TRIBUTE TO PADRE PIO NEAR
THE PINES AT GARABANDAL
Saint Pio Honored in Garabandal
Padre Pio is undoubtedly one of the most attractive
saints in the history of the Church, with the advantage that he is a contemporary
saint. At present the monastery in which he lived until his death on September
23, 1968, has become the second most visited Christian sanctuary in the
world after Guadalupe in Mexico. The convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie,
in San Giovanni Rotondo (Foggia, Italy), annually receives about 8 million
pilgrims, more than Fatima and Lourdes.
The supernatural manifestations related to
Padre Pio are countless, filling entire books dedicated to the Saint of
Pietrelcina. Today no one would question the truth of an event if Padre
Pio had authenticated it.
This is the case of The
Apparitions of The Virgin in San Sebastian of Garabandal, in Cantabria (Spain).
In this village in the north of Spain, Saint
Michael and the Blessed Virgin appeared to four girls from 1961 to 1965,
citing more than 2,000 apparitions of the Blessed Virgin. In these Marian
apparitions she gave four messages and some prophetic announcements of exceptional
importance to the world. As the Bishop of Leiria, Monsignor
Venancio said to Father Combé: “The
Message of the Virgin in Garabandal is the updating of the Message of Fatima.”
The testimonies given by Padre Pio in private
to many people in relation to the veracity of the apparitions of the Virgin
in Garabandal are well known and can be read in the
abundant literature on these apparitions, in addition to the story of the
visit made by Conchita to Padre Pio in San Giovanni in 1966. However, the
most evident proof of the confirmation of Garabandal by Padre Pio was a
mysterious letter that Conchita González received in March 1962,
less than one year since the apparitions began. Father Garcia de la Riva,
in his book Memories of a Village Priest, tells that he had this letter
in his hands, dated March 3, 1962, addressed to Conchita. It was sent from
Italy, written in Italian, without signature or sender. He showed in his
book a photo of the Spanish translation made by the teacher of the Garabandal
school, Felix Lopez, who had previously been a seminarian. Someone had also
copied this letter in Italian on a paper, and in recent years it has circulated
on the Internet as Padre Pio’s letter, but this handwritten letter
was not obviously the real letter.
After 56 years without having news of Padre
Pio’s REAL letter
to Conchita, it has been finally published. The importance of this letter
appears in the limelight today, and its existence is undeniable. We
can attest the authenticity of the letter and show here new information.
As we can see in the pictures, both the envelope and the content have suffered
the inclemency of the passage of time.
The Envelope of P. Pio letter showing stamp
at P. Pio's convent today
As seen in the photographs, the envelope is
medium-sized, currently yellowish white, addressed to Conchita González,
San Sebastian de Garabandal, Cosío (Pesues), Santander, Spagna. In
the part of the seal, which is already partially destroyed, it is clearly
printed that it was sent from the Convent of the Capuchins, (S. María)
delle Grazie, San Giovanni Rotondo (Foggia), Italy, Postale N. 13 / 8511.
As proof of the use of this stamp in the correspondence
from the convent of San Giovanni Rotondo there are some notes which can
be seen today in the convent, like the one that our friend Toni Coll (from
Padre Pio’s prayer groups) has sent us from there recently (see photogragh).
P. Pio’s letter:
At nine o’clock this morning the Blessed Virgin Mary told me about
you, oh dear girls, about your visions and she told me to say to you:
“Oh blessed girls
of San Sebastian de Garabandal, I promise that I will be with you until
the end of the centuries, and you will be with me until the end of the world,
and then united with me in the glory of paradise.”
PRAY AND MAKE
BECAUSE THE WORLD IS ON THE
ROAD TO PERDITION.
They do not believe in you or in your conversations
with The White Lady, but they will believe
when it is too late.
March 3, 1962
THE HOLY VIRGIN GIVES PADRE
PIO HER MESSAGE FOR THE FOUR GIRLS
The photos published here show the authenticity
of the letter received by Garabandal’s visionary Conchita González
in March 1962. The envelope demonstrates that the letter was sent from the
Convent of the Capuchins in San Giovanni Rotondo (Foggia, Italy), and although
there is no signature in the letter or sender’s name outside, it could
not be from other than Padre Pio. The envelope’s stamp is identical
to those that can be seen today at San Giovanni in notes written in the
The question would be the following: whom
did the Virgin appear at 9 o’clock in the morning of March 3, 1962,
in San Giovanni and told him to say to the Spanish girls things like “O
blessed girls of San Sebastian de Garabandal”, “who see the
White Lady”? Was there in San Giovanni in 1962 any other friar who
used to see the Virgin? It is evident that the letter could not be from
anyone but Padre Pio. That the letter was not signed would be normal since
the apparitions were in course and the Church had not pronounced itself.
PIO DIED, HE LEFT WORD THAT CONCHITA WOULD RECEIVE ONE OF HIS GLOVES, A
VEIL FROM HIS WAKE, AND HIS ROSARY.
Note: In honor of “Our
Lady of Garabandal” the editor of Garabandal News (Aviso) gives permission
to use freely the photographs published here.