First titled, The Holy Man on the Mountain, this book tells the fascinating life story of Padre Pio, with emphasis on his life as a seminarian, young priest and his early decades at San Giovanni Rotondo. Incredible is the number of times the Capuchins sent him home sick unto death while a seminarian and young priest and how he was finally sent to remote San Giovanni Rotondo “For a couple of weeks of mountain air.” He never left. But from this small, remote mountain friary, he became world famous and exercised unbelievable influence on the entire world—though early on, he was forbidden by his superiors to preach, to write or to correspond. A few clerics developed enmity toward Padre Pio, resulting several times in orders from his superiors that he be moved. It is simply hilarious to learn why ne never was—though being under obedience, he was entirely willing to do so.
The author also weaves in the Saint’s early work with L’Americana, Mary Pyle, his “foreign ambassadress,” and then with the American GI’s who came to visit him during WWII, with San Giovanni Rotondo was liberated from the Germans. Padre Pio developed a special love for Americans and America—to the point that he wished that all Americans would become his spiritual children.
This book demonstrate Padre Pio’s great love for his parents, his amazing sense of humor, his abstemious eating, his uncanny knowledge of people (even before they visited), and his profound supernatural awareness. In sum, Padre Pio and America is an inspiring book that will instill a profound awe in readers because it shows the impact a truly saintly priest can have on all who come into contact with him—and in Padre Pio’s case, even on the whole world!
“Your book is excellent! I found it hard to put down. . . . It is easy to commend your work. . . . The Lord reward you forever.” -Fr. Angelus M. Shaughnessy, O.F.M. Cap.
Frank M. Rega is a third Order secular Franciscan who has long studied St Francis of Assisi and Padre Pio. In addition to writing St. Francis of Assisi and the Conversion of the Muslims, he is also the author of Padre Pio and America. Aside from writing, he also moderates a 350-member internet prayer group based on St. Pio, and hosts SanPadrePio.com. Frank Rega studied at Yale University, and has been employed as a software consultant.