Every year on his feast day I am reminded of the day I first heard about Padre Pio. It was, in fact, the day he died. We walked home from school that day (those were the days when kids typically walked all the way to school, with only street-crossing ladies to protect them), and Mom met us at the side door. With a profoundly mournful expression, she said, "Padre Pio died."
Who? That was my introduction to the Italian stigmatic.
His wasn't the only death notice we received at the side door on a school day. Another time it was "Papa died."
Now, you have to know that we called our maternal grandfather "Papa," so this was quite an announcement to get while standing in the carport. I repeated with horror, "Papa died?" Mom had to nuance things a bit. Not Papa, her father, but Papa, the canary Jane had gotten with her birthday money (named in honor of said grandfather, who had given her the $5 she used to buy the bird). The photo dates to about that time, with me (in the yellow dress) standing right in front of Papa (not the bird). That's "Maman" on his right. And Jane in the front, wearing blue and holding our youngest sister, Nell.