are experiencing physical or spiritual hardships.

Did Padre Pio’s bilocation experiences occur with others besides Cardinal Mindszenty?

Yes, Padre Pio’s gift of bilocation is reported in other instances as well. There are accounts of him being seen in multiple locations simultaneously, demonstrating the extraordinary nature of this spiritual gift.

How can Padre Pio’s life and gifts inspire us today?

Padre Pio’s life and gifts inspire us to deepen our faith, trust in God’s providence, and strive for holiness. His example encourages us to embrace our own spiritual gifts and use them to serve others and bring them closer to God.

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Note: While content aims to align with Catholic teachings, any inconsistencies or errors are unintended. For precise understanding, always refer to authoritative sources like the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Always double-check any quotes for word-for-word accuracy with the Bible or the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

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