Padre Pio: Stigmata Of God - Part 20

INTERIOR SCENE - SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO REFECTORY, JANUARY 1944 - NIGHTTIME

Mary Pyle is sitting between 56 year-old Padre Pio and William Carrigan at a huge, zinc-clad table. The soldiers are enjoying the traditional friary cuisine and the friars are gorging themselves on treats the Americans have brought, chocolate, canned fruits and vegetables, Spam and more. Although Padre Pio has been given the choicest treats, he takes just one spoonful of vegetables and a few sips of pineapple juice. William Carrigan turns to Mary Pyle.

WILLIAM CARRIGAN

Does the Padre not like our food?

56 YEAR-OLD PADRE PIO

(indicates to William Carrigan, taking another small bite)

No! No! Okay! Okay!

MARY PYLE

He loves it. But Padre Pio only eats a couple of spoonfuls of food a day.

WILLIAM CARRIGAN

How does he survive?

MARY PYLE

Through the grace of God. I have been here for more than twenty years and have never seen him eat more than what would starve a bird.

56 YEAR-OLD PADRE PIO

(animatedly impersonating a bird)

Padre Pio! Tweet! Tweet!

WILLIAM CARRIGAN

How does he understand what we're saying? He seems to be able to reply to our every word.

MARY PYLE

Padre Pio is blessed by God. I doubt there is much that is outside his capacity.

56 YEAR-OLD PADRE PIO

(holding up his cup of American pineapple juice and sipping from it)

Okay! Okay!

WILLIAM CARRIGAN

Padre, I will order the American Red Cross detachment to always provide you with plenty of pineapple juice. I swear it!

56 YEAR-OLD PADRE PIO

(happily)

Okay! Americano! Okay!

EXTERIOR SCENE - FOGGIA U.S. MILITARY HOSPITAL, JULY 1944 - DAYTIME

COLONEL SUTHERLAND is overseeing the mechanical refitting of some U.S. Army Ambulances outside the complex under a stifling sun. An American Red Cross Jeep pulls up beside him and William Carrigan steps out.

COLONEL SUTHERLAND

Hey, Bill! Warm enuf for ya?

WILLIAM CARRIGAN

(wiping his brow)

Hot enough to fry rats, Colonel.

COLONEL SUTHERLAND

Even fried rats would be a welcome change from rations! Now if you're coming about that report, I promise to read it...

WILLIAM CARRIGAN

No, not at all, Colonel. I'm here because I promised our friar friend to ask you a favour. I've already told him it is completely against military regulations and quite impossible, but you know that he is a very persistent man.

COLONEL SUTHERLAND

Don't I know it!

WILLIAM CARRIGAN

One of his people, a lady named Amalia, is deathly ill. He insists that her only hope is to get her to the hospital in Ancona.

COLONEL SUTHERLAND

Ancona? We've still engaging Jerry all around that city! There can't be 20 miles of road between here and there that aren't torn up!

WILLIAM CARRIGAN

I already told him that I couldn't help him...

COLONEL SUTHERLAND

Ancona...

(he shouts towards a MAJOR)

Major!

MAJOR

(rushes to the Colonel and salutes)

Sir!

COLONEL SUTHERLAND

How quickly can you get number eighteen ready?

MAJOR

No less than twelve hours, sir!

COLONEL SUTHERLAND

You have four hours, Major. Pull anyone off of other tasks as necessary. And scare up a full escort. Your best men as it's gonna get hairy. Understood?

MAJOR

Yes, Sir!

WILLIAM CARRIGAN

Colonel... I didn't expect...

COLONEL SUTHERLAND

After what the friar has done for our boys, I'm not about to refuse him anything. He's a one-man chaplaincy and morale division. Thank God for Padre Pio...

Continued In Part 21

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