A Trap That Worked!
A trader from Genoa had to visit Foggia to negotiate an oil sale. One of his friends, who knew he had been away from the Church for a long time, planned to lay a trap for him! The friend asked the trader to make a little detour to San Giovanni Rotondo to deliver a letter to Padre Pio, hoping that his friend would meet the priest. The man accepted this task and took the letter. At Foggia he boarded the bus for San Giovanni Rotondo. Tired out by such a long journey, he had but one thought in mind—to get rid of the letter as quickly as possible. When a Brother opened the door, the trader gave him the letter and said he wanted an immediate reply because he had to be on his way. He was invited into the sacristy to wait until Padre Pio would come down to give him an answer. The trader waited a few minutes in the sacristy and began to grow impatient. Padre Pio arrived but made no impression on his visitor. The priest approached, looked him straight in the eye, and asked, “Now you, what do you want?” The man answered that he just wanted a reply to the letter. “Ah, yes,” Padre Pio said, “the letter! But what about you? Don’t you want to go to confession?” The man admitted that he had not practiced his religion for a very long time. Padre Pio asked him, “How long is it since your last confession?” “I was seven years old,” said the trader. The priest looked at him in such a way that it seemed he saw into his soul, and said, “How long do you intend living this disgusting kind of life?”
In a flash he saw how his life had been lived without God, so he repented, went to confession, and was filled with joy! He had gone to the monastery rather unwillingly as a favor to his friend, intending to be done with this obligation as quickly as possible. He stayed for another week, fascinated by Padre Pio, attending his Mass and receiving communion at his hands. The trap set by the trader’s friend had worked perfectly!
Cataneo, P. (2013). Padre Pio, Glimpse into the Miraculous. (M. McCollum & G. Dextraze, Trans.) (pp. 31–32). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.