Padre Pio started to have apparitions when he was a child.
One evening Padre Pio was in a room, on the ground floor of the convent, turned guesthouse. He was alone and had just laid down on the cot when, suddenly, a man appeared to him wound in a black mantle. Padre Pio was amazed and arose to ask the man who he was and what he wanted. The stranger answered that he was a soul in Purgatory.
“I am Pietro Di Mauro” he said “I died in a fire, on September 18, 1908, in this convent. In fact this convent, after the expropriation of the ecclesiastical goods, had been turned into a hospice for elderly. I died in the flames, while I was sleeping on my straw mattress, right in this room. I have come from Purgatory: God has granted me to come here and ask you to say Mass for me tomorrow morning. Thanks to one Mass I will be able to enter into Paradise”.
Father Pio told the man that he would say Mass for him..., “but…“padre Pio said: “I, wanted to accompany him to the door of the convent. I surely realised I had talked to a dead person, in fact when we went out in the church square, the man that was at my side, suddenly disappeared”.
I have to admit that I re-entered in the convent rather frightened. Padre Paolino of Casacalenda, Superior of the convent, noticed my nervousness, after explaining to him what happened, I asked “permission to celebrate Holy Mass for the deceased soul,”
A few days later, Father Paolino, wanting to verify the information, went to the office of the registry of the commune of St. Giovanni Rotondo. He required and got the permission to consult the register of the deceased in the year 1908. The story of Father Pio Father was true.
In the register of deaths of the month of September, Father Paolino found the name, last name and cause of death: “On September 18, 1908 in the fire of the hospice, Pietro Di Mauro died.”
Padre Pio told this story to padre Anastasio.
“One evening, while I was alone in choir to pray, I heard the rustle of a suit and I saw a young monk that stirred next to the High altar. It seemed that the young monk was dusting the candelabra and straightening the flower vases.
I thought he was Padre Leone rearranging the altar, and, since it was supper time, I went to him and I told him: “Padre Leone, go to dine, this is not the time to dust and to straighten the altar”.
But a voice, that was not Father Leone’s answered me”: “I am not Padre Leone”, “and who are you? “, I asked him. “I am a brother of yours that made the noviciate here. I was ordered to clean the altar during the year of the noviciate. Unfortunately many times I didn’t reverence Jesus while passing in front of the altar, thus causing the Holy Sacrament that was preserved in the tabernacle to be disrespected. For this serious carelessness, I am still in Purgatory. Now, God, with his endless goodness, sent me here so that you may quicken the time I will enjoy Paradise. Take care of me.”
I believed to be generous to that suffering soul, so I exclaimed: “you will be in Paradise tomorrow morning, when I will celebrate Holy Mass”.
That soul cried: “Cruel!” Then he wept and disappeared.
That complaint produced in me a wound to the heart that I have felt and I will feel my whole life. In fact I would have been able to immediately send that soul to Heaven but I condemned him to remain another night in the flames of Purgatory.”