The Life of Saint Padre Pio
His stigmata were very deep wounds at the centre of his hands and feet and on the left side of his body. His hands and feet were pierced all the way through; you could even see light through the membrane that covered his wounds.
He wore half-gloves over his hands (except during Mass), and stockings on his feet. Over the years, thousands of people saw Padre Pio's wounds exposed at his Masses. The bandage that was located on his side wound would become soaked with blood during the night and had to be changed the following morning. His stigmata was examined by doctors on several occasions. The unbiased conclusion that they reached was that his wounds were unexplainable. Without direct permission of his superiors, no-one was able to see the wounds.
Dr Bignami examined the wounds shortly after Padre Pio received them. He stated: "...I do not understand how these wounds have persisted for nearly a year now without getting better or worse."
Corroborating the conclusion of the doctors, that the presence of the stigmata was unexplainable and miraculous, was the fact that Padre Pio had operations for a hernia and for a cyst. These conditions healed normally, but his stigmata didn't heal normally. Amazingly, Padre Pio's wounds on his hands were often open and exposed, but remained completely free from infection. He lost about a cupful of blood every day from the wound on his side, which was covered always by a linen cloth.
There are volumes of testimonies from more than a thousand different people who were pronounced hopelessly ill by doctors, but were cured of incurable maladies and the effects of crippling injuries through the intercession of Padre Pio. Padre Pio also caused numerous conversions to occur among unbelievers, atheists and agnostics – and people who claimed to be Catholics, but had lapsed in the practice of the Faith.
(to be continued)