Flying Padre Pio stopped bombers during WW2

I rounded this up from Fakebook.

“In the photo Padre Pio and the North American Protestant pilots who converted to Catholicism after seeing the Saint flying with his planes.”
The testimony of a general who was converted: in the region of San Giovanni Rotondo, where the saint lived, a bomb never fell
This extraordinary story about Padre Pio is told by Fr. Damaso di Sant’Elia, superior of the Pianisi convent, in Italy. The report appears formally in “Positio”, the official document that exposes the defense of the canonization of the famous Capuchin friar, who was awarded the stigmata of the Passion of Christ.
“Several pilots of British and American aviation, of various nationalities and different religions, who, during the Second World War, after September 8, 1943, were in the area of ??Bari to carry out missions in Italian territory, were witnesses of a unusual fact. In carrying out their duties, some airmen passed through the Gargano region, near San Giovanni Rotondo, and saw a ‘monk’ in the sky who was forbidden to drop bombs on the spot.
In Foggia and Apúlia almost all there were bombings on several occasions, but, incredibly, in the area of ??San Giovanni Rotondo (where Padre Pio lived) a bomb never fell. Direct witness of this fact was the general of the Italian air force, Bernardo Rossini, who, at the time, was part of the Air Unit Command together with the allied forces.
General Rossini told me that, among the military, there was talk of a ‘monk’ who appeared in the sky and made the planes withdraw. Many laughed in disbelief at these stories, but, due to the repeated occurrence of the episodes, and always with different pilots, the general decided to intervene personally: he took command of a squadron of bombers to destroy a German ammunition depot that was right in San Giovanni Rotondo.
We were all extremely curious to know the result of the operation. Therefore, when the flight returned, we immediately went to find the general, who, astonished, said that, as soon as he arrived at the site, both he and his pilots saw the ‘monk’ figure in the sky with their hands raised; the bombs dropped by themselves and fell in a forest; and the planes came around without any pilot intervention.
Everyone wondered who was that ‘ghost’ that the planes obeyed. Upon hearing that in San Giovanni Rotondo there was a friar with stigmas, considered holy by the community, the general thought that perhaps he was the ‘monk’ seen in heaven and decided to check it out as soon as possible. When the war was over, this was the first thing he did. Accompanied by some pilots, he went to the Capuchin convent and, crossing the threshold of the sacristy, found himself facing several friars, among whom he immediately recognized the one who had stopped his planes.
Padre Pio came over and, placing his hand on his shoulder, said: ‘So it was you who wanted to kill us all?’. The general knelt before Padre Pio, who, as usual, had spoken to him in the Benevento dialect. The general, however, was certain that the ‘monk’ had spoken to him in English. The two became friends and the general, who was a Protestant, converted to Catholicism ”.

Source: Positio III / 1, p. 689-690

That reference to “Positio” means the collection of “proofs” that were gathered and reports of their examination by experts for the cause of beatification.   Pio’s way many volumes.  My bishop was the Ponente for the cause, the member of the Congregation for Saints who presented the cause to the Congregation for its judgment. I saw the volumes of the Positio many times on his bookshelves.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Gab says:

    How wonderful it would be to read all the ”proofs” but I guess they are not available to the general public.

  2. beelady says:

    Thanks for the uplifting story, I needed something positive today!

  3. TRW says:

    “The Friar of San Giovanni ” by John McCaffery is an excellent book on Padre Pio. The author had firsthand experiences with the saint and also recounts quite a number of miraculous occurrences involving Padre Pio, many of which were also firsthand accounts that other individuals had related to the author. Well worth reading.

  4. robtbrown says:

    The story of Padre Pio directing the US planes away from their targets is well known and contained in a bio I read some years ago.

    My uncle was a waist-gunner on a bomber and was stationed at Foggia. I once asked him if he had heard then of Padre Pio. He, a Baptist, said that it was well known that a Holy Man was living there.

    During the war he was in Rome on R&R and met Pius XII. He had been given Rosaries for the pope to bless, and Pius had spoken to him a bit about where he was from.

    My favorite Padre Pio story tells of a time just before his very early daily mass. People would line up for it and be admitted a few minutes before it started. All were seated when the saint came out to begin. The result was murmuring among the people. Padre Pio then turned to them, probably expecting a message from this Man of God.

    Padre Pio gave them one Divine message: Silenzio!

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