Friday, March 9, 2012
Lenten Talk: Padre Pio
A few things moved me deeply about the evening.
First, the lecture on the Catholic mystic was given by a woman of science: Dr. Maria Teresa Landi, M.D., PhD., a senior investigator with the National Cancer Institute. (pictured at left) Her parents, both physcians, worked side by side with Padre Pio.
How awesome to hear a scientist, a woman of reason, talk so openly about the miracles her own parents experienced during a working life spent with Padre Pio. The first happened when her mother, who was contemplating a career in medicine, went to the priest for confession. He told the young lady, whom he had never met, her sins and her struggles - before she had said a word. Dr. Landi talked about Padre Pio's bilocation and his stigmata, and the scent of flowers that accompanies his miracles, including one she experienced just a few years ago.
Second, I was moved that such a wide range of people attended this talk: of all ages and many cultures and walks of life.
Finally, as Fr. Richard Veras, unveiled the new statue of Padre Pio, it moved me deeply to pray among so many strangers. While I didn't know most of the people in the chapel, we all recited the same prayers.
Sometimes, to be a Catholic in our country is to feel marginalized and counter-cultural. Tonight, I felt buoyed by my brothers and sisters in Christ. Thank you, Dr. Landi and Padre Pio.