Padre Pio overcame suffering with hope, says Italian journalist

Catholic News Agency | 9/19/2019 | Staff
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Foggia, Italy, Sep 19, 2019 / 04:58 pm (CNA).- More than 50 years after the death of Padre Pio, one of the last journalists to interview the saint has reflected on the saint's hope and suffering.

Renzo Allegri, the author of the biography “Man of Hope,” visited the Italian saint a year before he died in 1968. He said Pio’s suffering was difficult to witness, but the experience emphasized the saint's silent strength.

Sacristy - Corridors - Monastery - Bent - Feet

“It was hard for me to watch him walking in the sacristy or the corridors of the monastery, bent over, dragging his swollen feet, and holding on to the walls so that he would not fall down,” wrote Allegri.

“His suffering was tremendous, but he bore it without complaining as he continued to give himself to those who needed him. When he would lift his head and look around, his big eyes looked like they were burning, not from pain but from a goodness that he could not contain.”

Allegri - Stay - San - Giovanni - Rotondo

Allegri said that during his stay at San Giovanni Rotondo in 1967, he was able to speak with Pio twice. He said he witnessed an “extraordinary moral strength that emanated from [Pio’s] whole being.”

Following the saint’s death, Allegri wrote a long newspaper piece on Pio’s life and works. During his research, the journalist was given thousands of unpublished documents regarding the saint’s hardships.

Something - Padre - Pio - People - Life

“I discovered something about Padre Pio that few people knew: he had endured incredibly enormous suffering throughout his life, consisting of more persecution, humiliation, accusations, slanders, trials, and condemnations than one can imagine,” he said.

He said many people will focus on Pio’s intense life of penance and characterize him as a dark and medieval. However, he said the saint is better labeled as “a man of hope.”

Life - Midst - Trials

“Throughout his life, in the midst of the most difficult trials, he always looked...
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