Catholic World News News Feature
Historian's effort to debunk Padre Pio October 24, 2007
An Italian historian has cast doubt on the stigmata attributed to Padre Pio.
In a new book, Sergio Luzzatto questions whether the beloved Capuchin, who was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2002, actually exhibited the wounds of the crucified Christ on his hands, feet, and side. Luzzatto recounted the testimony of a pharmacist who claimed that he sold acid to Padre Pio, which the monk used to create the appearance of wounds. The pharmacist’s story has not been corroborated, nor is there a full explanation of how acid would create the phenomenon.
The attempt to debunk the reported mystical attributes of Padre Pio comes at the same time as another incongruous event involving the Capuchin saint. A 1959 Mercedes that was donated to Padre Pio, and reportedly driven by him once, is being sold at auction, and expected to bring a winning bid of about €1 million ($1.4 million).