I went to the hospital to give Holy Communion to one of the patients there. As I was about to leave, the Sister who worked at the hospital said to me, “The man in the end bed is a Catholic. Please go and see him.” When I saw the man I said to him, “I believe that you are a Catholic” and he replied, “I used to be a Catholic many years ago, but I have not been to church since I don’t know when.” We spoke awhile and before I left I gave him a relic card of Padre Pio and asked him to read it when he felt like it. He took the leaflet from me and just placed it on his bedside with little interest in it. Some days later I went to the hospital again to make my rounds. The man who I had taken Holy Communion to said to me, “The man in the end bed wants to see you. He has been asking when you were coming in.” I went to the man and he invited me to take a seat. He said, “I have made every provision for my business and my family, but as I read the little history about your friend Padre Pio, I began to realize that I forgot about my own situation. Is it possible that I could make my confession to an understanding priest? I do not want to be interrogated.” I told him that I knew a very gentle priest. The priest came right away. In the meantime the man’s wife, son and daughter came to visit him and when they saw the curtain pulled round the bed they thought the worst until they saw the priest pulling the curtain back. His wife said to us that she had never seen her husband looking so relaxed and happy since he came to the hospital. The man showed the relic card of Padre Pio to his family and he said to me, “Please give my wife one of the lovely leaflets of Padre Pio.” Three days later he died a very peaceful and happy death. May he rest in peace.

Peter Barrett

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