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The bloody truth

Padre Pio's stigmata has just won him beatification from the Pope. But was he just a neurotic?

By Jim Holt   June 1999

Padre Pio was a Capuchin monk and a mystic who lived in southern Italy until his death in 1968 at the age of 81. A hero to traditionalist Roman catholics, on 2nd May he was beatified by Pope John Paul II-the penultimate step in the process of being made a saint.

Before a candidate for sainthood can be beatified, the catholic church requires testimony of two miracles. In Padre Pio’s case this requirement was not difficult to fulfill. Not only was he credited with the ability to heal the sick and to be in two places at the same time…

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