Padre Pio: Stigmata Of God - Part 1

I was born, raised and still have a home barely 40 miles from Padre Pio (Francesco Forgione)'s hometown of Pietrelcina, thus my childhood was filled with references to the miracles of this saintly “Christian Gandhi”. Padre Pio devotees and noted Italian movie stars Sophia Loren and Carlo Campanini were good friends of my family and they regaled us for many years with countless stories of the Capuchin. Campanini carried with him everywhere one of Padre Pio's gloves and I cannot possibly forget the strange scarlet stain of the stigmata or the unique, delicate, smoky, flowery, persistent odour of the glove.

I am not a practicing Christian, but I have spoken to countless people around the world who are firmly convinced that Padre Pio has directly interceded in their lives. And I have to confess that in the several instances that I have had the privilege of standing by Saint Pio of Pietrelcina's grave, I have experienced a soul-stirring elation unlike anything else in my life.

The insights into Mussolini's relationship with Padre Pio were told to me by Sophia Loren's brother-in-law and “Il Duce's” son, jazz pianist Romano Mussolini. These first-hand stories and the superb biographies by Gaudiose, Carty & Ruffin are the basis for this dramatized but historically accurate account of the little friar's incredible life.

Note that this story is written in the way of a screenplay, although I have considerably simplified it to make it much more readable and comprehensible. The reason it's in screenplay is that I'm not only much more comfortable writing in this very visual format, but also that there have been many books on the life of Padre Pio and I wanted to bring a vividness and immediacy to my version of the story that only the visual medium can portray. I am always trying to expand the horizons of what is possible on a blogging platform like Hubpages, and I've met with some success in some my experiments. So... here is the latest! It should be very interesting to see what reactions I get from you, the reader, on the first screenplay to be published on Hubpages!

Note that in this type of format, you will see the name of the person and then a line break and then the words that person is speaking:

PERSON SPEAKING

The words the person is speaking.

It's a bit strange to the uninitiated but after a few lines, you'll likely catch on. It will help your reading of the story if you keep imagining that you are watching a movie, since after all, a screenplay is nothing more than a literal description of the sights and sounds of a motion picture.

Remember that this is a completely true story in every way, and the result of arduous research into countless volumes of verified evidence in many visits to Padre Pio's home church. Although there are many who fervently believe in Padre Pio's miracles leading to his sainthood and countless others who are convinced he was a fraud, I am very proud to count myself in the former category. To me, Padre Pio was undoubtedly divine, or supernatural, or whatever words we want to choose to describe a life outside the realm of our scientific and secular understanding. Read this screenplay and judge for yourself.

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PADRE PIO: STIGMATA OF GOD

SCREENPLAY

OPENING ON:

EXTERIOR SCENE - VATICAN SAINT PETER'S SQUARE, JUNE 16, 2002 - DAYTIME

Views of one of the largest liturgies in the Vatican's history as almost half a million people fill St. Peter's Square and spill over into surrounding streets in sweltering 97 degree heat. Banners and signs of the stigmatist bearded friar are everywhere. Under a hangar-like sunshade, a hunched-over POPE JOHN PAUL II is delivering the homily to the crowds, echoing through Saint Peter's Square.

POPE JOHN PAUL II

'For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.' Jesus' words to his disciples help us to understand the most important message of this solemn celebration. We can consider them as a magnificent summary of the whole life of Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, today proclaimed a saint.

The crowd lets out a mighty roaring cheer which resonates down the banks of the Tiber.

EXTERIOR SCENE - VATICAN SAINT PETER'S SQUARE, JUNE 16, 2002 - DAYTIME

ZOOM OUT from the scene of the throngs of people holding Padre Pio signs, and quickly a spherical delineation appears on the outer rim of the screen.

WHICH BECOMES:

EXTERIOR SCENE - PIETRELCINA SQUARE, JULY 1895 - DAYTIME

As the ZOOM OUT continues the edge of the sphere is an iris and soon we see the face of the 8 YEAR-OLD FRANCESCO -- a chubby, blonde boy with dark penetrating brown eyes, dressed in dusty, worn period garments. He is standing on the hard dirt in a line with other similarly aged and coarsely-dressed boys awaiting his turn to be picked for a soccer team.

Continued In Part 2

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vrdm profile image

vrdm 5 years ago from Bristol, UK

Love the street in Napoli dedicated to Christian memorabilia. Especially struck by the little nodding Padre Pios.

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