The enthusiasm and generosity of Dr. Ceneri encouraged me to give it a try. In the evenings, after eight hours of school at “Istituto Aldini”, I went to the home of Dr. Ceneri to start my study of Latin, from zero.
Certainly, it was Padre Pio’s prayers, offered to God unbeknowst to me, that sent me this generous teacher, and also the will to study which I did not have before.
In the summer of 1943, I managed to pass the exam and the next year I transferred to Liceo Scientifico “Augusto Righi” in Bologna. I received my degree in Pharmacy in the year 1950.
For a good fourteen years, from 1940 to 1954, I did not see Padre Pio again.
In the September of 1954, I discovered, among my schoolbooks, in the attic, the letter I had received from San Giovanni Rotondo on May 5th, 1940.
I reread with great attention the letter which I thought I had been lost, and I understood better the meaning of many trials.
My beloved father Augusto had died on November 26th, 1953.
My mother, tired and saddened, needed me; I wanted to help her resolve the grave problems that had arisen in our family after my father’s death.
My father had wanted to see his nine living children always united.
Because of this desire for unity, among so many children, family affairs went very well while my father was alive; but at his death some dissension arose, due to the difficulty of keeping united by a common interest the new families which my brothers had formed, in the beneficent shadow of our father who was such a loving and generous Head of the Household.
My Father had a staunch belief in the unity of the family. His heart, so full of love and generosity, was incapable of facing the problem of sending out his married children, with different goals, from his home.
In the summer of 1954, I decided to settle in San Matteo della Decima, in order to put myself at the disposal of my family and to comfort, with my modest help and love, the Angel of my house.
I did not like living in small villages, much less occupying myself with mills. Love for my mother and the duties towards my family made me overcome my difficulty in getting accustomed to it.
The sufferings of that year made me understand the value of the letter that I had found in the attic at Decima. I then decided to go back to San Giovanni Rotondo.


While I was getting ready to leave, my thoughts returned to that distant first meeting with the Padre, some fourteen years before. How could have I not felt the need to go back to San Giovanni Rotondo for all those fourteen years? I could not explain it to myself.
I left alone and arrived at San Giovanni Rotondo in a very emotional state. The little road that led from the town to the convent where Padre Pio was living was greatly changed.
A new city had arisen.
I attended Padre Pio’s Holy Mass in the morning at five o’clock, as I had done many years before. Time had left traces of suffering in the body and facial appearance of the beloved Padre. During Holy Mass, I almost felt guilty to have been away for so many years and I was overtaken by so intense an emotion, that I burst into long cry. At the end of the Mass, I took my place in the sacristy, amoong a great crowd of men. The Padre passed in front of me, on his way to his cell. I was serene, without any visible sign of the emotion that I had felt during the Holy Mass. Very great was my surprise in seeing Padre Pio stop in front of me, with the self-assurance of his manner and the regard of someone who could see in me, not a man, but the little fearful boy of so many years before.
I had no doubt at all that the Padre could recognize in the man the little fourteen year old boy, Luigi. I felt I did not have the right to still be recognized as his son.
Padre Pio, with the voice of a true Father, with the loving gesture of his hand extended towards a son, touched me forcefully and said to me: “My son, you are finally here! Why were you crying? You know that I do not like tears!”.
Overcome by such much paternal love, my own love for the Padre increased. In the love of Padre Pio, I rediscovered, increased, all the love of my beloved father, who had gone back to Heaven.
I later understood that, most respectful of the authority of parents, Padre Pio wished that in the fourteen years from 1940 to 1954 I had lived as much as possible near my beloved parents, in order to give them all my love as a son, out of respect for the commandment of love toward the authority of father and mother.
It was only after the death of my father that Padre Pio substituted as a father in directing my spirit to the love of God and to the knowledge of the problems of this earthly life.
From 1954, my trips to San Giovanni Rotondo became much more frequent.


In the month of June 1956, on the sixth day to be precise, I found myself at San Giovanni Rotondo. After Holy Mass, Padre Pio saw me in the sacristy. He approached me and said: “What are you doing here? Do not waste any time; go home right away”.
I was very disturbed at the request to leave immediately for Decima. I left on the first train going to Bologna; I arrived at San Matteo the following day. I found my beloved mother very near death, but still mentally alert. Upon seeing me near her bed, my mother radiated an indescribable joy and said: “You are here Luigi! I have prayed to Padre Pio so much to send you home. I wanted to see you one more time before dying. I am grateful to God and to Padre Pio for having answered my prayers. Now I can die happy because I know…”.
Then my mother asked me: ”Luigi, what feast is it tomorrow? I hear the bells ringing for a holy day, but I don’t know which holy day tomorrow is.” I replied that the bells were not ringing at all, and that the next day was not a religious holy day. I wanted to make sure by looking at the calendar. The eighth of June was dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. My mother’s physical condition worsened by the hour until, almost blind and without any possibility either of speaking or of sitting up in bed, she made a sign that she wanted to write. All the children were close to mother, together with the pastor of Decima, Don Balestrazzi, the nuns and some friends. In some way, and with supernatural strength, Mother managed to write until almost the last moments of her life.
I transcribe some of the thoughts written by my mother during her joyous last agony and her meeting with God: “I leave this life with serenity, knowing that I have no stains before men and before God. My end is near, my strength is failing, but not my mind…Luigi we are leaving each other; be always good and serene with everyone – I shall pray for everyone. – This is how life ends.
Are you there, Luigi? Do not cry for me. I am with the Lord – I will always be near you – The Divine Providence is near me.
I have always heard the sound of the feast day bells.
Your father is waiting for me – This is how the life of this earth ends, not with men, but with God – This is how it will be for you, too.
I leave for all of you the advice to follow my path: - Charity and honesty – It is a passage – I am finished.
I leave to all my acquaintances the most beautiful wishes – God has my breath – Peace and joy to everyone – Goodbye! Mamma”.
The words written by my mother during her agony left no doubt whatsoever that an extraordinary intervention by God had given her the grace and the ability to write them.
The sound of the feast day bells that Mother had heard - up until the last moment – was the joyous feast in Heaven for the return of the Heart of Mother into the Heart of Jesus.
The eighth of June, 1956, the bells actually did ring, for the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and for my mother who was returning to Heaven. A few days after the funeral, I left for San Giovanni Rotondo.


I found myself in the convent corridor; numerous prints hung on the walls. Padre Pio came out of his cell and I had an opportunity to receive comforting words for my great sorrow which he shared with me. Padre’s eyes, so full of love for all men, in that moment, were not able to ease the sorrow of my heart.
I managed to say only these words: “My mother loved you so much, Padre. She had Faith, and it seemed like she knew you intimately, even though she had never spoken to you.” Padre Pio walked slowly along the corridor towards the choir loft of the little old church.
It seemed that he did not want to answer my words. He stared at me with his big eyes filled with godness and love. He stopped suddenly, raised his hand, and with his finger, pointed at one of the prints hanging on the wall as if he had seen it for the first time. He read what was written and I read with him, “ The communion of the Saints “.
The Wisdom of God in Padre Pio found an unusual way of explaining a mystery which since my childhood, through my mother’s stories, has aroused my interest to be known.
As a result of that revealed mystery, I had a greater knowledge of the Man who of that mystery must have been part for the knowledge of many divine secrets.
Padre Pio helped me to alleviate my suffering through greater knowledge.
In that answer, I was told of God’s love for my mother’s soul which Padre Pio showed that he loved as much as I did.
The promise made to me, from my childhood, by the love of God was a promise given by God to my mother, to be maintained by His Spirit in the words of Padre Pio.
The first promise, not understood, was revealed to me in part by the reading of those written words. I saw more clearly the meaning of the letter that Padre Pio had sent me in Bologna, three months after my first meeting with him.
The Will of Love of the Word accepted, recognized, loved by the mother is a promise of the Word of Love, which gives itself in order to be maintained by the fidelity of the Word to the Love of its promises.
The fidelity of my mother in wanting to receive, to put into practice, the counsels of the Divine Spirit, through the words of the faithful Priest of God, Padre Pio, became a promise of fidelity on the part of Padre Pio who wanted to be my loving spiritual Father in order to teach me to know the Spirit of God, to reject in man the spirit which is not of God. All the men whom the humble goodness of my father did love, without knowing how to recognize the spirit that animated many of them, brought him to the verge of material ruin. It was the intervention of the spirit of love of Padre Pio that saved, with his advice, the family from misery, from rebellion and from confusion, which always comes to the spirit by not seeing clearly which one is the true spirit that spreads evil among men.
The promise of the Spirit of God in Padre Pio and in my mother, was an exchange of a promise of the spirit of love, in the love of the promise of God given to man.
The counsels that come to man from the spirit that rebels against God, which was, is and will be the enemy of God and man until the day appointed, are the evil of the world.
The promise of victory over his enemies was given by the Supreme Word to indicate the way of right counsel to all men who love hearing only the counsels given by the spirit of the word of God.
In this century, in particular, the confusion of ideas created by the spirits of evil, has divided men in a fight which is absence of reciprocal love, for the absence of love in wishing to understand the Word of God.
The love of God sent Padre Pio to teach men of good will to love the true cognisance of the will of God expressed in the Holy Scriptures.

The Holy Scriptures, Padre Pio used to say, are not loved enough by the spirit of man who, for absence of love for the Word of God, will not be able to understand and love the truths revealed by the Divine Word.