Padre Pio and Our Lady of Fatima
Padre Pio daily expressed his special devotion to Our Lady of Fatima as he knelt and prayed at Her shrine within the monastery, before a large picture surrounded by burning candles. Indeed, he credited the Virgin of Fatima with saving his life.
In 1959, the Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima visited Italy. At the same time Padre Pio became very ill and was diagnosed with a fatal, cancerous tumor. On August 6, the statue of Our Lady arrived in San Giovanni Rotondo. Rising from his sick bed, Padre Pio prayed before the statue and kissed Her feet. As the statue left by helicopter, he said: "O Mother of mine, when you came to Italy, you found me with this sickness. You came to visit me here in San Giovanni and found me still suffering from it. Now you are leaving and I am not delivered from my illness!"
As Padre Pio spoke this prayer, a miracle occurred. High above the monastery, the helicopter with Our Lady’s statue suddenly circled the building three times. The pilot would later say that he could not explain why. At the same time, Padre Pio felt a shudder immediately run through him. His body was penetrated by a flow of light and he felt the tumor burst. He cried out, "I am healed! Our Lady has healed me!"
"Thank the Virgin of Fatima for me," he subsequently wrote. "On the very day She left here, I felt well again. I have been back to celebrate Mass since three days ago."