The following is excerpted from an interview by the Catholic Key
with Mr. Anthony D’Andrea, a relative of St. Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio):
"We knew about [Padre Pio] from early childhood. Padre Pio’s father came to America to earn money to pay for his education. One of the places he worked was Flushing, New York. When he got back to Pietrelcina people would ask, “Where did you find work, where did you stay?” So a small Italian enclave developed there in Flushing.
"My own father brought my mother there in 1929. All their friends and neighbors would get together on Sundays to talk about the old country. Big problem: My mother was not Italian, and these people didn’t speak English. So, poor mom had to sit through many conversations in which she had no idea what was going on. On one occasion, she looked up on the mantel and saw a picture. She said to my father, “Giovanni, who is that man in the picture? It looks like a holy man.”
"The woman of the house saw my mother pointing and figured out what was going on. She came over and in Italian, said, “Giovanni, you mean in all these years you’ve never told Emily about Padre Pio, how come?” Then my father told her about him and the stigmata. The woman of the house graciously took the picture off the mantelpiece and gave it to my mom. She brought it home, framed it, and put it up on the wall in the apartment where we lived. It’s been in our family ever since. In the early 1970’s she gave the picture to me.
"That picture was taken somewhere between 1910 and 1916, and it has been in my family for over 80 years."
The complete interview can be read online at the following link: