Memorial of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, priest

“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.”


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Padre Pio during the celebration of the Latin Mass, turning toward the people for the Dominus Vobiscum. Image via Wikipedia

St. Pio of Pietrelcina
[Padre Pio was b]orn [in 1887,] to a southern Italian farm family [in the small village of Pietrelcina] , the son of Grazio, a shepherd. At age 15 he entered the novitiate of the Capuchin Friars in Morcone, and joined the order at age 19. He suffered several health problems, and at one point his family thought he had tuberculosis. He was ordained at age 22 on 10 August 1910.

While praying before a cross on September 20, 1918, Padre Pio received the stigmata. He is the first priest ever to be so blessed. As word spread, especially after American soldiers brought home stories of Padre Pio following WWII, the priest himself became a point of pilgrimage for both the pious and the curious. He would hear confessions by the hour, reportedly able to read the consciences of those who held back. He was reportedly able to bi-locate, levitate, and heal by touch.

[For fifty years at the monastery of San Giovanni Rotundo he was a much sought after spiritual advisor, confessor, and intercessor whose life was devoted to the Eucharist and prayer. Yet despite such notoriety, he would often say, “I only want to be a poor friar who prays.”]

In 1956 he founded the House for the Relief of Suffering, a hospital that serves 60,000 a year.

Today there are over 400,000 members worldwide in prayer groups began by Padre Pio in the 1920’s.

His canonization miracle involved the cure of Matteo Pio Colella, age 7, the son of a doctor who works in the House for Relief of Suffering, the hospital in San Giovanni Rotondo. On the night of June 20, 2000, Matteo was admitted to the intensive care unit of the hospital with meningitis. By morning doctors had lost hope for him as nine of the boy’s internal organs had ceased to give signs of life. That night, during a prayer vigil attended by Matteo’s mother and some Capuchin friars of Padre Pio’s monastery, the child’s condition improved suddenly. When he awoke from the coma, Matteo said that he had seen an elderly man with a white beard and a long, brown habit, who said to him: “Don’t worry, you will soon be cured.” The miracle was approved by the Congregation and Pope John Paul II on 20 December 2001.

Adapted from the Discount Catholic Store, Inc.

Things to Do:

  • St. Pio is a saint of the last century, so there are many pictures and biographies to read more about his life. Having this gift of the stigmata was very hard on his life — both physically and emotionally. Find out more about the stigmata and his other mystical gifts, such as bilocation. St. Pio also had great devotion to his guardian angel.
  • From the Catholic Culture library: Biography of Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, The Devil and Padre Pio, Five Maxims for Living a Devout Life and His Wounds Spoke of God’s Love for All. There are many other documents in the library which may be found by searching for “pio”.
  • Mass Readings for Today

    Reading 1: Eccl 1:2-11

    Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth,
    vanity of vanities! All things are vanity!
    What profit has man from all the labor
    which he toils at under the sun?
    One generation passes and another comes,
    but the world forever stays.
    The sun rises and the sun goes down;
    then it presses on to the place where it rises.
    Blowing now toward the south, then toward the north,
    the wind turns again and again, resuming its rounds.
    All rivers go to the sea,
    yet never does the sea become full.
    To the place where they go,
    the rivers keep on going.
    All speech is labored;
    there is nothing one can say.
    The eye is not satisfied with seeing
    nor is the ear satisfied with hearing.

    What has been, that will be;
    what has been done, that will be done.
    Nothing is new under the sun.
    Even the thing of which we say, “See, this is new!”
    has already existed in the ages that preceded us.
    There is no remembrance of the men of old;
    nor of those to come will there be any remembrance
    among those who come after them.

    R. (1) In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
    You turn man back to dust,
    saying, “Return, O children of men.”
    For a thousand years in your sight
    are as yesterday, now that it is past,
    or as a watch of the night.
    R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
    You make an end of them in their sleep;
    the next morning they are like the changing grass,
    Which at dawn springs up anew,
    but by evening wilts and fades.
    R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
    Teach us to number our days aright,
    that we may gain wisdom of heart.
    Return, O LORD! How long?
    Have pity on your servants!
    R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
    Fill us at daybreak with your kindness,
    that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.
    Prosper the work of our hands for us!
    Prosper the work of our hands!
    R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.

    Gospel: Lk 9:7-9

    Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening,
    and he was greatly perplexed because some were saying,
    “John has been raised from the dead”;
    others were saying, “Elijah has appeared”;
    still others, “One of the ancient prophets has arisen.”
    But Herod said, “John I beheaded.
    Who then is this about whom I hear such things?”
    And he kept trying to see him.

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