Published in Catholic Digest, March 1984
Bill had been watching the whole scene. When it was over, he came to us excitedly and said to my mother, "Minnie, Minnie--he knew you! Padre Pio knew you!" Then to Joan and me, "I was surprised with the reaction he had toward your mother--he looked at her as if he knew her."
Much later, when I came to understand Padre Pio's charisms more deeply, I realized that it was not outside of the realm of possibility that Padre Pio had heard my mother's years of prayers for different needs and people. He had sent his perfume at some key times in her life and she had received a health-healing. He surely knew, then, that she had left his photograph up against the living-room lamp to guard our home!
Uncountable incidents exist when Padre Pio's photograph, even without the relic attached, was brought to the bedside of an ailing person, or kept by or under a pillow, as described in my forthcoming book Padre Pio and Children. Such simple, unquestioning faith in the possibility of bringing Padre Pio's healing power closer through the nearness of a photograph produced small and big miracles.
And so it was with my mother's trust that he would keep watch. He did--also on September 27th, 1966, that moment when he sent Padre Pellegrino to fetch her as she waited in the corridor. We--my sister, aunt and I--were lucky enough to have accompanied her on the journey. That's the way I see it, anyway. . . .