Sep 22, 2016 / 03:02 am
Known around the globe as simply “Padre Pio,” Saint Pio of Pietrelcina has been called one of the “most active” saints in the Church, and continues to work miracles for those who pray through his intercession.
“St. Padre Pio is a pretty powerful intercessor…a priest said to me once that he’s probably one of the most active saints in the Church,” Fr. John Paul Zeller MVFA, told CNA in an interview.
A friar with the Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word and a Missionary of Mercy from Birmingham, Ala., Fr. Zeller is the proud owner of a first-class relic of Padre Pio, and has witnessed several healings in first-person after praying through Padre Pio’s intercession with the relic in hand.
Fr. Zeller said that while he initially had no specific devotion to Padre Pio, he developed one after taking a trip to San Giovanni Rotondo, where Padre Pio served as a priest for the majority of his life, after the 2014 canonization of St. John Paul II.
After learning more about Padre Pio’s life, the priest said he was moved, and worked up the courage to ask one of the superiors in San Giovanni for a relic. The superior agreed, and gave Fr. Zeller not one but two pieces of a blood-soaked bandage Padre Pio had wrapped around the wounds of his stigmata.
Padre Pio was born Francesco Forgione May 25, 1887, to a devout Catholic family in Pietrelcina, Italy. At the age of 15, he joined the Capuchin Friars, and eventually became a priest with the order.
Throughout his life, Padre Pio was known as a mystic who experienced the stigmata for 50 years. Many miracles and wonders have been attributed to him, including reports of healing, soul-reading, levitation and even bi-location.
Fr. Zeller said that after he received the relics, he gave one to his community, founded by Mother Angelica, and was granted permission to keep the other for himself.
“I keep that relic on me at all times,” he said, noting that in his role as Director of the pilgrimage department at EWTN’s headquarters in Birmingham, “I have the opportunity to pray with a lot of people.”
“I’ve prayed with people and there have been cases where there have been, I would say, some healings,” the priest said, explaining that people will come up to him several months, even a year, after he prayed with them and recount experiences of healing.
One such experience happened only a few months ago during a healing service at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville on the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, he said, recalling how during the service, he and two other priests prayed over people with the two blood-soaked bandages as well as a glove of Padre Pio’s that belonged to Mother Angelica.
As they were praying a woman suffering from sciatica came up “and I prayed over her,” Fr. Zeller said, noting that the woman approached him later and said that after she went back to her seat, she told her husband “I’m healed.” …
Go here for the rest of the story.