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Posted on 09/24/2017 11:35 AM (Homilies of Father Paul Yi)
Posted on 09/23/2017 12:51 PM (Homilies of Father Paul Yi)
"Show Me Your Wounds"
by Cardinal Timothy Dolan
When I was rector at the North American College in Rome, I was present at the beatification of Padre Pio, who is very popular in Italy. He’s up with St. Francis as probably the most popular of saints. In fact, when my little niece, Shannon, had cancer, the Italian workers at the North American College would always ask me how she was doing.
One day, Vitorio, one of the workers, said, “How is Shannon, Monsignor?”
I said, “She’s really sick, Vitorio. Would you please pray to Jesus for her?”
“No, I don’t pray to Jesus,” he answered. “I go right to Padre Pio.” I think he flunked his Christology course, but that’s how popular Padre Pio is there.
At Padre Pio’s beatification, tons of Americans came, and a lot of them came to the North American College for a reception. It was there that I met a number of men who had visited with Padre Pio at San Giovanni Rotondo after World War II.
“We went to see Padre Pio,” one of the veterans said, “And I was as skeptical as can be. The other guys, they thought this was great. But I thought, ‘I’ll go along. Maybe we’ll meet some nice-looking Italian girls down in southern Italy, because I don’t believe in this fraud.’”
As it turned out, they were able to go to Padre Pio’s early Mass, and afterward, they were able to meet him. When Padre Pio came to greet this guy, the American demanded, “Show me your wounds.” Because the Vatican had ordered Padre Pio to cover his stigmata —they didn’t want people capitalizing on them —the wounds were covered with gloves. So the guy said to Padre Pio, “Show me your wounds. I don’t believe you.”
Padre Pio looked at him and said, “Show me yours.”
“I don’t claim to have the stigmata. You do. Show me your wounds,” the veteran repeated.
Padre Pio only said again, “Show me yours.”
“What are you talking about?” The guy was an Italian American. He knew Italian, so he knew he was hearing Padre Pio right. He just didn’t understand.
So Padre Pio explained: “Well, we’ve all got wounds. We all bear the stigmata. We’ve all got the wounds of the Cross. Mine, for some strange reason, happen to be visible, but so what? You’ve got them, too. You’re carrying some. I can see them.”
With that, the guy said, he began to weep, and Padre Pio said, “Come with me.”
They went into the confessional, where Padre Pio invited him one more time, “Show me your wounds.”
The guy then admitted that, at that moment, he was bearing a tremendous cross. At Anzio, he had landed with his two buddies —the three of them together —and his two buddies were wounded. They were pinned down by machine guns. But he went ahead and left them behind, even as they yelled after him, “Please come get us.” But he didn’t. He left, he escaped; and he said this was a horror, a nightmare, a devil —a wound that he had borne for a long time, one he was finally able to reveal to that holy man.
“Show me your wounds.” We’ve all got them. We’ve all got the stigmata. We all have a share in the Cross of Christ. The world still taunts us with Him —“Come down off that cross and show us you’re really God”—like they did on Calvary that first Good Friday, and yet we cling to the Cross because that’s where our God is, and that’s where His divinity is most obvious.
To Whom Shall We Go? Lessons from the Apostle Peter by Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan (Our Sunday Visitor)
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