THE MAN BENEATH THE GIFT: The Story of My Life by Ralph A. with Donald Gropman DiOrio


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The autobiography of a Catholic faith healer--a simple, humble character whose artless revelations shed practically no light on his extraordinary talent. DiOrio is a 50-year-old diocesan priest now working in Leicester, Mass., who stumbled onto his new calling just four years ago. On February 20, 1976 (the day, coincidentally, Kathryn Kuhlman died) he was approached by several young Puerto Ricans in his congregation, who asked him if they could ""go Charismatic."" DiOrio knew very little about the movement, but, after consulting with his bishop, he agreed, and almost at once found himself praying people--first his mother, then total strangers--miraculously back to health. No one, it seems, was more naively nonplussed by this than DiOrio himself. At one point a nun came running in to announce that a deranged woman was threatening to kill her children. Would he ""do a deliverance over her?"" ""Father Ralph"" was taken aback, but gave it a try. ""I laid hands on her for about ten minutes. The woman got totally freed! She went back happy! I said to myself, 'Holy mackerel! Is this real? Is this happening to me?' "" Evidently it was, and the ministry of his ""Healing Gift"" was launched. DiOrio disclaims any personal credit for his cures and soberly advises that they must be seen as allied, not opposed, to traditional medicine. And he admits that his clients don't always recover. On the other hand, he ignores the obvious fact that cures very like the ones he confidently attributes to Jesus have also been performed, from Siberia to Oceania, by a motley host of non-Christian shamans, sorcerers, and witch doctors. A forthright, sensible, but only mildly interesting document.

Pub Date: Oct. 21st, 1980
Publisher: Morrow