Padre Pio: Stigmata Of God - Part 16

INTERIOR SCENE - ROME “IL DUCE'S” ROME PALAZZO VENEZIA OFFICE, JUNE 1934 - DAYTIME

The ornate, gilted grand hall in the former embassy of the Venetian Republic, overlooking the Roman Forums. From behind a desk larger than a billiard table, “Il Duce” BENITO MUSSOLINI is conversing with 46 year-old Padre Pio.

46 YEAR-OLD PADRE PIO

(casually)

My dear Benito, you and I and all Italians are sons of God. Is it fair that a man cannot get sugar, flour or oil without a Fascist Card? You know I have the utmost respect for your Administration as you have restored law and order in Italy and destroyed the Godless Red Scourge, but even the children's books are full of Fascist propaganda. A party cannot replace Jesus in the hearts of men.

BENITO MUSSOLINI

Yes, Padre Pio. I acknowledge there have been excesses which have caused undue suffering. But I beg you to understand, it is because we have had to unite all Italians against our common enemies. You have my promise on the Holy Cross that I will immediately order the relaxation of these matters you rightfully object to.

8 YEAR-OLD ROMANO MUSSOLINI rushes into the room and to his father's side.

8 YEAR-OLD ROMANO MUSSOLINI

Papa'! Papa'! I was practicing Chopsticks on the piano and Bruno said 'I stink more than the Pontine Marshes in August!'

Benito Mussolini comforts the boy. 46 year-old Padre Pio beckons the boy to come close to him. He holds the boy's hands in his own.

46 YEAR-OLD PADRE PIO

Romanuccio, give your love to Jesus and I will pray that he will grant you the gift of heavenly music.

8 YEAR-OLD ROMANO MUSSOLINI

Will you really pray for me, Padre Pio?

46 YEAR-OLD PADRE PIO

I swear it on the Sacred Heart.

8 YEAR-OLD ROMANO MUSSOLINI

And will I be able to play the piano?

46 YEAR-OLD PADRE PIO

If you are true in your devotion and God wills it you will play the piano like an angel plays the harp. Music and Jesus will walk beside you through the troubles of your life and always keep you safe from harm.

INTERIOR SCENE - SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO FRIAR'S CELL, JANUARY 1936 - NIGHTTIME

48 YEAR-OLD PADRE PIO is chatting with DOCTOR GUGLIELMO SANGUINETTI and a couple of his friends.

48 YEAR-OLD PADRE PIO

(laughing)

Well, about the 'Holy Woman of Rodi Garganico'... we will have to wait for the judgement of the ecclesiastical authorities!

DOCTOR GUGLIELMO SANGUINETTI

(jokingly)

You're just saying that because you don't want another saint around!

Laughter all around, but suddenly the friar stops, expresses pain, drops to his knees and becomes fully serious.

48 YEAR-OLD PADRE PIO

Join me in prayer for a soul about to appear before the judgement seat of God.

The three men get on their knees and follow his prayer.

48 YEAR-OLD PADRE PIO

... you, George, into the heart of our Lord Jesus. Amen.

DOCTOR GUGLIELMO SANGUINETTI

(crosses himself and gets up from his knees)

Padre Pio, who was that poor soul, this George?

48 YEAR-OLD PADRE PIO

George V, King of England.

DOCTOR GUGLIELMO SANGUINETTI

Well, it's been in the papers that he is sick, but no one has said anything about him dying.

48 YEAR-OLD PADRE PIO

(quietly)

It is as I say. The conflagration that will consume his Empire and the rest of the world is about to begin.

INTERIOR SCENE - SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO CHURCH, NOVEMBER 1938 - DAYTIME

51 YEAR-OLD PADRE PIO is praying, pleading with God in the church. A few ACOLYTES and FRIARS are setting up the church for Mass.

51 YEAR-OLD PADRE PIO

Heavenly father, I beg you, I plead with you in the name of your only son Jesus, save your Chosen People from the Night of Broken Glass...

Suddenly the entire church shakes from a major earthquake. The Acolytes and Friars in sheer panic run for their lives.

51 YEAR-OLD PADRE PIO

(completely oblivious)

... They have suffered so throughout the centuries...

The altar falls over, the stained glass windows crack, and huge chunks of ceiling fall to the pews below, shattering them into splinters.

51 YEAR-OLD PADRE PIO

(unperturbed by the falling debris)

... Spare them, hold them close to your heart and when the madness that is about to overwhelm the world finally abates, bring them to their Promised Land...

The earthquake continues, shaking parts of the church into rubble while 51 year-old Padre Pio continues to pray.

Continued In Part 17

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