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, Padre Padre completed the Padre 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 Padre Padre Pad rearing 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 Padre Pio 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 deaf ears.
La Casa di Sollievo della Sofferenza, the hospital founded by Padre
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
Padre Pio said many beautiful words about the Mass, thus revealing the
very depths of his soul.
“It is easier for the earth to exist without the sun, than without the
Holy Sacrifice of the Mass”.
“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”.
“When attending 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
Padre Pio suffered when Padre Padre said Mass. It was hard for him to walk with his
pierced feet. During Mass, when Padre Padre 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 Padre Pio 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 Padre Pio 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 Pio had 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
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
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
Padre Pio was full of the wisdom of God. Inside the confessional and out,
Padre Pio gave much spiritual advice to his penitents and spiritual children.
Some of his counsels were:
“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 your prayer.”
“Accept every pain and inconvenience that comes from Heaven. Thus you will
attain perfection and sanctification.”
“Bear in mind that the more pleasing a soul is to God, the more it must be
tried. Therefore, courage, and go forward, always.”
“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
“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!”
“Make Christian use of your money and savings, then so much misery will
disappear; so many aching bodies and afflicted beings, will find help and
Saint Padre Pio,
pray for us!
the Padre Pio foundation in this world
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