Padre Pio. Miracoli e politica nell’Italia del Novecento. About a Recent Book by Sergio Luzzatto - On September 20, 1918, after having celebrated the morning mass, a young Capuchin from the province of Foggia, father Pio from Pietrelcina, received on his body the stigmata of the Passion of Christ. Less than one century later, on June 16, 2002, Pope John Paul II would declare him a saint, in front of hundreds of thousands of believers gathered in Saint Peter’s Square to witness the acknowledgement of the "lived sanctity" most invoked by the Italian catholic world throughout the Twentieth century. «Alter Christus», «mystic fit for a psychiatric clinic», «little chemist», saint and «idol made of tow»: in the wake of the recent book by Sergio Luzzatto, Padre Pio. Miracoli e politica nell’Italia del Novecento (Einaudi, Torino, 2007), this article intends to run through the main moments of the biography of the "stigmatized friar", in the context of 20th century Italy, with special concern - also on the basis of unpublished documents - for the interaction between padre Pio’s mystic experience and the political and religious imagination of the Italians living in his time.
Keywords: Padre Pio, Sergio Luzzatto, history of sanctity, stigmata, history of miracle, clerical fascism