Article XIX: Aftermath - Father Strange

Written by:
Jacob King

John claimed in his Gospel that Jesus was able to do some very, very strange things after he resurrected from the dead… because obviously, rising from the dead wasn’t already strange enough.

I became consumed with finding out if John’s wild claims about the resurrection were actually true that I wasn’t that interested in these ultra-wild reports of superhero-level behavior – that is until discovering this real-life Avenger named Padre Pio.  

One of the strange claims John made about encountering this resurrected godman was his ability to just show up… like out of nowhere… to multiple people… at the same time. Wassup.

I could only imagine poor John —  who had seen a professional executioner jab a military-grade weapon into Jesus’ heart and flat line it  – suddenly see Jesus now standing alive before him. Watching in disbelief as Jesus ate dinner with him all nonchalantly: ‘Pass the mustard, big guy.’ I pictured John trying to sit with this whole new mind-blowing reality for a minute and process through it all, like, ‘Okay, he’s here, this is real. You’re not tripping. Those were just regular mushrooms at dinner. Just breathe. I know he was dead but he’s God, so he can do this type of thing. You know that. Get it together.’ Then Jesus would go do something even crazier like appear out of nowhere and be in multiple places at once. Show-off. Talk about feeling this is all just a simulation… 

And my underdeveloped frontal lobe wondered how much of it was Jesus just messing with them? I knew I definitely would've… Thank God, for everyone’s sake, I’m not God.

But I guess an omnipotent God in ape flesh should behave just a tad differently than the rest of us.

And what I found out earlier regarding the stigmata holds true with the other powers of this resurrected Voice: sometimes God knows that our spiritual-ape family needs some tangible proof that the resurrection really did happen. And Jesus, no doubt, resurrected this truth in an extraordinary and tangible fashion for the 20th century in part by allowing this extra-ordinary-man named Pio manifest his own real and risen powers through the miraculous stigmata … and the power of bi-location

Hundreds of people identified this strange superpower of the Resurrected One present in Pio: seeing him or smelling his signature scent of violets hundreds, and even thousands of miles away from where he actually was. Poof. 

Take for instance the extraordinary story of Marchioness Giovanna Rizzani Boschi. “My story is truly incredible…” Giovanna testified. “It’s full of strange coincidences that have no rational explanation. If it weren’t for all the written documentation and the many testimonies of other people that simply cannot be disputed, I myself wouldn’t believe it could be true even though I’m the one that experienced it!”

The day this kind of sweet smelling, Sling-Ring-traveling presence first made its way into her life was the bittersweet day she was born. Her father was on his deathbed, and when her mother discovered he was soon to exhale his last breath, she ran into the courtyard and collapsed with immeasurable heartbreak. And this overwhelming stress threw her immediately into premature labor… Yet when she looked up in the midst of her double-edged affliction she saw “a young friar,” one with a violet scent and compassionate eyes. She wasn’t sure if it was a hallucination, vision or reality — an experience I’m sure John could relate to. She was unsure, that is, until a close brother-friar of Pio discovered his diary after he had passed (over 60 years later), in which he describes what happened one strange day when he was just 18 years-old:

“Several days ago I had an extraordinary experience… While I was in the choir with Brother Anastasio, about eleven o’clock on the eighteenth of the last month, I suddenly found myself far away in a wealthy home, where the father was dying while a child was born. Then [the Lady] appeared to me and said: “I am entrusting this child to you. Now she is a diamond in the rough, but I want you to work with her… she will seek you out, but first you will meet her in [Rome]... Afterwards, I found myself back in the choir.”

Pio’s monastery, where multiple witnesses confirm he was that day, was hundreds of miles away from her childhood home. Definitely no time to Uber to and fro. 

And he stuck to the promise he made that day to "the Lady" of helping her out. During high school, Giovanna was haunted by “a lot of doubts about God.” This whole claim of the resurrection thing some two-thousand years ago seemed to live on shaky ground. 

Then came Father Strange.

One summer afternoon she journeyed to Rome with a friend. When she was near St. Peter’s Basilica, she suddenly experienced an intense desire to tell a priest about her doubts. With only a half-hour until closing, she visited the Basilica to find a priest — but the Vatican’s Sacristan told her all the priests had already departed for the day. She was devastated. Except when she turned around she saw a “friar”... who seemed to appear out of nowhere. They went into a confessional and after she spoke to him at length about her plaguing doubts and listened in awe to his responses, she experienced a rush of relief — a peace unlike she had ever experienced before. And moments after leaving, she felt a desperate desire to speak to this “extraordinary priest” again; so she waited for him to come from the confessional. But after a half hour of waiting outside the confessional, with no other door for him to exit, she peered back and saw he had completely vanished… leaving only his trademark smell of violets behind. Spooky.

Unfortunately for Giovanna, these doubts soon reattached to her mind like little demonic leeches that couldn’t be burned away. So much so that her friend out of sympathy recommended she visit this mysterious “friar” with the supposed miraculous marks she had heard so much about. Her friend knew If there was someone that could help her, it would be this strange priest.

A few months later she took the journey to meet him for what she thought was the first time… She reports:

“The corridor was crowded… I managed to find a place in front of everyone. When Padre Pio stopped in front of me, he looked into my eyes. Smiling, he said to me: ‘Giovanna, I know you. You were born the day your father died…’ I was dumbfounded.

Needless to say, Giovanna’s doubts were replaced with the tangible evidence she needed to be confident in the existence of the Resurrected One.

See why I couldn’t let this Father Strange go gently into that good night before telling you about his resurrected travel habits? 🤯 Put that in your pipe, Elon.

And that's not even considering the time he stopped a bombing of his hometown during World War II by appearing in the sky… thousands of feet up… with no jet pack attached to his habit… just him floating all by his lonesome in the clouds waving ‘stop!’ to a U.S. Air Force General and his squadron of bombers with their fingers on the triggers. It’s a bird, it's a plane, no, it's… a friar??

Pio with the USAF General and the squadron of bombers

But when Pio finally did go into the dying of the light, it gave scientists and skeptics alike the opportunity to put to the test another supposed resurrected power Pio possessed: miraculous healings. These wild events are easily as wild as his divine stigmata and his mystical travel powers. Not only did he allow Gemma di Gorgi to miraculously see without being born with pupils… he also casually healed a paralytic friend of the former Pope John Paul II from thousands of miles away… no biggie. There are literally hundreds of these stories. But can we trust these? How can we tell? Well, for starters, the studies were conducted by atheist scientists called in by the Church to play the role of… 

The Devil's Advocate.

Like I said, this dude was off the charts miraculous… So we gonna do one more…

The Next Article: Aftermath - The Devil's Advocate

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