The following is excerpted from an article by Michael Brown on SpiritDaily:
According to a new, blockbuster look at recently released "secret Vatican files," the official Bishop Inquisitor in the first of three papal investigations of the great mystic and saint, Padre Pio, of Italy, seemed most impressed not with healings, bilocation, and the "reading of souls" for which the great Capuchin monk was best known; what seemed of the greatest conviction to Bishop Raffaello Carlo Rossi -- who in 1921 was asked to examine the 34-year-old monk in wake of a stir over stigmata -- was the fragrance that surrounded Pio -- popularly called the "odor of sanctity."
The reason the initially-skeptical inquisitor found it so impressive -- according to the files -- was that he himself experienced it and to such an extent and in such a way that it could not be an imagined or fabricated phenomenon.
"This very intense and pleasant fragrance, similar to the scent of the violet -- as it was well-described by the Bishop of Melfi -- is attested by everyone, and may the Most Eminent Fathers let me attest it, too," wrote Bishop Rossi. "I have smelled it, just as I have seen the 'stigmata.' And I can again assure the Most Eminent Fathers that I went to San Giovanni Rotundo with the resolute intention of conducting an absolutely objective inquiry, but also with a real personal unfavorable prejudice regarding what was said about Padre Pio. Today I am not a ... convert, an admirer of the Padre: certainly not; I feel complete indifference and I would say almost coldness, so much did I want to maintain a serene objectivity in writing my report. But, to clear my conscience, I have to say that, faced with some of the facts, I could not retain my personal unfavorable prejudice, even though I did not manifest anything on the outside. And one of these facts is the fragrance, which, I'll repeat, I have sensed, just like everyone else. The only one who does not notice it is Padre Pio.
"If he really, for whatever reason, used this fragrance on himself, the scent should be sensed more or less at all times," wrote the inquisitor. "But that is not the case: They say it is sensed at times, in waves, inside the cell and outside, when he walks by, in his spot in the choir, even from a distance." It resembled violet...[full article]