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The only words the friar repeated were “Jesus, Mary, Jesus, Mary.”
On the night between September 22 and 23, 1968, in cell number 1 of the convent of San Giovanni Rotondo where Padre Pio lived, another man was also there. His name is Pio Miscio, a nurse at Casa Sollievo (“House of Relief”), and it was his shift at the hospital.
He ran to the convent with Dr Giovanni Scarale, with the respirator that was supposed to help the saint of Pietrelcina to breathe. Thus, another name was added to the list of those who were present at Padre Pio’s death.
“Padre Pio died in the arms of Dr Scarale,” says Miscio, with emotion. Once Padre Pio had died, Miscio continued his rounds through the unit to carry out his work as the nurse on duty (Tele Radio Padre Pio, February 23).
What happened during the night
It was close to 2 a.m. In Padre Pio’s cell were his primary physician, Dr Sala, the Father Superior of the convent, and some friars. Padre Pio was seated in an armchair; his breathing was laboured and he was very pale.
While Dr Scarale took the tube out of the friar’s nose and held the oxygen mask to his face, Pio Miscio silently watched that dramatic scene.
“I was near the radiator; I was fully attentive to those moments, but I didn’t do anything.” Before he lost consciousness, Padre Pio repeated, “Jesus, Mary, Jesus, Mary,” without hearing what the doctor said. His gaze was lost in empty space. When he lost consciousness, “Doctor Scarale tried to resuscitate him several times, but to no effect.”
“I can’t think of anything…”
As soon as Padre Pio had died, the nurse was called by a nun to return to the hospital, since he was the only nurse on shift in his unit. On the way, Miscio met a journalist who wanted news about the friar. “I said to him … what should I tell you, right now I can’t manage to think of anything.” Miscio was shocked by Padre Pio’s death.
Pio Miscio and Doctor Scarale are currently the only two people still alive who were present at St. Pio’s death.