Rome, Italy, Sep 22, 2008 / 10:39 am
In an article published by the L’Osservatore Romano, Francesco Castelli, a biographer of St. Pio of Pietrelcina, has revealed details of the first investigation in 1921 by the Holy Office—now the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith—into the life of the Italian priest and the authenticity of his stigmata.
Castelli explained that the recent opening of the archives that contain the information on the first investigations show that it is not true that the Holy Office was suspicious of Padre Pio, but rather that there was admiration and appreciation for him.
In 1921, the Holy Office charged Bishop Carlo Raffaello Rossi, who would later be made cardinal, with visiting Padre Pio to investigate his life and the origin of his stigmata. In his report, Bishop Rossi wrote that Padre Pio “held his head high and was serene, his look lively and sweet, his words gleamed with kindness and sincerity.”
The task that began on June 14 of that year lasted for eight days, during which Bishop Rossi observed Padre Pio in detail. He wrote that he was very gentle with his brothers, beloved by his superiors for being a “great example and not a gossiper.” He spent 10-12 hours a day in the confessional and he celebrated the Mass with “extraordinary devotion.”