Padre Pio: Stigmata Of God - Part 22

INTERIOR SCENE - SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO RECTORY, SEPTEMBER, 1946 - DAYTIME

59 YEAR-OLD PADRE PIO is sitting across from opera star BENIAMINO GIGLI and the two of them are happily chatting. The door opens and DOCTOR GUGLIELMO SANGUINETTI enters, carrying a briefcase.

DOCTOR GUGLIELMO SANGUINETTI

Padre, may I enter?

59 YEAR-OLD PADRE PIO

Of course, Guglielmo. Allow me to introduce...

DOCTOR GUGLIELMO SANGUINETTI

(enthusiastically shaking Beniamino Gigli's hand)

... Maestro Beniamino Gigli! I am one of your greatest fans. It is an honour.

BENIAMINO GIGLI

The honour is all mine. Padre Pio has told me for years of your indefatigable energy and commitment.

DOCTOR GUGLIELMO SANGUINETTI

Thank you. Too kind.

59 YEAR-OLD PADRE PIO

Sit, Guglielmo. Beniamino was about to tell me about his latest concert tour.

BENIAMINO GIGLI

Yes, we sail for New York next month. Over the next 11 months we have a total of 82 performances in the biggest concert halls of the nations. We travel completely around the world, until we return here almost a year from now.

DOCTOR GUGLIELMO SANGUINETTI

It will be a triumph, I am certain of that.

59 YEAR-OLD PADRE PIO

There is another matter that might also interest you, Guglielmo.

BENIAMINO GIGLI

Yes, I was telling Padre Pio that the monetary value of this contract is significantly greater than my last world tour. And I have decided to donate the exact difference of 147,515,850 lire to the construction fund for the Home To Relieve Suffering.

DOCTOR GUGLIELMO SANGUINETTI

(literally floored)

Oh, sweet Jesus. Such a donation would be overwhelmingly generous. I've never heard of such a sum being donated to anything before!

59 YEAR-OLD PADRE PIO

Guglielmo, what is the amount of current shortfall in the fund in order to begin construction?

DOCTOR GUGLIELMO SANGUINETTI

Actually I've just come from the accountant's office and he has given me the very latest ledger updated to this morning.

(he searches through his briefcase and pulls out a dossier)

I haven't even looked at it yet!

(he pulls out a long sheet, puts on his glasses and scans to the bottom)

Let's see... the current shortfall is...

(he gasps and reads the figure slowly)

147,515,800 lire...

59 YEAR-OLD PADRE PIO

Good. Guglielmo, now you can give me my 50-lire coin back.

EXTERIOR SCENE - SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO CHURCH, FEBRUARY 1949 - DAYTIME

The queue outside the church stretches down the main street of the town all the way to the outskirts. Many people have been waiting for two or three weeks in the winter cold for a chance to attend Mass and give confession to the friar. A TALL RED-HEADED WOMAN adroitly positions herself in the line just in front of a SHORT BLACK-HAIRED WOMAN. The short woman begins to scream madly and pulls out a large knife. Pandemonium ensues as the crowd tries to separate the two.

INTERIOR SCENE - SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO CHURCH, FEBRUARY 1949 - DAYTIME

61 YEAR-OLD PADRE PIO at the end of the Mass is working his way down the endless queue, giving his blessings. A woman grabs his arm and won't let go.

61 YEAR-OLD PADRE PIO

(good-naturedly)

Alright, you want my arm, you can have it! Just let the rest of me go!

The friar manages to free himself leaving the woman with a ripped patch of his habit in her hand. He continues down the line until he stops in front of construction worker GIOVANNI SAVINO. He places both of his hands on the worker's head. Then 61 year-old Padre Pio embraces him.

61 YEAR-OLD PADRE PIO

Courage! I'll pray to the Lord that it may not cause your death.

Giovanni Savino is stunned by the friar's words. 61 year-old Padre Pio continues down the line with his standard blessings. He ends Mass and as he is walking towards the side door, he indicates to a tall young priest KAROL WOJTYLA sitting in the front row to join him. Karol Wojtyla beams and hurries to catch up with the friar.

Continued In Part 23

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