St. Pio: body … soul … and reports of his ability to bilocate

On the feast of Padre Pio, many good Catholics and also many non-Catholics and even atheists recall the stories of his miraculous bilocations. St. Pio of Pietrelcina was known to have bilocated many times throughout his life, a phenomenon which has become central to the telling of his mystical life.

Of course, Padre Pio was not the only saint to have bilocated, but he is certainly the saint most commonly associated with the mysterious gift.

Without denying the fact of bilocation as a phenomenon, there is still some difficulty in explaining just what this event really is. By “bilocation,” do we mean that Padre Pio was present in two places at the same time? If yes, was he present both in his soul and in his body, or just in his soul? If just in his soul, was he materially present, having acted through a momentarily constructed physical body, or was his presence only a spiritual action visible only to the intellect? What follows is more speculative than most of the writing on this blog.

I offer this speculation neither to give any definitive answers nor to induce doubt, but rather to help us all wonder at the glories of God’s works.

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