He was Indefinable

I made the trip to San Giovanni Rotondo, very curious to see for myself this extraordinary friar who I had seen so many times in newspapers and magazines. When Padre Pio entered the sacristy, I was only just able to see him. He was accompanied by two friars to protect him from the crowd. When he came down for Vespers, I was able to observe him well and from close up. I received such an impression that, still to this day, after having got to know him well from many visits, am unable to describe. He was a figure, dare I say, indefinable. He was fatherly, austere, sullen, happy, sarcastic, ironic. His eyes scrutinized you as if they wanted to penetrate your very flesh and they forced you to lower your eyes… The first thing I experienced when I was in Padre Pio’s presence was a marvelous perfume which seemed to me to be the fragrance of violets. After my confession to him, I asked for his blessing for myself and all of my family. He placed his hands on my head and said, “This is also for your family. Young man, always be good.”

Alfredo Lapertina

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