In honor of St. Pio's feast day today, here is a story written by Frank Rega about the most painful wound Padre Pio had and never discussed:
"[A young Karol] Wojtyla asked Padre Pio which of his wounds caused the greatest suffering. ...The priest expected Padre Pio to say it was his chest wound, but instead the Padre replied, "It is my shoulder wound, which no one knows about and has never been cured or treated."
...Centuries earlier, Our Lord himself had revealed to St. Bernard of Clairvaux in a vision, that his shoulder wound from carrying the heavy wooden cross caused him his greatest suffering, and that the cross tore into his flesh right up to the shoulder bone.
At one time, Padre had confided to ...Brother Modestino Fucci... that his greatest pains occurred when he changed his undershirt. ... [O]n February 4, 1971, [Brother] Modestino was assigned the task of taking an inventory of all the items in the deceased Padre’s cell in the friary... he discovered that one of Padre Pio’s undershirts bore a circle of bloodstains in the area of the right shoulder.
On that very evening of February 4, 1971, Brother Modestino asked Padre Pio in prayer to enlighten him about the meaning of the bloodstained undershirt. ... [Modestino awoke] at 1:00 AM with a terrible, excruciating pain in his shoulder, as if he had been sliced with a knife up to the shoulder bone. He felt that he would die from the pain if it continued, but it lasted only a short time. Then the room became filled with the aroma of a heavenly perfume of flowers – the sign of Padre Pio’s spiritual presence – and he heard a voice saying ..."This is what I had to suffer!"
There are always lessons to learn from the saints. St. Pio concealed his worse suffering from being acknowledge by others, offering the suffering up in silence.
Padre Pio, Pray for Us!