November 5, 2008
I came across a story in a blog from the National Catholc Reporter, back in July 30, 2004, in which four Italians working as security guards in Iraq were kidnapped. One was executed and died bravely, shown on video saying, "Now I'll show you how an Italian dies!" The remaining three hostages prayed to Padre Pio. One in particular was very devoted
to him. They promised to visit the shrine in Italy if they survived.
On June 8, they were freed by U.S. Special Forces. Strangely, the 10-year old cousin of the captive devoted to Padre Pio, after visiting San Giovanni Rotondo with her parents on May 31st, returned home and wrote "June 8th" on the family calendar--the very day they were freed. She said she dreamed the date....
The three released captives kept their promise and with their families made a pilgrimage to San Giovanni Rotondo on June 23rd, to give thanks to Padre Pio! You can read the Italian hostages story on the two blogs below.