Padre Pio spent most of his day hearing confessions. From 1918 to 1923, he heard confessions fifteen to nineteen hours a day. During the 1940’s and the 1950’s, about eight hours a day. In 1962, 19,837 men and 83,035 women registered for confession with Padre Pio: an average of about 273 per day. In 1967, Padre Pio heard confession of about 10,000 men and 15,000 women: an average of 70 people per day.
Padre Pio had the special gift of reading mind. One time, a woman was preparing to confess to Padre Pio. The night before, she had eaten some figs, and decided to confess it as gluttony. In the confessional she said, “Father I have another sin to confess, but I can’t remember it.” Padre Pio replied, “That’s okay. Just a few figs.”
Another time, Padre Pio said to a man, “Tell me your sins.” The man replied, “I’m not prepared. I’d better leave and come back when I’m ready.” Three years later, the man came to Padre Pio, who said, “You took three years to prepare!”
A woman knelt in the confessional but felt terrorized and couldn’t utter a single word. Padre Pio asked, “Do you want me to talk for you?” He said word by word all the things that the woman had prepared to say, and then he added “I will be you spiritual father”.
Carlo Campanini, an actor, went to confession to Padre Pio in 1950. Padre Pio said, “Begin in 1936.” Carlo objected: “But I confessed few days ago.” Padre Pio insisted: “I told you to begin in 1936.” Carlo remembered what he had done in 1936 and had been ashamed to confess. He concluded: “That confession changed my life, and I haven’t missed daily Mass since then.”
Carlo told his doctor in Florence: “Tomorrow I’m going to see Padre Pio.” The doctor said, “He is an hysterical who got the wound by thinking so much about Jesus on the Cross.” When Carlo came, Padre Pio said: “When you see him, tell him to think intensely about being an ox. Let’s see if he grows horns.”
Luisa Vario went to Padre Pio for confession. She said, “I don’t know what to say.” Padre Pio replied, “Then I will speak.” He proceeded to tell her whole life’s story. After that, he asked: “Do you have something to add?” Luisa mentioned a sin that he had not mentioned. Padre Pio said: “That’s the one I was waiting for.”
One time, a man said to Padre Pio: “Father my daughter is sick.” Pader Pio replied: “And you are much sicker than your daughter.” The man objected: “No, no, I’m feeling very well.” Padre Pio said, “How can you be well if you have so many sins on your conscience? I see at least thirty-two of them.”
A young lady had finished her confession and Padre Pio said, “You have to immerse yourself in the silence of prayer and you will save your marriage.” The lady was amazed since her marriage was fine. After a long time, however, her marriage began to experience trouble. She followed the suggestion of Padre Pio and was able to avoid the destruction of the family.
On May 21, 1945 Giuseppe Canaponi was hit by a truck while driving his motorcycle. He had multiple fractures from skull to feet and had to walk on crutches. In 1948 he confessed to Padre Pio and then walked away normally without realizing it. He went back to thank Padre Pio, who said, “I didn’t do the miracle. I only prayed for you. The Lord healed you.”
“God runs after the most stubborn souls. They cost him too much to abandon them” said Padre Pio.