Padre Pio: Stigmata Of God - Part 10

INTERIOR SCENE - SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO CHURCH, MAY 1919 - DAYTIME

31 year-old Padre Pio steps down the altar from Mass. Immediately he is surrounded by police officers, but even they cannot stop a young man from ducking down and cutting off the bottom of the friar's robe with shears. A deformed man, FRANCESCO SANTARELLO, so seriously clubfooted that he has to walk on his knees supported by crutches, drags himself through the crowd towards the friar.

FRANCESCO SANTARELLO

(yelling to be heard over the crowd)

Padre Pio! Give me a blessing!

31 YEAR-OLD PADRE PIO

(without missing a beat)

Throw away your crutches!

Francesco Santarello is amazed by the friar's command and stands still. 31 year-old Padre Pio stops, looks directly at Francesco Santarello and shouts.

31 YEAR-OLD PADRE PIO

I said... Throw away your crutches!

The police officers escort him through the thronging crowd to a door and then block the door three deep to keep the churchgoers from breaking it down. Francesco Santarello takes a deep breath, lets his crutches fall, then raises himself up on his clubbed feet and for the first time in his life walks and even dances around. The church explodes in screams and applause.

Inside the guarded door, 31 year-old Padre Pio stops to catch his breath as PADRE PAOLINO comes by.

PADRE PAOLINO

I have had enough! The mob has completely taken away our liberty and give us no time to rest!

31 YEAR-OLD PADRE PIO

(vivacious)

I'm surprised you would talk like that! Preachers have to work hard to get just a few people to hear their sermons! Now when the Lord, through His grace and without any effort on our part sends us so abundant a congregation, you complain? I am up at 2:30 each morning, say Mass at 5 am, hear confessions and answer correspondence until after midnight every night. You are getting far more rest than me!

PADRE PAOLINO

Well, I'm going to go get that rest now. You can keep busy as that Jew is back. He's in the rectory waiting for you.

31 YEAR-OLD PADRE PIO

Who?

PADRE PAOLINO

Oh, you remember, that blind Jew!

INTERIOR SCENE - SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO RECTORY, MAY 1919 - DAYTIME

A well-dressed businessman awaits the friar. The door opens and 31 year-old Padre Pio enters. The man stands, approaches the friar and kneels at his feet.

JEWISH BUSINESSMAN

Padre Pio! God has blessed me to see your shining face!

31 YEAR-OLD PADRE PIO

I have always had a great respect for God's ancient people. Take this blessing of sight as a sign of love from the God of Abraham.

EXTERIOR SCENE - SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO PIAZZA MUNICIPIO, OCTOBER 1920 - DAYTIME

On a stand on the City Hall steps which are ringed by Italian Army Soldiers, a COMMUNIST SPEAKER is forcefully addressing a large, vociferous rally while standing beside party officials and CANON GIOVANNI MISCIO in front of the Hammer & Sickle.

COMMUNIST SPEAKER

The results of the municipal elections have been confirmed by the Circuit Court! We Socialists have won majority control of the Council! But the Fascists dispute our election and refuse us what is rightfully ours! Are we going to stand idly by?

The crowd, now turning into a mob, screams NO! The Communist Speaker points to the City Hall behind him.

COMMUNIST SPEAKER

The people have given us this City Hall. It is ours. Let's take it!

At his command, the mob surges forward. The soldiers surrounding City Hall stiffen their lines as they engage the mob. One Socialist manages to wrestle a rifle from a soldier and shoots him with it. In reaction, the soldiers begin to fire on the crowd. Pandemonium ensues. A crowd of Fascists rushes to the Piazza and engages the Socialists with everything they can find, knives, stones and sticks. The Socialists detonate homemade explosives. Mutilated and writhing bodies are everywhere.

Continued In Part 11

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