Padre Pio, Dr. Luz and Miracles

A devotee solemnly prays for healing and guidance
The many faces of Padre Pio in his shrine in Santo Tomas, Batangas

Miracles are not contrary to nature, but only contrary to what we know about nature.” — St. Augustine

PADRE PIO. Why is his name mentioned in so many mystical healings?

Padre Pio or Saint Pio of Pietrelcine was a friar, priest and mystic. Born in Pietrelcine, San Giovanni Rotondo in Foggia, Italy, he was given the name of Pius (“Pio” in Italian) when he joined the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin.

Saint Pio is known to have had special gifts – gifts like reading souls (the ability to read minds and look far into the future) and the ability to bilocate (to have a presence in two places at the same time), among other supernatural phenomena. He was also a healer and became well known for exhibiting stigmata for the greatest part of his life.

But what is more astounding about this revered saint is that even after his death he has become instrumental in the unexplained healing of many people.

This was what he often said: “After my death I will do more. My real mission will begin after my death.”

A few years ago I was invited to a book launching of “Scripted in Heaven” in Los Angeles. The writer, Lourdes Duque Baron, a baby boomer, also the wife of a surgeon who had physical and metaphysical healing after he sought divine guidance from Padre Pio. After embarking on her incredible journey she devoted her life to propagating the message of Padre Pio.

St. Padre Pio’s faith and confidence in God’s healing power were unparalleled. He shows us all that the power of prayer can yield beautiful, miraculous results. He was a conduit of God’s grace, love, and mercy

Dr. Luz (not her real name in order to preserve her privacy) has a gift, too. She’s a medical doctor and is now in her mid-80s. I met her three decades ago and we have been good friends ever since.

If you are with this gentle lady, you might feel as if you were sort of not living in reality – her stories seem like fantasy or out of this world.

Over three decades ago I had to photograph a ritual in Mt. Banahaw for a book assignment. Being completely focused on the event, I jumped on a big boulder for a good vantage point. It so happened the surface was very slippery causing me to lose my footing. That slip caused my head to hit the boulder hard, thus almost knocking me out.

When I got to Manila the following day, Dr. Luz “looked” at my head – sort of like Superman’s X-ray vision. “Nothing looks bad, Vics,” she said. A medical X-ray validated that.

During the 90s I was very interested in metaphysical healing. I attended the first workshop about pranic self-defense organized by the founder of Pranic Healing, Master Choa Kok Sui. (Prana is Sanskrit word for “life force.”) Dr. Luz was one of the three clairvoyants who were there to validate the effects of prayers on our auras when we prayed. Eager to know if it was true or not, I volunteered.

Seated in front of the class, I silently uttered a prayer to St. Benedict for my protection. This was her observation: “There’s a figure wearing a habit – like a monk – behind you, Vics.”

I was requested to pray again, but this time I invoked the Divine Mother. After I had made the prayer silently, Dr. Luz revealed, “There’s a bright figure of a woman behind you.” I could have done more invocations, but these two revelations essentially convinced my scientific and skeptical mind.

Dr. Luz used her gift more and more to heal so many people as she grew older. When the 8-year old daughter of her driver was in a coma for four days in a hospital in Taguig, the driver asked her to visit the child, who happened to be in a room on the third floor of the hospital. She said to her driver, “I cannot go up in that hospital because there’s no elevator. I will just heal her from my home in Parañaque.” Of course, the driver raised his eyebrow. Unbeknownst to him there is a thing called “distant healing.”

The lady doctor and psychic “journeyed” to the child’s mind and “woke” her up. To her driver’s surprise in the hospital, his daughter was no longer in a coma and was actively narrating stories about another kind of world.

When it comes to the mind, distance does not matter. There have been times when I have recommended her to some of my friends who were looking for assistance. Though they were in L.A., this doctor in Manila was able to “diagnose” the health challenges of their loved ones. They were all astonished as to how she was able to know the conditions of their loved ones with unerring accuracy.

A few months ago, I was happy that we had a chance to meet again – though this time she was in a wheelchair and pushed by her driver. We had lunch first and exchanged experiences of different topics.  Dr. Luz mentioned a shrine of Padre Pio in Santo Tomas, Batangas. She asked me, “Do you want to go there?” I said, “Yes, that would be interesting.”

After our bellies were filled and satisfied, the three of us headed to Padre Pio’s shrine.

Along the way, the doctor and psychic narrated several stories – stories about miracles that happened to her that had connections to Padre Pio.

“There was a time I could not walk and I prayed to have a helper,” Dr. Luz disclosed. “Unfortunately I didn’t get one; but what turned out to be great is the fact that I was able to walk again,” she added.

“What astounded me was when I received a check – a substantial one – under my name. Even my middle initial was there. Yes, it was a big amount. I only found it out when we invited 44 people for the installation of some Franciscan brothers to become parish priests. Over 300 came and we needed a bigger amount to feed them. I was not familiar with the ATM machine and just gave the pin number to my Franciscan friend who, after opening up my account, was shocked to find out I had a huge amount in it,” she professed with a smile on her face. “I was glad we were able to feed all of our visitors,” she continued.

Dr. Luz carried on with more stories about money just manifesting whenever she needed it. The amounts, most of the time, were sufficient for her to help others, too, like her manicurist who needed it most for burial expenses.

Recently, she suffered from a bowel blockage for four months. “I lost a lot of weight. I prayed: ‘Lord, speak and I will listen.’ Four doctors assisted in my operation and amazingly did not even bill me for their services. I feel better now,” she narrated. “Padre Pio is making my life easy,” Dr. Luz carried on.

Dr. Luz went on to tell me that even in the 60s she was an avowed follower of Padre Pio. When the saint died in 1968, she cried and cried all day. “His demise really affected me,” she uttered.

Miracles, as defined by Wikipedia, are “Events not explicable by natural or scientific laws.  Such events may be attributed to a supernatural being (especially a deity), magic, a miracle worker, a saint or a religious leader.”

Others consider these “impossible” events as coincidences that are just increasingly rare and dependent on sequences of individual events.

But the questions are: How far down the rabbit hole should we go? What’s to be believed or not? Where to find that big piece of the puzzle?

For this, George Bernard Shaw explains, “A miracle is an event which creates faith. That is the purpose and nature of miracles. Frauds deceive. An event which creates faith does not deceive: therefore it is not a fraud, but a miracle.”

But, true enough, after Padre Pio’s death, and exactly as he said, his real mission began after his death.

Vics Magsaysay, Ph.D., is a Los Angeles-based writer, fine art nature photographer, painter, graphic designer, “makata” (Pilipino poet) and holds a doctorate degree in clinical hypnotherapy.

Copyright © 2019:  Vics Magsaysay