Confession was the principal daily activity of Padre Pio. He had the ability to look within the souls of his penitents. It was not possible to lie to Padre Pio during a confession. He saw inside people’s hearts. Often, when the sinners were timid, Padre Pio listed their sins during the confession.
Padre Pio invited all believers to confess at least once a week. He said: "Even if a room is closed, it is necessary to dust it after a week."
In the sacrament of confession Padre Pio was very demanding. He couldn't bear people that went to him only out of curiosity.
A monk once told the following story: "One day Padre Pio didn't give absolution to a penitent and he told him: "If you go to confess to another priest to have gain absolution you will go to hell together with him". He meant that the sacrament of confession is profaned by people that don't want to change their lives. They are guilty in front of God.
A man once went to St. Giovanni Rotondo to confess to Padre Pio. It was between 1954 and 1955. When he finished the accusation of his sins Padre Pio said: "Do you have anything else to confess?" and he said, "No Father!" He repeated the question: "Do you have anything else to confess?" "No Father!" For a third time Padre Pio asked him: "Do you have anything else to confess? At this third negative answer the hurricane exploded. With the voice of the Holy Spirit Padre Pio howled: "Go away! Go away! Because you are not reformed of your sins!"
The man was also petrified because of the shame that he felt in front of so many people. Then he tried to say something but Padre Pio said: "Keep silent, gossiper, you have spoken enough; I now want to speak. Is it true that you go to discos?” "Yes, Father." "Do you know that dancing is an invitation to the sin?" The man was surprised and he didn't know what to say: he had the membership card of a disco in his wallet. The man promised not to commit any other sins and after a lot of effort he received absolution.
One day, a man told Padre Pio: "Father, I tell lies when I am with some friends of mine. I do it in order to make everybody happy". And Padre Pio said: "Oh, do you want to go to hell by joking?!"
When a person speaks badly of a friend, he destroys the reputation and the honour of a brother who has the right to enjoy respect.
One day Padre Pio said to a penitent: "When you gossip about a person it means that you have removed the person from your heart. But be aware, when you remove a man from your heart, Jesus also goes away from your heart with that man."
Once, Padre Pio was invited to bless a house. But when he reached the entrance of the kitchen he said: "There are snakes here. I do not want to go in". And then he said to a priest that often went to that house to eat: “Don't go to that house because they say unpleasant things about their brothers and sisters.”
A man was born in the region of Italy called Marche. He and a friend left their town in a truck, with some furniture they had to transport nearby to St. Giovanni Rotondo. While they were taking the last slope, before reaching their destination, the truck broke-down and it stopped. They tried to start the engine again but without success. At that point the driver lost his calm and full of anger he cursed. The day after the two men went to St. Giovanni Rotondo where one of the men had a sister. With the help of his sister they succeeded in going to Padre Pio to confession. The first man entered the confessional but Padre Pio sent him away. Then it was the turn of the driver. He started saying something to Padre Pio: "I have been angry". But Padre Pio shouted: "Wretch! You have cursed our Mother! What did she do to you, Our Lady?" Then he sent him away as well.
In a hotel in St. Giovanni Rotondo it was not possible to rest neither during the day nor at night because there was a girl who was possessed and shouted for hours. Everybody was frightened of her. The child’s mother brought her every day to the church. She hoped that Padre Pio would free the child from the evil spirit. The child also shouted a lot in the church. One day, when Padre Pio had finished hearing the women’s confessions, he met the child that howled fearfully in front of him. The child was being held back with difficulty by two or three men. The Saint was annoyed by the whole uproar and kicked the child with his foot and then he struck the child’s head and he said: "Stop! Enough!" The child fell to the ground as if she was sleeping. Padre Pio told a doctor who was standing there, to bring the child to St. Michael, in the sanctuary of Monte Sant’Angelo. When the group reached the destination, they entered the cave where Saint Michael had appeared. The child revived but nobody succeeded in bringing her near to the altar of the Angel. In the midst of the confusion, a monk took the hand of the child and touched the altar. She fell down as if she had been struck by lightening. A few minutes later she woke up and as if nothing had happened she asked her mother: "Could you buy me an ice-cream?" At that point the group of people returned to St. Giovanni Rotondo in order to inform and to thank Padre Pio. But Padre Pio told her mother: "Say to your husband not to curse anymore, otherwise the demon will return."
In about 1950, a young doctor went to confess to Padre Pio. He confessed his sins and then he remained silent. Padre Pio asked the young doctor if he had other things to add but the doctor answered he had nothing else. Then Padre Pio told the doctor: "Keep in mind that on holy days you cannot miss Mass, because this is a mortal sin". Suddenly the doctor remembered he had "jumped" Mass with a Sunday appointment, a few months before.
Padre Pio prohibited all magic, spiritism and practices of bad magic. A lady said: "I confessed to Padre Pio in November, 1948. Among the things I told him was that we were worried about our aunt who read Tarot cards in our family”. Padre Pio in a peremptory tone said: "Throw that stuff away, as soon as you can."
In the united and holy family, Padre Pio saw the place where the faith can grow and develop. He said: “Divorce is the passport to hell".
A young lady finished the confession of her sins. She received her penance from Padre Pio who said: "You have to immerse yourself in the silence of prayer and you will save your marriage." The lady was amazed since her marriage didn't have any problems. After a long time, her marriage began to experience trouble. However she was ready to face the problems and overcame them and so avoided the destruction of the family because she had been following the suggestion that Padre Pio gave her.
One day, Padre Pellegrino asked Padre Pio: "Father, this morning you denied absolution to a lady who confessed to an abortion. Why have you been so rigorous with this poor unfortunate? ". Padre Pio said: "The day, in which people, frightened by the economic boom, from physical damages or from economic sacrifices, will lose the horror of the abortion, it will be the most terrible day for humanity. Abortion is not only homicide but also suicide. And with these people we see on the point of committing two crimes…do we want to show our faith? Do we want to save them? " "Why suicide?” Padre Pellegrino asked. "You would understand this suicide of the human race, if with the eye of reason, you could see the Heart populated by old men and depopulated by children: burnt as a desert.”