Friday, September 23, 2011

St. Pio of Pietrelcina

Padre Pio is one of the greatest and best known saints of modern time. He was a Capuchin Franciscan whose deep devotion to the sufferings of Jesus led to his receiving the mystical gift of the stigmata. May this good and holy man intercede with us now for the Holy Father’s intentions. In June 2009 Pope Benedict visited his tomb and said the following:

Then there is another important lesson we can learn from Padre Pio’s life: the value of and need for prayer. He would answer those who asked him to express an opinion of himself: "I am only a poor friar who prays". And effectively he prayed always and everywhere with humility, trust and perseverance. Here then is a key point, not only for the spirituality of the priest but also for that of every Christian, and especially for you, dear men and women religious, chosen to follow Christ more closely through the practice of the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. One may sometimes be overcome by a certain discouragement at the weakening or even abandonment of faith which is recorded in our secularized societies. It is certainly necessary to find new channels for communicating the Gospel truth to the men and women of our time, but if the essential content of the Christian proclamation is always to remain the same, we must turn to its original source, to Jesus Christ who is "the same yesterday and today and forever" (Heb 13: 8). The human and spiritual life of Padre Pio teaches us that only a soul closely united with the Crucified One succeeds in communicating the joy and riches of the Gospel even to those who are remote.

Love for Christ is inevitably linked to love for Christ's Church, guided and enlivened by the power of the Holy Spirit, in which each one of us has a role and mission to carry out. Dear priests, dear men and women religious, the tasks entrusted to you and the charisms which you interpret may differ but may the spirit in which you carry them out always be the same so that your presence and action among the Christian people become an eloquent witness of God's primacy in your lives. Was it not perhaps precisely this that everyone perceived
 in St. Pio of Pietrelcina?

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