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."