Padre Pio said that, “Once I take on a soul, I also take on the entire family as my spiritual children.” I know this to be true. My son has always been drawn to him and that devotion has only continued to grow. When asked who his favorite Saint is, he always says, “Padre Pio!”
My son’s devotion to this great Saint has encouraged our family to take him on as our patron.
Even though I had gone on a pilgrimage to San Giovanni Rotondo, I was never naturally drawn to Saint Padre Pio. In fact, I was intimidated by him! A man who bore Christ’s wounds in the Stigmata, could bilocate, read souls in the confessional, and is now incorrupt seemed too great of a Saint for me to even approach.
It was my son, who was born almost a decade after my pilgrimage, who taught me, through his pure, child-like confidence, to ask Saint Pio’s intercession with joy and trust. Since doing so, my life has truly transformed.
Do Not Be Afraid
My son helped me understand a beautiful lesson: never be afraid or intimidated by the holiness of the Saints. Approach them with confidence and love. There are so many graces available to us when we ask for their intercession. Fear is not of God and all that the Saints desire is for us to be in Heaven with them, glorifying God beside them for eternity. They have all struggled, they have all sinned. They know that the remedy of sin is Jesus Christ. Their lives, their witness, always encourage and point to Him, our salvation.
The Communion of Saints
Because of our son, and now our own devotion, we have filled our home with images of Saint Padre Pio and we are learning more about him through books and film.
We have venerated his relics at a chapel close to our home and ask his intercession each day, throughout the day.
His words have given us such comfort, as well as the many miracle stories that we continue to read about him!
A Saint of Our Time
Francesco Forgione (Padre Pio) is a Saint of our time, born during the late 19th century in Italy. His parents were devout Catholic peasant farmers. Francesco was a devout child and dedicated his life to Christ at a young age. Francesco entered the Capuchin Franciscan Friars in Morcone, Italy, where he took the name Pio. Pio finally became a priest, after years of study, filled with illness and frequent spiritual warfare.
Saint Pio served briefly during WWI, yet because of his poor health was discharged twice. After his permanent military discharge in 1918, Padre Pio moved to Our Lady of Grace Capuchin Friary in San Giovanni Rotondo. It was there that Padre Pio started a medical clinic for the poor, a place that now serves as one of the greatest research hospitals in Europe.
Saint Pio’s greatest joys were offering the Sacrament of Mass and Confession. He, like all the great Saints, loved Our Lady and encouraged devotion to her.
On September 23rd, 1968, Padre Pio died. He was canonized by Pope John Paul II, the pope he had met and offered Confession to decades prior, in June 2002. Miracles continue to occur through his intercession.
Words From Padre Pio
// “Fear nothing. Jesus is and will always be totally yours, and nobody will take him from you. Do not allow yourself to be overcome by discouragement if you don’t always visibly see your every effort crowned. Jesus sees, rewards, and commands good will and not good success, because the latter does not depend on human efforts and work.”
// “Place all your cares in Him alone, because He has very great care of you.”
// “Don’t be discouraged if you experience spiritual dryness. This does not mean that the Lord has abandoned you. All that is happening in your soul is due to the exquisiteness of Jesus’ love for you. He wants you entirely for Himself, He wants you to place all your trust and all your affection in Him alone, and it is precisely for this reason that He sends you this spiritual aridity, to unite you more closely to Him, to rid you of certain little attachments which do not appear as such to us and which, in many cases, we do not even recognize or detect.”
// “How happy are those souls who live by faith; who adore the holy plan of God in everything.”
// “Try as best you can, without excessive anxiety, to do what you must and wish to do with perfection. But once it is done, think no more about it, but rather attend only to what you must and want to do or to what you are doing. Walk with simplicity in the ways of the Lord and do not torment your spirit.”
// “Prayer is the best weapon we have; it is the key to God’s heart.”
// “O daughter of little faith, I also repeat to you with the divine Master, Why are you afraid? No, do not fear; you are walking on the sea amid the wind and waves, but be sure that you are with Jesus. What is there to fear? But if fear takes you by surprise, you too shout loudly: “O Lord, save me!” He will stretch out His hand to you; and this hand is precisely that tenuous ray of trust in Him which you feel in the depths of your soul. Squeeze His hand tightly and walk joyfully, at least in the apex of your soul.”
A Prayer Written By Padre Pio
Stay with me, Lord, for it is necessary to have You present so that I do not forget You. You know how easily I abandon You.
Stay with me Lord, because I am weak, and I need Your strength, so that I may not fall so often.
Stay with me Lord, for You are my life, and without You, I am without fervor.
Stay with me Lord, for You are my light, and without you, I am in darkness.
Stay with me Lord, to show me Your will.
Stay with me Lord, so that I hear Your voice and follow You.
Stay with me Lord, for I desire to love you very much, and always be in Your company.
Stay with me Lord, if You wish me to be faithful to You.
Stay with me Lord, for as poor as my soul is, I want it to be a place of consolation for You, a nest of Love.
Stay with me, Jesus, for it is getting late, and the day is coming to a close, and life passes, death, judgment, eternity approach. It is necessary to renew my strength, so that I will not stop along the way and for that, I need You. It is getting late and death approaches. I fear the darkness, the temptations, the dryness, the cross, the sorrows. O how I need You, my Jesus, in this night of exile.
Stay with me tonight, Jesus, in life with all its dangers, I need You.
Let me recognize You as Your disciples did at the breaking of bread, so that the Eucharistic Communion be the light which disperses the darkness, the force which sustains me, the unique joy of my heart.
Stay with me Lord, because at the hour of my death, I want to remain united to you, if not by Communion, at least by grace and love.
Stay with me Jesus, I do not ask for divine consolation because I do not merit it, but the gift of Your presence, oh yes, I ask this of You.
Stay with me Lord, for it is You alone I look for, Your Love, Your Grace, Your Will, Your Heart, Your Spirit, because I love You and ask no other reward but to love You more and more.
With a firm love, I will love You with all my heart while on earth and continue to love You perfectly during all eternity. Amen.
Here For Us
Saint Padre Pio suffered not only physically, but also spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. We each have a cross and the Saints, like Christ, help us in our suffering. The intercession of the Saints is powerful. Call upon Saint Padre Pio to be with you in both your joys and suffering.
And rest in knowing that you are never alone, you are surrounded by a communion of Saints, a communion of grace.
Are you a spiritual child of Padre Pio? What will you entrust to him today?