When Padre Pio was put under "house arrest"
The Diary of Cleonice Morcaldi
One of St. Padre Pio's spiritual daughters
(Extracts from "Diario" part 6, Voice of Padre Pio, Italian edition, Vol.32, no. 3, March 2001, translated by Frank M. Rega; see bottom or www.frankrega.com for translation disclaimer)
Three Years of Privation!
A moonlit night. We are at dinner one evening. A person shouted in the streets: "Hurry everyone, a monk, a stranger, has arrived to take away Padre Pio!".
We arose, mother and children, and scampered to the monastery. The moon was bright! The road which led to the friary church was filled with people.
We arrived in front of the friary. It was closed. I lingered near the door of the church. It was Easter Monday.
During the years 1931-33 the Holy See, behind the false accusations and slanders stemming from certain quarters of San Giovanni Rotondo and Manfredonia, prohibited Padre Pio from going down into the church. No longer did we see him on the altar, nor in the confessional, and not even in the choir loft.
Three years of intense martyrdom, for him and for us! The obedient and gentle lamb, though suffering the insufferable, exclaimed "What return can I render to God for this trial by fire?"
They even prevented him from approaching the railing of the choir. Word was spread that the decree of the Holy See was to be for life, and that they wanted to exile him to Spain. It was at that time that Padre Pio wrote to the mayor of his ardent desire: "that these bones would find their final rest in a tranquil corner" of San Giovanni Rotondo (1). Against the innocent one, the just one, as were the sons of Jacob against beloved Joseph. Not only to imprison him, but to destroy him.
The gentle lamb did not raise his voice, did not defend himself. The victim bowed down his head. Little by little the people kept away. They no longer came to the friary, which began to seem like a hermitage.
They even transferred the friars away to other places. They removed Padre Pio as the director of the local Franciscan Third Order [to which the author belonged], but I still frequented the friary church all the same. I was very careful not be seen by the monks, who seemed to be like policemen. I lingered in the church with the hope that I would at least hear the voice of Padre Pio. I walked around the outside of the monastery in the hope of seeing him pass by a window. A few times I did see him pass by in a hurry.
Pietruccio, the young blind man, (2) had permission to go up to visit him and kiss his hand. I took advantage of this by entrusting to Pietruccio some written messages to give to the Padre. I knew that Padre Pio remained in the choir loft until 11:00 at night, and before going to his cell, he would extinguish the light of the choir window, a bright light that illumined all of the area that led to the friary and that could be seen from the town.
In one note I wrote to the Padre, I asked him to remember to send me a blessing whenever he put out that light. He sent back a reply that he would. Then every evening, from 9:00 to 11:00 I was in the attic, at the lone window up by the roof. I remained in prayer, always looking at the light that in the darkness and silence of the night seemed to shine like a bright star.
I united my soul with the noble soul of my crucified spiritual Father. I prayed and I cried. I felt myself near him in his sufferings and pains. I seemed to hear his groans, his sighs, his weeping! My mother was in bed asleep; however, every once in a while she would call me. How sorry I was then to have to leave Padre Pio alone in his Gethsemane.
When he extinguished the light, I would feel a great relief and comfort in my being. This came from the blessing that the dear Father had sent me.
Just a few months before he was released from these restrictions I had a dream, I dont remember if I was just half-asleep or what, that the Padre in the form of a Seraphim issued forth from the Tabernacle, passed through the closed door of the church, and came towards me. I made a vow to go on foot to thank St. Michael the Archangel in the grotto at Monte SantAngelo, on the day that the Lord would liberate Padre Pio.
On the morning of July 16, 1933, while alone and feeling desolate, I was at the back of the friary church praying to the Virgin Mary. I saw a friar preparing the altar at an unusually late hour, and he was in the process of placing the chalice on the altar. What could this be about? Only when Padre Pio celebrated Mass did they set up the chalice beforehand! My God! I kept looking, wondering...my heart was pounding! Then a multitude of townspeople started arriving - men, women, children. Many of them went down on their knees in tears, kissing the pavement...instantly the little church was filled. They had learned that Padre Pio was to celebrate Mass! It was the Provincial who had carried the news to them.
What went through me, I dont know how to describe. I had to go outside to vent my sobs; a reaction that I just could not contain. Too much had I suffered...and too great was this joy. I was powerless to worthily thank the good God who had come to our aid against all hope.
After three years, the Padre came forth, with his face full of emotion, and tears streaming down his eyes. He began the Mass amidst the sobs and tears of his children. He was crying, and all of us were crying.
When it came time to bring us Jesus in Holy Communion, every so often he would say: "Enough. No more crying!".
After that Holy Mass I went on foot all the way up to the grotto at Monte SantAngelo to render thanks to the Archangel Saint Michael.
(1). The text of Padre Pio's letter to the mayor is here: http://www.sanpadrepio.com/mayor.htm
(2). Learn more about Pietruccio here: http://www.sanpadrepio.com/#Pietruccio
Controversial, bold and thought-provoking, the above book is available in print or Kindle format.
Frank Rega is the author of: Padre
Pio and America,
St. Francis of Assisi and the Conversion of the Muslims,
The Greatest Catholic President: Garcia Moreno of Ecuador
Life of the Mystic Luisa Piccarreta - Journeys in the Divine Will vols. 1 and 2
Life of the Mystic Luisa Piccarreta - volume 3 in preparation
The Truth about Padre Pio's Stigmata and Other Wonders of the Saint
Vatican II, Evolution, and Medjugorje: Hubris, Heresy, and Mystery
www.frankrega.com www.sanpadrepio.com www.thepoverello.com www.lifeofluisa.com
Disclaimer All translations in any of my Web pages made from various Italian language sources are intended as an informal, good faith sharing from my own personal notes, and are not otherwise authorized, official, or presented as completely accurate.
was last updated on 02/14/14