Last February (Feb. 2005) I became extremely ill...I had Congestive Heart failure...and my family was told I had a 20% chance of surviving...I was transported from one hospital to another in hopes of being eligible for a heart transplant. The social workers spoke to my family and I was approved by the hospital and by my health insurance to be eligible for the transplant and I was placed on the list. I was on a respirator and feeding tubes for about 10 days. My family began using Saint Pio's Blessed Oil and began praying for my recovery...
There is a friend of the family, Fr. Alphonso who was in Rome for the canonization of saint Pio and had the 2nd Class Relic and Coin that was available...he sent it over to my family to use in their prayers for me and telling them to return it whenever they were done with it...
When I started to wake up and come too..the Dr.s ( a team of 4) came in my room to explain to me what they were going to do...and also they were going though all my options...if no heart could be found right away. They also said I have 2 blocked arteries but no they do not recommend doing by-pass surgery because they were feeding the dead parts of my heart. Two-Thirds of my is damaged and dead and I have about one-third left... The head doctor, Dr. Horn than left my room to check my charts...when she returned, she looked at my wife and me and said..."I do not know why or what even is going on with you, but we have another option...and that is to send you home with just medication". It seemed that my heart was working although my e-fraction rate was and is only about 15-18 (about 1/3rd the rate at which blood is pumped from the heart).They implanted a defibrillator and pacemaker so I do not die of a massive heart attack and said they do not know how long I will go on...2 weeks...2 months..or 20 years...but I am still here...When I returned home I knew why this happened...I seen all the prayer cards all over my house...and all the prayers to Saint Pio..I called Fr. Alphonso and thanked him for sending the relic over to my family and he told me to keep it because of our string devotion, as a gift not only for coming home but as a gift for my Ordination to the Permanent Diaconate that May...
I now visit a local hospital once a week to bring the Eucharist and to pray with those people who need prayers and I always tell them to pray to St. Pio for help...I even bring the Blessed Oil with me...and I tell them..."In the words of St. Pio..."PRAY, HOPE and DON'T WORRY"
Peace and God Bless,
Deacon John Del Giudice
Having read these testimonials with tears running down my face I felt compelled to add our miraculous healing story. In 1981 our 12 year old son was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor and after surgery and radiation the medical profession gave him a year and a half to live. A good friend from church gave us a small prayer card with a tiny piece of cloth from Father Pio's garments. We prayed every day and evening for a path to follow in search of an answer to our son's illness. We were directed to the Bible and God's herbs of the field. After many months of struggles we had the first sign of hope of improvement and healing. Now 20 plus years later our son continues to be a miracle and we know that it was the help of Father Padre Pio and the miracle that he and our Lord gave us. We never asked "why" our son had been stricken, but asked only for a path to follow and the courage to stick with that path. It was a long and difficult road, but when we accept that we too must experience the pain that Jesus suffered in order to realize the joy, it changes everything. Thanks to Saint Pio and Jesus.--Jamestown, New York 12-3-05
But I want to talk about Padre Pio . I had a crisis and was reading about him at the time , so I said my prayers to him and the way forward was revealed . Though Padre Pio always says go Higher , he is just a stepping stone on the way to a better place . What is so hard to understand about Padre Pio is how he suffered . He had the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune . Condemned by his own superiors , made to be quiet for a decade and so forth . Science Fiction teaches or rather amuses us about Time Travel , but with Padre Pio it really happened , he wanted to share in Christís agony so he thought , what if he too could have and suffer the wounds on that day of Crucifiction . So it came to pass that he suffered for 50years . He had the indignity of medical examinations and of being thought just to be a mental patient , but his work and life proved his holiness .
So itís nearly 1990 and I hear about him and read a few books , its hard to understand the value of suffering in this age of quick fix pain killers and the lets have a fix , whatever the fix might be , sex, drugs and rock and roll or whatever . Its like suddenly studying again after years of lying fallow , the learning curve is enormous . So too is it with Padre Pio , the idea behind his life is enormous , but so too is the capacity for love and help . My favourite story is how Padre Pio explains that The Wedding Feast at Cena happened because Jesus could not refuse his mother . Very Italian , or Irish or Spanish and so on , but could any of us refuse our mothers?
So I thought more about what Padre Pio said , and his motto of Pray Hope Donít Worry became my own . Carpe Diem is another good motto but perhaps this can be used by any Hedonist , or other kind of selfish person .Padre Pio reminds us to pray and that pray is not wasted , its perfume that is never wasted is a phrase I like . My mother always used to say that if you couldnít sleep you should say the Rosary , and she was right . Though in todays world an hour on the Internet or with MTV might do the trick .
So why the devotion to Padre Pio , Iíll cut to the chase. My mother died suddenly but peacefully in her sleep , my brother tried CPR , but she was gone . Imagine the angusih amongst her 6 children and her husband of nearly 50 years . All except me , my mother had said no tears when she go ,so I never cried , I was the odd one out .I know how prayerful she was , so I had no need of tears . Eight bare weeks later my brother , the same brother heard our dad fall out of bed , so he ran to his bedroom . My brother was facing the exact same situation , he tried CPR , the ambulance was called , an injection was given straight to the heart . On weekends there is a doctor in the ambulance , so Luck , if thatís the word was with us . The next day 4 of my brothers and sisters came around to tell me the news . When my sister had come around 8 weeks previously I knew somebody was dead but I assumed it was my dad , heís die first we all thought . So now 8 weeks later it was his turn to die .
At the hospital dad was given 1 week to live , I cried like a baby , worse than a baby , but I loved him , so I told he he should go to our mother and not hang on if he didnít want to . The next day I was in my sisterís house crying , we picked hymns for his funeral .Yet my father survived , 19 patients on a heart ward , 18 died my dad survived . Padre Pio was beseiged by my prayers , I put Padre Pioís photo under his pillow . Dad lost his mind , he was in Dudley Rd for 3months , 12 weeks , more than half of them all tubed up . His life hanging in the balance . At the same time somewhere in Florida another man was at deaths door , he was a totally stranger to me , I didnít even know his name , Iíd never met him , he was give 24hours to live , a Chinese man from Shanghai was at deaths door . The Chinaman survived .My dadís memory was totally wiped , he did not know who I was, Iím your son was greeted with , am I married . I was the favourite son , he did not even know me . But still we prayed , itís a feeling in your guts , just like when you are nearly killed as you cross the road , its in your guts and in your heart , Jesus save my dad , Jesus save my dad , Padre Pio help !!! This goes around your head like a merry go around or a kaleidascope . Finally dad awoke . He said that he can remember hearing the doctor say to wheel him down to the end of the ward , because heíd be dead soon . At that moment my dad awoke, and the doctor dropped his cup of tea in shock . No not an instanteous miracle , but as Dr Singh had said if he were 30years younger heíd have a heart transplant because dadís heart was rubbish .
Now , when I told my brother that dad was reading a newspaper he was shocked . His memory had come back . He knew who we all were .Every day for three months I walked the corridor at Dudley Rd , the longest hospital corridor in Europe , 1 kilometre long . Finally he left the hospital , my sister had found a good home for him to live in , he was far too weak to live in the family house .
For 3 years dad survived , like a Godfather with all his children making constant visits . Finally I met my future wife . It was her uncle who had miraclously survived at the same time as my father . It was her uncle who encouraged us in our love . From Shanghai to Birmingham .These great men , her uncle and my father never met , but I know Padre Pio must have helped both of them . Further prayer was needed to bring me and my wife permanenetly together . A Chinese miracle happened . Now we are wed , we have a 2year old and please God a healthy second baby in the Autumn . The improbability of our meeting , plus the fact that both men HAD to live for us to be married and have a family , this may be a coincidence to some but I know a miracle when I see one. A miracle is something that makes you feel humble , it makes you know that God has whispered your name . When I look at my wife , I feel humble . Seeing our daughter laugh and play also makes me humble as will our new baby. Then you can look back and know that prayer is like perfume that can never be wasted , your life has led you to where you are now , yes at times sad and terrible , but be humble in the sight of God means something , not just for me , but for all Believers .
I once stood by the fridge and said to Padre Pio , I give up , you take over , all I want is to be married , and perhaps have a family , and do something useful with my life . That was just before my eyes were opened to my wife . I used to say that I got 2 out of my 3 wishes . Perhaps my current occupation is my 3rd wish , or a more outstanding miracle is waiting in the wings , but as Padre Pio said ,always ask for the big Grace .Perhaps we have to be humble enough to deserve it , because I believe it to be a fact that , truly great people are humble because they know just how little they really know.
I am a filmmaker currently working on a full-length feature film on the life of St. Pio - A project, which was conceived of ,and introduced to me, well over 15 years ago. On March 6, 2003, I suffered a near fatal stair fall. Which in itself remains difficult to accept as I have traveled the world on various film projects over the years Ė often in dangerous situations and locations and never stubbed a toe! Yet as a result of this event, I remained in a coma for 11 days. My Mother has been, for as long as I can remember, highly devoted to Padre Pio - now St. Pio of Pietrelcina. She lives far away and is not a young woman, but on the night before I miraculously awoke from this fatal condition she took a relic of St. Pio (a small cut of cloth from his friars vestment she had obtained) and attached it to my head in a photograph of me and kept a nearly all night vigil in prayer to St. Pio. The next day - St. Patrickís Day Ė March 17, 2003 I awoke from the coma. In spite of this occurrence, most of the Doctors, several PhD Neurologists, had little faith in my survival. My family members were told I would not live and at best had a 50/50 chance to overcome the severe brain trauma and fractured vertebrae I endured. However after 21 days in ICU I was moved to a regular hospital bed to further my recovery. On April 1st of the same year I was released from the hospital. My regular doctor, who read the nearly 1000 page document which was my hospital record from that event, stated that he could read the joy in the doctors reports leap from the pages at how astounding my recovery was each time my body responded to various treatments. I continued my recovery at home making many follow up visits to the hospital to gauge my progress. On one such visit walking, without a walking stick! Into the hospital to make one such appointment I ran into a group of vaguely familiar faces: Doctors from the ICU -Most of whom had treated me and witnessed my amazing recovery. My memory of them was naturally a hazy one, to say the least, but they knew me all right! They stopped in their tracks as I was about to walk by which made me I stop and check the zipper on my trousers to be sure there was nothing wrong with my appearance. Ha! I greeted them as they were all staring at me with incredulous expressions and we spoke a moment. The senior doctor in the group then stepped closer, placed his hands on my shoulders and stated with great enthusiasm. ďLook at you! Walking. Talking. The Miracle Man!!! I nearly wept. Unknown to me until that moment, this was the title they had given me all around the hospital. I received various treatments and countless tests after that, including physical therapy and was beginning to feel better every day. However, on Dec 29, of the same year I suffered a head on collision at 50 mph from a car whose driver: an elderly women experienced an epileptic seizure while driving. I rolled my jeep 4 times with my little rascals Claudia aged 8 and Nicholas aged 6 in the back seat. Luckily this was the little accidentÖ In obtaining witness reports for my insurance company, I became acquainted with a woman who was driving a pick-up truck behind me. She told how the car simply drove right into me, and how she felt she too was now going to plow into my jeep which was now turned on itís side having finally stopped rolling. I think she may have been a bit hypnotized by the sight of a jeep rolling over and over in the road ahead of her. She confessed that she disliked driving ordinarily and more so on that day as her compact was in the shop and she had to use her husbandís old and unruly pick up truck to get to work on that day. As she describes it, she lost control of the truck and was convinced she was about to crash directly into my jeep when it finally came to a stop as I struggled to muster enough energy to get my children out, only milliseconds after rolling, as one witness called it Ė two football fields down the road. She told me how amazed she was when at the very last second her pick-up truck seemed to just turn itself away missing my jeep by what she described as inches. It then flew over an embankment into a forested area and was totaled. She was unharmed. During a conversation while obtaining her witness report, I spoke briefly about the film project I wanted to make on the life of St. Pio. Her eyes lit up when I said Padre Pio, which is when I learned that she too, is very faithfully devoted to St. Pio of Pietrelcina. I nearly fell out of my skin upon hearing this! I now know in the deepest recesses of my heart and soul that I am indeed the miracle man! I struggle with feeling worthy for the grace of having received these amazing life altering gifts and pray that I will have the wisdom, strength and character to honor them properly. I may be called the miracle man, but we all know who the real miracle man is!
From the bottom of my heart: Thank you St. Pio for not losing faith in this sinner. Because now I know that 'Suffering is a gift from God; blessed is he who knows how to profit by it'
By the feast of Our Lady (15th August) I regained consciousness and I was released to go home. Since then I have been experiencing a sensation of smelling the smell of cooking of something sweet especially when I am alone. Although I am not fully recovered I still think that Padre Pio had played a part in my exceptional speed of recovery.
Malta 3rd November 2005
Thank you Padre Pio and Jesus
Dana and Salvatore Forgione
Pray, hope dont worry, miracles can happen. May Gods love and the Holy spirit be with you all.
In my heart I know that Padre Pio is to thank! What beautiful soul is Padre Pio!
Before this diagnosis, whilst in a church praying alone, a sudden feeling had come over me that everything would be ok. It was although someone had spoken to me.
Rebecca has recently turned 21 and is training to be a doctor. I meant to write this 20 years ago, but, better late than never.
For Gods faithful servant, Padre Pio
Thank you pio and Jesus
Contact your parish priest. He should be able to help you decide. God bless you.