"Keep close to the Catholic Church at all times, for the Church alone can give you true peace, since she alone possesses Jesus, the true Prince of Peace, in the Blessed Sacrament." - Padre Pio of Peitrelcina

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Padre Pio on Marriage



"Children are a gift of the Lord." (Psalm 126:3)

The family always has a very special place in the heart of Padre Pio. He would say "matrimony is for children.

Padre Pio's hope for marriages would be "beautifully crowned with children," in order to "populate the earth and paradise."

He strongly refused to accept anyone who refused the begetting of children. He refused them absolution. One time he said to a person: "May the Lord’s vengeance not fall upon you." And he said to someone else: "When you married, God made the decision of how many children He ought to give you."

Some of the sins that upset Padre Pio the most were sins against motherhood; the limitation of families; sins against life; cursing; blasphemy; lying; calumny; and the scandal of dressing immodestly. Padre Pio did not want to deviate from traditional Catholic doctrine at all.

Image courtesy of caccioppoli.com 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Padre Pio on Life, Virtues, and Himself



Today, May 25, 2012, is Padre Pio's 125th birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAY PADRE PIO! 

To the very end of his life, he never felt that his salvation was entirely secure. He once asked his friend Pietro Cugino: "Tell me seriously. Do you think I will be saved?" 

Below are Padre Pio's words about life, virtues, and himself.

Life 

"Wait, your turn will come."
"Love doesn't tolerate delay."
"Life is a continual struggle against oneself."
"Life is a struggle, which we cannot avoid. We must triumph."
"Ahead!  Courage! In the spiritual life he who does not advance goes backward."
"Keep going forward. If you stop, the wind will blow you back."
"Planting is less important than sowing, to have a good harvest."
"Every year should be more fruitful than the previous one."
"The years pass by, and eternity becomes closer."
"In the spiritual life, the faster we run, the less tired we feel."
"The road to perfection is as long as a lifetime."
"It is necessary to be strong, in order to become great: that is our duty."
"Drowning on high seas or chocking on a glass of water have death as the same outcome."
"Guard jealously the purity of your heart and your body."
"Make hay while the sun shines."
"Do not put off until tomorrow what you can do today."
"Detach yourself from the world."
"Repair the past and prepare for the future making good decisions."
"Don't philosophize on your defects."
"Fear is an evil worse than evil itself."
"Let us be honest always."
"Being attached to the things of the world brings sadness."
"Even when reprimanding one must be courteous and gentle."
"Gentleness doesn't mean permissiveness."
"Vainglory is the woodworm of holiness."
"Do not be restless, upset, and anxious in times of darkness."
"It is easy and difficult to become a saint."
"Let your whole exterior be a vivid image of the composure of your soul."
"One day we will have to give strict account on how we spend our time."
"Let us be moved by the presence of God, who is also our judge."
"It is easier to cure a tumor than to change the heart of a person".

Giving a religious medal: "This is the weapon which will preserve you from your enemies".

"Blasphemy calls down malediction on your home; and, it destroys even the ashes in the fireplace."
"The more ridiculous the order, the more willingly I obey it."
"Ask for nothing and refuse nothing. One must always obey."
"Duty before anything else. Even before what is holy."
"Sadness is of no use to anyone."
"The mom teaches the child walking by supporting him. But later he has to walk by himself."
"Unable to take big steps be content with little steps, until you have the legs to run; or wings to fly." 

Humility 

"You have respect for me because you don't know me. I am the greatest sinner on this heart." 
"Abjection is called humility, and humility abjection." 
God speaks to those who truly have a humble heart." 
"Never be pleased with yourself." 
"The tall ears of grain are vain and empty, the ones bent to the ground are humble and laden with grain." 
'When you fall, humble yourself but without degrading yourself." 
"Abjection means to be humble and powerless." 
"Be humble, tranquil, sweet, and confident in times of darkness." 
"Humility is truth. Everything good in me is of God." 
"False humility brings discouragement." 
"When Jesus sees you prostrated in humility, he will extend his hand and draw you to him." 
"Humility is the recognition of one's abjection." 
"To meet God, we must ascend and he must descend." 
"Happiness can be found only in Heaven." 
"Everything comes from God. I possess only infinite misery." 
"Self esteem is more malicious that pride." 
"Mary, the more she was filled with heavenly gifts, the more she humbled." 
"If I was reborn, I would become a Capuchin again, but not a priest." 
"I am unworthy to represent Jesus on earth, to be Christ on the altar." 

Charity

"Charity is the queen of virtues."
"As the pearls are held together by the thread, thus the virtues by charity"
"The pearls fall when the thread breaks, thus the virtues are lost if charity diminishes."
"The pivot of perfection is charity; He who lives in charity lives in God, because God is charity, as the Apostle says."
"Excuse everyone with Christian charity."
"Seek solitude but do not lack charity with your neighbor."

Humility and Charity 

"Humility and charity go hand in hand. The one glorifies, the other sanctifies." 
"There are two fundamental virtues of holiness: humility and charity." 
"We must always have kindness with the neighbor and humility with God." 
"Charity knows how to mix sweet with bitter, and convert transitory suffering in eternal reward." 
"Charity is the yardstick by which the Lord will judge us.""Charity is the cornerstone of perfection." 
"Charity is the daughter of Providence."

Peace

"Tranquility is the daughter of the love for God."
"God is our peace, our consolation, and our glory." 

Temptation 

"If you win a temptation, it has the same effect as in washing dirty laundry." 
"The more a soul is liked by God, the more will be proved." 
"Temptations belong to devil and hell, sufferings belong to God and Paradise." 
"The temptations come from the devil, the sufferings come from God." 
"Despise the temptation and embrace the tribulation." 
"Do not dwell on your temptations." 
"The thought doesn't make the sin, but consenting to the thoughts does it." 
"Only the free will is capable of good or evil." 
"Temptations against faith and purity are the merchandise offered by the enemy." 
"Don't voluntarily dwell on what the devil presents to you." 
"When tempted, say to God: "Have mercy on your poor weakling." 
"When the assault of the enemy increases, you are closer to God." 
"When the enemy roars around you, it shows that he is not in you." 
"The more a soul is pleasing to God, the more it must be tried." 
"Temptation is like the soap. It seems to soil but in reality cleans." 
"There is joy in the spiritual battles. Learn how to fight and you will be certain of victory." 
"If God lets you fall is to make you humble and more careful in the future." 
"The devil enters a soul only through one door: the will." 
"We must prepare for temptation if we want to approach God."

Agitation

"Pray, hope, don't get agitated. Agitation doesn't help at all. God is merciful and will listen to your prayer."
"The more you get agitated, the sooner the Providence will withdraw it's arms from you."
"Anxiety makes us run only to make us trip."
"Agitation never comes from God."

Doubt

"To doubt is the greatest insult to the Divinity."

 Suffering

"Suffering is expiation."
"Suffering is necessary for our souls."
"In suffering we give something to God, witch we cannot do in Paradise."
"He who begins to love must be ready to suffer."
"Suffering is a most powerful lever to raise man up again."
"Glory will be ours on condition that we endure suffering."
"The Angels are jealous of us because they can't suffer."
"Bearing physical and spiritual ailments is the worthiest gift we can offer to Jesus."
"Suffering is a sure sign that God loves us."
"Accepting the sufferings we will perfect and sanctify us."

Padre Pio's own words about himself.

"I'm a misery to myself."
"My true mission will begin after my death."
"When I am in heaven I will be able to do more".
"I pray constantly"
"I'm only a poor friar who prays"
"I belong entirely to everyone."
"Everyone can say: Padre Pio is mine."
"I offer myself as a victim for everyone."
"The Mass is the complete union between Jesus and me."
"I will never tire of praying to Jesus."
"I want to Save souls by continuous prayer."
"I am all aflame although there is no fire."
"A thousands flames consume me."
"I feel I am constantly dying, yet I'm still alive."
"The thought of revenge has never crossed my mind."
"The devil is trying to snatch me from the arms of Jesus".
"The devil wants me for himself at all costs".
"My sufferings are pleasing."
"I suffer only when I don't suffer."
"I want to suffer, but in secret."
"I desire nothing else than to love and suffer"
"Jesus, let me suffer, and let me die from suffering."
"I suffer because I cannot win all my brothers to God."
"I suffer everything that Jesus suffered in the Passion."
"I suffer as much as anyone who has the whole of humanity on his back."
"My suffering gives glory to God, saves my brothers in exile, frees the souls from Purgatory."
"Like St. Christopher carried the child Jesus on his shoulders across a river, on my shoulders is the whole world."
"My past, O Lord, to your mercy; my present, to your love; my future, to your providence!"

Image courtesy of caccioppoli.com

Monday, May 7, 2012

Padre Pio on the Holy Mass


According to some estimates, approximately 20 million people have attended the Mass celebrated by Padre Pio.

Concerning the value of the Mass, Padre Pio said: "If men only appreciated the value of a holy Mass they would need traffic officers at church doors every day to keep the crowds in order."

Padre Pio was asked what his Mass meant to him. He responded: "It is a sacred participation in the passion of Jesus. All that the Lord suffered in His passion, I suffer, to the extent that it is possible to a human being. And that is apart from any merit of mine, but entirely due to His goodness."

Before Padre Pio offered the unconsecrated host on his Paten, he would run his fingers around the host to make sure there were no loose particles.

Padre Pio: "Every holy Mass, heard with devotion, produces in our souls marvelous effects, abundant spiritual and material graces which we, ourselves, do not know.  It is easier for the earth to exist without the sun than without the holy Sacrifice of the Mass."

Padre Pio: "I am going to the wine-press of the Church, to the holy altar, where from the Blood of that delightful and unusual Grape, is distilled the sacred Wine with which only a few fortunate people are permitted to become inebriated." 

On July 25, 1915, Padre Pio wrote a letter to Annita Rodote on how to properly attend the Holy Mass:

"The Divine Master calls the church the house of prayer. In order to avoid irreverence and imperfections I exhort you in the Lord to:

Enter the church in silence and with great respect. Take the holy water and make the sign of the cross carefully and slowly. Before God in the Blessed Sacrament genuflect devoutly. At your pace, kneel down and render to Jesus the tribute of you presence. Confide to him all your needs, and those of others. Speak to him with filial abandonment. Be very composed when standing up, kneeling down, and sitting. Carry out every religious act with the greatest devotion. Be modest in your glance. Don't turn you head here and there to see who enters and leaves. Don't laugh. Don't speak to anybody, except when requested for charity or other strict necessity. Say the words distinctly, observe the pauses, and never hurry. Behave in such a way that all the presents are edified by you. Don't leave without asking Jesus for his blessing, and forgiveness for your shortcomings. Leave the church recollected and calm."

From his own handwriting to his spiritual directors and the spiritual daughter Cleonice Morcaldi, we know that Padre Pio experienced during Mass the Passion of Jesus, including the Agony in the Garden with the sweat of blood, the scourging, the crowning of thorns, the hostile crowds, the Via Crucis, Veronica, Simon of Cyrene, the Crucifixion, the seven words, the sipping of the gall, the death and deposition.

"My Mass  is a sacred accomplishment of the Passion of Jesus."

"In knowing the Passion of Jesus, you will also know my Passion."

"The Mass is the complete union between Jesus and me."

"All of Paradise is close to the altar when I say Mass."

"The angels attend my Mass In legions." 

"The angels around the altar adore and love."

"The Holy Virgin assists me."

"During the Consecration a new, awesome and wonderful annihilation and creation happens."

"I suffer all what Jesus suffered, from the Garden to the Cross."

"I inadequately suffer to the extent a human creature can possibly suffer."

"I suffer the agony of death like Jesus in the Garden Gethsemane."

"The sufferings are so acute that they can neither be described nor imagined."

"I suffer the bitterness of gall very often during the Mass."

"I suffer the most from the Consecration to the Communion."

"My suffering is insignificant compared to the  suffering Jesus experienced."

"I don’t want my Calvary to be alleviated; rather to make it harder. We must suffer."

"The offertory is the moment when the soul becomes detached from all that is profane."

"I suffer the crowning of thorns during the Holy Mass and also before and after  it."

"Without the crown of thorns the immolation would not be complete. The thorns are around the whole head."

"The crown of thorns is never taken away. The head and the heart are the wound that hurt the most."

"I suffer the scourging from the beginning to the end of the Mass, but more intensely after the Consecration."

"I also speak the "seven words" that Jesus stated on the Cross."

"During the Way of the Cross I am Jesus Himself. Jesus himself helps me like Simon of Cyrene and Veronica"

"At the Calvary, there where screams, blasphemies, loud clamor, and threats . . . that was really an uproar."

"I find my rest on the Cross."

"In His last gaze the dying Jesus looked towards His Holy Mother."

"I put last gaze on my brothers in exile." 

"In the Communion I ask the Lord to let me be another Jesus, all Jesus, always Jesus."

"My Communion is a fusion. Like two candles that fuse together and cannot be distinguished one from the other."

"I die mystically, at the Holy Communion. The Communion is the culminating point of my suffering."

"In the communion Jesus put his delight in his creature."

"The Eucharist gives and idea of the union we will have in heaven."

"How could I live failing even for a single morning to receive Jesus in the Communion?"

"Help me carry the cross. I that carry it for  all."

"O lord, don't strike my poor brothers, strike me."

"I want to expiate the sins of all, like Jesus did on the cross."

"I take all iniquities on myself,  as it is part of the Divine Sacrifice."

"I see all my children who come to the altar, as if in a mirror. I tell Mary: Here are the children of your Son."

"If we only knew how God regards it, we would risk our lives to be present at a single Mass."

"The mass gives to God an infinite glory."

"Mass is redemption of your soul and reconciliation with God."

"Listen to the Mass the way the virgin Mary stood at the Calvary"

"The holy Mass regenerates the world."

"The fruits that we receive at Mass cannot be enumerated. We will know it only in Paradise."

"I want to save my soul at any cost."

"I live for Jesus Christ, I live for his glory, I live to serve him, I live to love him."

"If it depended on me I would never leave the altar."

Image courtesy of caccioppoli.com

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Padre Pio on the Sins of Mankind


Speaking about mankind’s sins, Padre Pio said: "He (Jesus) sees all the ugliness and the malice of creatures in committing them. He knows to what extent these sins offend and outrage the Majesty of God. He sees all the infamies, immodesty, blasphemies which proceed from the lips of creatures accompanied by the malice of their hearts, of those hearts and those lips which were created to bring forth hymns of praise and benediction to the Creator. He sees the sacrileges with which priests and faithful defile themselves, not caring about those sacraments instituted for our salvation as necessary means for it; now, instead, made an occasion of sin and damnation of souls."

One day, our Lord Jesus revealed to Padre Pio in an apparition: "Friday morning I was still in bed when Jesus appeared to me. He was very sad and upset. He showed me a multitude of priests regular and secular, among them various ecclesiastical dignitaries. Some were celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Others were putting on the sacred vestments; still others were taking them off.

The sight of Jesus in distress gave me much pain, so I asked Him why He was suffering so much. He did not reply, but kept looking towards those priests. When He became tired of looking, He glanced away. He raised his eyes towards me and two tears ran down his cheeks. He walked away from the crowd of priests with an expression of disgust and scorn, crying: 'Butchers!' Turning to me He said: 

'My son, do not believe that my agony lasted only three hours. No, I shall be in agony until the end of the world because of those for whom I have done the most. During my agony, my son, we must not sleep. My soul seeks a few drops of human pity. But alas, they leave me alone under the weight of indifference. The ingratitude and the sleep of my ministers make my agony more difficult to bear. Alas, how they return my love. What pains me even more is that they add scorn and unbelief to their indifference. How many times I was ready to destroy them, but I was held back by the angels and the souls that love me. Write to your confessor and tell him what you have seen and what you have heard this morning. Tell him to show your letter to the Provincial.' "

While praying in church, Padre Pio heard Jesus say the following: 

"With what ingratitude is my love for men repaid! I should be less offended by them if I had loved them less. My Father does not want to bear with them any longer. I myself want to stop loving them, but, alas! My heart is made to love! Weak and cowardly men make no effort to overcome temptation and indeed they take delight in their wickedness. The souls for whom I have a special predilection fail me when put to the test, the weak give way to discouragement and despair, while the strong are relaxing by degrees. They leave me alone by night, alone by day in the churches. They no longer care about the Sacrament of the altar. Hardly anyone ever speaks of this Sacrament of love, and even those who do, speak, alas, with great indifference and coldness. My heart is forgotten; Nobody thinks anymore of my love and I am continually grieved. For many people, my house has become an amusement center . . . I behold, my son . . . many people who act hypocritically and betray me by sacrilegious communions, trampling under foot the light and strength which I give them continually . . ."

Concerning his Franciscan Province, in a letter December 29, 1912, Padre Pio wrote: "For some time past He [Our Lord] has not been pleased to answer me whenever it is a question of matters appertaining to our Province, for he is very disgusted by the way our Province is behaving."

In a letter on April 7, 1913, Padre Pio said: "How many wretched brothers of ours respond to Jesus’ love by casting themselves with open arms into the infamous sect of Freemasonry!" 

Padre Pio could also see that the almost universal apostasy and desolation was growing and well in place all the way back in 1914. In a letter on April 20, 1914, Padre Pio said: " . . . it afflicts my heart to see so many souls apostatizing from Jesus. What freezes the blood close to my heart is the fact that many of these souls become estranged from God solely because they are deprived of the divine word. The harvest is great but the laborers are few. Who is then to reap the harvest in the fields of the Church when it is almost ripe? Will it be scattered on the ground by reason of the scarcity of workers? Will it be reaped by Satan’s emissaries who are, unfortunately, both numerous and extremely active? Ah, may the most sweet God never allow this to happen. May He be moved to pity for the poverty of men which is becoming extreme."

Padre Pio, Letter, April 25, 1914: "Let us pray to our most merciful Jesus to come to the aid of His Church, for her needs have become extreme."

In a letter on May 27, 1914, Padre Pio said: "Dear God! If all were aware of your severity as well as of your tenderness, what creature would be so foolish as to dare to offend you?" 

In a letter to a spiritual child on January 30, 1915, Padre Pio wrote: "You tell me you want to remain unnoticed because you are afraid of falling into pride. I myself cannot see how a person can become proud on account of the gifts he recognizes in himself. It seems to me that the richer he sees himself to be, the more reason he has to humble himself before the Lord, for the Lord’s gifts increase and he can never fully repay the giver of all good things. As for you, what have you in particular to be proud of? What have you that you did not receive? If then you received all, why do you boast as if it were your own? Oh, whenever the tempter wants you to be puffed up with pride, say to yourself: all that is good in me I have received from God on loan and I should be a fool to boast of what is not mine."

Speaking about humility, Padre Pio said: "Don’t you see? It is as if someone here gave you a beautiful gold watch to take up to Milan to be repaired, and during the journey you took it out and displayed it as your own to the other occupants of the compartment. Wouldn’t you be a very foolish fellow? Or, if you actually meant to keep it, wouldn’t you be a very wicked one?" 

Padre Pio, Letter, February 16, 1915: " . . . she would need to have a director [spiritual] who is very enlightened in the ways of God. But where is such a one to be found in these dreadful times? The most merciful Jesus Himself has complained of this. Oh, my dear Father, what very sad times are these! . . . May the divine Father soon put an end to this disastrous situation!" 

Padre Pio, Letter to a priest, February 23, 1915: "May Jesus and Mary assist you always and may they give your words the power to convert and to stem the headlong rush of many souls towards the precipice."

Padre Pio said: "Don’t you know that we must be alert on the road to salvation? Only the fervent succeed in reaching it, never the tepid or those who sleep!"

In a letter on August 4, 1915, Padre Pio said: "Keep far away from . . . profane assemblies, from corrupt and corrupting entertainment, from all ungodly company."
  
Padre Pio: " . . . do not bother about the ridicule of the foolish. Know that the saints were always sneered at by the world and worldlings; they have trampled them under foot and have triumphed over the world and its maxims." 

In a letter on December 3, 1916: "You must try to please God alone, and if He is content everybody is content."  

Padre Pio, Letter, August 28, 1917: "Pray for this soul that weeps over the universal desolation and especially over the desolation of our poor Province."

Padre Pio lamented to God the Father thus: "Father, I entreat you, either quickly put an end to the world or put an end to the sins that are continually committed against the adorable Person of your only-begotten Son." 

Padre Pio saw World War I as a punishment for man's unbelief. In July of 1946, Padre Pio sent striking words to the Archbishop of Benevento, Italy: "Benevento was bombed, lost the cathedral and Episcopal residence as a punishment for the Archbishop . . . Worse, not even after this punishment from God is the Archbishop willing to understand his responsibility. He is truly hard of heart . . . souls are being lost and the enemies of God are wreaking havoc, all because the Archbishop sleeps . . . " 

Padre Pio, Letter, January 27, 1918: " . . . the Church; this dear and sweet dove, which alone can lay the eggs, giving birth to the little doves of the Bridegroom. Continually thank God that you are a daughter of the  Church . . . " 

Padre Pio, Letter, September 13, 1920: "I praise your resolution to desire to consecrate yourself entirely to God in the shadow of the sacred cloister. Therefore, if your father is not in absolute need of you, try by every means, even by running away, to carry out this holy plan. The Lord’s calling must be followed immediately, otherwise we place our salvation in danger." 

Padre Pio, Letter, March 16, 1921: "The world is full of malice, and no prudence of vigilance is sufficient to avoid being contaminated. Only by fleeing from it can it be beaten." 

Letters from Padre Pio clearly prove that he did not respect false religions and that he held firmly to the dogma that it is necessary for salvation to be a Catholic. 

Here is what Monsignor George Pogany, who personally knew Padre Pio, said about Padre Pio’s view of other religions. " . . . Padre Pio insisted that the Catholic faith was the only religion founded by Jesus Christ. He accepted everyone as a man, but he was convinced that other religions were founded by different men, as by Luther, as by Calvin, or by Zwingli . . . " 

Pietro "Pietruccio" Cugino with Padre Pio

A blind man named Pietruccio asked Padre Pio what a person has to do to save his soul. Padre Pio answered: "It is enough if you keep the commandments of God and of the Church." 

Padre Pio was once heard to say about a kind doctor, "What a pity he is a Jew." 

During Padre Pio’s days, various non-Catholic sects were actively trying to convert Italian people. One of these sects opened a kindergarten near Padre Pio. Padre Pio knew that the children were being exposed to criticism of the Catholic faith. Padre Pio was very angry; he said to the superior: "Do something quickly! Go in my name to the archbishop and get permission to open a kindergarten right near theirs . . . " A kindergarten was started, and in a short period of time the sect had to close their kindergarten and move out. Padre Pio fought evil not only with prayer, but also with action.

While extraordinary events were common in Padre Pio’s life, he counseled others not to seek the extraordinary; and he often admonished those seeking it that they lacked faith or worse. He stated: "I am convinced that so many people don’t want to live by faith, but seek the extraordinary." Padre Pio advised those who responded to letters from people seeking the miraculous to answer them by writing: "Live by faith!" 

Some women would sometimes grab at him, and he often shouted: "Oh, get away, get away!" He would take his cord and twirl it menacingly towards them. At times, he roared: "This is paganism! This is fanaticism!" More than once, Padre Pio remarked: "There should be a big fence around this area with the sign, 'Lunatic Asylum.' " 

One young woman believed she was having visions of Jesus. Padre Pio told her not to believe the visions. The woman refused to let Padre Pio guide her in this matter. She said that Padre Pio was contradicting the things that Jesus told her in her visions. After a couple of months the woman committed suicide. 

One of the brothers asked Padre Pio, "Why do you cry?" Padre Pio responded: "Why should I not cry seeing humanity damning itself at all cost." 

Speaking of the Divine Blood of Jesus: "Only a few will profit by It, the greater number run the way of perdition." 

Padre Pio: "We must remember that faith is the greatest gift that God has offered man on this earth, because from an earthly man he becomes a citizen of Heaven. Let us guard this great gift jealously. Woe to him who forgets himself, who forgets Heaven, whose faith grows weak, and worse still who denies his faith. This is the greatest affront that man can offer to God." 

Padre Pio: " . . . renew your faith in the truths of Christian doctrine, especially at times of conflict. And renew in a most particular way your faith in the promises of eternal life which our most sweet Jesus makes to those who fight energetically and courageously. You should be encouraged and comforted by the knowledge that we are not alone in our sufferings, for all the followers of the Nazarene scattered throughout the world suffer in the same manner and are all exposed like ourselves to the trials and tribulations of life." 

Padre Pio: "In temptations against faith, invoke St. Michael and Sts. Peter and Paul."

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Padre Pio on the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Rosary

Padre Pio praying before the Image of Our Lady of Fatima in 1959

Padre Pio had an astonishingly unconditional, total, perennial, unwavering love for the Virgin Mary. He would call her in many different ways; some of them: Maria, Madonna, Mamma, Mammina, Madre, Madonnina, Madonnella, Signora, Vergine Maria, Madre Maria, Diletta Madre, Tenera Madre, Madre mia cara, Celeste Madre, Madre di Misericordia, Bianca Signora, Maria Santissima, Mamma mia, Madre Immacolata, Santissima Vergine, Cara Madre, Mamma dolcissima, Madonna Mia, Mamma nostra, Dolce Signora, Vergine Santa, Madonna delle Grazie.

Padre Pio’s devotion to the Virgin Mary was rooted in the truth that Jesus specifically wills such devotion. Jesus chose to come to earth through Mary. Similarly, Jesus chooses that we come to Him through her; for her soul magnifies the Lord. Padre Pio understood all of this. Padre Pio said many times: "I wish I had a voice loud enough to tell all the sinners of the world to love Mary. She is the ocean across which one must travel in order to reach Jesus." Above Padre Pio’s door were the words: "Mary is the reason of all my hope."

"The Holy Virgin assists me." 

Speaking of Our Lady, Padre Pio said: "Each grace passes through her hands." 

Father Tarcisio Zullo asked Padre Pio: "Father, is the Madonna at this moment in this room?" Padre Pio's answer: "Wrong formulation. You should have asked 'Did the Madonna ever leave this room?" 

One evening Dr. Kisvarday was talking with Padre Pio in his cell when the light went off. He got up to get a candle. "Were are you going? There is so much light. We don't need a candle. Don't you see the Madonna lighting up the cell?" Dr. Kisvarday: "I didn't see the Madonna, I saw only pitch dark." 

Padre Onorato Marcucci, Padre Pio and Fra' Giovanni

To Padre Onorato going to Lourdes. "I have been to Lourdes many times. You don't need a car or a train, there are other means too." 

Padre Pio used to tell a story: "One day Our Lord making rounds of Paradise saw some strange faces. He asked Peter: 'Who let these people in?' Peter: 'There is nothing i can do.'  The Lord: 'But you have the key.' Peter: 'There is nothing I can do, and you can't do either.' The Lord: 'What do you mean?'  'It's your mother. She has another key. She let's them in.' " 

Padre Pio said of the Mother of God: "The Madonna is the shortcut to get to God."

Padre Pio advises: "Love the Madonna, and make people to love her."

"Abandon yourself in the hands of Mary. She will take care of you."

"Let's pray the Madonna of Graces. She will heal you." After: "Mary healed you, not me."

On April 24,1959, the Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima visited Italy, starting from Naples. The same day,  Padre Pio became very ill. He had broncopneumonia and could not celebrate Mass. On August 1st, Padre Pio recovered in-patient at Casa Sollievo but the illness continued. On August 5, the Statue of Fatima came to the Convent. On August 6 the Statue was just leaving in a helicopter. From the hospital, Padre Pio pleaded, "Madonna, my Mother, I have been sick since you came to Italy; and now you are leaving, and leaving me sick."

Padre Pio reported: "I felt a chill in the bones." Then: "I'm  feeling well." "I am healed! Our Lady has healed me!"

Later he said: "The Madonna came here, to heal Padre Pio." On August 10, Padre Pio resumed celebrating Mass, and the 21th he resumed the confessions. 

Reading a note from a faithful was no excuse to let the Rosary from his hand

Concerning the Rosary, Our Lady herself said to Padre Pio: "With this weapon you will win." Convinced of the power of the Rosary, Padre Pio always held the Rosary in his hands. When his death was approaching, he recommended the Rosary to his spiritual children by saying: "Love Our Lady and make her loved. Always recite the Rosary." 

Padre Pio always wore the Rosary around his arm at night. A few days before his death, as Padre Pio was getting into bed, he said to the friars who were in his room, "Give me my weapon!" And the friars, surprised and curious, asked him: "Where is the weapon? We cannot see anything!" Padre Pio replied, "It is in my habit, which you have just hung up!" After having gone through the pockets of his religious habit, the friars said to him: "Padre, there is no weapon in your habit! . . . we can only find your rosary beads there!" Padre Pio immediately said, "And is this not a weapon? . . . the true weapon?!" 

Padre Pio instructed: "Recite the Rosary and recite it always and as much as you can." 

To Padre Onorato Marcucci, grabbing the Rosary that he had put few seconds on the nightstand"With this, one wins the battles."  

One person said: "We always saw him with his rosary in his hand - in the friary, in the halls, on the stairs, in the sacristy, in the Church, even in the brief interval when going to and coming from the confessional." Another person added, "When at the end he did not talk to us anymore, we told him our thoughts. We asked for help. And all he did was to show us the rosary, always, always." 

Padre Pio instructed his spiritual children: "In all the free time you have, once you have finished your duties of state, you should kneel down and pray the Rosary. Pray the Rosary before the Blessed Sacrament or before a crucifix." 

Padre Pio used to carry permanently a Rosary in his hands and would pray it many times a day. 

Father Marcellino testified that he had to help Padre Pio wash his hands one at a time "because he didn't want to leave the rosary beads, and passed the Rosary from one hand to the other." 

To Lucia Merlinda: "After the Glory, say: Jesus, I love you, and I repent for offending You." 

About the repetitiveness of the Rosary: "Pay attention to the mysteries. They change at every decade." 

To Enedina Mori: "When you get tired reciting the Rosary, rest a bit, and then restart again." 

On February 6, 1954 at 9:00 PM, to father Carmelo: "I still have 2 rosaries to pray today. I said only 34 so far. Then I will go to bed." 

Answering to Padre Michelangelo: "Today i said 32 or 33 rosaries. Maybe 1 or 2 more." 

Answering to Padre Mariano: "About 30. Maybe some more, but not less." 'How do you do it? "What is the night for?" 

Answering a question: "Some days I say 40 Rosaries, some other days 50." "How do I do it?" "How do you manage not so say any?" 

To Lucia Pennelli one morning around 7:00 AM after Mass: "How many rosaries did you say so far today?" "Two". "I already said seven." 

To Lucietta Pennelli, one day at about noon: "Today I have already said 16 complete Rosaries." 

"Pray the rosary frequently. It costs so little, and it's worth so much!" 

"We can't live without the Rosary." 

"Say the rosary, and pray it every day." 

"The Rosary is the weapon of defense and salvation." 

"The Rosary is the weapon given us by Mary to use against the tricks of the infernal enemy." 

"Mary has recommended the Rosary at Lourdes and Fatima because of it's exceptional value for us and our times." 

"The rosary is the prayer of the Madonna, the one that triumphs on everything and everybody." 

"Always recite the rosary and recite it as often as possible." 

"Mary is present in every mystery of the rosary." 

"Satan always tries to destroy the rosary, but he will never succeed." 

"Mary has taught us the rosary just as Jesus taught us the Our Father". 

"I always pray for the sick. Every day I say a holy Rosary for them."

Mosaic on the Altar at the Church of St. Mary of Graces as seen today

Images courtesy of caccioppoli.com

Friday, May 4, 2012

Padre Pio's Triumph over the Devil



The devils assaulted Padre Pio almost daily. According to Padre Pio: "The name of the devil is  'I, I do, I can, I'm able to, I, I, I.' This is the devil." Padre Pio called the devil "cosaccio" (whatsit) (plural cosacci). At times he had a real name "Barbablu." "The ogre, scoundrel, evil spirit, filthy wretch, foul beast, woeful wretch, hideous faces, impure spirits, those scoundrels, wicked spirit, horrible beast, accursed beast, infamous apostate, impure apostates, howling wild beasts, malignant deceiver, prince of darkness." 

Padre Pio: "The devil wants me for himself at all costs." 

Padre Pio stated that he believed the love of God is inseparable from suffering and that suffering all things for the sake of God is the way for the soul to reach God. He felt that his soul was lost in a chaotic maze, plunged into total desolation, as if he were in the deepest pit of hell. During his period of spiritual suffering, Padre Pio was attacked by the Devil, both physically and spiritually. The Devil used diabolical tricks in order to increase Padre Pio's torments. These included apparitions as an "angel of light" and the alteration or destruction of letters to and from his spiritual directors. 

Padre Benedetto
In a letter to Padre Benedetto on June 3, 1919: "I don't have a free minute. All my time is spent in tearing my brothers from the clutches of Satan." 

The Devil appeared sometimes in the form of an ugly black cat, or as a naked young woman performing an impure dance, or as a prison-guard who would whip him, or under the appearance of Christ Crucified, his spiritual father, his Father Provincial, his guardian angel, Our Lady, or St. Francis. Other times the devil would spit in his face and torment him with deafening noises. 

Padre Agostino confirmed this when Padre Pio said: "The Devil appeared as young girls that danced naked without any clothes on, as Christ Crucified, as a young friend of the friars, as the Spiritual Father or as the Provincial Father; as Pope Pius X, a Guardian Angel, as St. Francis and as Our Lady. Now, twenty-two days have passed since Jesus allowed the devils to vent their anger on me. My Father, my whole body is bruised from the beatings that I have received to the present time by our enemies. Several times, they have even torn off my shirt so that they could strike my exposed flesh. 

Padre Agostino
In Venafro, from Padre Agostino's diary: "Starting in November 1911, I was present with Fr. Evangelista, the superior of the monastery, for a considerable number of ecstasies, and many instances of demonic oppression. Satan would appear as a nude woman dancing lewdly, as his spiritual father, as his superior, pope Pius X, his guardian angel, St. Francis, the Virgin Mary, and also as the horrible self, with an army of demonic spirits. At times there were no apparitions but he was beaten until he bled, tormented with deafening noises, covered with spit. He was able to free himself from the torments by calling on the name of Jesus."

Padre Pio: "The devil is trying to snatch me from the arms of Jesus." 

Early one morning, after everyone had fallen asleep, Padre Pio heard a knock on his door. It seemed to be Padre Agostino (his spiritual director) asking to come in. Padre Pio said, "Come in . . . why have you come . . . How did you get here?" Padre Agostino said: "God sent me. He is displeased with you." Padre Pio was stunned: "What?" said Padre Pio as he swung his legs over the bed and began to get out of bed. "No, no, no need to rise. I only came to say God does not approve of your practice of penance." Padre Pio said, "If you are truly here at God’s request, you must give me a sign. I ask you to say the name of Jesus." At that moment Agostino’s lips parted and he started to laugh; his voice changed. Padre Pio tried to reach out and touch his brown robe. The apparition vanished, leaving behind a strong smell of sulphur. Speaking about this event in a letter on July 28, 1914, Padre Pio said: "The Devil, as you know, is a great artificer of evil . . . he could deceive you by some diabolical illusion or apparition disguised as an angel of light . . . This unhappy apostate even knows how to disguise himself as a Capuchin and to act the part quite well. I beg you to believe one who has undergone an experience of this nature." 

Opening the letters from his spiritual director Padre Agostino, at times, were all blank. He would put some Holy Water on them and the writing could be seen again: "Barbablu' made it invisible so that it couldn't be read." 

August 9, 1912, in a letter to Padre Agostino: " 'Barbablu' prevents me from writing to you. Every time I try, I get a terrible headache, and the arm is paralyzed and I can't hold the pen in my hand." 

December 3, 1912, in a letter to Padre Agostino: "I received your letter on November 29. It only contained a blank page. It must have been the 'cosaccio'."

Another time Padre Pio described the demons’ reaction when he received a letter from his spiritual director: "When I received your letter recently and before I had opened it, those wretches told me to tear it up or else throw it in the fire. If I did this, they would withdraw for good and would never trouble me again. I kept silent without giving them any answer, while in my heart I despised them. Then they added: 'We want this merely as a condition for our withdrawal. In doing so you will not be showing contempt for anyone.' I replied that nothing would make me change my mind. They flung themselves upon me like so many hungry tigers, cursing me and threatening to make me pay for it. My dear Father, they kept their word! From that day onward they have beaten me every day." 

Padre Pio: "The human soul is the battlefield between God and Satan." 

In a letter to his spiritual director on December 18, 1912, Padre Pio said: "The other night the Devil appeared to me in the likeness of one of our Fathers and gave me a very strict order from the Father Provincial not to write to you any more, as it is against poverty and a serious obstacle to perfection. I confess my weakness, dear Father, for I wept bitterly, believing this to be a fact. I should never have even faintly suspected this to be one of the ogre’s snares if the angel had not revealed the fraud to me." 

In Venafro, a likely Padre Agostino entered Padre Pio's cell. ''I'm here to confess you." Suspecting something fishy, Padre Pio said: "Repeat after me 'Long Live Jesus.' The devil screamed 'No!' and disappeared."  

Padre Pio: "What comes from Satan begins with calmness and ends in storm, indifference and apathy."  

Padre Pio’s letter to his spiritual director, October 14, 1912 states: "The Devil wants the absolute ending of all relations and communications with you. He threatens that if I obstinately refuse to pay attention to him, he will do things to me that the human mind could never conceive." 

Padre Pio also said: "If all the devils that are here were to take bodily form, they would blot out the light of the sun!"

Padre Pio's cell at San Giovanni Rotondo

At one period during his life, Padre Pio served as a spiritual director of boys at a seminary. One night a boy was awakened by scornful laughs; the noise of iron pieces being twisted around and dropping on the ground, and of chains hitting against the floor, while Padre Pio was heard to sigh over and over again, "O my Madonna!" The following morning, the boy examined the ironwork supporting the curtain around Padre Pio’s bed, and discovered all the pieces twisted. He also looked at Padre Pio and saw him "with a swollen, sick-looking eye." This story was circulated among the seminarians, who asked Padre Pio about it. Padre Pio replied and described what had transpired in order to convince the boys of the absolute necessity of prayer in the battle with the Devil. Padre Pio said: "You want to know why the devil gave me a terrific beating? It is because I, as your spiritual father, am willing to defend one of you.” Identifying the boy by name, he continued, "He was suffering a strong temptation against purity, and when he called on the Madonna, he was spiritually also calling on me for help. I rushed at once to assist him, and with the help of Our Lady’s Rosary I was successful. The boy that had been tempted slept until morning, while I went through the battle, suffered the blows, but won the fight."

Padre Pio: "Do not let the infernal beast frighten you. God will fight it with you and for you." 

A former seminarian for whom Padre Pio had been a spiritual director and confessor, wrote that he and his fellow students heard the frightening noise of iron bars banging together in Padre Pio’s room. They also heard a sound like a train traveling at high speed through a tunnel. One of the students, who became Fr. Matrice, also explained how one night he woke up because of a terrible uproar coming from the area where Padre Pio was sleeping. He described hearing "a burst of derisive laughter and the sound of iron-bars being twisted as well as of chains clamoring on the floor." 

One time, Padre Francesco was about to leave Padre Pio's cell. "Don't leave, otherwise the devils (cosacci) come." He left awhile but after a few steps away he heard a terrible noise, and came back. Padre Pio had been assaulted.

Padre Pio was in his room mainly at night. Loud thuds were heard that scared the friars. When they would go to Padre Pio’s room they would discover him "drenched in sweat, and his clothes had to be changed from head to foot." 

Bishop Andrea D'Agostino
Certain people who came to the friary did not believe the reports of such strange occurrences; they laughed at it as the product of a monk’s imagination. One time Bishop Andrea D’Agostino was a guest at the monastery. He looked at Padre Pio’s story as a fabulous, medieval tale. However, while he was eating with the friars, he was startled by a great rumbling noise above in the ceiling. He turned pale and trembled. The bishop’s assistant, who was eating in the guest room, ran into the refectory filled with fear. The bishop was so scared that he did not want to sleep alone that night. The next morning he left the monastery and never came back.

Padre Pio was attacked quite frequently by devils which were called by Padre Pio "impure fiends" and "ugly monsters." There were interior and exterior assaults, which included howls, tremors, noises, and flying objects. One incident he described to his spiritual director: "It was late at night and they began their assaults with devilish noise. Although I saw nothing at first, I understood who was producing the strange sound. Instead of getting terrified, I prepared for the battle by facing them with a sneering smile. Then they came before me under the most detestable appearances. Then to get me to abuse God’s grace, they began to treat me with kid gloves. But thank heaven I told them off good, and dealt with them according to what they were worth. When they saw their efforts go up in smoke they hurled themselves on me, threw me to the floor, and gave me terrific blows, throwing into the air pillows, books, and chairs, at the same time letting out desperate cries and uttering extremely filthy words." 

The devils to Padre Pio: "You bothers us more than Saint Michel."  "If you don't snatch souls from us we will not bother you."

In 1964, Padre Pio was assaulted by the devil who gave him a terrible blow on the spine, and he fell, and had a black eye and swollen face.

Padre Pio: "Satan reigns over the world." 

Father Gabriele Amorth
Father Gabriele Amorth, senior exorcist of Vatican City stated in an interview that Padre Pio was able to distinguish between real apparitions of Jesus, Mary and the Saints and the illusions created by the Devil by carefully analysing the state of his mind and the feelings produced in him during the apparitions. In one of Padre Pio's letters, he states that he remained patient in the midst of his trials because of his firm belief that Jesus, Mary, his Guardian Angel, St. Joseph, and St. Francis were always with him and helped him always.

Padre Pio once told a group of people that the number of devils active in the world is greater than all the people who had been alive since Adam.

Speaking about the Devil and his demons, Padre Pio revealed the mind-boggling ferocity of their devilish malice: "The ogre won’t admit defeat. He has appeared in almost every form. For the past few days, he has paid me visits along with some of his satellites armed with clubs and iron weapons and, what is worse, in their own form as devils." 

Padre Pio: "If the devil makes noise it's a very good sign. What's terrifying is his peace." 

Padre Pio revealed more of the incredible sufferings the Devil put him through: "Who knows how many times he has thrown me out of the bed and dragged me around the room? . . . The other night was one of the worst. From ten o’clock when I went to bed until five o’clock in the morning, that evil one did not stop beating me . . . I really thought that it was the last night of my life; or, if I did not die, I would go insane. At five o’clock in the morning, when the evil one left, my whole being was enveloped in such cold I was shivering from head to foot. It lasted a few hours. I was bleeding from the mouth . . ." 

On the evening of July 5, 1964, a cry for help was heard in the friary: "My brothers, help me!" It was Padre Pio asking for help. His brothers ran to help him and found Padre Pio lying on the floor, bleeding from the nose and forehead, and with a number of wounds above his right eyebrow.

One time the evil one spoke through a possessed person, and shouted: "Padre Pio, don’t snatch the souls from us and we will not molest you!" 

A spiritual son said to Padre Pio, "Father, some people deny the existence of the devil"; Padre Pio responded: "How can one doubt his existence when I see him around me all the time?" 

One time the Devil entered the confessional and pretended to make a confession. Padre Pio recalled the incredible occurrence:

"One morning, while I was confessing the men, a tall, thin man dressed in a rather refined manner and with good manners presented himself to me. When he knelt down, this stranger began to confess his sins which were of every kind against God, against his neighbor, against the moral law; they were all aberrant! One thing struck me. After my reprimanding all those accusations, using the word of God, the Teaching of the Church, and the moral teaching of the saints to back up my words, this puzzling penitent counterbalanced my words, justifying, with great ability and rare gentility, all types of sins, emptying them of all malice and trying, at the same time, to make all sinful acts appear to be normal, natural, humanly indifferent. And this did not only concern horrifying sins against Jesus, Our Lady and the Saints . . . but also sins that were morally so dirty and coarse that they reached the most nauseating levels imaginable. 

The replies that this mysterious penitent gave every now and then to my arguments, with able subtlety and with cotton-wooled malice, made a terrible impression on me. I thought to myself: 'Who is this? What world does he come from? Who is he?' And I tried to look at him carefully in the face in order to perhaps eventually read something from between the lines of his face, and at the same time I listened very carefully to his every word so that none of them would escape me and I could weigh them up in all their significance. At a certain point, by way of an interior, vivid and brilliant light, I clearly perceived who it was before me. And with a decided and urgent tone I said to him: 'Say: Live Jesus!  Live Mary!' As soon as I pronounced these most sweet and powerful names, Satan immediately disappeared in a flicker of fire, leaving behind him a suffocating stench." 

In a letter on March 2, 1917, Padre Pio said: "You must turn to God when you are assaulted by the enemy; you must hope in Him and expect everything that is good from Him. Don’t voluntarily dwell on what the enemy presents to you. Remember that he who flees wins . . ." 

Padre Pio also explained that the Devil cannot harm us spiritually unless we let him in: "The Devil is like a mad dog tied by a chain. Beyond the length of the chain he cannot catch hold of anyone. And you, therefore, keep your distance. If you get too close you will be caught. Remember, the Devil has only one door with which to enter into our soul: our will. There are no secret or hidden doors. No sin is a true sin if we have not willfully consented." 

Padre Pio said: "I don’t have a minute of free time; it is all spent releasing brethren from the grip of Satan. Blessed be God! The greatest charity is that of liberating souls captivated by Satan and winning them for Christ." 

At the end of Padre Pio’s life (at the age of 80) he was not able to even turn over by himself in bed. Padre Pio had to be lifted into and out of his chair. At times when he would be in his chair, praying the rosary, he would suddenly be thrown out of the chair and onto the ground by the Devil.

Padre Pio said: "If the Devil is making an uproar, it is an excellent sign: what is terrifying is his peace and concord with a man’s soul." 




Prayer to Saint Michael

Saint Michael, the Archangel
Defend us in the day of battle.
Be our safeguard against the wickedness and the snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray.
And do thou, Oh Prince of the Heavenly Host,
By the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the other evil spirits
Who prowl to the world seeking the ruins of souls,
Amen.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Padre Pio on Purgatory


Anyone who met Padre Pio believed that he had a direct connection with the afterlife. When asked about a dead relative or friend, it was fascinating the good Padre always had an answer.

Padre Pio said of Heaven: "Heaven is total joy, continuous joy. We will be constantly thanking God. It is useless to try to figure out exactly what heaven is like, because we can’t understand it. But when the veil of this life is taken off, we will understand things in a different way." 

" . . . at night when I close my eyes the veil is lifted and I see paradise open up before me: and gladdened by this vision I sleep with a smile of sweet beatitude on my lips and a perfectly tranquil countenance . . . " 

"More souls of the dead from Purgatory than of the living climb this mountain to attend my Masses and seek my prayers."

"The souls in Purgatory pray for us, and their prayers are even more effective than ours, because they are accompanied by their suffering. So, let's pray for them, and let's pray them to pray for us."

"You will be surprised to find in Paradise souls you never expected to be there."

"Most of the saved pass through Purgatory before arriving at the fullness of beatitude."

Gerardo De Caro had long conversations with Padre Pio in 1943. In his written notes, he testifies: "Padre Pio had an exact knowledge of the state of a soul after death, including the duration of the pain until it reached total purification."

The Venerable Pope Pius XII
(March 2, 1876 - October 9, 1958)

Pope Pius XII died in Castelgandolfo on October 9, 1958. On that day, Padre Pio told a friar: "Pius XII is in heaven. I saw him during Mass."

One night Padre Pio was sitting alone absorbed in prayer in a room at the convent when an old man entered and sat next to him: "I looked at him but never thought of how he managed to get in the friary at that hour. I asked him, 'Who are you? What do you want?' The man answered, 'Padre Pio, I am Pietro di Mauro, nicknamed Precoco. I died in this friary [in a fire] on September 18, 1908, in room number 4. I am still in Purgatory, and I need a Mass to free my soul from it. God has given me permission to come to you and ask for your prayers.' After I had listened to his story, I said, 'You can rest assured that I will celebrate Mass tomorrow for your liberation.' " Padre Pio reported: "I was agitated. I told the superior Father Paolino da Casacalenda what had happened and asked to celebrate the Mass for Pietro." Father Paolino gave the permission and later went to consult the registry at City Hall. In that date, a fire had killed a man with that name.  

Padre Paolino da Casacalenda

In 1918, Padre Paolino da Casacalenda was the Superior of the convent in San Giovanni Rotondo, when Padre Pio received the Wounds. From 1944 to 1950 he was Superior Provincial in Foggia. He had the idea of organizing a system of reservations for the confessions to Padre Pio that started on January 7,1950. He wrote his memories in a manuscript.

Cleonice Morcaldi with Padre Pio

Padre Pio to Cleonice Morcaldi, a month after the death of her mother: "This morning your mom flew to Paradise. I saw her during Mass."

Padre Pio reported to Padre Anastasio di Roio: "One night I was alone in the choir and I saw a friar cleaning the altar late at night. I asked him to go to bed since it was so late. He said, 'I'm a friar like you. I did here my novitiate and when assigned to take care of the Altar, and I passed many times in front of the Tabernacle without making the proper reverence. For this sin I am in Purgatory, and the Lord sent me to you. You decide how much longer I have to suffer in those flames.' I told him, until the Mass in the morning. He said "Cruel" and disappeared. I still have a wound in my heart. I could have sent him immediately to Paradise, instead he had to stay one more night in the flames of Purgatory."

Padre Onorato Marcucci at the back of Padre Pio

Padre Pio told Padre Onorato Marcucci who was helping him. "Last night I was not well and didn't make you sleep. I have been thinking how to compensate you, so I took a plenary indulgence for your mother to send her to Paradise."

Padre Pio: "I believe that not a great number of souls go to hell. God loves us so much. He formed us at his image. God loves us beyond understanding. And it is my belief that when we have passed from the consciousness of the world, when we appear to be dead, God, before He judges us, will give us a chance to see and understand what sin really is. And if we understand it properly, how could we fail to repent?"

Florence Fine Ehrman'd father contracted in 1965 a severe form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. He asked for Padre Pio's prayers. Her father died in January 1966. She went to Padre Pio in October 1967 asking if her father, a devout Jew, was saved. "Julius Fine is saved, but we need to pray a lot for him."

Padre Raffaele da Sant'Elia a Pianisi

One night in 1944, the friars heard loud voices coming from downstairs saying "Viva Padre Pio". The superior Padre Raffaele da Sant'Elia a Pianisi told the doorkeeper Fra Gerardo da Deliceto to let those people out and lock the door properly. Fra Gerardo went downstairs, didn't find anybody, and the door was double locked as it was supposed to. He went back to report. Padre Raffaele was puzzled and went straight to Padre Pio asking if he knew something. "Oh! Those were soldiers who had died on the battleground, and came to thank me for their salvation."

Fra Modestino da Pietrelcina

In 1945, Fra Modestino asked Padre Pio a comparison between a fire on hearth and the flames of Purgatory. "They compare like fresh water and boiling water." Fra Modestino was from the same town of Padre Pio. His family was a neighbor and his mother grazed the sheep at Piana Romana, like Francesco. He was the doorkeeper of the convent and he did the inventory of the cell after Padre Pio's death. He enjoyed a special spiritual relationship with Padre Pio. 

One day Padre Pio told his doctor: "I'm praying for the good death of my great great grandfather." "But he died more than one hundred years ago!" "Remember that for God there is no past and no future, and everything is present. So God made use at that time of the prayers I'm saying now."

In 1922, Bishop Alberto Costa asked Padre Pio if he had ever seen a soul in Purgatory. "I have seen so many of them that they don't scare me anymore."

A friar testified: "We were all in the dining room when Padre Pio got suddenly up and walked at steady pace to the door of the convent. He opened it and started having a conversation. The two friars that went with him didn't see anybody and started thinking that something might be wrong with Padre Pio. On the way back to the dining area Padre Pio explained. 'Don't worry. I was talking to some souls on their way from Purgatory to Paradise. They came to thank me that I remembered them today in the Mass.' " 

Padre Pio said: "More souls of the dead from Purgatory than of the living climb this mountain to attend my Masses and seek my prayers." 

One time someone asked Padre Pio how Purgatory could be avoided. He replied, "By accepting everything from God's hand. Offering everything up to Him with love and thanksgiving will enable us to pass from our deathbed to paradise."

Nina Campanile's brother Pasqualino died in combat on September 26, 1916. Her mom sent Nina with her teacher Vittorina Ventrella to ask Padre Pio if Pasqualino was saved. "Yes he is saved, but he needs your prayers." She asked again on Christmas 1918. "He is up there!"

Carmela Marocchino's brother Padre Vittore da Canosa died suddenly on January 29, 1958. Carmela asked Padre Pio why the sudden death. "Do you know what Jesus did of your brother? Jesus went into the garden, and there were many flowers, and one was more beautiful than the others. He leaned on the most beautiful and picked it. "Is he saved?" "Yes, but we need to pray." On July 29, she asked again if he was saved. "My daughter, we priests are more responsible in front of God. Let's continue praying." On December 29, 1958, she asked again were her brother was. "He is in Paradise."

Carmela Marocchino asked Padre Pio if her parents were safe. "Even if your parents are in Paradise we need to continue to pray. If they don't need prayers the suffrage are applied to other souls."

Padre Francesco Napolitano reported what he had heard from Orazio, Padre Pio's father. Orazio went to spend some few days with hi son in 1926. He was assigned cell #10. When he tried to enter the cell, two friars stood in front of the door, not letting him in. He explained who he was, to no avail. When he made a step to force himself in, they disappeared. He was terrorized, and went to Padre Pio. "Dad, don't get agitated, those are two poor friars in Purgatory. They have to serve their Purgatory in the spot were they disobeyed the rule of St. Francis."

Padre Pietro Tartaglia

Padre Francesco Napolitano reported that in 1945 Fra Pietro, entering his cell at night, saw a young friar sitting on his desk, with the head down like he was meditating. He asked who he was, but he disappeared. Terrorized, he run to Padre Pio. Padre Pio accompanied him back to his cell and said: "That young friar is a poor novice who is serving his purgatory in this cell. But don't worry he will not bother you again, and you will never see him again."

"The souls in Purgatory repay the prayers that we say for them."

"When we pray for the souls in Purgatory we will always get something back."

 "The souls in Purgatory pray for us."

Padre Giuseppe Antonio da San Marco in Lamis was ill in the Foggia convent. On December 30, 1936, Padre Pio was asked to pray for him because his heath was deteriorating. That night somebody knocked at Padre Pio's door. Padre Giuseppe entered in the room. "How are you doing? They told me that you were gravely ill and now i see you here." "I'm well," Padre Giuseppe replied. "All my suffering has ended, and I came to thank you for your prayers." Then he disappeared. Padre Pio told to the other friars what had happened. Nobody knew yet that Padre Giuseppe had died. Later they found out that he had died at the same time that he had visited Padre Pio.

Maria Pompilio receiving Communion from Padre Pio

Maria Pompilio, when her brother died, asked Padre Pio to intercede so that he could come in her dreams. Her brother came in a dream and said: "Padre Pio assisted me in my agony. He stayed until the Judge judged me. I was given eleven years of Purgatory, but for intercession of Padre Pio the pain was reduced to one year. Many mysteries in the life of Padre Pio will be known only in the other world." The morning after Maria went to see Padre Pio. from afar he said: "Are you glad now?" "Yes, it seems that you are everywhere." "What sense has for me being on Earth if i can't go up and down. I know. Your brother told you that the mystery of my life will be known only in Paradise."


Images courtesy of caccioppoli.com and wikipedia.org
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