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A Great Story of Padre Pio

May 1, 2010
Story/photo Courtesy of The Long Island Catholic
(June 5, 2002, page 8.)Long Islander believes Padre Pio interceded for him
Padre Pio was canonization June 16, 2002

Anthony Fuina displays his statue of Padre Pio

Anthony Fuina displays his statue of Padre Pio

Anthony Fuina displays his statue of Padre Pio. (TLIC photo by Lena Pennino)

By Lena Pennino

Many people believe they have experienced healings through the intercession of Padre Pio, the stigmatic Capuchin Franciscan priest who will be formally proclaimed a saint on June 16. Here is one Long Islander’s story. The diocese has passed along Anthony Fuina’s story to the Vatican to be considered for investigation, but that does not imply approval.)Anthony Fuina, a long time parishioner of St.William the Abbot in Seaford, NY, had never heard of Padre Pio, a Franciscan mystic who bore wounds similar to those of Christ, until three years after he had given the Italian priest a lift in his car. Padre Pio had been dead almost 30 years when Mr. Fuina says he spotted him in Massapequa and gave him a ride.

“I can’t believe this”
On that rainy gray day, March 7, 1997, Mr. Fuina, now 67, a retired N.Y.C. firefighter, drove down Division Avenue, Massapequa, when he noticed “what appeared to be a bum” waving at him. Mr. Fuina pointed to himself, as if to say, ‘me?’ The stranger, who had a long beard and
was dressed in a speckled white outfit, nodded and asked, “Will you give me a lift, please?” He said he had waited all morning for a ride.  Although Mr. Fuina never picked up hitchhikers, for some reason he agreed to take the man to Maria Regina Church, Seaford, as requested.  “You have a sickness, would you like to discuss it with me?” said the man, when he was settled into the car, Mr. Fuina recalled.
Mr. Fuina wondered how the man could know he was ill. “Sitting in my car, I was surrounded by a closeness to this man I never felt in my entire life.” Mr. Fuina told him that half of a tumor in his colon had been removed and he was waiting for the biopsy report.  “You’re a good man for picking me up,” said the stranger, according to Mr. Fuina. “Would you care if I prayed for you?”
He placed his hand “right here,” said Mr. Fuina, pointing to his left side, and the man began praying unfamiliar prayers in another language. “The electricity that flowed through his hands was so unbelievable,” Mr. Fuina said with tears in his eyes. “The hairs on my head stood up. My skin got like chicken skin.”
Mr. Fuina, a practicing Catholic and Knight of Columbus, called out, “Oh my God, I can’t believe this…I can’t believe this” and asked, “Who are you?” The man didn’t answer but instead asked, “What can’t you believe?” Mr. Fuina explained the electricity pulsing through his body, the euphoric feeling, “The whole car felt like it was floating through the sky.”
“Who are you?”
“The Holy Spirit has entered upon you,” said the stranger who pushed against Mr. Fuina’s stomach twice. “You are healed. You are healed.  Pray for those in need and go to healing Masses.”  “Who are you?” Mr. Fuina asked again. The stranger answered, “I am the servant of God.” Mr. Fuina let him out of the car near a Carvel, two miles from where the journey began. “I know now why I waited all morning. I was waiting for you,” the man said.  Mr. Fuina looked at him again and the figure waved. When the light flicked green, he looked back and “Phoooo, he was gone. I looked for him. I only saw a lady walking with an umbrella.” He looked “through my
rearview mirrors and wondered, ‘where did that wonderful man go?’”
“In God’s hands”
When he finally reached the real estate office he’d been heading to, Mr. Fuina told the receptionist everything. “The most beautiful thing just happened to me. I picked up a bum and he prayed over me and made me feel so good…She looked at me like I was a little nuts,” he said with a smile.
On his way home he felt like he was in “God’s hands” and in another “state of being.” He received good news that day from the doctor: the tumor was benign. But it still had to be removed.  That night, in bed, he felt tugging near his tumor. It felt like a “couple of pulls and yanks.”   When it came time to remove the tumor, the doctor looked into a monitor before the surgery and couldn’t find it. The doctor pumped the colon full of air and looked again. It was gone. “I was healed just like my strange friend told me.” With a bloated stomach, he told his family. “Everyone was happy,” Mr. Fuina said.
“It doesn’t look good.”
His health lasted for three years. In May 2000, at a Communion breakfast Mr. Fuina couldn’t swallow his pancakes. Later in the day, when he couldn’t eat his wife’s spaghetti, he knew something was wrong. When the doctor called in the morning, he and his daughter Stacey picked up the phone. The doctor told Mr. Fuina that cancer had broken through his esophagus wall to the stomach and lymph nodes, near the aorta. He had three to six months to live. “It doesn’t look
good,” the doctor told them Instead of going to work that day, Stacey rushed to church to pray for
her father and later bought a statue at a religious article store for him.  In the evening, she attended a prayer group where a woman gave her a prayer card of a priest, Blessed Padre Pio, a known healer. When she got home it was very late. She stepped downstairs where her father was busy at the computer. She told him that she knew he had cancer.  A special prayer card “You’ll be OK,” she said while handing him a statue of the Blessed Mother and the prayer card.  He looked at the picture and shouted, “Where do you get this? Where did you get this?”   “What’s the matter, Dad? Why, Dad?” Stacey responded. She thought he was upset with her.  “This is the man I picked up three years ago!” Mr. Fuina proclaimed.  “Dad, this man is dead. It can’t be,” Stacey said.
“Who is he?” the father cried.  “All I know is that he goes by the name of Padre Pio. He’s a priest but he’s dead,” she insisted.  The father and daughter cried in each other’s arms.  “I had found my lost friend and I knew things would work out,” Mr. Fuina recalled.
‘I’ve never seen anything like this’
For six weeks, Mr. Fuina underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatments. At Nassau University Medical Center he awaited his treatments with a peaceful soul. He noticed the smell of flowers in the room. And every time the nurses stepped out the room, he prayed to his Padre.
On August 29, 2000, carrying a small statue of Padre Pio in his pocket, he went to North Shore University Hospital for an endoscopic sonogram, Mr. Fuina drowsily awoke from the test to see his wife was crying over him. His heart sank. Bad news, he thought.  “It’s gone,” said the doctor.
“It’s gone.” His wife kissed him again and again.  “What are you talking about?” said Mr. Fuina.
“It’s not there,” said the doctor. “If you came off the street, I would say you have a perfectly normal esophagus.”  “Mr. Fuina had advanced cancer of the esophagus in a life-threatening
location,” said Mitchell Karten of the Nassau University Medical Center. Almost two years later, the cancer appears to be gone for good.
Dr. Karten, a Jew, is a spiritual person. He says that he cannot explain Mr. Fuina’s remission anymore than he can explain why children sometimes develop deadly diseases. He is happy that “Mr. Fuina’s faith enabled him to see him through this.”
Mr. Fuina thanks God and Padre Pio’s intercession for his health.
“Padre Pio is always with me,” said Mr. Fuina.
Now under his statue of Padre Pio Mr. Fuina stacks papers scribbled
with names and stories of people who ask him to seek the intercession of Blessed Padre Pio. Mr. Fuina and his wife will travel to the Vatican to witness the canonization of Padre Pio on June 16 and travel to the new saint’s tomb to leave the pleas and prayers of all sorts of people: parents of babies with leukemia, the elderly sick, people with broken marriages and those with cancer.
The Diocese of Rockville Centre does not conduct any investigations of miracle claims itself. The Chancery has passed Mr. Fuina’s testimony to Father Paolino Rossi, the general postulator for the cause of Blessed Padre Pio for possible investigation. The Office of the General Postulator for the Causes of Saints studies and presents cases of possible saints to the diocesan curia and the Holy See.
It appears that the original source of this article is no longer active at the parish website:
18 Comments leave one →
  1. Joe Wendling permalink
    May 28, 2010 12:41 am

    Would you please pray for a serious legal problem I have to face, especially on June 9. Thank you. J.Wendling

  2. Giorgio Daniel permalink
    September 6, 2012 11:48 am

    Please pray for my loss of grandfather, I miss him.

  3. Mary Pearl permalink
    October 11, 2012 10:58 am

    Pray that our church is open to all. Peace and love are at the core of our faith.

  4. Rita permalink
    January 27, 2013 8:17 am

    Dear mr fuina, please intercede for me and ask my beloved saint padre pio to help me find a good husband…. Moreover help michel to return to the right path…..

  5. Lauren permalink
    April 16, 2013 9:31 pm

    Mr. Fuina, Please pray for my husband who was recently diagnosed with a rare type of cancer. He is a wonderful man, husband, and father.

  6. Julie permalink
    June 23, 2013 8:33 pm

    I too am diagnosed with Stage 4 Colon Cancer. Please pray for me to be healed so I may continue to raise my 3 children. Amen.~Julie

  7. winnifred permalink
    December 5, 2013 3:07 pm

    please pray for me to have twins boys and i would want my last twin son to be a priest like St Pio as well as healing for my third daughter

  8. winnifred permalink
    December 5, 2013 3:12 pm

    please i live in Nigeria in Africa, i have been looking for where to buy pictures, statues , prayer cards etc of St Padre . please i desperately need them most book stores i go to do not know what am talking about. i would be glad if someone can tell me where i can get them

  9. Michelle permalink
    June 21, 2014 11:53 pm

    The Sacred Heart of Jesus pray for us. St. Jude help of the hopeless pray for us. St. Theresa, child of Jesus pray for us. St. Jude hear my request and please answer my prayer. Thank you.
    Padre Pio please intercede for my brother who also, was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. Thank you. I believe in miracles.

  10. camille caruso permalink
    July 29, 2014 7:58 am

    Please help my good friend Joanie. She is suffering and I need a miracle for her. I love her and need her around for a lot of years. Help!

  11. September 1, 2014 8:26 am

    Mr Fuina,
    AS I go before the blessed Sacrament today, I send forth my guardian angel and ask Padre Pio to use my angel to assist me and my family where needed. Ask him to beg before the Almighty to forgive me for my sins. That I take the next right step. If it be Gods will heal my children and myself with this terrible disease. If I need further purification then I must remain ill but alive long enough to raise my children.

  12. Giovanni Pizzi permalink
    December 30, 2014 6:54 pm

    Mr.Fuina,I was so touched by your encounter with Saint Padre Pio.I have known of Padre Pio from a young age and have been twice at his tomb in San Giovanni Rotondo.
    I do pray to him everyday and he does help me,but the only thing I still haven’t found is a permanent job.Since 2008 I have been having problems finding a steady job,always having lost a few to shutdowns and fusions.It caused a lot of conflict with my wife and the family,it seems to be always happening to me and it just sounds too unreal.I am a devoted Catholic but not perfect though,I have many flaws.If Padre Pio is a step closer to you,please if you don’t mind if you could ask him to intercede for me in finding a good steady job and for peace in my family.Thank you God bless you everyday. Giovanni P.

  13. December 30, 2014 10:04 pm

    DEAR MR.FURINA, I attended one of your gatherings at Sacred Hearts ,St Stephens and little Peter was there.It was right before I had surgery for a rt eye colodial melanoma. I did loose most of my vision in that eye ,but I am so far in remission.I pray all the time to St Padre PIO for his intercession.Shortly after me,my daughter was diagnosed with Cushings Disease.She had a pituitary brain tumor removed in 09 and it resurfaced and had surgery again in 2014 Now the Drs think something may be going on but it is not operable and may have to be treated with radiation and medication[[[TOO CLOSE OR IN CAROTID ARTERY MEMBRAIN].I donated a medium size statue to my Parish,Our Lady Of Peace in b’klyn They did not have HIM. .I was a teacher there a while back but I taught the CCD Classes until a few years ago when I became ill. Presently I have been diabled since the Spring until I couldn’t walk without assistance of a wheelchair and a walker.I am receiving therapy but its a slow process.
    I pray and I ask Padrio PIO TO INTERCEDE for me and my daughter.She is 32 and recently married.I pray for her to go and stay in remission and be fruitful and multiply.Let her be healthy stay healthy and be able to get pregnant and have a healthy baby or babies……Coincidently my
    daughter Christine was also the Para in school for Peter and loves him.Now as for me I hope and pray that my Cancer stays in remission and that I will be able to walk again soon and be a little independent without the fear of falling I .need to take care of my poor husband too . He has a heart condition and I pray he stays well along with my 3 sons and grandkids.Stress and anxiety can kill you I know it for a fact .Isuffered with my nerves for years.My parents are deceased and I am an only child.Sorry but at times I feel like I have to let it out to feel better and not get depressed…….PLEASE PADRE PIO HELP ME I WANT TO WALK AGAIN SO BAD SOON HELP ME WITH THE EDEMA………SEND ME A SIGN .. I KNOW YOU HEAR MY PRAYERS, THANK YOU .I LOVE YOU I ALSO KNOW WITH OUR FAITH AND YOUR HELP MR.FURINA IT CAN AND WILL BE DONE ACCORDING TO GODS WILL .GOD BLESS YOU. …….

  14. December 30, 2014 11:24 pm


  15. December 31, 2014 12:47 am

    Please St. Padre Pio intercede and heal my mother. She is so terribly sick. Please help her not be afraid, to be out of pain, and to let her live with us to see my kids grow up. I believe she can be healed! I promise to do all that you ask of me from this day forward. Please heal her! Please do not take her from us!

  16. Eileen Linskey permalink
    January 3, 2015 3:26 pm

    Mr Anthony Funia if you ever come to Boston Please advertise so I will know I loved your Story Love Update Blessed Mothers Picture You Have ( Picture was enlarged each Day on its Own Amazing )

  17. Stefanie Lemonda permalink
    June 3, 2016 1:33 pm

    I have met you at St Roccos Church in Glen Cove. I also work for The Amorusos. A friend of mine who is only 32yrs old and a single mother of 3 boys is fighting for her life right now. She has cancer & it has spread so if it is at all possible please say a prayer for my friend Theresa Caparoso. Thank you kindly.~Stefanie Lemonda


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