St Padre Pio was an Italian Franciscan who said he got the visible stigmata in 1918 after having pains in his hands and feet and side on and off since 1915. Jesus was supposedly nailed hands and feet to a cross and got stabbed in the side. A stigmatic is a person who carries similar wounds as the result of a miracle.

An expert opinion follows.

Padre Pio: Wonderworker or Charlatan?

A study by Joe Nickell CSI’s Senior Research Fellow.

Nickell tells us that of Padre Pio, “his mother took him soon after birth to a fortuneteller to have his horoscope cast and at the age of two to a witch who attempted to cure an intestinal disorder by holding him upside down and chanting spells.” The information comes from Ruffin (1982, 21–23, 79).  Wonder why then nobody thinks Pio was a demonic fraud?  Catholics think you get a curse by associating with such people.

Pio as a child was always having visions showing him to be prone to living in a make-believe magical world. Nothing about Pio’s powers is proven – there is nothing only stories and anecdotes. And remember even Pio would have laughed at some of them!

Nickell writes of Pio’s stigmata, “Some examining physicians believed his lesions were superficial, but their inspections were made difficult by Pio’s acting as if the wounds were exceedingly painful. Also, they were supposedly covered by “thick crusts” of blood. One distinguished pathologist sent by the Holy See noted that beyond the scabs was an absence of “any sign of edema, of penetration, or of redness, even when examined with a good magnifying glass.”

Nickell goes on, "Another concluded that the side “wound” had not penetrated the skin at all (Ruffin 1982, 147–148). Some thought Pio inflicted the wounds with acid or kept them open by continually drenching them in iodine (Ruffin 1982, 149–150; Moore 2007; Wilkinson 2008).”

Also the evidence that he had “through-and-through wounds” is rubbish. Nickell writes “Pio’s devoted family physician [claimed] that one could see light through them.” Of course, this is nonsense in view of authentic wounds in general and Pio’s thickly blood-crusted ones in particular (Ruffin 1982, 146–147).”

It is interesting that though a miracle is needed to proclaim a saint the Church never bothered considering Pio’s stigmata. They looked for two healing miracles instead.  To this day the Church never officially commented on the alleged stigmata.

In relation to Pio getting carbolic acid which some say he was using to make the marks and which Pio claimed he was not using on himself but to disinfect syringes Nickell comments. “ But if the acid was for disinfecting syringes, as Pio had alleged to the pharmacist, why the secrecy? And why did Pio need non-diluted acid?”

Nickell reminds us that one time Pio and another were left with red marks on their hands after using the acid in the course of their medical work. Nickell asserts, “Although Pio allegedly exhibited stigmata on his hands as early as 1910, the “permanent” stigmata appeared, apparently, not long after the carbolic-acid misuse (Ruffin 1982, 69–71, 138–143).” The reason he puts permanent in the quotation marks is that there is no evidence at all that Pio carried the marks all the time for he hid his hands with mittens.

Lots of "good" holy people have been caught out.  Sadly Pio was caught out too but nobody cares. 

Lourdes etc
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