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53 of 55 people found the following review helpful
on May 30, 2011
Padre Pio is a phenomenally popular saint, and sometimes in such cases hindsight paints an unreal picture. In this book we have the chance to read a report written in 1921, when the cult surrounding him was just beginning. What emerges from these pages is a fresh take on the holy man, who comes across as very modest and human, and frankly puzzled about both his spiritual gifts and the excitement surrounding him. The others interviewed are also frank about both the phenomena, whether or not they believe them, and the personality of Padre Pio. The bishop who conducted the investigation also comes across as very fair, knowledgeable, and not credulous. A book like this does more to prove the genuineness of Padre Pio and his stigmata than ten books that emphasize the wonders of his life.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on July 26, 2011
I liked this book because it gave me an in depth look into the life of St. Padre Pio, who is one of my favorite Saints. If Padre Pio's Canonization didn't put to rest the detractors concerning his supernatural gifts, then I believe this book will put them to rest because it contains an objective investigation and rigorous interrogations of Padre Pio and the entire religious community he lived in at the time. The final conclusion is that Padre Pio and his supernatural gifts of the stigmata, bilocation, reading of confessing hearts, bodily scent of violets, and him enduring body temperatures above 118 degrees Fahrenheit while continuing his daily labors are all legit. You will be inspired not only by these extraordinary gifts God gave him, but also by the great humility and obedience St. Padre Pio sincerely displayed throughout his life and religious ministry.

I didn't give this book 5 stars because I would've liked an even more objective analysis by the author. The author seemed to be completely convinced of Padre Pio's gifts well before the recently released information concerning the investigation and interrogations of the Saint and others were provided to the public by the Church (the book is largely based on this newly released material). I don't fault his faith, only his seemingly biased approach to the matter. The answers from the investigation and interrogations are convincing enough to any open minded and reasonably intelligent reader. And to me, the format of the book made some information appear repetitive, but all in all it is a good book that I believe is definitely worth your time and money.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2011
I am a Catholic and had heard of Padre Pio and seen pictures of him and the car he apparently drove and heard that he smoked. I didn't know much else about him other than that he had the stigmata, reports of bilocation (and levitation!), and that there was some controversy about him. I hadn't explored the details much but presumed there to be a lot of information around since he spent much of his life in the 20th century.
This book does not cover his entire life. It only recounts a hitherto undisclosed evaluation of Padre Pio by a man who eventually became a Cardinal and is on the path to Sainthood himself. The construction of the book and its story is inherently redundant. The author tells us what it says, then the investigator tells us what he thinks about everything he found out, and then everything he took down is presented. On the Kindle version there are a few typos, but it is otherwise very accessible and the footnote function works great.
The story itself is fascinating. Padre Pio comes out smelling like lilacs, or violets, or whatever he smelled like during his life. He is a simple man by all reports, humble and thoughtful, quiet and obedient. One of the interesting side notes is how much the hierarchy of the orders and the Church monitor and expect obedience. The descriptions of the stigmata are fascinating for me as a medical doctor. It is hard to imagine them as anything other than divine in origin.
This book gave a little boost to my faith at a time when I was struggling with all the crap about the Church hierarchy, monetary policies, sexual abuse, etc. To see that there are still those out there serving the Lord while being tested by Him was edifying. It doesn't take long to read and is worth the effort.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2011
Saint Padre Pio went through a lot of scrutiny before being declared a saint including his sincerity, holiness and medical examination of the stigmata (which he found a burden-as he only wanted to pray for others and set an example for others). This book covers the scrunity of this Blessed Saint during his earlier years using Vatican files through 1939 released by Pope Benedict. Those doubting Thomas's out there of any faith should read this and they will doubt no more! Those that tried to find reasons not to believe found to their amazement that yes the stigmata was not contrived. Many souls were converted by his saintly ways.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on March 17, 2012
Part of the title, "The Secret of the Vatican Files", made for a rather sensational title, but that was all that was sensational about this book. It was incredibly redundant, recapitulating the appearance of the stigmata several times as well as repeating other information several times. After 100 pages, I had had enough and gave up. I had earlier read another book on Padre Pio and found that very interesting and informative. However, this book kept falling back on interviews of Padre Pio and his brother monks, but presented very little information of any value. This book was close to a waste of time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 14, 2013
It is redundant and tedious. Since Padre Pio was thought to be a saint by the faithful long before the actual declaration, this book is rather unnecessary. Anyone who has read the life of St. Pio already knows just about everything in it. I say spend your money on one of the excellent books of his sayings and/or his letters.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on October 25, 2011
The book is informative and detailed, but very redundant. There are only so many ways to state what was found but this book repeats them over and over.
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14 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 2011
This is an excellent book with much detailed information about his life, spirituality and mystical gifts. I highly recommend this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2012
The book is very interesting. I have read other material about padre Pio unlike what I have read in the past this inquiry is from the office of the Holy Sea to investigate if Padre Pio and the stigmata is of his own making or from a divine source (Jesus Christ). I would recommend this to any one it makes for very interesting reading.

God Bless
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 10, 2012
Great book, new information not in other books! It gives you a great insight to his life and details of his day to day. I enjoyed greatly.
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