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Padre Pio’s Bilocation and the fragrance of Sanctity

The phenomenon of bilocation stands out as one of the extraordinary gifts associated with Padre Pio, witnessed by numerous individuals across continents. Eyewitnesses attest to either seeing him or experiencing distinct odors, described variably as roses or tobacco, traditionally linked with his presence. Notably, the phenomenon of odor, often referred to as the “odor of sanctity,” was particularly pronounced in the blood flowing from his wounds, a fragrance that often manifested during prayer intercessions and persists to this day.

Among the documented cases of bilocation, one remarkable incident occurred during World War II. In the midst of American bombers poised to attack San Giovanni Rotondo, where southern Italy was under Nazi control, Padre Pio reportedly appeared in a brown robe before the aircraft. Miraculously, all attempts to release the bombs failed, fulfilling his promise to spare the town. Later, when an American airbase was established nearby, a pilot who witnessed the incident encountered Padre Pio at the friary, confirming the extraordinary event.

As for how Padre Pio achieved such feats, he cryptically mentioned that bilocation happened “by an extension of his personality,” offering a glimpse into the mysterious nature of this phenomenon.

The testimony of Padre Carmelo Durante, who served as the Superior of the religious community including Padre Pio, sheds light on personal experiences with bilocation. At gatherings with Padre Pio’s spiritual children, instances of bilocation were recounted. One meeting involved a participant, Rosinella, announcing Padre Pio’s presence, prompting an inquiry to the Padre himself. Subsequent encounters and conversations revealed Padre Pio’s nonchalant acknowledgment of his bilocation, emphasizing his constant accompaniment.

In another instance, Padre Pio expressed his need to embark on a “long journey” one evening, hinting at his bilocation. Despite the conventional requirement for a friar to seek permission for travel, Padre Pio asserted his extraordinary permission from Christ, the Superior of all superiors.

Anecdotes from Padre Pio’s spiritual children further illustrate instances of bilocation. Notably, during a meeting before Christmas, Padre Pio seemingly entered a deep sleep, leaving his spiritual children concerned. When questioned the next day, he casually mentioned, “I was in America,” offering no further explanation.

Additionally, Padre Pio confided in Padre Carmelo about a planned visit to the Holy Land, anticipating a less-than-favorable impression due to the religious diversity present. His foresight proved accurate, as Padre Carmelo later experienced the complexities of the Holy Land during a pilgrimage.

Padre Pio’s subtle revelations about his bilocation gift, such as his reference to making a journey in “a second,” emphasized the mystical nature of his experiences. Despite attempts to downplay these extraordinary occurrences, specific details, like the mention of a “third window” during a Mass celebration, subtly betrayed his bilocation.

These testimonies collectively offer a glimpse into the mysterious and miraculous phenomenon of bilocation attributed to Padre Pio, highlighting his unique connection with the divine and his ongoing impact on those who witnessed these extraordinary events.

[Sources: Modified article from ETWN: and (The Voice of Padre Pio, November 1998, Friary of Our Lady of Grace, 71013 San Giovanni Rotondo, (FG), Italy.]

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