Patty Knap calls herself a “born again” Catholic. She planned to be a wife and mother of four or five kids with several girls, but as life played out, she’s a single mom with two young adult boys. She counsels at a crisis pregnancy center, teaches CCD, takes online classes with the Avila Institute, and loves the beach, dalmatians, and America’s national parks. She also saves recipes in a pile until it gets big and then throws them out.
Anthony Fuina of Long Island is a walking miracle. He credits the intercession of Padre Pio for curing him of cancer in 1997.
Since then, he's been devoted to bringing others to Christ. He does this in a way that is most familiar to him, through Padre Pio.
When a tumor was found in Anthony's colon, half was surgically removed, and a biopsy was taken. He was anxiously waiting for the results a few days later.
The phone rang, but it wasn't his doctor. It was a real estate agent asking for Anthony to bring the keys to the house so it could be shown. He said yes, hoping he wouldn't miss the call from the doctor while dropping off the key. He recalled:
It was a rainy day. As I approached a traffic light, I saw a figure waiving from the distance. The man approached the car and begged me, ‘Please! Give me a lift to Jerusalem Avenue and Hicksville Road.’ He said that he'd been waiting all morning for a lift. I never pick up hitchhikers, but some overpowering feeling came over me, and I told this bearded man, dressed in a white baker’s uniform, to get in. I felt an immediate tie to this man I did not know.
In my car he told me I was a good man for putting aside my appointment to take him to his destination. He told me he sensed I was worried over a sickness I had. I was amazed. I told him I just had a surgical procedure done to remove a portion of a tumor, and that I have been anxiously waiting for the results. I felt an overwhelming feeling of peace and calmness with this man sitting next to me. He asked me if he could place his hand where I had my surgery and pray for me. He began praying in another language. The sensation that took over my body was so incredibly intense and miraculous, that I felt the hairs stand from my flesh. I called out, ‘O My God, I cannot believe this, I can’t wait until I tell my wife.’ The electricity piercing my body through his hand was unbelievable. He told me, ‘You are healed! You are healed the Holy Spirit has entered upon you!’ I was getting jolted with this wonderful feeling. I anxiously asked, ‘Who are you?’ He told me that he was a Servant of God. I was speechless and amazed. When we reached our destination, he told me again that I was healed, and that I should go to healing masses whenever I could to pray for those in need. As he got out of my car, I thanked him for his prayers and told him to be careful as he crossed the street. He got to the other side and waved good-bye. The traffic light changed and I tried to take one more glance of this wonderful man, but as I looked he was gone. I made a right turn and continued to look for him through my mirrors, but he was gone. Where could this man that I felt so much a part of have gone?
I drove back home with this continuing euphoria that was to remain with me throughout the day and night. I couldn't wait to tell my wife Barbara and my family.
The biopsy report was in and Dr. Ferrara was happy to inform me that the tumor was benign (negative), however, he still had to remove the remainder of the tumor. I jumped for joy.... My family was ecstatic and could not believe what I was telling them. That evening, I awoke from a pulling sensation, which felt like tugs on the area of my surgical procedure. My wife asked me what was the matter. I told her ... it was almost like someone was removing the rest of my tumor.
During surgery to remove the other half of the tumor, the doctor found...there was nothing to remove! The doctor was shocked, but Anthony knew he had been healed through the intercession of Padre Pio.
He was checked regularly. In 2000, the cancer was found to have returned, fourth stage:
I prayed to God for strength, for the sake of my daughter, who was to be married the following week. Once again my family was reliving this nightmare. This time it was more threatening and risky.
My daughter Stacey, came home and handed me a card with a picture of a man on it. I took one look at this picture and warmth began piercing my body. ‘Where did you get this picture? You must tell me! It’s him! This is the man I picked up that blessed and prayed over me and said was healed, three years ago!’ My daughter responded, ‘Dad! This man is deceased.’ I said that was impossible. I insisted, ‘This is the man that sat with me in my car. She went to church to pray for me, then stopped by our friends, the Palazzo's, who gave her the Padre Pio card. The family told her I was to hold onto this picture. We both cried and she said she would find out more about Padre Pio. I found my friend, who I had picked up three years ago! YES! It was PADRE PIO! He was there to help me then, and I know he is here to help me now. Padre Pio is all around me.
The prayers from everyone began to pour in from friends, priests and nuns, Knights of Columbus. The power of prayer enabled me to become less afraid. I began chemo and radiation treatments. My daughter told the Palazzolo’s of my jaw dropping reaction when she gave me the Padre Pio picture. They invited us to their home for a blessing with a crucifix and a medal of Padre Pio. I experienced the empowering feeling all over again, sending the chills running down my spine. Padre Pio was in our thoughts, in our prayers and beside me though the most difficult time in my life. I was praying to Padre Pio, to please destroy cancer cells I have in my body. I did this each treatment and visualized their disappearance.
I got the feeling that this was Padre Pio’s way of assuring me everything was going to be all right. Following an endoscopic procedure, I awoke and saw my wife crying, I thought dear God don’t let it be bad news. The doctor who had a bewildered happy face and blurted out the great news, ‘It's gone! Your cancer is not there!’ I couldn't comprehend because I was still a little oozy from the sedation. 'You are one lucky man.' My wife and I began to cry with tears of happiness.
I know who my cure was, and who was responsible for my success! He never left my side through many ordeals. He was always there for me and with me. My cure is ‘Padre Pio!’ He has changed our lives forever. Padre Pio, is a saintly soul who deserves the title of a true Saint. Padre Pio, from my family and me, thank you! Please continue to look over my family and I, as I will always continue to look upon you as my ‘Padre’.
Anthony and his wife attended the 2002 canonization of Padre Pio. Now the family places is dedicated to telling others about the love of God and Padre Pio's powerful intercession. They place scribbled names of those who have asked for the intercession of St. Padre Pio under his statue: parents of babies with leukemia, the elderly sick, people with broken marriages, addictions, cancer. He's started a foundation to help children with cancer, The Padre Pio Miracle Foundation. They hold a monthly prayer group at their parish, and Anthony joyfully gives his testimony wherever he is invited. “This is what we're here for: to be disciples of Christ. We are to tell everyone about Him! Let us always remember all miracles are gifts from God.”
(For more details, see https://www.messengerofpadrepio.com/.)
This article originally appeared July 3, 2017, at the Register.