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Bilocation, Reading Hearts, & Stigmata: 3 Spiritual Gifts of Saint Padre Pio Explained

Saint Padre Pio is one of the most beloved saints in the Catholic Church!

The 20th-century Italian mystic is known for many things, one of them being his extraordinary spiritual gifts.

The Lord equipped Saint Padre Pio with many spiritual gifts, including the gift of healing, the ability to read hearts, bilocation, prophesy, and the stigmata.

Here is a deeper look into some of the most notable spiritual gifts associated with Saint Padre Pio.

Caroline Perkins, ChurchPOP

Reading Hearts

The gift of reading hearts allowed Padre Pio to discern someone’s deceit during the sacrament of Confession, or if they simply forgot a serious sin.

In Padre Pio’s case, he told penitents the sins they needed to confess!

This gift earned him a reputation as an insightful confessor and sought-after spiritual director.

Caroline Perkins, ChurchPOP


The gift of bilocation enables a person to be in two places at the same time.

This phenomenon was reported multiple times by eyewitness accounts, who either saw Padre Pio or smelt his “odor of sanctity.”

This odor of sanctity characteristically associated with his presence is described by some as roses and by others as tobacco. It is said that the odor was especially strong from the blood of his stigmata wounds.

Through the gift of bilocation, Padre Pio provided comfort to those in need, even while physically absent.

According to EWTN,

“Among the most remarkable of the documented cases of bilocation was the Padre’s appearance in the air over San Giovanni Rotondo during World War II. While southern Italy remained in Nazi hands, American bombers were given the job of attacking the city of San Giovanni Rotondo. However, when they appeared over the city and prepared to unload their munitions, a brown-robed friar appeared before their aircraft. All attempts to release the bombs failed. In this way, Padre Pio kept his promise to the citizens that their town would be spared. Later on, when an American airbase was established at Foggia a few miles away, one of the pilots of this incident visited the friary and found, to his surprise, the little friar he had seen in the air that day over San Giovanni.”“As to how Padre Pio with God’s help accomplished such feats, the closest he ever came to an explanation of bilocation was to say that it occurred ‘by an extension of his personality.’”
Caroline Perkins, ChurchPOP


This is perhaps one of Padre Pio’s most well-known spiritual gifts.

He received the painful wounds of Christ on his hands, feet, and side.

Through this rare spiritual gift of the stigmata, he experienced the sacrifice of Christ in a personal way. His wounds bled constantly for 50 years and emitted a heavenly fragrance.

Saint Padre Pio wrote of his experience receiving the stigmata saying,

“It all happened in a flash. While all this was taking place, I saw before me a mysterious Person, similar to the one I had seen on Aug. 5th, differing only because His hands, feet, and side were dripping blood. The sight of Him frightened me: what I felt at that moment is indescribable. ‘I thought I would die, and would have died if the Lord hadn’t intervened and strengthened my heart which was about to burst out of my chest. The Person disappeared and I became aware that my hands, feet, and side were pierced and were dripping with blood.”

The spiritual gifts of Padre Pio were the source of both devout attraction and passing skepticism.

Millions of pilgrims visit San Giovanni Rotondo to feel closer to this holy saint!

Saint Padre Pio was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2002.

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