In 1902, when Padre Pio was 15 years old, Padre Pio
entered the novitiate of the Capuchin Friars. Padre
Pio had poor health, but a strong will, and with
God’s help, he completed the required studies and
was ordained a Franciscan priest in 1910.
On September 20,
1918, Padre Pio received the wounds of Our Lord, in his hands, feet and
later on, his side. His long life was filled with hours and hours of
suffering, penance, the hearing of confessions and prayer – especially the
Rosary. Padre Pio said thousands and thousands of Rosaries.
Padre Pio had a
very deep union with God and a tremendous love for the Mass, the Blessed
Sacrament and Our Lady. Padre Pio also had great devotion to his guardian angel
and to St. Michael.
For over 50 years, Padre Pio suffered
greatly, but Padre Pio was not one to complain. Padre Pio still kept his great sense of
humor and practiced great charity towards all, forgetting about himself.
Padre Pio worked many miracles through his prayers, both during his life and
after his death.
All things must
come to an end, and Padre Pio died on September 23, 1968. Almost 100,000
people came to his funeral. Later Padre Pio's body was entombed in the crypt of
Our Lady of Grace Church. Now thousands and thousands of people go to
visit and pray at Padre Pio’s tomb. San Giovanni Rotondo has become in a
sense another Lourdes, and one of the most popular shrines in the world,
visited by thousands and thousands of people.
Padre Pio was like
another St. Francis of Assisi. Padre Pio was looked upon as a saint even while
was living. People would take every means possible to obtain a seat in the
church where Padre Pio said Mass. The people would line up near the church door
by 4:00 in the morning, or even earlier. It was worth your life to get in
the way of those women who wanted to be the first into the church, to see
their beloved Padre Pio. They would listen for the sound of rattling keys,
then pandemonium ... As the doors of the church opened, a tidal wave of
people poured into the church. If you didn’t stand your ground, you would
be literally jostled, trampled, thumped and pushed aside. Amidst all this
thumping and bumping the women would roar and scream and shout at each
other. They would abuse each other, using every means to be the first
inside. The poor sacristan had a bad time of it, trying to make himself
heard above the tumult, “Pagans! Rogues! Scoundrels! ... Can’t you wait?
For the love of God, are you Christians or beasts?” But his words fell on
La Casa di
Sollievo della Sofferenza, the hospital founded by Padre Pio
Once settled in
the church, the men and women were changed from wolves to lambs. They had
attained their goal and now they knelt in prayer, looking more like
angels, even though they were packed in like sardines.
But why did all
these people use such violence to see Padre Pio? Padre Pio was their “saint”.
They loved him with a passion. To them, Padre Pio was everything, and
their greatest joy next to God and His saints.
When Padre Pio
said Mass it was different. True there were other priests who said Mass
very devoutly, but Padre Pio’s Mass was special. Padre Pio's Mass took from 1½ to
1¾ hours. Padre Pio had much to pray for and many to pray for.
Padre Pio said
many beautiful words about the Mass, thus revealing the very depths of his
“It is easier for
the earth to exist without the sun, than without the Holy Sacrifice of the
“The Holy Mass is
a sacred union of Jesus and myself. I suffer unworthily all that was
suffered by Jesus who deigned to allow me to share in his great enterprise
of human Redemption”.
Holy Mass, renew your faith and meditate on that Victim who is being
immolated for you in order to appease Divine Justice. Do not leave the
altar without shedding tears of pain and of love for Jesus who was
crucified for your eternal well-being”.
“Every holy Mass,
heard with devotion, produces in our souls marvelous effects, abundant
spiritual and material graces which we ourselves, do not know.”
Padre Pio suffered
when he said Mass. It was hard for him to walk with his pierced feet.
During Mass, when he looked upon the Crucifix, Padre Pio was transformed. If you
were able to observe the good Padre Pio, you would see that his face was
filled with emotion, now fear, then joy, now sorrow, then agony. Padre Pio would
speak with Our Lord. Tears would roll down his cheeks... And what did
beg of Our Lord? Padre Pio would plead with God, and beg grace from Him for
himself and others. But most of all Padre Pio would love God. How often did
repeat these beautiful words to God, “My Jesus, save everyone; I offer
myself as a victim for everyone; strengthen me, take my heart, fill it
with Your love, then command of me what You will.”
Padre Pio was
always full of charity. Padre Pio wanted all souls to go to Heaven. Padre
thousands of spiritual children. Padre Pio said, “I belong to everyone. Everyone
can say, ‘Padre Pio is mine’. I love my exiled brothers very much. I love
my spiritual children as much as my own soul, and even more. I have
restored them to Jesus with pain and with love. I can forget myself, but
not my spiritual children, and I assure you that, when the Lord calls me,
I will say to Him: ‘Lord, I shall remain at the gates of Paradise; I shall
enter only when I have seen the last of my children enter’.”
Padre said also,
“I suffer so much because I can not lead all of my brothers to God. At
times I am on the verge of heartbreak when I see so many suffering souls
whom I am unable to help, and so many brothers who are allied to Satan!”
Many people, even
today, are being accepted as Padre Pio’s spiritual children. This can be
done, because before dying, Padre Pio told his Franciscan brothers, that
they could accept spiritual children on his behalf, after Padre Pio was dead.
Ah! The great
mercy of God. Can we ever be grateful enough? God gives us Himself in the
Holy Eucharist. He sends us the Holy Ghost to strengthen us. He gives us
Mary and Joseph, and all the angels and saints to help us. He gives us
First Friday and First Saturday devotions to help save our souls.
And to top it all
off, God gives to a doubting world another St. Francis of Assisi, but this
time a priest, who bears the wounds of Christ and has all the spiritual
gifts of the saints. Then this great man, this Padre Pio, accepts
thousands as his spiritual children and promises to wait at the gates of
Heaven until each and every one of them has entered! And people say God is
not merciful! Retract your words, oh hard of heart! There is a God, and He
is full of Mercy and Goodness.
How many people
Padre Pio brought back to God! When the world has ended, and all is said
and done, will Padre Pio be responsible for saving millions of souls? For
sure thousands, and what a blessing it will be to see, not a picture or
statue, but our beloved Padre Pio in person. For some, it will not be the
first time, but for many it will be the first time.
Padre Pio was full
of the wisdom of God. Inside the confessional and out, he gave much
spiritual advice to his penitents and spiritual children. Some of his
“In all that you
do, always be humble, guarding jealously the purity of your heart and the
purity of your body; these are the two wings which shall raise us to God
and make us almost Divine.”
“Try to serve the
Lord with all your heart and with all your will. He will always bless you
more than you deserve.”
“Pray and hope; do
not get upset. Anxiety serves no purpose. God is merciful and will hear
“Accept every pain
and inconvenience that comes from Heaven. Thus you will attain perfection
“Bear in mind that the more pleasing a
soul is to God, the more it must be tried. Therefore, courage, and go
“Always keep close
to Our Heavenly Mother, because She is the sea that must be crossed, in
order to reach the shores of eternal splendor, in the Kingdom of Dawn.”
“Charity is the
Queen of virtues, Charity holds the virtues together like a string of
pearls. Just as the pearls fall when the string is broken, so too, are the
virtues lost when charity is lacking.”
“Be careful never
to become discouraged when you are spiritually ill. If God permits you to
be weak and fall, it is not for the purpose of abandoning you, but rather,
to make you humble, and more careful in the future.”
“Be calm in
regards to your spirit, and always confide completely in Jesus. Make an
effort to always conform to the Divine will in everything, in pleasure,
and in adversity. Don’t worry about tomorrow!”
use of your money and savings, then so much misery will disappear; so many
aching bodies and afflicted beings, will find help and comfort.”
Saint Padre Pio,
pray for us!
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of pain and hunger Please donate, all donations are tax deductible. Thank you.
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