|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