Padre Pio: Stigmata Of God - Part 19

INTERIOR SCENE - COCKPIT ALLIED B-17, 2ND BOMBARDMENT GROUP, OVER PUGLIA, ITALY, OCTOBER 1943 - NIGHTTIME

The Texan CAPTAIN and Cockney CO-PILOT are flying through heavy flak on a moonless night. The B-17 shudders from the close impacts of flak. From the nose of the plane come the shouts of the New England BOMBARDIER.

BOMBARDIER

Red light! Bomb bay doors stuck closed! Red light!

The Captain stares down at the target without believing what he is seeing. He yells frantically.

CAPTAIN

Bombardier! Abort! End run! Git control back to this here cockpit, boyah!

CO-PILOT

(swiveling his head to look out the window)

Flippin' 'ell! It's dah bloody monk!

EXTERIOR SCENE - ALLIED B-17, 2ND BOMBARDMENT GROUP, OVER PUGLIA, ITALY, OCTOBER 1943 - NIGHTTIME

The B-17 is seen flying directly into a ghostly, illuminated figure of a bearded friar with his arms outstretched. His head touching the clouds, and his feet over San Giovanni Rotondo.

INTERIOR SCENE - COCKPIT ALLIED B-17, 2ND BOMBARDMENT GROUP, OVER PUGLIA, ITALY, OCTOBER 1943 - NIGHTTIME

CAPTAIN

(to Co-Pilot)

Pull up! Pull up! Navigator! Flight Engineer! Y'awl plot course back to Twyu-nees-ah Base!

CO-PILOT

I'll 'ave to take dah mick for this! I owe dat wankin' git Riley a beer for sayin' 'e tells porkies!

INTERIOR SCENE - SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO CHURCH, JANUARY 1944 - DAYTIME

56 YEAR-OLD PADRE PIO is saying Mass in the packed church. The front doors of the church open slowly letting a frigid blast of wind-blown snow into the church. The Adriatic Director of the American Red Cross WILLIAM CARRIGAN and 20 U.S. SOLDIERS quietly enter, close the door behind them and stand at the back of the church. The congregation swivels around for a moment but, unperturbed, immediately turns their attention back to the altar.

56 YEAR-OLD PADRE PIO

Hoc est enim corpus meum...

56 year-old Padre Pio leans on the altar, first on one elbow then the other as if he were trying to relieve a pain in his feet. He reaches for the chalice, but pulls his hand back violently as if the pain was so great he could not grip it. Tears roll down his cheek as he jerks his head from side to side to relieve agony in his skull and neck. He barely manages to consecrate the wine and the bread and the exhausted friar leans over the altar to recover. The U.S. Soldiers are awestruck by this display. Tears are running down William Carrigan's face and he closes his eyes and exhales a long deep breath, as if releasing an infinite tension. At that moment, 56 year-old Padre Pio, his vitality immediately restored, proceeds to distribute the Communion. The congregation receives the blessing and quietly files out of the church. One of the last to leave is an old Canon Giovanni Miscio. With tears in his eyes, he grasps the friar's hand and kisses the stigmata. William Carrigan can clearly see light right through the friar's wounds.

CANON GIOVANNI MISCIO

Padre Pio, can you find it in your infinite mercy to forgive me?

56 YEAR-OLD PADRE PIO

I have always loved you, Don Giovanni. May the blessings of Jesus be with you and Mother Mary always watch over you.

Canon Giovanni Miscio, overwhelmed with tears thanks the friar and slowly walks away. The last person in line is CORNELIO RATTI who is trembling as he kneels in front of the friar. 56 year-old Padre Pio places his hand on Cornelio Ratti's head.

56 YEAR-OLD PADRE PIO

You want to murder your own wife. For money. Don't you know it is forbidden to stain your hands with blood?

CORNELIO RATTI

Forgive me, Padre Pio. Please forgive my mortal sin.

56 YEAR-OLD PADRE PIO

(makes the sign of the cross on his head)

You have always wanted children, haven't you? Do not offend God anymore, and you will have a son. Now go home to your lovely wife.

Virtually catatonic, Cornelio Ratti exits the church, leaving the Americans alone with the friar. William Carrigan approaches the Capuchin. He starts to kneel to receive the blessing but the friar holds him up by his elbows.

56 YEAR-OLD PADRE PIO

Americano!

WILLIAM CARRIGAN

Si! Si! Padre! American!

56 YEAR-OLD PADRE PIO

Ah! Americano!

(he gestures excitedly to wait)

Mary Pyle! Miss Mary Pyle!

Continued In Part 20

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