Bilocation is perhaps the most exciting and misunderstood aspect of spiritual development. Basically it is the capability to be in two places at the same time. It might be considered a trick but it is practised by masters of the occult, those who have become their spiritual self. That may not make sense but is to do with what so many call our guardian angel, our ka and other such terms. All of us have a spiritual body but few of us communicate with it. Most likely we did when we were children and thought it was god or an angel. But as we grow up we become distant from it. We make decisions it does not like and part from our spiritual possibilities. This is why I say that when we die there is a part of us that will testify against us – unless we are that part of us. It is not as impossible as it sounds and I will try to give examples of this. I came across it almost by accident. As a child I did speak to it and heard it speak to me. As the son of a priest I assumed it was Jesus, then I thought it was an uncle who died, then some kind of spirit guide. Eventually I found myself talking to my younger self and realised it was me. Then I did research on this and discovered more about it. It has enabled me to appear in my spiritual self, which to all intents and purposes looks identical. But as you will see there are big differences and as these spirits have been appearing all over our planet since the most ancient times many ‘miracles’ are explained by this phenomenon.
This particular subject – bilocation – is growing and I better make clear why ‘poverty’ is so important to the would be adept. You cannot avoid paying your karmic deficit when you die, enlightened or not. Having more money than you absolutely need to survive is a liability whether you like the idea or not. There are billions without enough money to survive and yet there is enough food and shelter in this world for all – if you have the money required you can have it. Opposite me is a fine house owned by a nice man but it has been empty since I first moved in five years ago and will continue to be empty even though it must have three or four bedrooms and we have a chronic shortage of housing. Many homes are empty while we have people sleeping rough and food banks providing the basics for many families to survive. Our fabulously rich rock stars may have earned their fortunes but will be held to account when they die for having what others lack – in many cases enough to keep a small town alive. Money has a very bad karma – do not fall for its allure and ‘power’. It will deceive you. It is the thing that your spiritual self is quite allergic to and devoting your life to amassing it parts the two of you permanently.
Next I want to mention what is considered one of the highest forms of yoga, but keep in mind ‘bilocation’ because that is what this is really about.
“Practice of Khanda Manda Yoga
In Khanda Manda Yoga, the Yogi meditates on burning corpses to force the consciousness beyond all limitations of the personality. The hardest concretions of identity are the most defiant ones and steel-wool penances are required to wash them away. The Khanda Manda Yoga Sadhana destroys everything down to the ground of consciousness and rebuild from the bottom up. The Yogis in this sadhana do not fear to lose their body because the new personality that shall evolve in re-birth will be totally surrendered to the Will of God. Khanda Manda Yoga is a good illustration of Aghora’s approach to personality development.
Khanda Manda Yoga is said to be one of most terrifying and difficult sadhana of all Aghora sadhanas. The practitioner of Khanda Manda Yoga cuts off his own arms and legs with a sharp cleaver, and throws them into a roaring fire. After twelve hours, these limbs re-emerge from the fire and rejoin his body thus giving him a re-birth. Some sadhus can do Eka Khanda Yoga that implies cutting of one part of a single limb, like a foot; a few like Tailang Swami could do Teen Khanda Yoga, signifying three parts, like the foot, the lower leg, and the thigh. However, there are very few sadhaks who can perform the Nava Khanda Yoga, using nine body parts, including the head.
The severe stage of Khanda Manda Yoga comes after the Nava Khanda Yoga, which is called the Agni Khanda Yoga, in which a guru heats his fire tongs white-hot, and then inserts them under his disciple’s skin at the nape of the neck, running them down parallel to the spinal cord. A yogi who has reached the absolute point of spirituality does not even flinch when this act happens…..”
So you must understand that the man cutting off his limbs is the spiritual apparition and this demonstration proves it. Doing something like this should explain to those who witness it that the practitioner is in his spirit body.
Here is one practitioner – a man called Sai Baba that I mentioned in my last post here about the enlightened men.
“Sai Baba of Shirdi, (28 September 1835 – 15 October 1918; resided in Shirdi) also known as Shirdi Sai Baba, was an Indian spiritual master who was regarded by his devotees as a saint, fakir, and satguru, according to their individual proclivities and beliefs. He was revered by both his Hindu and Muslim devotees, and during, as well as after, his life it remained uncertain if he was a Hindu or a Muslim
…..Sai Baba performed many miracles such as bilocation, levitation, mindreading, materialisation, exorcisms, making the river Yamuna, entering a state of Samādhi at will, lighting lamps with water, removing his limbs or intestines and sticking them back to his body (khandana yoga), curing the incurably sick, appearing beaten when another was beaten, preventing a mosque from falling down on people, and helping his devotees in a miraculous way. He also gave Darshan (vision) to people in the form of SriRama, Krishna, Vithoba,Shiva and many other gods depending on the faith of devotees.
According to his followers he appeared to them in dreams and gave them advice. His devotees have documented many stories….” Wikipedia
You are perhaps a bit confused by this and will be most unwilling to accept that I do this, and indeed am partly responsible for it. It is not exactly a magic trick such as the late Paul Daniels excelled at – sawing someone in half.
When I first appeared to a few ancients in their fires I rubbed hot embers in my eyes. It did not hurt because this was bilocation. My physical body was usually in a bath somewhere but my spiritual body was somewhere else and able to do these things. The only people who can do this are those who have developed such a body and Sai Baba is indeed one of those. If you take time to read about his life you will understand that he worked exceptionally hard at doing this and adopted a life of poverty. Look at the many statements attributed to Jesus on the subject of the ‘poor’. There is another classic case of bilocation – walking on water, resurrecting, ascending etc. Half the children in our world live in extreme poverty and poverty alone enables one to do the work required, to live the ascetic life.
When I first practised bilocation my spiritual half visited various cultures that I was interested in at a very early time. Although I know of quite a few capable of bilocation, appearing even after their death, I do not know of any others who travelled back in time like me. The bilocation ability may explain some of the extraordinary events in human history that have no other explanation but is only really a trick which needs a spiritual body to perform it. Anyone who has achieved this will be using it for karmic work or what I call here a higher form of yoga, not merely to impress. I really cannot explain why I rubbed hot coals in my eyes. The first time was perhaps to see if I could, I cannot really remember. Then it became a trademark or habit. But I note that most bilocation seems to include such actions to identify it.
Here is another life story of a practitioner which is very interesting as far as studying enlightenment is concerned. It rings many bells with me. Note how it also starts with poverty. It is a long read as it was a full and very well recorded life lived in the last century but again look for the clues. I am including this because it is a Christian priest not some Indian guru:
“Pio of Pietrelcina (Italian: Pio da Pietrelcina) O.F.M. Cap. (May 25, 1887 – September 23, 1968) — known as Padre Pio — was a friar, priest, stigmatist, and mystic, now venerated as a saint of the Catholic Church. Born Francesco Forgione, he was given the name of Pius (Italian: Pio) when he joined the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin.
Padre Pio became famous for allegedly exhibiting stigmata for most of his life, thereby generating much interest and controversy. He was both beatified (1999) and canonized (2002) by Pope John Paul II.
Francesco Forgione was born to Grazio Mario Forgione (1860–1946) and Maria Giuseppa Di Nunzio Forgione (1859–1929) on May 25, 1887, in Pietrelcina, a farming town in the southern Italian region of Campania. His parents made a living as peasant farmers. He was baptized in the nearby Santa Anna Chapel, which stands upon the walls of a castle. He later served as an altar boy in this same chapel. His siblings were an older brother, Michele, and three younger sisters, Felicita, Pellegrina, and Grazia (who was later to become a Bridgettine nun). His parents had two other children who died in infancy. When he was baptized, he was given the name Francesco. He stated that by the time he was five years old, he had already made the decision to dedicate his entire life to God. He began taking on penances and was chided on one occasion by his mother for using a stone as a pillow and sleeping on the stone floor. He worked on the land up to the age of 10, looking after the small flock of sheep the family owned. This delayed his education to some extent.
Pietrelcina was a town where feast days of saints were celebrated throughout the year, and the Forgione family was deeply religious. They attended daily Mass, prayed the Rosary nightly, and abstained from meat three days a week in honor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Although Francesco’s parents and grandparents were illiterate, they memorized the scriptures and narrated Bible stories to their children. His mother said that Francesco was able to see and speak with Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and his guardian angel, and that as a child he assumed that all people could do so.
(rattuos note: very few people retain the ability to speak with the guardian or their older self living at the end of their life but millions consider they speak to ‘Jesus‘ and the ‘Virgin Mary’ whoever they may be)
According to the diary of Father Agostino da San Marco, who was his spiritual director in San Marco in Lamis, the young Francesco Forgione was afflicted with a number of illnesses. At six he suffered from a grave gastroenteritis which kept him bedridden for a long time. At ten he caught typhoid fever.
As a youth, Francesco reported that he had experienced heavenly visions and ecstasies. In 1897, after he had completed three years at the public school, Francesco was said to have been drawn to the life of a friar after listening to a young Capuchin friar who was in the countryside seeking donations. When Francesco expressed his desire to his parents, they made a trip to Morcone, a community 13 miles (21 km) north of Pietrelcina, to find out if their son was eligible to enter the Capuchin Order. The friars there informed them that they were interested in accepting Francesco into their community, but he needed first to become better educated.
Francesco’s father went to the United States in search of work to pay for private tutoring for his son, so that he might meet the academic requirements to enter the Capuchin Order. It was in this period that Francesco received the sacrament of Confirmation on September 27, 1899. He underwent private tutoring and passed the stipulated academic requirements. On January 6, 1903, at the age of 15, he entered the novitiate of the Capuchin friars at Morcone. On January 22, he took the Franciscan habit and the name of Fra (Friar) Pio, in honor of Pope St. Pius I, whose relic is preserved in the Santa Anna Chapel in Pietrelcina. He took the simple vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.
Commencing his seven-year study for the priesthood, Fra Pio traveled to the friary of St. Francis of Assisi by oxcart. At 17, he suddenly fell ill, complaining of loss of appetite, insomnia, exhaustion, fainting spells, and terrible migraines. He vomited frequently and could digest only milk and cheese. Religious devotees and hagiographers point to this time, when he was suffering physical illness, that inexplicable phenomena allegedly began to occur. During prayers, Pio appeared to others to be in a stupor, as if he were absent. One of Pio’s fellow friars later claimed to have seen him in ecstasy, levitating above the ground.
In June 1905, Fra Pio’s health worsened to such an extent that his superiors decided to send him to a mountain convent, in the hope that the change of air would do him some good. This had little impact, however, and doctors advised that he return to his home town. Even there his health failed to improve. Despite this, On 27 January 27 1907, he still made his solemn profession.
In 1910, Pio was subsequently ordained a priest by Archbishop Paolo Schinosi at the Cathedral of Benevento. Four days later, he offered his first Mass at the parish church of Our Lady of the Angels. His health being precarious, he was permitted to remain with his family until 1916 while still retaining the Capuchin habit.
On September 4, 1916, however, Pio was ordered to return to his community life. He moved to an agricultural community, Our Lady of Grace Capuchin Friary, located in the Gargano Mountains in San Giovanni Rotondo in Foggia. At that time the community numbered in total seven friars. He went on to remain at San Giovanni Rotondo until his death in 1968, except for a period of military service. Padre Pio celebrated the Mass in Latin, as was the widespread custom of the time.
When World War I started, four friars from this community were selected for military service. At that time, Padre Pio was a teacher at the seminary and a spiritual director. When one more friar was called into service, Padre Pio was put in charge of the community. On November 15, 1915, he was drafted into the Italian army and on December 6, assigned to the 10th Medical Corps in Naples. Due to poor health, he was continually discharged and recalled until on March 16, 1918, he was declared unfit for military service and discharged. In all, his military service lasted 182 days.
On September 20, 1918, while hearing confessions, Padre Pio had his first occurrence of the stigmata: bodily marks, pain, and bleeding in locations corresponding to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus Christ. This phenomenon continued for fifty years, until the end of his life. The blood flowing from the stigmata smelled of perfume or flowers, a phenomenon mentioned in stories of the lives of several saints and often referred to as the odour of sanctity. Though Padre Pio would have preferred to suffer in secret, by early 1919, news about the stigmatic friar began to spread in the secular world. Padre Pio’s wounds were examined by many people, including physicians.
People who had started rebuilding their lives after World War I, began to see in Padre Pio a symbol of hope.] Those close to him attest that he began to manifest several spiritual gifts, including the gifts of healing, bilocation, levitation, prophecy, miracles, extraordinary abstinence from both sleep and nourishment (one account states that Padre Agostino recorded one instance in which Padre Pio was able to subsist for at least 20 days at Verafeno on only the Eucharist without any other nourishment), the ability to read hearts, the gift of tongues, the gift of conversions, and the fragrance from his wounds.
His stigmata, regarded as evidence of holiness, were studied by physicians whose independence from the Church is not known. The observations were unexplainable and the wounds never became infected. His wounds healed once but reappeared. They were examined by Luigi Romanelli, chief physician of the City Hospital of Barletta, for about one year. Dr. Giorgio Festa, a private practitioner, also examined them in 1920 and 1925. Professor Giuseppe Bastianelli, physician to Pope Benedict XV, agreed that the wounds existed but made no other comment. Pathologist Dr. Amico Bignami of the University of Rome also observed the wounds but could make no diagnosis. Both Bignami and Dr. Giuseppe Sala commented on the unusually smooth edges of the wounds and lack of edema. Dr. Alberto Caserta took x-rays of Padre Pio’s hands in 1954 and found no abnormality in the bone structure.
He was said to be embarrassed by this condition and most photographs show him wearing red mittens or black coverings on his hands and feet where the bleeding occurred. At the time of Padre Pio’s death, his body appeared unwounded, with no sign of scarring. There was a report that doctors who examined his body found it empty of all blood.
There were both religious and non-religious critics who accused Padre Pio of faking his stigmata, saying he used carbolic acid to make the wounds. In 2007, The Telegraph reported on the book, The Other Christ: Padre Pio and 19th Century Italy, by the historian Sergio Luzzatto. He recounted that in 1919, according to one document in the Vatican’s archive, Padre Pio requested carbolic acid from a pharmacist. She said it was for sterilization. The Catholic Anti-Defamation League said Luzzatto was spreading “anti-Catholic libels” and needed to learn more about religion. Luzzatto was awarded the Cundill Prize in History for the book.
The Church did not find this a problem and dismissed charges that he had faked the stigmata. “The boys had needed injections to fight the Spanish Flu which was raging at that time. Due to a shortage of doctors, Padres Paolino and Pio administered the shots, using carbolic acid as a sterilizing agent.”
A strong believer in Christian meditation, Padre Pio stated: “Through the study of books one seeks God; by meditation one finds him”.
Based on Padre Pio’s correspondence, even early in his priesthood he experienced less obvious indications of the visible stigmata for which he would later become famous. In a 1911 letter, Padre Pio wrote to his spiritual advisor Padre Benedetto from San Marco in Lamis, describing something he had been experiencing for a year:
Then last night something happened which I can neither explain nor understand. In the middle of the palms of my hands a red mark appeared, about the size of a penny, accompanied by acute pain in the middle of the red marks. The pain was more pronounced in the middle of the left hand, so much so that I can still feel it. Also under my feet I can feel some pain.
His close friend Padre Agostino wrote to him in 1915, asking specific questions, such as when he first experienced visions, whether he had been granted the stigmata, and whether he felt the pains of the Passion of Christ, namely the crowning of thorns and the scourging. Padre Pio replied that he had been favoured with visions since his novitiate period (1903 to 1904). He wrote that although he had been granted the stigmata, he had been so terrified by the phenomenon he begged the Lord to withdraw them. He did not wish the pain to be removed, only the visible wounds, since at the time he considered them to be an indescribable and almost unbearable humiliation. The visible wounds disappeared at that point, but reappeared in September 1918. He reported, however, that the pain remained and was more acute on specific days and under certain circumstances. He also said that he was suffering the pain of the crown of thorns and the scourging. He did not define the frequency of these occurrences but said that he had been suffering from them at least once weekly for some years.
These events are alleged to have caused his health to fail, for which reason he was permitted to stay at home. To maintain his religious life as a friar while away from the community, he said Mass daily and taught at school.
St. John of the Cross describes the phenomenon of transverberation as follows:
The soul being inflamed with the love of God which is interiorly attacked by a Seraph, who pierces it through with a fiery dart. This leaves the soul wounded, which causes it to suffer from the overflowing of divine love.
World War I continued and in July 1918, Pope Benedict XV, who had termed the World War “the suicide of Europe,” appealed to all Christians urging them to pray for an end to the World War. On July 27 of the same year, Padre Pio offered himself as a victim for the end of the war. Days passed and between August 5 and August 7, Padre Pio had a vision in which Christ appeared and pierced his side. As a result, Padre Pio had a physical wound in his side. This occurrence is considered as a “transverberation” or piercing of the heart, indicating the union of love with God. (On 8 August, the Allies began the Hundred Days Offensive, which led to the armistice with Germany and the end of the war.)
As a side-note, a first-class relic of Padre Pio, which consists of a large framed square of linen bearing a bloodstain from “the wound of the transverberation of the heart” in his side, is exposed for public veneration at the St. John Cantius Church in Chicago.
The occasion of transverberation coincided with a seven-week-long period of spiritual unrest for Padre Pio. One of his Capuchin brothers said this of his state during that period:
During this time his entire appearance looked altered as if he had died. He was constantly weeping and sighing, saying that God had forsaken him.
In a letter from Padre Pio to Padre Benedetto, dated 21 August 1918, Padre Pio writes of his experiences during the transverberation:
While I was hearing the boys’ confessions on the evening of the 5th [August] I was suddenly terrorized by the sight of a celestial person who presented himself to my mind’s eye. He had in his hand a sort of weapon like a very long sharp-pointed steel blade which seemed to emit fire. At the very instant that I saw all this, I saw that person hurl the weapon into my soul with all his might. I cried out with difficulty and felt I was dying. I asked the boy to leave because I felt ill and no longer had the strength to continue. This agony lasted uninterruptedly until the morning of the 7th. I cannot tell you how much I suffered during this period of anguish. Even my entrails were torn and ruptured by the weapon, and nothing was spared. From that day on I have been mortally wounded. I feel in the depths of my soul a wound that is always open and which causes me continual agony.
On September 20, 1918, accounts state that the pains of the transverberation had ceased and Padre Pio was in “profound peace.” On that day, as Padre Pio was engaged in prayer in the choir loft in the Church of Our Lady of Grace, the same Being who had appeared to him and given him the transverberation, and who is believed to be the Wounded Christ, appeared again, and Padre Pio had another experience of religious ecstasy. When the ecstasy ended, Padre Pio had received the visible stigmata, the five wounds of Christ. This time, the stigmata were permanent. They stayed visible for the next fifty years of his life.
In a letter to Padre Benedetto, his superior and spiritual advisor from San Marco in Lamis, dated October 22, 1918, Padre Pio describes his experience of receiving the stigmata:
On the morning of the 20th of last month, in the choir, after I had celebrated Mass I yielded to a drowsiness similar to a sweet sleep. […] I saw before me a mysterious person similar to the one I had seen on the evening of 5 August. The only difference was that his hands and feet and side were dripping blood. This sight terrified me and what I felt at that moment is indescribable. I thought I should have died if the Lord had not intervened and strengthened my heart which was about to burst out of my chest. The vision disappeared and I became aware that my hands, feet and side were dripping blood. Imagine the agony I experienced and continue to experience almost every day. The heart wound bleeds continually, especially from Thursday evening until Saturday. Dear Father, I am dying of pain because of the wounds and the resulting embarrassment I feel deep in my soul. I am afraid I shall bleed to death if the Lord does not hear my heartfelt supplication to relieve me of this condition. Will Jesus, who is so good, grant me this grace? Will he at least free me from the embarrassment caused by these outward signs? I will raise my voice and will not stop imploring him until in his mercy he takes away, not the wound or the pain, which is impossible since I wish to be inebriated with pain, but these outward signs which cause me such embarrassment and unbearable humiliation….the pain was so intense that I began to feel as if I were dying on the cross.
In addition to his childhood illnesses, throughout his life Padre Pio suffered from “asthmatic bronchitis.” He also had a large kidney stone, with frequent abdominal pains. He suffered from a chronic gastritis, which later turned into an ulcer. He also suffered from inflammations of the eye, nose, ear, and throat, and eventually formed rhinitis and chronic otitis.
In 1925, Padre Pio was operated on for an inguinal hernia, and shortly after this a large cyst formed on his neck that was surgically removed. Another surgery was required to remove a malignant tumor on his ear. After this operation Padre Pio was subjected to radiological treatment, which was successful, it seems, after only two treatments.
In 1956, he came down with a serious case of “exudative pleuritis”. The diagnosis was certified by Cataldo Cassano, a professor who personally extracted the serous liquid from the body of Padre Pio. He remained bedridden for four consecutive months. In his old age Padre Pio was tormented by a painful arthritis.
Because of the unusual abilities Padre Pio was claimed to possess, the Holy See instituted investigations of the related accounts. The local bishop, P. Gagliardi, did not believe Padre Pio’s alleged miracles, suggesting that his Capuchin brothers were making a display out of the monk to gain financial advantage. When Pius XI became pope in 1922, the Vatican became extremely doubtful. Padre Pio was subject to numerous investigations.
The Vatican imposed severe sanctions on Padre Pio to reduce publicity about him: it forbade him from saying Mass in public, blessing people, answering letters, showing his stigmata publicly, and communicating with Padre Benedetto, his spiritual director. Padre Pio was to be relocated to another convent in northern Italy. The local people threatened to riot, and the Vatican left Padre Pio where he was.
Fearing these local riots, the Vatican dropped a plan to transfer Padre Pio to another friary, and a second plan for removal was also changed.] From 1921 to 1922 he was prevented from publicly performing his priestly duties, such as hearing confessions and saying Mass. From 1924 to 1931, the Holy See made statements denying that the events in Padre Pio’s life were due to any divine cause.
The founder of Milan’s Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, friar, physician and psychologist Agostino Gemelli, met Padre Pio once, for a few minutes, and was unable to examine his stigmata. According to Agostino Gemelli, Padre Pio was “an ignorant and self-mutilating psychopath who exploited people’s credulity.” Gemelli speculated that Padre Pio kept his wounds open with carbolic acid. As a result, Padre Pio was required to wrap the wounds in cloth. For many years, he wore fingerless gloves that concealed his wounds. According to believers, the bleeding continued for some 50 years until the wounds closed within hours of his death.
A pharmacist sold four grams of carbolic acid to Padre Pio in the year 1919. The archbishop of Manfredonia, Pasquale Gagliardi, reported this as evidence that Padre Pio could have effected the stigmata with acid. This suggestion was examined and dismissed by the Vatican.
By 1933, the tide began to turn, with Pope Pius XI ordering the Holy See to reverse its ban on Padre Pio’s public celebration of Mass. The pope said, “I have not been badly disposed toward Padre Pio, but I have been badly informed.” In 1934, the friar was again allowed to hear confessions. He was also given honorary permission to preach despite never having taken the exam for the preaching license. Pope Pius XII, who assumed the papacy in 1939, encouraged devotees to visit Padre Pio.
In 1940, Padre Pio began plans to open a hospital in San Giovanni Rotondo, to be named the Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza or “Home to Relieve Suffering.” The hospital opened in 1956. Barbara Ward, a British humanitarian and journalist on assignment in Italy, played a major role in obtaining for this project a grant of $325,000 from the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA). In order that Padre Pio might directly supervise this project, Pope Pius XII in 1957 granted him dispensation from his vow of poverty. Padre Pio’s detractors used this project as another weapon to attack him, charging him with misappropriation of funds.
Pope Paul VI (pope from 1963 to 1978), in the mid-1960s dismissed all accusations against Padre Pio.
In 1947, Father Karol Józef Wojtyla (later Pope John Paul II), a young Polish priest who was studying in Rome at the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum, visited Padre Pio, who heard his confession. Austrian Cardinal Alfons Stickler reported that Wojtyla confided to him that during this meeting, Padre Pio told him he would one day ascend to “the highest post in the Church though further confirmation is needed.” Cardinal Stickler said that Wojtyla believed that the prophecy was fulfilled when he became a cardinal (John Paul’s secretary, Stanislaw Dziwisz, denies the prediction, while George Weigel’s biography Witness to Hope, which contains an account of the same visit, does not mention it.)
According to oral tradition, Bishop Wojtyla wrote to Padre Pio in 1962 to ask him to pray for Dr. Wanda Poltawska, a friend in Poland who was suffering from cancer. Later, Dr. Poltawska’s cancer was found to be in spontaneous remission. Medical professionals were unable to offer an explanation for the phenomenon. However, John Paul II, who was the Pope from 1978 to 2005, started the canonization process of Padre Pio; he was canonized by John Paul II in 2002.
Padre Pio became a very well-known priest. Franciscan spirituality is characterized by a life of poverty, love of nature, and giving charity to those in need. Franciscan prayer recognizes God’s presence in the wonder of creation. This is seen clearly in St. Francis’ Canticle of the Sun. Franciscan spirituality is focused on walking in Christ’s footsteps, understanding God by doing what Christ asked, experiencing and sharing God.
Later Padre Pio became a spiritual director. He had five rules for spiritual growth: weekly confession, daily Communion, spiritual reading, meditation, and examination of conscience.
Padre Pio was devoted to rosary meditations and said:
“The person who meditates and turns his mind to God, who is the mirror of his soul, seeks to know his faults, tries to correct them, moderates his impulses, and puts his conscience in order.”
He compared weekly confession to dusting a room weekly, and recommended the performance of meditation and self-examination twice daily: once in the morning, as preparation to face the day, and once again in the evening, as retrospection. His advice on the practical application of theology he often summed up in his now famous quote, “Pray, Hope and Don’t Worry”. He directed Christians to recognize God in all things and to desire above all things to do the will of God.
The novelist Graham Greene, had two photos of Padre Pio in his wallet after attending one of his Masses. He said that Padre Pio had “introduced a doubt in my disbelief“
Many people who heard of him traveled to San Giovanni Rotondo in the south of Italy to meet him and confess to him, ask for help, or have their curiosity satisfied. Padre Pio’s mother died at the village around the convent in 1928. Later, in 1938, Padre Pio had his old father Gratzio living with him in the village of San Giovanni Rotondo. His brother Michele also moved into the village with their father. Padre Pio’s father lived in a little house outside the convent, until his death in 1946.
Padre Pio died in 1968 at the age of 81. His health deteriorated in the 1960s but he continued his spiritual works. On September 21, 1968, the day after the 50th anniversary of his receiving the stigmata, Padre Pio felt great fatigue. The next day, on September 22, 1968, he was supposed to offer a Solemn Mass, but feeling weak, he asked his superior if he might say a Low Mass instead, as he had done daily for years. Due to the large number of pilgrims present for the Mass, Padre Pio’s superior decided the Solemn Mass must proceed. Padre Pio carried out his duties but appeared extremely weak and fragile. His voice was weak and, after the Mass had concluded, he nearly collapsed while walking down the altar steps. He needed help from his Capuchin brothers. This was his last celebration of the Mass.
Early in the morning of September 23, 1968, Padre Pio made his last confession and renewed his Franciscan vows. As was customary, he had his rosary in his hands, though he did not have the strength to say the Hail Marys aloud. Till the end, he repeated the words “Gesù, Maria” (Jesus, Mary). At around 2:30 a.m., he said, “I see two mothers” (taken to mean his mother and Mary). At 2:30 a.m. he died in his cell in San Giovanni Rotondo with his last breath whispering, “Maria!”
His body was buried on September 26 in a crypt in the Church of Our Lady of Grace. His Requiem Mass was attended by over 100,000 people. He had often said, “After my death I will do more. My real mission will begin after my death.” The accounts of those who stayed with Padre Pio till the end, state that the stigmata had completely disappeared without a scar. Only a red mark “as if drawn by a red pencil” remained on his side but it disappeared.” Wikipedia
I should also point out that the masters suffer with illnesses even more than most. Krishnamurti was always in pain or ill and died with pancreatic cancer. Even Bhagwan was always in pain, enlightened or not. I have endured constant pain in my life – severe migraines from childhood, the dreaded ‘suicide heads’ called cluster headaches, various diseases of my entire system and on Friday was given very bad news about the latest disease afflicting me. I have never had money, my jobs have mostly been menial and few would choose such a life. For some reason the ascetics make life hard on themselves and you may well decide you would rather not. But the modern world deludes itself by suggesting that great spiritual development is possible without a high degree of suffering.
As for the bilocation it can be seen in much of the life of Pio above but is dismissed because it would have seemed even more miraculous than the stigmata which is a sign of it. Here is a bit more on this for any still interested:
“Bilocation and Odor of Sanctity
The phenomenon of bilocation is one of the most remarkable gifts attributed to Padre Pio. His appearances on various of the continents are attested by numerous eye witnesses, who either saw him or smelled the odors characteristically associated with his presence, described by some as roses and by others as tobacco. The phenomenon of odor (sometimes called the odor of sanctity) is itself well established in Padre Pio’s case. The odor was especially strong from the blood coming from his wounds. Investigation showed that he used absolutely no fragrances or anything that could produce these odors. The odors often occurred when people called upon his intercession in prayer and continue to this day.
Among the most remarkable of the documented cases of bilocation was the Padre’s appearance in the air over San Giovanni Rotondo during World War II. While southern Italy remained in Nazi hands American bombers were given the job of attacking the city of San Giovanni Rotondo. However, when they appeared over the city and prepared to unload their munitions a brown-robed friar appeared before their aircraft. All attempts to release the bombs failed. In this way Padre Pio kept his promise to the citizens that their town would be spared. Later on, when an American airbase was established at Foggia a few miles away, one of the pilots of this incident visited the friary and found to his surprise the little friar he had seen in the air that day over San Giovanni.
As to how Padre Pio with God’s help accomplished such feats, the closest he ever came to an explanation of bilocation was to say that it occurred “by an extension of his personality.”
The Testimony of Padre Carmelo Durante
For the good of’ souls, Our Lord gave the Venerable Padre Pio of’ Pietrelcina many gifts, amongst these the gift of bilocation, which enables a person to be present in two places at the same time.
Bilocation, however, must not be confused as some do with ubiquity, which means omnipresence, namely being present everywhere at the same time, which belongs only to God.
With this said, I will relate a few cases of bilocation concerning the Padre.
At the end of 1954 I was the Superior of the religious community that included Padre Pio. With the aim of’ gathering information on the Padre’s first years in San Giovanni Rotondo, from 28 July 1916 on, I decided to question the Padre’s first spiritual children and organised some meetings
First meeting in town: 14 December 1954
At the first meeting we were ten in all. The Ventrella sisters, the Pompilio sisters, Filomena Fini, Rosinella Gisolfi in Placentino, Rachele Russo, Rachelina Gisolfi and Nina Campanile were present
I knew from Mrs. Gisolfi’s friends that she had had the privilege – a well documented fact – of seeing Padre Pio in bilocation from the first years of spiritual direction.
During the meeting, she suddenly announced in a whisper that the Padre was present. “Everyone was happy,” I noted. Like all those present, I believed the announcement, but forgive me if I say so – women are known for their daydreaming. So I wanted to get to the bottom of this. This was my first case of bilocation and I wanted to know how it worked.
The same evening, when I returned to the friary, I asked one or two confrères (naturally without revealing the true motive, which I do today), what the Padre had done in the late evening.
They answered: “The usual: he conducted the evening Benediction, then he received his friends and we chatted together.” I was afraid to ask the Padre himself about the bilocation, being such a delicate matter.
The second meeting: 10 January 1955
The Padre made another appearance. This time when I returned to the friary, after I had questioned my confrères on the Padre’s activities that evening and received the usual answer, I plucked up my courage and decided to question the Padre himself’.
Perhaps some of’ you might wonder why I said “plucked up my courage,” as if I was afraid. If so you certainly have not had the grace or the difficulty of living with an authentic saint!
Because saints (and I have reflected on this so often) are like the sensitive mimosa flower which as soon as it is touched, closes in on itself. More than once in fact, I noticed when I questioned the dear Padre on personal matters that it was a great effort for him to answer! In fact, once when we were alone in his cell I asked him outright: “Padre Pio I would like to see the wounds on your feet and side!” And completely taken aback and mortified, he looked at me with two imploring tearful eyes, like those of a child and said: “But! But you don’t really mean that?” I immediately felt sorry and said: “No! no! Padre don’t worry: I didn’t mean it!” And everything ended there. But how often after that did I regret what I had done.
I had learnt my lesson, and that evening I was afraid. So, I repeat, I plucked up my courage and when I returned I went up to him quietly at the entrance of his cell.
“Ah! You’re back!”, he said as soon as he saw me, as if he knew nothing. I wish to note that Rosinella had told me that Padre Pio often accompanied me on my journeys in the car etc., without my knowing. So who knows how often he must have pulled my leg in asking me things which he already knew.
That evening I replied at once, also so as to get the conversation going: “Yes Father, I have returned; everything went well. Your spiritual children are very happy. But I would like to ask you one thing!” And he: “Yes, what is it?” I began: “Padre, Rosinella…” and then I lost courage.
And he, with a strategy all his own (who could ever understand the Padre!): “Rosinella? Is she not well?” If anyone I was the one who felt not well now! “No, Padre, she is well.” “And So?” he went on. I took the plunge: “Padre, Rosinella said that you are always present at our meetings!” And quite untroubled he answered: “Well? Don’t you want me? Don’t you want me to come to these meetings?”
Those were his exact words. I leave you to make up your minds.
The same happened at our third meeting on 26 January. This time when I questioned him he answered: “Yes, of course I was there!” as if to say: “Why, you don’t believe me?”
On another occasion it was he himself who asked me: “Aren’t you going to ask me this time if I came?” Such subtlety! And I answered: “But Padre by now I am certain that you always come, so I don’t ask you anymore!” And with the kindness of a father he said: “Yes, I accompany you always and everywhere!”
In one meeting an unusual thing happened. At a certain point a few members of the group began to speak badly about some people. It got a little out of hand when suddenly Rosinella frightened exclaimed: “Father Guardian, Padre Pio has an angry face!” We were all scared and quickly stopped and not without some embarrassment and self accusation began to speak well of these people. A few minutes later I asked Rosinella: “Now how does Padre Pio look?” And she: “He looks calm!” We were happy again, and had learnt our lesson to not speak badly of people.
“I don’t need the permission of the Superior”
It was my habit, in the evening before coming down for the evening meal, to dally around the cell door of the Padre to wish him good night.
On this particular evening the Padre Pio seemed in a hurry, but I did not pay much attention to the fact. Then at a certain point in the conversation he said to me sweetly: “This evening I am in a hurry because I must make a long journey.
“Where must you go?” I asked.
And he repeated: “I must make a long journey,” then after a little he added with a smile: “And to make this journey I don’t need the permission of the Superior.”
It is necessary to make clear that every friar according to the Franciscan rule cannot undertake a journey without the Superior’s permission.
But naturally on his journey in bilocation the Padre had no need to follow the common rule because he had the extraordinary permission from the Superior of all superiors, Christ our Lord.
Hence that evening, after he had spoken to me, all I could do was kiss his hand and bid him a good journey!
“When I go…”
One day in the refectory we were talking of this and that.
I remember that in the conversation I was holding forth about a fact then unheard of: an aeroplane – I don’t remember of which airline – had made the journey non-stop between Rome and New York in only six hours. To me and the others it seemed something incredible!
The Padre who until then had kept silent, interrupted in the middle and asked: “How long? How many hours, did you say?”
I answered, with increasing marvel: “Padre, six hours and what is more non-stop!”
The Padre also marveled over the fact but to the side exclaimed: “Six hours! Good heavens, but that is a long time! When I go it takes me only a second.”
We asked him to explain himself, but he would say no more and only repeated: “I told you! I told you!”
“Six hours” in contrast to “a second” is indeed a long time.
But his mysterious “second” was that of a man in bilocation!
“I was in America”
From a note from my meetings with the first spiritual children of the Servant of God, I relate the following, mentioning also in passing that they were Padre Pio’s first Prayer Group.
In those first years, before Christmas his spiritual children would meet in the parlour of the friary with the Padre to prepare themselves worthily for the celebration of the feast.
Now, one year – 1918? – while we were there, at a certain point the Padre seemed to go into a sleep.
A little afraid, his spiritual children tried to wake him up, calling him by name and even shaking him, but it was of no use.
After about an hour, he finally came to but a little mortified.
The next day, to a spiritual daughter who asked him: “Where were you?” he simply answered: “I was in America.” And everything ended there without further ado.
Visit to the Holy Land
One evening, while we were both outside the door of his cell as usual, talking about one thing and another, suddenly the Padre confided to me: “I have to make a visit in the Holy Land.” And I quickly responded: “Why don’t you bring me with you, Padre?” to which he replied: “No because you would be poorly impressed!”
At the time I did not understand what the Padre meant wondering what reason there could be for me to be poorly impressed by the homeland of Jesus.
But many years later, I went on pilgrimage to the Holy Land and I understood the words of the dear Padre, seeing the medley of religions in those holy places.
For example: to think that the room of the Last Supper is looked after by Moslems! The Last Supper room – the heart of the Catholic Church where the Eucharist and Priesthood were instituted – abandoned in the hands of the followers of Mahomet!
Then on Calvary – the site of our Redemption – an orthodox priest was selling candles close to the site of the Cross!
The Padre, as always, was right: I really was poorly impressed!”
“What about the third at the end?”
As I said elsewhere, during the Second World War I would usually spend the summer holidays from the Gregorian University of Rome in the friary of
San Giovanni Rotondo, close to the beloved Padre. They were especially happy days.
One year on 25 July he asked me if I could go the following day to celebrate Mass in a little Church in the country dedicated to Saint Anne near the Amendola airport.
Naturally I willingly accepted.
The next day I arrived early by bus and began to hear the confessions of the farmers of the area and afterwards celebrated Mass in the little church to everyone’s satisfaction.
When I returned, the beloved Padre asked me what the church was like. I described it to him: small, rectangular with two windows one on each side.
At this point, he interrupted: “Two windows! “What about the third at the end, didn’t you see it.”
I remembered at once and embarrassed said: “But Padre, you who haven’t been there know more than I who have! You are making fun of me asking me what you already know!”
Without fuss, ignoring the insinuation of his bilocation, he said his intention was not to make fun of me, but only to complete the description of the church.
What humility and simplicity in those words aimed at hiding the gift from God of bilocation.
But that “third window” gave him away.
Later in the friary I learnt in fact that that morning of 26 July the Padre had carried out his apostolate as usual.
So here was further evidence of that privilege enjoyed by the Padre of being present in two places at the same time.
[From the Voice of Padre Pio, November 1998, Friary of Our Lady of Grace, 71013 San Giovanni Rotondo, (FG), Italy. Used with permission of: The National Center for Padre Pio, 2213 Old Route 100, Barto, PA 19504, through which a subscription may be obtained.] “
I remember Papa Pio well from my youth and discussions with my father while both were still living. It was only after he died that I realised my father was a hidden master. Like the others his life was torment – physical pain from a back condition that was constant and likened to being stretched on the rack. Lifelong heart disease born manfully and eventually cancer too. He chose the life of a poorly paid parish priest like Frank Buttle, Christopher Neil-Smith, Padre Pio and others that I met in my youth but all could have been the most successful men in many very well paid jobs. I think now that their spirit selves prevented them exercising that choice. Certainly my dad knew he was going to be a priest when he was 14. He also expected me to follow suit but by 14 I wanted to be a rock star.
After he died he appeared to me in a dream and explained to me that he was in Egypt. He had told me he wanted to go there on his death bed but I assumed that was for a holiday and he said it in response to my suggestion he visit the Holy Land with my mother for a holiday when he got better. In the dream he told me that he was where there are bedouin and fellahin, which is only in Ancient Egypt. For some months after that he guided me. He made me read the bible from end to end which was certainly an education that I would not have chosen and opened my eyes to many things I had better not discuss here. He led me to study Ancient Egyptian and to meet Egyptologists who rid me of many fantasies that I had about that culture and enabled me to find records of my bilocation visits to it. He also led me to find my third eye in the mud outside my home. But I do not know if he ever practised bilocation before he died. He told me when I was in my twenties that he had been a pharaoh and was utterly serious when he said that but I thought nothing of it at the time. He was a very patient man – watched me chase enlightenment, met my guru who misled me about almost everything in the occult that he claimed to have mastered, and stuck with me when I was practising clairvoyance, something that would horrify most priests. He even once that he was a ‘witch’ by which he meant that he was able to make things happen. But he was the last person that I would have considered to be a hidden master. Aren’t they all like that? You find out too late!
If only our world would embrace Karma and Dharma rather than violent injustice hiding behind virulent propaganda. But that is a choice it has made. For your own life you can make a choice too, although it may not be popular. The hidden masters work tirelessly not only to keep humanity alive but to keep its spiritual potential alive as well. It is a thankless task in life. These people have always been persecuted, burned, imprisoned and tortured. That is why they live in seclusion and hide, why they were hermits, monks and nuns or wandering saddhus with nothing worth stealing. Great people have returned to such lives just to keep the work going, to help the poor and vulnerable without using them to score some political point. So if you choose such a path there is no cosy afterlife – you will be back here for more as soon as possible. Like my father watching me make every mistake with my life possible, you will watch patiently as the world inflicts one cruelty and injustice after another and try to clean up the mess after them, comfort the afflicted and bereaved. As you can imagine it is not a job that has many applicants nor are there any perks. You will have to take orders from the most ignorant people in our world and do the work of the untouchables, the brave people that I love more than almost any others:
“ India’s ‘Untouchables’ Are Still Being Forced to Collect Human Waste by Hand
Aug. 25, 2014
They face violence, eviction and withheld wages if they do not take on the hazardous job of emptying private and public latrines
The practice of forcing low-caste people in Indian communities to remove accumulated human waste from latrines is continuing despite legal prohibitions and must be stopped, says a leading advocacy group.
In a report released Monday, the New York City–based Human Rights Watch (HRW) detailed the practice of “manual scavenging” — the collecting of excrement from latrines by hand. The job is done by those considered to be of the lowest birth. These Dalits, or untouchables, often face threats of violence, eviction and withheld wages if they attempt to leave the trade.
“The first day when I was cleaning the latrines and the drain, my foot slipped and my leg sank in the excrement up to my calf,” Sona, a manual scavenger in Bharatpur, a city in the northwestern state of Rajasthan, told HRW. “I screamed and ran away. Then I came home and cried and cried. I knew there was only this work for me.”
Laws exist to curb this form of subjugation, yet it remains widespread across India. Dalit women typically collect waste from private homes, while the men do the more physically demanding, and hazardous, maintenance of septic tanks and public sewers. Many suffer injuries and serious health problems.
“The manual carrying of human feces is not a form of employment, but an injustice akin to slavery,” says Ashif Shaikh, founder of Rashtriya Garima Abhiyan, a grassroots campaign to end manual scavenging. “It is one of the most prominent forms of discrimination against Dalits, and it is central to the violation of their human rights.”
HRW’s 96-page report, Cleaning Human Waste: ‘Manual Scavenging,’ Caste, and Discrimination in India, is based on more than 100 interviews with manual scavengers, and documents how these wretched people are coerced to collect human excrement on a daily basis, carrying it away in nothing more protective than a cane basket.
“People work as manual scavengers because their caste is expected to fulfill this role, and are typically unable to get any other work,” says Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at HRW. “This practice is considered one of the worst surviving symbols of untouchability because it reinforces the social stigma that these castes are untouchable and perpetuates discrimination and social exclusion.”
HRW called on the administration of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to enforce existing legislation aimed at assisting manual scavengers to find alternative, sustainable livelihoods.
“Successive Indian government attempts to end caste-based cleaning of excrement have been derailed by discrimination and local complicity,” adds Ganguly. “The government needs to get serious about putting laws banning manual scavenging into practice and assisting the affected caste communities.”
Can you do this work? I have cleaned countless toilets and people who have soiled themselves. It was my job. Nurses and carers do this up and down the UK all day and all night. Do you even notice? Do you respect those who clean up after you? Or the families and children around the world who must live in swamps of sewage and refuse while others live in palaces with servants to attend their every need? If you cannot see it, bear to look at it, bear to smell it then enlightenment is not for you. It was very clear to me when I discovered that my third eye was also the Ancient Egyptian hieroglyph for ’smell’. I found it in stinking, sewage contaminated mud.
Egyptian hieroglyph: Nose and eye: phonogram khnt;
det/log nose; smell; rejoice; face, front; soothe, breathe, smell; be mild; oppose; disobedient.
The thing next to my third eye is a broken flint bladelet. I was on honeymoon and sitting in the sand of the Ramesseum, which is across the Nile from Luxor where I discovered that Amen honeymooned there too. I wanted to bring back a pebble and put my hand in the sand under which this flint was lying. I thought it was a pebble until I got back to London where I discovered it is really a small flint knife from perhaps 4000BC.
This is the other side of both:
You may notice that the hieroglyph also means ‘rejoice’ and I certainly do at my work.
Finally I include this which may not have any relevance but is interesting:
Hadith 02: The Hadith of Jibreel
On the authority of Umar (r) who said: One day while we were sitting with the Messanger of Allah (s), there came before us a man with extremely white clothing and extremely black hair. There were no signs of travel on him and none of us knew him. He [came and] sat next to the Prophet (s). He supported his knees up against the knees of the Prophet (s) and put his hand on his thighs. He said, ‘O Muhammad, tell me about Islam.’ The Messanger of Allah (s) said, ‘Islam is to testify that there is none worthy of worhsip except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messanger of Allah, to establish the prayers, to pay the zakat, to fast [the month of] Ramadan, and to make pilgrimage to the House if you have the means to do so.’ He said, ‘You have spoken truthfully [or correctly].’ We were amazed that he asks the question and then says that he had spoken truthfully. He said, ‘Tell me about Imaan (faith).’ He [the Messanger of Allah (s)] responded, ‘It is to believe in Allah, His angles, His books, His messangers, the Last Day and to believe in the divine decree, [both] the good and the evil thereof.’ He said, ‘You have spoken truthfully.’ He said, ‘Tell me about al-Ihsaan (goodness).’ He [the Prophet (s)] answered, ‘It is that you worship Allah as if you see Him. And even though you do not see Him, [you know] He sees you.’ He said, ‘Tell me about [the time of] the Hour,’ He [the Prophet (s)] answered, ‘The one being asked does not know more than the one asking.’ He said, ‘Tell me about it’s signs.’ He answered, ‘The slave-girl shall give birth to her master, and you will see the barefooted, scantily-clothed, destitiute shepards competing in constructing lofty buildings.’ Then he went away. I stayed for a long time. Then he [the Prophet (s)] said, ‘O Umar, do you know who the questioner was?’ I said, ‘Allah and His Mesanger know best.’ He said, ‘It was [the angel] Gabriel who came to teach you your religion.’