Padre Pio and Joseph Moscati
Two Sons of Benevento region, different in style, equal in love
Felice D'Onofrio o.f.m.cap.
Translated by Marisa Salvatores
Finally Father Pio's sanctity has been recognized, and this is the satisfaction of a deep and widespread desire of million people who, already venerated the humble but great friar of the Gargano in nearly all the parts of the world.
A devotion, to Father Pio, that spread rapidly, with a spontaneity which has something of prodigious. And it is axactly the prodigious that characterizes this man, who, with his life, became a "sign", just in an age which is rationalistic, misbelieving,but, perhaps even more, indifferent to transcendent ideas.
in a photo of 1952
It's the Creator's hand that wisely kindles a sign of contradiction at the right moment, a stumbling vision that represent a moment of reflections in a world that wildly runs along wrong ways.
Father Pio has been a sign of contradition because of his charismas that, however, were deep in the spirituality of a man who loved Christ so much to identify himself in his Passion with the suffering of his body.
People speak so much about miraclesm prophecies, about his power of reading within consciencies, and perhaps they speak less about his deep spirituality, which is put in full evidence in his voluminous correspondence.
Man is more and more interested in the extreme, the spectacular, the inexplicable and less in a faith which is clear, authentic and suffered and that supports the external manifestations, destined anyway to maintain a superficial level.Perhaps this is the true goal of the Providence,that introduces an element of attraction in a careless world, to make people think about the essential truth,which is the real faith.
Even Peter in his Acts says that Christ was given credit with signs, miracles anf omens among His people that , in spite of the great emotional attraction, condemned Him to the Cross.What the signs didn't reach, the Holy Spirit did later in confirming the Apostles who became the convinced supporters of a faith that still today is the only reference point of this world, even through the Saints' witnessing.
The strange is that the Saints are like the Bifront: the same in their love to God, different in their expressiveness. It is very unlikely that the Saints copy or try to imitate themselves one another. Unlike other men they try to maintain their individuality. They are like real artists in their love to God: each one has his own style; even if they belong to the same school, each one differs in his mark. They are men really deserving their name!
It is interesting trying to feel the relationship among the Saints, especially when these protagonists of faith are more or less contemporaries. Father Pio and Giuseppe Moscati, two sons of Benevento, born seven years one after the other,Father Pio in 1887 and Moscati in 1880, can be really considered the most outstanding expressions ofFaith in the first half of 1900, as in this period they expressed their best.
Different in style, alike in their love!
The Christ-centric vision is the closest contact between these two men, who touch themselves like crossed rings but then they turn their oientation in two different directions.
Father Pio, a friar and a priest; Giuseppe Moscati, a lay and a Physician. Perhaps they shared a peaceful character but I Think that this was related to the same Christ-centric vision that made both of them to prefer the essential.
Starting from Christ, his love for the suffering in body and in mind was to Father Pio a charge, a sharing with his prayer. To Joseph Moscati his love for the suffering in body and mind was the opportunity of a careful exam and of a remarkable study.
Both taught something: Father Pio with his example in the suffered mystery of penance,Moscati with his giving to his young disciples the best of his doctrine and of scientific observation.
Confession was their most successful number; Father Pio with that introspective vision that didn't allow any ambguity to the penitent, Joseph Moscati who "prescribed" it even on his book of prescriptions, convinced as he was that recovering the illnesses of the soul helped in recoveriong the body's ones.
Father Pio, visible sign in his body of Christ Passion, Joseph Moscati, sign of Christ invisible Passion that modelled his spirit in the loliness of a lay world that couldn't understand the deepness of his faith.
Father Pio, operato of signs and miracles that made him a object of contradictions. On one side devout and aoolauding crowds, on the other his brothers' incomprehension.
Joseph Moscati, without having operated any prodigious sign in his lifetime, was oppressed by a crowd of patients who yearned for his work as a physician.
Father Pio, still within the boundaries of the Church and of San Giovanni Rotondo Monastery, Joseph Moscati wandering here and there in the South of Italy, bringing also abroad the voice of the great Neapolitan Medical School.
Both lived World War I, Father Pio as a soldier, within the Military Hospital of Naples; Moscati as a head physician in the Military Department of the Incurabili Hospital in Naples.
There is no evidence of their meeting in Naples, probably they didn't loof one for the other, neither they met in their lifetime.
FatherPio found in Father Agostino Gemelli an inexplicable enemy; Joseph Moscati, on the contrary, kindled a great admiration in the Catholic University founder, so that he asked for his beatification, hoping to have the possibility of putting the Saint physician body in a chapel of the desired School of Medicine.
The difference of their role didn't prevent both to a lively Eucharistic sensibility which transformed them, rising them in a deep adoration.
Moscati dies in his full maturity of years, suddenly and rapidly, Father Pio dies at the age of 81 after a long illness that made his end foreseen. Both close a historical era, even if different in its projection.
Father Pio, with his death in 1968, die at the end of an era which is followed by the post modern era. Moscati dies (1927) when the sanitary assistance is changing from charitable and personalized to public and anonymous. Both had ended their task. Both reached that always desired Eternity.
We have of them, beyond the signs or the professional ability, their faith, their example, their love which in its difference unifies and surpasses the Creature in that wide and endless ocean of light, becoming for us human beings a sign and a recall in our earthly walk.