During the 20th century, Padre Pio was one of the most famous and popular Catholic monks. He died in 1968 and was made a saint by Pope John Paul II in 2002. He was recently declared the Patron Saint of New Year Blues.
Pio was particularly famous for the supernatural phenomena associated with him. In particular, stigmata were said to have mysteriously appeared on his hands and feet. But a new book argues
that Pio faked his stigmata:
a book called Padre Pio and the Italy of the 19th Century, by historian Sergio Luzzatto says the wounds were self-created using carbolic acid and he claims to have found documentary evidence to prove it in the Vatican's secret archives.
According to Wikipedia
, this is hardly the first time charges of fakery have been leveled against Pio:
His accusers included high-ranking archbishops, bishops, theologians and physicians.
They brought several accusations against him, including insanity, immoral attitude towards women - claims that he had intercourse with women in the confessional (However, the same priest who accused Pio of these sexual acts later recanted his story and repented on his death bed.), misuse of funds and deception - claims that the stigmata were induced with acid in order to gain fame—and that the reported odor of sanctity around him being the result of self-administered eau-de-cologne.
The founder of Rome's Catholic university hospital concluded Padre Pio was "an ignorant and self-mutilating psychopath who exploited people's credulity." In short, he was accused of infractions against all three of his monastic vows: poverty, chastity and obedience.
In 1923, he was forbidden to teach teenage boys in the school attached to the monastery because he was considered "a noxious Socrates, capable of perverting the fragile lives and souls of boys."