02 November 2018
For the first time online, The Original Letter of Saint Pio to the Seers of Garabandal
Padre Pio is undoubtedly one of the most attractive saints in the history of the Church, with the advantage that he is a contemporary saint. At present the monastery in which he lived until his death on September 23, 1968, has become the second most visited Christian sanctuary in the world after Guadalupe in Mexico. The convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, in San Giovanni Rotondo (Foggia, Italy), annually receives about 8 million pilgrims, more than Fatima and Lourdes.
The supernatural manifestations related to Padre Pio are countless, filling entire books dedicated to the Saint of Pietrelcina. Today no one would question the truth of an event if Padre Pio had authenticated it. This is the case of the apparitions of the Virgin in San Sebastian of Garabandal, in Cantabria (Spain). In this village in the north of Spain, Saint Michael and the Blessed Virgin appeared to four girls from 1961 to 1965, citing more than 2,000 apparitions of the Blessed Virgin. In these Marian apparitions she gave two messages and some prophetic announcements of exceptional importance to the world. As the Bishop of Leiria Monsignor Venancio said to Father Combé: “the message of the Virgin in Garabandal is the updating of the message of Fatima”.
The testimonies given by Padre Pio in private to many people in relation to the veracity of the apparitions of the Virgin in Garabandal are well known and can be read in the abundant literature on these apparitions, in addition to the story of the visit made by Conchita to Padre Pio in San Giovanni in 1966. However, the most evident proof of the confirmation of Garabandal by Padre Pio was a mysterious letter that Conchita González received in March 1962, less than one year since the apparitions began. Father Garcia de la Riva, in his book “Memories of a village priest” tells that he had this letter in his hands, dated March 3, 1962, addressed to Conchita, written in Italian, without signature or sender, which came from Italy, showing in his book a photo of the Spanish translation made by the teacher of the Garabandal school, Felix Lopez, who had previously been a seminarian. Someone had also copied this letter in Italian on a paper, and in recent years it has circulated on the Internet as Padre Pio’s letter, but this handwritten letter was not obviously the real letter.
After 56 years without having news of Padre Pio’s real letter to Conchita, it has been finally published. The importance that this letter comes out to the limelight today is undeniable and demonstrates that it really existed. We can attest the authenticity of the letter and show here new information.
As we can see in the pictures, both the envelope and the content have suffered the inclemency of the passage of time.
Envelope of P. Pio’s letter
Stamp on P. Pio’s envelope
Identical stamp on a document displayed at P. Pio’s convent today
As seen in the photographs, the envelope is medium-sized, currently yellowish white, addressed to Conchita González, San Sebastian de Garabandal, Cosío (Pesues), Santander, Spagna.
In the part of the seal, which is already partially destroyed, it is clearly printed that it was sent from the Convent of the Capuchins, (S. María) delle Grazie, San Giovanni Rotondo (Foggia), Italy, Postale N. 13 / 8511.
As proof of the use of this stamp in the correspondence from the convent of San Giovanni Rotondo there are some notes which can be seen today in the convent, like the one that our friend Toni Coll (from Padre Pio’s prayer groups) has sent us from there recently (see photogragh).
First page of the letter
P. Pio’s letter in italian (typed)
The first page is typed in Italian (see photograph), and says the following:
At nine o’clock this morning the Blessed Virgin Mary told me about you, oh dear girls, about your visions and she told me to say to you:
“Oh blessed girls of San Sebastian de Garabandal, I promise that I will be with you until the end of the centuries, and you will be with me until the end of the world, and then united with me in the glory of paradise.”
Together with this I am sending you a copy of the Holy Rosary of Fatima, which the Blessed Virgin has ordered me to send you. The Blessed Virgin dictated this rosary, and she wants it to be propagated for the salvation of sinners and the preservation of humanity from the terrible punishments, with which the good God is threatening.
I give you a recommendation: pray and make others pray, because the world is on the road to perdition.
They do not believe in you or in your conversations with the white Lady, but they will believe when it is too late.
March 3, 1962
Second page of the letter
Fatima rosary sheet sent by P. Pio
The second page is also typed, but in Spanish (see photograph). It is the rosary of the Virgin of Fatima to which the letter in Italian makes a mention, and says the following:
ROSARY OF THE VIRGEN OF FATIMA
Pray and make others pray this rosary that has been dictated by the Virgin Mary in a personal message.
It is prayed like the common rosary of the Virgin, only that the mysteries are replaced by the following:
1) In this first mystery we see how the Holy Virgin chose Fatima as her favorite city to spread her messages.
2) In this second mystery it is contemplated how the Holy Virgin chose the Cova de Iria for her visions.
3) In this third mystery we see how the Holy Virgin chose the three little shepherds for their celestial conversations and to entrust the great secret to them.
4) In this fourth mystery we see how the secret of Fatima is the greatest secret of all that she has said.
5) In this fifth mystery we can see how the visions of the Blessed Virgin continue to be present in all parts of the world.
The Virgin has promised special graces to all who pray this rosary.
- The photos published here show the truthfulness of the letter received by Garabandal’s visionary Conchita González in March 1962. The envelope demonstrates that the letter was sent from the Convent of the Capuchins in San Giovanni Rotondo (Foggia, Italy), and although there is no signature in the letter or sender’s name outside, it could not be from other than Padre Pio. The envelope’ s stamp is identical to those that can be seen today at San Giovanni in notes written in the convent.
- The question would be the following: whom did the Virgin appear at 9 o’clock in the morning of March 3, 1962, in San Giovanni and told him to say to the Spanish girls things like “oh blessed girls of San Sebastian de Garabandal”, “who see the white Lady”? Was there in San Giovanni in 1962 any other friar who used to see the Virgin? It is evident that the letter could not be from anyone but Padre Pio. That the letter was not signed would be normal since the apparitions were in course and the Church had not pronounced itself.
- In the letter he says that the Virgin ordered him to send them a copy of the rosary of Fatima that she had dictated to him and wanted to be propagated for the salvation of sinners and the preservation of the humanity of the terrible punishments with which the good God is threatening.
- The sheet of the rosary of Fatima that is attached is typed in Spanish and gives the impression that it is a sheet that was being sent at that time to the Padre Pio prayer groups around the world. Therefore it is likely that other similar sheets can be found today in other languages in other places. It can be speculated that the origin of this personal message in which the Virgin dictates this rosary of Fatima with special graces occurred after the miraculous healing of Padre Pio from a serious illness (pleural effusion) on August 6, 1959, when the pilgrim image of the Virgin of Fatima brought by helicopter the previous day was leaving San Giovanni Rotondo.
- The author here encourages others to continue this investigation and try to find similar documents of the rosary of Fatima in other languages, especially from Padre Pio’s prayer groups, which could confirm that this rosary was being promoted by him.
Note: In honor of Our Lady of Garabandal the editor of Garabandal News (Aviso) gives permission to use freely the photographs published here.
Update : 04 May 2022
Back on the home page of this great article about Saint Pio and Garabandal, this is to date the best proof to my knowledge of the veracity of the Apparitions of our Lady of Mount Carmel in Garabandal, because of the Proximity of the Garabandal Prophecies, I therefore decided to put it back on the front page today.