An engineer from Milan once experienced the charismatic gift of Padre Pio’s fragrance and described it as a sweet smelling perfume.The engineer had a very good friend who was one of Padre Pio’s spiritual sons.He often invited the engineer to accompany him to San Giovanni Rotondo to visit Padre Pio.The engineer always declined the invitation.He had no interest in anything connected with religion and was living a very worldly life at the time.
The engineer’s friend spoke to him from his heart one day and said,”I have been praying for you and I have also asked Padre Pio to pray for you.”He then gave the engineer at small photograph of Padre Pio.Although he did not want to accept it,he took the photo and put it in his pocket in order to please his friend.A few days later,the engineer noticed an odor which surrounded him and followed him wherever he went.It had the unpleasant smell of something that was burning.”I cannot understand what this odor is,” the engineer said to himself.”I don’t know what to make of it.”Suddenly a voice spoke within his heart and said to him,”It is your extremely bad life!”
The experience was a true wake up call for the engineer and he began to think about the wretched state of his soul.He had the desire to see Padre Pio and make his confession to him.He decided to go to San Giovanni Rotondo at once.His confession of his sins and the absolution he received from Padre Pio were the beginning of a brand new life for him.It marked his return to the church after a 26 year absence.
The perfume associated with Padre Pio have been experienced not only by adults but by children as well.On one ocassion,Mrs.Mario Pasqualini wrote a letter to Padre Pio thanking him for the healing of her six year old daughter.Her daughter,who always suffered from a weak constitution,suddenly became very ill.Her temperature climbed to 104 degrees.Several of Padre Pio’s spiritual children who were visiting the Pasqualini family st the time,suggested they all join in prayer to Padre Pio for the little girl’s behalf.Almost immeadiately,the girl opened her eyes and remarked that she noticed a very sweet fragrance in the room.She told her mother that it reminded her of the incense she used at their parish on special feast days.At once,her fever broke.When the doctor arrived,she was completely well.
Gennaro Cascavilla was the vice rector of the Third Order of St.Francis in San Giovanni Rotondo.Once when he was at the monastery,he saw a seminarian and inquired whether he knew which cell belonged to Padre Pio.The seminarian took him to Padre Pio’s cell.
Hoping to get a small glimpse of the inside of the cell,Genarro looked through the keyhole.At once,he was struck by a breeze that emitted a wonderful perfume.Gennaro experienced a joy that was so great that he did not want to leave.He wanted to remain in front of Padre Pio’s cell door for as long as he possibly could.He called several people over who were nearby and each one said they also experienced the wonderful fragrance.Genarro paused briefly before each one of the other cells in the monastery but perceived no fragrance.
On certain ocassions when Padre Pio celebrated mass the church would become filled with the distinct and acteristic perfume.Brother Modestino,who knew Padre Pio for many years,recalled:”In the morning I presented myself in the sacristy to serve Padre Pio’s mass but there were already some others who were disputing over this privilege.Padre Pio interrupted this subdued shouting by saying,He alone will serve Mass,indicating me.Not another word was said.I accompanied Padre Pio to the altar of St.Francis and,the little gate being closed,he began to say Mass completely recollected.At the “Sanctus” I had an unexpected desire to smell again that indescribable scent that I had already experienced many times when kissing Padre Pio’s hand.The wish was immeadiately granted.A cloud of scent enveloped me.It kept on increasing until I could hardly breathe.I gripped the balustrade so as not to fall.I was about to faint and mentally I asked the Padre to prevent me from making a fool of myself in front of the people.At that precise moment,the scent disappeared.That evening as I accompanied Padre Pio to his cell,I asked him for an explanation of the phenomenon.He said to me,My Son,it is not I.It is the Lord who acts.He allows it to be smelled when and by whom He wishes.It all happens as and how He wishes.”
~Source:”Pray,Hope and Don’t Worry by Diane Allen”