Mr. Teseo Isani recalled that while waiting to be shot by a German firing squad, he heard the words:
It was December 13, 1944, in northern Italy. He was in a shameful room guarded by German S.S. and Italian officers who were to be present when he and another man were to be shot. They were waiting only until the older man, a friend, was brought in. Teseo was only 28 years old, a young officer with a life that had been rosy with hope, Yet in a matter of minutes he would be dead. The strange thought that occupied him was not fear of death, but that he should like to be shot in the public square, making the Sign of the Cross in reparation for the sins of his youth, and for the sins of the world. Then suddenly...loudly, amazingly, he heard these words: "Escape! Escape!"
It wasn't imagination. They were real words. The voice was clear, distinct, authoritative. His thoughts raced. HOW? Just how could he escape, guarded in this small room by so many? Again, the voice loudly and clearly commanded: "Escape! Escape!" He was about to say aloud: "Escape where? And then he thought to ask "who are you who speaks?"
But as he was about to cry out, again the voice commanded: "Escape! Escape!" This time it came with such force that he felt compelled to obey. After all, he was about to die anyway...and to try to escape would not be cowardice, as he was not armed. But HOW? Should he run? If he did, he would be shot at once. What then?
With a calmness, following the command of the "voice," he kindly asked the guards to let him step outside for a moment. Then, as though doing the most natural thing in the world, he got up and passed between them. Perhaps the fact that he was so "natural" made them think it was natural that he should take a step out side the door. They did not hinder him. He only began to run after he had gone about twenty yards from the door! He seemed to have wings on his feet. He thought of nothing but escape. He did not think of the fact that he could be seen, or of the obstacles he might meet, or failing as he plunged himself down a flight of stairs. "Escape!" Now the "voice" was in his very legs. A guard called out his name. "Stop, or I will shoot!" That word "Escape" was giving him all his strength.
All that happened in the next hours, the next days, the next weeks, would fill a book. He resorted to cunning disguises, an amazing variety of refuges, and finally got in to Switzerland....past the heavy frontier guards.
When the war was over he returned to Italy and began to lead the usual life of young men of his age and status. But from the time of his brush with death, in that guarded room in Verona, he was reasonably "good." No one dared to abuse priests, monks, or nuns in his presence. He defended them with such conviction and vehemence that his companions had to submit and be silent. But he was constantly haunted by the question:
"WHOSE VOICE COMMANDED ME TO ESCAPE? WHO WAS THERE IN THAT DEATH ROOM WITH ME?"
Two and a half years later (in 1947) he found himself with a group of people with whom he had little in common, in a town in southern Italy. He heard them talking about Padre Pio, indeed, he had also heard about him in northern Italy many times. Since he was then near San Giovanni Rotondo, he decided to see this priest who they said bled with the wounds of Christ. When Teseo saw Padre Pio, he felt the urge to go to confession. Filled with the same compunction that caused him to want to offer his execution in atonement for his past life and for the sins of the world on that fateful day in Verona, he went to confession.
After Holy Mass he went into the sacristy with the men. He kissed Padre Pio's hand, and as he did so, he heard Padre Pio say to him: "Escape! Escape!"
He thought: "O my God! This was the voice! My God, You sent Padre Pio to save me! Thank You, my God! Thank You, my Father."
An immense gratitude welled up in his heart....a fire that filled his whole being.....a splendid light which almost blinded him.
Source: The Voice Of Padre Pio.