Plaque with lilies and Padre Pio inscription
Padre Pio in Scotland
Plaque with lilies and Padre Pio inscription
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(Testimony of Padre Pellegrino Funicelli)
Biography - Canonisation - Day in the life of - Middle Years - Death of Padre Pio - Wounds & Odours - Crypt - Spiritual Children

After 9pm on 22 September 1968, when Padre Mariano had already left cell No. 4 and I had entered, Padre Pio called me through the intercom asking me to come to his room. He was in bed, lying on his right side, and all he asked me was what time was showing on the alarm clock on his bedside cabinet. I dried some small tears from his reddened eyes and returned to room No. 4 to listen in to the intercom which was always switched on.

The Padre called me a further five or six times until midnight and each time his eyes were reddened by tears, but it was a peaceful and serene weeping.

At midnight, just like a small frightened boy he pleaded with me: "Stay with me, my son", and he began to ask me with increasing frequency what time it was. He looked at me with pleading eyes, clenching my hands tightly.

Then, as if he had forgotten the time, which he had continually asked me, he asked:
"Have you said Mass?". I smiled and replied:
"Spiritual Father, it is too early just now for Mass". And he replied:
"Well, this morning you will say Mass for me". I said: "But every morning I say Mass for your intentions".
After this, he wanted to make his confession and, after his sacramental confession he said: "My son, if the Lord calls me today, please ask my confreres to forgive me all the trouble I have given them and ask them and my spiritual children to say a prayer for my soul".
I replied: "Spiritual Father, I am sure that the Lord will let you live for a long time, but if you are right, may I ask you for a last blessing for the confreres, for all your spiritual children and all the sick?".
And he said: "Of course I bless them all; better still, ask the Superior to give this last blessing on my behalf".

"And what will I say to Pia, Hector (his niece and nephew) and to your family and to Sister Pia?". "They know how much I love them", he replied bursting into tears, "I bless them all, I bless them all". Finally, he asked to renew the profession of his religious vows.

It was one o'clock when he asked me: "Listen, my son, I cannot breathe easily here in bed. Help me to get up. I can breathe more easily sitting on the chair".
One, two or three o'clock were usually the times when he would get up to prepare for Holy Mass and, before sitting on the armchair, he would go for a short walk along the corridor. That night I noticed to my great amazement that he was standing up straight and walking briskly just like a young man, so much so that there was no need to support him. Reaching the door of his cell, he said:
"Let's go for a while on the balcony".
I followed him, keeping my hand under his arm. He himself switched on the light and, reaching the armchair, he sat down and looked around the balcony as if he were looking for something. Five minutes later he wanted to return to his cell. I tried to lift him up but he said: "I can't make it". In fact, he felt very heavy. "Spiritual Father, don't worry", I said to him, giving him encouragement and straight away getting his wheelchair which was nearby. I lifted him under his arms from the armchair and sat him in the wheelchair. He himself lifted his feet from the ground and placed them on the footrests. Back in his cell, when I had eased him back into his armchair, looking at the wheelchair and indicating with his left hand he said to me: "Take it outside".

When I went back inside his cell, I noticed that the Padre was becoming very pale. His forehead had broken out in a cold sweat. I became frightened, however, when I saw that his lips were turning blue. He continuously repeated: "Gesu, Maria!" (Jesus, Mary) in an increasingly frail voice.
I got up to go and call a confrere but he stopped me, saying: "Don't waken anyone". I set off just the same and, running, I had reached only a few steps outside of his cell when he called me again. Thinking he was calling me to tell me the same thing, I turned back. But when I heard him repeat: "Don't call anyone", I replied, pleadingly: "Spiritual Father, leave it to me". I ran towards the cell of Padre Mariano but, seeing the door of Brother Bill's room open, I went in, turned on the light and shook him: "Padre Pio is ill!". In a moment, Brother Bill reached the Padre's cell and I ran to phone Dr. Sala. He arrived about ten minutes later and as soon as he saw the Padre, he prepared everything necessary to give him an injection. When everything was ready, Brother Bill and I tried to hold him up, but not having much success, we had to lay him on his bed. The doctor gave him an injection and then helped us to settle him in his armchair, while the Padre repeated in a barely audible voice and the movement of his lips becoming weaker: "Gesu, Maria!".

Having been called by me, the Father Guardian arrived immediately, as well as Padre Mariano and other confreres; while having been called on the telephone by Dr. Sala the following started arriving one after the other — Padre Pio's nephew, Mario Pennelli; the Medical Director of the Hospital, Dr Gusso; and Dr Giovanni Scarale.

While the doctors were giving him oxygen, firstly through a tube and then through a mask, Padre Paolo of San Giovanni Rotondo administered to the Spiritual Father the Sacrament of the Sick, and the other confreres, kneeling all around him, were praying.

At approximately 2.30, he gently bowed his head towards his chest, and gave up his spirit.

(In witness thereof, Padre Pellegrino Funicelli San Giovanni Rotondo, 29 September 1968)

Cross with lily
Padre Pio's body has been exhumed and put on
display for a period of public veneration.
on the image below for more information.

Padre Pio on view for public veneration
Cross with lily

Padre Pio was particularly fond of flowers

Biography - Canonisation - Day in the life of - Middle Years - Death of Padre Pio - Wounds & Odours - Crypt - Spiritual Children

"God Bless You" message with Dove