The Spiritual Gifts of the Saint
In a sense we do not need to have a chapter on the Saint's spiritual gifts because they are essentially covered in other chapters:
The healing of the sick, the conversion of sinners, the return of the unfaithful, the gift of scrutinizing and of bilocation, the gift of prophecy, his perfumed odor the stigmata.
However, as Father Carty points out [Padre Pio, the Stigmatist] these "are not the only signs of Divine predilection granted with so much largess to our Padre. He possesses the gift of invisibility [and the 'power to see']. It is said that he makes the Holy Hour every evening in the House of Loretto, but who sees him? . . . Padre Pio has sometimes understood people when they spoke a language he did not study. He knows only Italian and Latin, and very little French. He consistently refuses to hear Confessions except in Italian or Latin. It is not true therefore as Del Fante reports that he possesses the Apostolic gift of tongues. Those who can confess only in English, German, etc. are sent to other monks by Padre Pio.
"The privilege of seeing in creatures and in things that which is hidden was manifested in him from the beginning of his monastic life. In the act of hearing Confessions, which takes up so much of his time and energies, God aids him by disclosing to his eyes the status of the souls of the penitents and by permitting him to reveal part or even all that he discerns.
This discernment permits him to solve in a few minutes a task that would normally require a long time, and such a faculty is confirmed by the accuracy of his statements. How could he otherwise tell a penitent the exact number of times he missed Mass on Sundays and Holy days? How could he solve a hundred problems that are proposed to him, without that supernatural aid? How can he answer questions not yet formulated? How can he disclose what is contained in letters without opening them? Whence comes the faculty to destroy other letters because they did not merit an answer?
"Why he does not answer certain requests in spite of his good will, he explains himself. 'The Lord makes me remember only whom and what He wishes." [pp. 21-22.]
The author continues:
"Even the reading of thoughts at a distance is easy for our Capuchin, and numerous facts prove it. Two sisters obtained with difficulty permission from their father to visit Padre Pio, but with the prohibition of kissing the gloved hands which come in contact with so many lips, because the father thought it would bring infection. The girls promised obedience, but when they saw Padre Pio enter the church and the people press forward to kiss his hand, they could not resist the temptation to do the same. He looked at them, smiled and withdrawing his hand said, 'How about the promise?' " [pp. 22-23.]
The author had many accounts like this, but we cannot publish them all here. It is enough to encapsulate them all by closing with another portion from Father Carty, in the book, Who is Padre Pio?:
"It has been erroneously stated that the spiritual children of Padre Pio are fanatics, because they love him too much. This is not true; they love the Padre because he brings them nearer to God---they love him just for that.
"You must not forget that if it is true that the Padre is the first stigmatized priest of the Church, he is also the only known living priest who has the gift of perfume, of conversion, of bilocation, of discernment of spirits; and of penetrating the future.
"Other Saints have had the gift of perfume, e.g. St. Theresa, St. Dominic, St. John of the Cross, St. Catherine of Genoa, St. Rita of Cascia, St. Frances of Rome, St. Francis of Paul, St. Clare of Assisi, and others. There have been many Saints who could exercise the power of conversion; the Church has been rich in these.
"There have been Saints who cured the sick and the infirm, and those who had the gift of bilocation like St. Anthony of Padua, St. Alphonsus of Liguori, St. Alma, St. Malgondus, St. Bridget, St. Dominic Guzman, St. Rita of Cascia, St. Theresa of Avila. Certain Saints had the gift of the discernment of spirits like St. Joseph of Cupertino, St. Frances of Rome, Blessed Anna Maria Taigi and Don Vincenzo Palotti. There have been Saints who prophesied like St. Lawrence Cipriano, St. Perpetua, St. Saturus, St. Hildegarde and others, but not one of them had been given all of these supernatural gifts like Padre Pio of Pietrelcina.
"Padre Pio has accomplished deeds that are beyond the scope of ordinary mortals, and these are borne witness to daily from every corner of the earth. . . . Before beginning my story, I wish to make the following statement: Only after his death, will our children and grandchildren be in a position to say who Padre Pio is; for then he will undergo his canonical trial; in the meantime we, as obedient children of Holy Mother Church, follow her teachings and abide by her laws. . . .
The love that his spiritual children feel for Padre Pio is not fanaticism, but rather a most humble respect for one who will bring them nearer to Almighty God." [pp. 13-15.]