Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pray, trust, and don't worry! Feast of St. Padre Pio

Padre Pio was born in Pietrelcina, Italy, on May 25, 1887. Ordained a Capuchin priest on August 10, 1910, Padre Pio stayed home for six years due to ill health. In September 1916, he was sent to the friary of San Giovanni Rotondo, where he remained until his death.

Padre Pio was the first priest known to receive the stigmata, the visible wounds of the Cross. He bore these wounds for fifty years as he carried out his priestly ministry, inflamed with the love of Jesus.

His Masses usually lasted one and a half to two hours, and in his teaching, he stressed the nature of the Mass as a holy sacrifice.

Padre Pio was known as a great confessor, hearing confessions for ten to twelve hours a day. Millions came from all over the world seeking his counsel and consolation. He also possessed the gift of reading people’s hearts. Pio’s life can be summed up in three words: simplicity, humility, and obedience.

Unjust accusations led Rome to order Padre Pio to stop saying Mass in public and hearing confessions while he was investigated (1931-1933). Although it caused him suffering, he abided by the restrictions without bitterness, until the matter was resolved.

Padre Pio possessed a great love for the poor. He lived a life of great sacrifice and deep prayer. Demons sometimes tormented him, but he was close to the holy angels, calling upon them often for assistance and protection. He was never without a rosary and preached that the quickest way to heaven is “dear Mother Mary.”

Word about Padre Pio’s saintliness spread around the world. More than eight million people came to see him in his last years. On September 23, 1968, Pio voiced his last words, “Jesus, Mary,” before breathing his last breath at the age of eighty-one. In the years following his death, miracles occurred around the world through his intercession as his reputation for sanctity continued to grow.

The friar was beatified on May 2, 1999, and then canonized on June 16, 2002. Many are comforted with St. Padre’s famous but simple statement: “Pray, trust, and don’t worry.”

Prayer to Padre Pio

Dear St. Padre Pio, you were an extraordinary servant of God, following in the footsteps of St. Francis of Assisi. In heaven you continue to serve God by interceding for us. Your heart went out to the poor. Help me to have eyes to see those in need around me and ears to hear the cries of the poor. Pray for me, please, that I may receive the graces I need to participate deeply in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Please help me to desire humility, simplicity, and the spirit of obedience in my walk of life. Help me to realize the power in suffering united with the will of God.

St. Padre Pio, pray for us and for all who invoke your aid. If it is in God’s holy will, please grant me (here mention your request). Amen.

Taken from “Catholic Saints Prayer Book” by Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle. Can be ordered through her website:

See more here at the GR blog.

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