Monday, November 1, 2010
Saint Pio and the Holy Souls
THE BROKEN CANDLES - PAGE 112
Now I want to tell you another story that happened in the church. Every evening after supper all the friars used to come together for a common recreation, and Padre Pio would go with them. Then Padre Pio would go to the oratory and pray by himself.
One evening as Padre Pio was all by himself praying in the oratory, he heard a noise in the church. He thought, It must be the students—the boys who are straightening things up in the church. So he didn't pay any further attention to the incident.
There were candles all around the altar. You would have to use a ladder to get to them. As Padre Pio was praying, he heard a noise like—vroom—and everything came crashing down. He got up from where he was and went to the Communion rail. He saw a young man dressed as a friar. The man was kneeling down. Padre Pio went up to him and said in a loud voice: "Eh, who are you?" The young man said: "I am a Capuchin novice, and I am from Purgatory, doing penance for the lack of diligence in my work in the church."
Padre Pio said, "Well, then! This is a fine way to make reparation— breaking up all the candles! Now listen to me. Go away, and don't you come here any more. Tomorrow my Mass will be for you. In this way you will be liberated. Never come back." The novice thanked him, and Padre Pio left the church. When Padre Pio realized that he had been speaking to a dead man, a cold shiver ran up and down his spine.
While this was happening, Padre Emmanuele was passing by. He said to Padre Pio, "Did you talk with a dead man? I was standing near the Communion rail and I realized that you were talking with a dead man. I got so scared I ran out. I went to get help." He returned with Padre Paolino. Padre Pio was shaking. He said, "I'm cold, I'm cold." Paolino asked him what had happened. He answered, "I was talking to a dead man." After about twenty minutes he said to Emmanuele, "Get a candle and come with me." They went into the church to the main altar. Padre Pio said, "Jump up on the altar."
He did. Then he asked, "Now what do you want me to do?" Padre Pio said, "Look behind the altar. Are there any broken candles there?" At the time the altar had a picture of St. Michael on it. He said, "Look under the picture of St. Michael behind the altar, and see if there are any broken candles." Emmanuele looked and said, "Yes, there are some large candles here. They are all broken. Now what else?"
Padre Pio said, "Now come down. That's enough. No more. Let's get out of here." And they walked out of the church.
Here the apparition left no burn mark, but another concrete, meaningful trace. The poor soul gave a demonstration of the negli¬gent friar he had been and that way attracted Padre Pio's attention. He had to do penance where he had committed his fault.