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Padre Pio – Bilocation

 

Bilocation means being in two different places at the same time.    That’s impossible for us to do – we can only be in one place at any given time.    But so many were the calls on Padre Pio for his help that he was blessed with this ability.   He could be in  two different places at once.    It was a gift that was given to him by God.

Often he appeared to people who had never seen him before but who had sought his help in their hour of need.   He appeared to people all over Italy and even in foreign countries far distant from there.    He hurried to the bedside of the sick who asked for his presence and his care.

Father Fernando writes  ” One day in 1922 the friars of San Giovanni Rotondo were talking about the bilocation of Saint Anthony of Padua as it was close to his feast day.    One young friar observed that perhaps those so privileged were not aware of their bilocation.    Padre Pio with the assurance of an expert answered   ” Of course they know.    They might not know whether it’s their body or their soul that moves but they are fully aware of what is taking place and where they are going “.

In 1956 one of the community Father Francesco Napolitano had just returned from the United States.     In the refectory when the friars were at meals he often spoke about his trip and especially about New York.    Padre Pio always enjoyed listening to him.   Once he asked Padre Pio  ” Have you ever been to New York Padre ?”     Without thinking he replied  ” Oh yes.    You have been there once.    I’ve been there hundreds of times “.     Then Father Eusebio came up with a question   ” When you are in America what language do you speak ?”    Padre Pio replied brusquely  ” Italian  of course.    How many miracles do you expect the Lord to work for me ?”

On another occasion when he was presented with some pilgrims who asked for his prayers one lady spoke up.    ” Father I call on you constantly.     I keep inviting you but you never come “.      ” Yes ” replied Padre Pio  ” do you think I am deaf ?     You have exasperated me with your constant little complaints.    It would be better if you had a little faith in God “.

On the feast of Corpus Christi, June 12th, 1952 Lucia Bellodi was lying on her death bed.

When she was fourteen years of age Lucia developed serious diabetes. As she grew older her diabetes got worse. Her stomach became very swollen and she had an insatiable thirst. She used to drink about fifty pints of water every day.

Then on the feast of Corpus Christi she stopped drinking water and asked to be taken to the chapel.   While there she drank no water and even refused it when offered to her.   Suddenly she opened her eyes, sat up in bed and began waving her arms as if she were overcome by joy.    She cried out   ” Padre Pio told me I am cured.   He told me to get up and to come at once to his monastery because he wanted to bless me and praise God with me.”    She was completely cured.

Later she visited San Giovanni Rotondo and met Padre Pio.   He smiled at her, blessed her and said “I have been waiting for you”.

In World War II  an Italian regiment was being fiercely shelled by the Allies, one of the Italian soldiers had taken cover behind a large rock.   Suddenly a “monk” as he called him stood next to him and told him to get out from behind the rock.    The soldier refused until eventually the monk caught him by the arm and physically dragged him away.    At that very moment a shell exploded where they had stood and devastated the whole area.    The soldier was safe.    The monk had disappeared.

A few days later the soldier told a friend what had happened.     The friend showed him a picture of Padre Pio which he had with him.    ” That’s the monk who saved my life ”  the soldier exclaimed.    He had never seen or heard of Padre Pio before that.

The  Capuchin superior wrote    ” An elderly lady in America contracted cancer and could not be cured.     She would die.     One day a friend gave her a picture of Padre Pio and said ‘ This friar can cure you ‘.    The lady had never even heard of Padre Pio.    Then one night he appeared to her and asked her to become a Catholic and he assured her that she would be cured.    Later the woman called a priest and after a long period of instruction she was baptised and became a Catholic.    She was cured of her cancer and afterwards lived a normal life.

On another occasion Padre Pio was seen in the Vatican kneeling and praying at the tomb of Pope Saint Pius X.

In Uruguay in South America Monsignor Damiani was vicar general of the diocese.    On one of his frequent visits to Padre Pio he asked him to promise that he would assist him at the hour of his death.    One night in 1941 the Archbishop Barbieri was awakened by a knock on his bedroom door.    In the shadows he saw a Capuchin priest who said to him  ” Go and help Monsignor Damiani,  he is dying “.     He got up and hurried to the dying man’s bedside.    Father Navarro administered the last rites and a half hour later he died.    Years later Archbishop Barbieri went to San Giovanni Rotondo  and he confirmed that the Capuchin he had seen in the shadows was Padre Pio.

 

 

 

Padre Pio – More Miracles

gemma di g

Gemma di Giorgio was born on Christmas Day, 1939. But all was not well. She had no pupils in her eyes. The oculist told her that she would never be able to see.

The pupil is the black part at the centre of the eye. In fact it is an opening that allows light to enter the eye. Without puplils no light can get into the eye. Gemma would always be blind.

When she was six years of age her grandmother brought her to San Giovanni Rotondo to ask for Padre Pio’s help and prayers. Gemma was to make her first confession to him and receive her First Holy Communion. They joined the crowd outside the confessional. Then Padre Pio looked out and motioned Gemma to come to him. Her grandmother pushed her forward and told her to be sure to ask for the favour. But Gemma had no idea what a favour was. She forgot to ask Padre Pio, but after confession he made the sign of the cross on each eye. Gemma could see!

The doctors could not explain it. She still had no pupils but she could see.

In 1968 Giuseppe Scatigna developed a red spot in his groin. The doctors said it was nothing but it was very painful and did not go away. Giuseppe and his wife went to Lourdes to ask Our Lady and Padre Pio to cure it.

Then the doctor said an operation was necessary. They opened his groin and found a tumor which later proved to be malignant. The doctors sent him home from the hospital even before the incision had closed as they though he would die.

His wife went to the superior of San Giovanni and asked him to pray with all the friars for Giuseppe. He was so touched by her tears that he brought her a piece of cloth that had been used by Padre Pio and told her to put it on the sick part of his body.

A few days later the doctor took more x-rays and this time he was puzzled. He told the wife “I don’t know but these x-ray show that there is nothing wrong. I can’t see any tumor.” She replied “Oh! that means Padre Pio has finally worked the miracle.”

The doctor dismissed Giuseppe with the words “You can go home now, there is nothing I can do for you.” Giuseppe returned home to Palermo. He took no medication, he was completely well, he even put on a little weight and all subsequent medical examinations showed no sign of the cancer returning.

Margherita  Hamilton had her friend Giovanna staying with her. They were walking on the terrace.   Giovanna remarked “What a beautiful rose. Can I take it please.” “No” was the answer, “that is the first rose – it must go to the Madonna.” The next day another rose had opened. Margherita cut it and her friend told her to give it to Padre Pio. She put it in a little vase beside a picture of the Padre. The next day the rose had disappeared. A thorough search proved fruitless. “It seems that Padre Pio has accepted it” Giovanna said.

About three weeks later they went to San Giovanni Rotondo and met Padre Pio. He had the rose in his hand. “Thank you very much for the rose” he said and he gave it back to them. Giovanna had it framed and hung it up in her house.

A year after the death of Padre Pio, Margherita and a friend went for a drive. After about an hour Margherita got very thirsty. Her mouth was completely dry and she could hardly speak. “Please stop soon when you see somewhere we can get something to drink. I am very thirsty and it’s terrible.” she said.

Finally they came to the place where they could turn off and leave the car. As they walked to the cafe they heard this terrible bang. They went in and asked the proprietor if someone had thrown a bomb. “Oh no” he replied “there’s just been a crash outside”

As they looked they saw a truck that had been following them stuck into the back of the truck that had been in front. If they had not stopped, if Magherita had not been thirsty their car would have been crushed between the two. “I saw the hand of Padre Pio in this as my thirst immediately disappeared” she said.

But also, when they returned another friend came rushing to greet her. “It’s a miracle that you see me” Margherita told her. “I know” said her friend “I had a dream of Padre Pio and I asked him how you were” she said “Oh Margherita!” he replied,. “You can thank me because if it had not been for me you would never see her again.” Padre Pio told her that and without that she could not have known.

Padre Pio – The Miracles

Giovanni Savino and his son

 

 

In 1949 some workmen were building a small extension to the friary. While digging the foundations they came across a huge rock which had to be removed. They set a charge of dynamite under the rock, lit the fuse and retreated to safety. They waited a minute but nothing happened. They waited more but still no explosion. Then one of the men, Giovanni Savino went up to have a look. Suddenly the dynamite exploded in his face.    ( Pictured on left are Giovanni Savino and his son ).

A shower of rock hit him in the face which was badly burned .    The doctor confirmed  his right eye socket was completely empty.

He was taken to the hospital in Foggia to recover. There the words of Padre Pio before the accident began to make sense. Each morning, after mass, Giovanni would kneel and say “Padre Pio, bless me I am going to work” and he would put his hands on his head and bless him. But on the day of the accident Padre Pio threw his arms around him and said “Courage,  I’ll pray to the Lord that it may not cause your death”. I didn’t know what he was talking about.

After about ten days he awoke one morning at about one o’clock. He felt someone give him a light slap on the right side of the face, where the eye was gone. “Who touched me?” he asked, but there was nobody there. Then he smelted the aroma of Padre Pio -  a beautiful scent often associated with him.

The next day they took him to the oculist for treatment to his left eye. The right eye was gone. When the oculist removed the bandages Giovanni excitedly exclaimed “Doctor, I can see you.” The oculist turned his head so he was looking at him with his left eye. “No” Giovanni protested “I can see nothing with my left eye. It’s with my right eye that I see you.” “Are you crazy ” the oculist asked “you don’t have a right eye!” “I see you with my right eye” Giovanni assured him.

The oculist was an atheist. Eventually he examined the right eye socket yet again. To his amazement the eye was in the socket. “Now I believe” said the oculist because of what I have seen for myself.”

Laurino Costa lived in Padua. He had never heard of Padre Pio but a friend told him he had been to see him and he gave him his address and a photograph of the Padre. Laurino was fascinated by him and within a few days he wrote a letter to Padre Pio and soon received a reply telling him to go to San Giovanni Rotondo immediately.

He had never seen Padre Pio and the Padre had never seen him but when he arrived Padre Pio called out “Laurino, come. I see you have arrived. Now go feed my sick.” “But Padre, I am not a cook. I don’t know how to cook meals.” “Go. I’ll always be near you” was the reply.

He began cooking and felt as though it had always been his trade. He catered for eight hundred people each day. Eventualy he moved his family from the north of Italy to live in San Giovanni. After the death of Padre Pio, Laurino remained as cook for the hospital.

Shortly before his death, Padre Pio told a crowd of his spiritual children: “I will wait for you at the gates of heaven”. Today as we gather to honour him he says to us: “I will wait for you at the gates of heaven.”

Padre Pio – The Power of Prayer

During the war Padre Pio assured his friends that San Giovanni Rotondo would not be bombed. It wasn’t , although nearby Foggia was heavily bombed. A man asked him if they would bomb Genoa. He answered “Genoa will be bombed”, then he grew pale and his eyes filled with tears. “Oh how they will bomb that poor city. So many homes, building and churches will crumble”. But then he turned to the man and smiled. “Don’t worry. Your home will not be damaged.” In the mass of ruins that Genoa was reduced to just one building remained standing. It was that man’s house.

One day a man called Pietruccio complained to Padre Pio: “I can’t pray very attentively”. Padre Pio answered him: “In that case go near Our Lord in the Church without saying anything. It is enough if you just give him your time.”

And again, “On some occasions he will console you, but even if that never happens be content. Our obligation is to follow him. Consider it an honour and a grace that he should take us into his presence”.

“In this way don’t bother yourself about speaking to him. Just standing by his side is no less useful. Perhaps it is even better, though it doesn’t appeal to us as much”".

How often have we felt like that. We find ourselves unable to pray. Padre Pio tells us to just spend time with Jesus and not to worry about words, or what to say.

He recommended regular Mass and confession and also devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of God.  His devotion to Our Lady centred mainly on the Rosary which he also recommended to his followers.

One day Padre Eusebio visited Padre Pio in his room proud to tell him that he had said fifteen decades of the rosary. “I thought I had prayed enough to earn a word of praise from him”. He then asked Padre Pio how many rosaries he had said that  day. Padre Pio replied “I have said sixty rosaries of fifteen decades each. But keep that to yourself.”  Amazed Padre Eusebio asked “But Padre Pio how can you pray that much?” to which he got the reply. “How can you not pray that much.”

He never left the rosary out of his hands. One of his brothers remarked “I am surprised it didn’t take root in his fingers”. From morning till night he constantly fingered the beads that hung from his belt.

As well as devotion to St. Francis and to his guardian angel Padre Pio had a great devotion to St. Dominic and St. Catherine of Siena because of their devotion to Our Lady of the Rosary. Every day he prayed to St. Joesph.  For two to three months before he died he asked to have a picture of St. Joseph put on the verandah and as he passed on his way to bless the crowds he stopped there and prayed. One of the brothers said “We never realised at the time that he was praying to St. Joseph, the patron of happy death.”

We could count in millions the number of Padre Pio’s followers who loved him dearly. Their letters attest to this. The friars saved all these letters and built a storeroom like a big garage next to the friary. Eventually the storeroom became full with an estimated two million letters from all over the world thanking Padre Pio for favours, small and great. Then in 1968 a visitator from the Vatican ordered that all those letters be destroyed. Obediently the Capuchins did what he said. The loss was irreparable.

The people who wrote to Padre Pio before his death were told by him to live a christian life by keeping the commandments. Now that Padre Pio is in heaven we can be sure that he will accept everybody on the same terms. People who have asked a favour of him are amazed at the protection they receive and at the peace and joy they experience. There is no harm in putting Padre Pio to the test.

 

Sunday Reading – 7th July 2013

FIRST READING:              Genesis 22:1-19
(The sacrifice of our father Abraham. In being prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac, Abraham’s faith is tested. He is proved loyal and faithful and is rewarded with the promise of many descendants who will become a great nation.)

It happened some time later that God put Abraham to the test. ‘Abraham, Abraham’ he called. ‘Here I am’ he replied. ‘Take your son,’ God said ‘your only child Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah. There you shall offer him as a burnt offering, on a mountain I will point out to you.’

Rising early next morning Abraham saddled his ass and took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. He chopped food for the burnt offering and started on his journey to the place God had pointed out to him. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. Then Abraham said to his servants, ‘Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I will go over there; we will worship and come back to you.’

Ab's SACRIFICEAbraham took the wood for the burnt offering, loaded it, on Isaac, and carried in his own hands the fire and the knife. Then the two of them set out together. Isaac spoke to his father Abraham, ‘Father’ he said. ‘Yes, my son’  he replied. ‘Look,’ he said ‘here are the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?’ Abraham answered, ‘My son, God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering’, Then the two of them went on together.

When they arrived at the place God had pointed out to him, Abraham built an altar there, and arranged the wood. Then he bound his son Isaac and put him on the altar on top of the wood. Abraham stretched out his hand and seized the knife to kill his son.

But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven. ‘Abraham, Abraham’ he said. ‘I am here’ he replied. ‘Do not raise your hand against the boy’ the angel said. ‘Do not harm him, for now I know you fear God. You have not refused me your son, your only son.’ Then looking up, Abraham saw a ram caught by its horns in a bush. Abraham took the ram and offered it as a burnt-offering in place of his son. Abraham called this place the Lord provides’, and hence the saying today: On the mountain the Lord provides.

The angel of the Lord called Abraham a second time from heaven. ‘I swear by my own self – it is the Lord who speaks – because you have done this, because you have not refused me your son, your only son, I will shower blessings on you, I will make your descendants as many as the stars of heaven and the grains of sand on the seashore. Your descendants shall gain possession of the gates of their enemies. All the nations of the earth shall bless themselves by your descendants, as a reward for your obedience.’

Abraham went back to his servants, and together they set out for Beersheba, and he settled in Beersheba.

Responsorial Psalm :      Ps 114
Response:   
                       I will walk in the presence of the Lord
                                              in the land of the living.
Or:                                        Alleluia!

1. I love the Lord for he has heard
the cry of my appeal;
for he turned his ear to me
in the day when I called him.          Response

2. They surrounded me, the snares of death,
with the anguish of the tomb;
they caught me, sorrow and distress.
I called on the Lord’s name.
O Lord my God, deliver me!             Response

3. How gracious is the Lord, and just;
our God has compassion.
The Lord protects the simple hearts;
I was helpless so he saved me.    Response

4. He has kept my soul from death,
(my eyes from tears)
and my feet from stumbling.
I will walk in the presence of the Lord
in the land of the living.                     Response

Gospel  Acclamation          Jn 14: 6

Alleluia, alleluia!
Blessed are you, Father,
Lord of heaven and earth,
for revealing the mysteries of the kingdom
to mere children.
Alleluia!

or                                              2 Cor 5:19

Alleluia, alleluia!
God in Christ was reconciling the world to himself,
and he has entrusted to us the news that they are reconciled.
Alleluia!

GOSPEL:                             Matthew 9:1-8

Jesus got back in the boat, crossed the water and came to his own town. Then some people appeared, bringing him a paralytic stretched out on a bed. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, ‘Courage, my child, your sins are forgiven’. And at this some scribes said to themselves, ‘This man is blaspheming’. Knowing what was in their minds Jesus said, ‘Why do you have such wicked thoughts in your hearts? Now, which of these is easier to say, “Your sins are forgiven”, or to say, “Get up and walk”? But to prove to you that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,’ – he said to the paralytic – ‘get up, and pick up your bed and go off home’.

And the man got up and went home. A feeling of awe came over the crowd when they saw this, and they praised God for giving such power to men.

 

Padre Pio – Crown of Thorns

12893809-closeup-of-a-representation-of-the-jesus-christ-crown-of-thorns

“What time is it?”  Padre Pio would continually enquire from his bed.    ”It’s early yet.    It is only one o’clock in the morning”  he would be told.    ”Help me to get up.    What am I doing in this bed.    From half past one until four o’clock he would sit in his little armchair as he prepared for Mass, praying the rosary.    At four o’clock he would go to the sacristy and continue his preparation for Mass.  He would continually ask  ‘What time is it?’.    Hurry up. I  must be at the altar at five o’clock.”

Padre Pio always cried during his mass.    When asked why he answered    ”I want to shed a flood of tears.    Don’t you see the great mystery of the Mass?”

In the early years of his priesthood Padre Pio’s  mass lasted about three hours but later the time became less.    When the mass was changed from Latin to Italian, Padre Pio asked for and was given permission to continue using Latin.

He was nearly eighty years of age and was almost blind.    It would have been too difficult for him to change.    Then he received another permission, to remain seated during his Mass.    He was allowed to say the Mass of Our Lady or the Mass of the Dead instead of the Mass of the day.

A young man from San Giovanni was engaged to a girl.    As a condition for their marriage she insisted that he go to see Padre Pio.    One morning the young man attended Padre Pio’s Mass but stood at the back of the church.    For several days he did this and after a week he broke down and cried.    Padre Pio saw him and said “Thank God.   Do not tell anyone.”.    “But Padre Pio I saw you at the altar and you were crowned with thorns” the young man stammered.   “Go home, thank God for what you have seen and tell no one.” Padre Pio replied.

But the young man told his fiancee.    He told her that each morning at Mass he saw Padre Pio crowned with thorns and his face covered in blood.   She could not resist telling her friends.    Soon word spread all over the place.

A woman asked Padre Pio if it were true, to which he answered  “Do you have a doubt?   You are like St Thomas.”

Laurino Costa was head cook at the Home for the Relief of Suffering, Padre Pio’s hospital.    When he first arrived he did not believe the claims of the holiness of Padre Pio.   One day he went to the church for confession.    ”Hurry Laurino.   If you hurry you will be first for confession today a priest told him.    He went to the sacristy where he found Padre Pio  on his own.    He had a deep cross cut into his forehead and his face was covered in blood.   Instinctively Laurino reached for his handkerchief to wipe away the blood.    But he could not move his arm.

The two men just stood and stared at each other for all of ten minutes. Finally Padre Pio spoke: “Well Laurino, how long is it since your last confession?”    He then proceeded to confess all Laurino’s sins in that time before giving him absolution.

Lauino left the church in a state of shock. For several weeks he couldn’t sleep.    Finally he decided to have it out with Padre Pio.    When he reached the priory he found Padre Pio standing at the door, waiting for him.   ”Come, come Laurino” he said.    Laurino stammered  ”Tell me Padre Pio, why did you make me see you like that?”    Padre Pio replied  ”Oh Laurino, what a dunce you are.    It was a grace which God wanted yo give you”.

Today we ask Padre Pio to intercede for us so that God will give us all the graces and blessing that we need.

Sunday Reading – 23th June 2013

FIRST READING: 2Corinthians 12:1-10

Must I go on boasting, though there is nothing to be gained by it? But I will move on to the visions and revelations I have had from the Lord. I know a man in Christ who, fourteen years ago, was caught up whether still in the body or out of the body, I do not know; God knows-right into the third heaven. I do know, however, that this same person-whether in the body or out of the body, I do not know; God knows- was caught up into paradise and heard things which must not and cannot be put into human language. I will boast about a man like that, but not about anything of my own except my weaknesses. If I should decide to boast, I should not be made to look foolish, because I should only be speaking the truth; but I am not going to, in case anyone should begin to think I am better than he can actually see and hear me to be.

In view of the extraordinary nature of these revelations, to stop me from getting too proud I was given a thorn in the flesh, an angel of Satan to beat me and stop me from getting too proud! About this thing, I have pleaded with the Lord three times for it to leave me, but he has said, ‘My grace is enough for you: my power is at its best in weakness’. So I shall be very happy to make my weaknesses my special boast so that the power of Christ may stay over me, and that is why I am quite content with my weaknesses, and with insults, hardships, persecutions, and the agonies I go through for Christ’s sake. For it is when I am weak that I am strong.

Responsorial Psalm : Ps33
Response : Taste and see that the Lord is good.

1. The angel of the Lord is encamped
around those who revere him, to rescue them.
Taste and see that the Lord is good.
He is happy who seeks refuge in him. Response

2. Revere the Lord, you his saints.
They lack nothing, those who revere him.
Strong lions suffer want and go hungry
but those who seek the Lord lack no blessing. Response

3. Come, children, and hear me
that I may teach you the fear of the Lord.
Who is he who longs for life
and many days, to enjoy his prosperity? Response

Gospel Acclamation Mt 4: 4

Alleluia, alleluia!
Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word
that comes from the mouth of God .
Alleluia!

or 2 Cor 8: 9

Alleluia, alleluia!
Jesus Christ was rich,
but he became poor for your sake,
to make you rich out of his poverty.
Alleluia!

GOSPEL: Matthew 6:24-34

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘No one can be the slave of two masters: he will either hate the first and love the second, or treat the first with respect and the second with scorn. You cannot be the slave both of God and of money.

‘That is why I am telling you not to worry about your life and what you are to eat, nor about your body and how you are to clothe it. Surely life means more than food, and the body more than clothing! Look at the birds in the sky. They do not sow or reap or gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are we not worth much more than they are? Can any of you, for all his worrying, add one single cubit to his span of life? And why worry about clothing? Think of the flowers growing in the fields; they never have to work or spin; yet I assure you that not even Solomon in all his regalia was robed like one of these. Now if that is how God clothes the grass in the field which is there today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, will he not much more look after you, you men of little faith? So do not worry; do not say, “What are we to eat? What are we to drink? How are we to be clothed?” It is the pagans who set their hearts on all these things. Your heavenly Father knows you need them all. Set your hearts on his kingdom first, and on his righteousness, and all these other things will be given you as well. So do not worry about tomorrow: tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Padre Pio & Mary Pyle

maria_pyle

Mary Pyle was baptised into the Presbyterian church in New York City.    In 1918 six years before she met Padre Pio she became a Catholic.    She was strongly influenced to do this by the urging of Maria Montessori, the internationally renowned educator whom she had known and toured with for ten years.

From the time of her baptism she searched for a spiritual director.    Then in 1924 she visited San Giovanni Rotondo.     Here was the wise man who could guide her to God.    She bought a small house in San Giovanni and exchanged her fine clothes for the dull brown habit of the Franciscan Third Order, the lay branch of the Order which St. Francis founded for men and women.

Most of her time was taken up working for Padre Pio.    Mary, or Maria as she was known in Italy was his secretary and looked after the huge volume of correspondence he got.    She had inherited a family fortune.    Through her generosity a friary and seminary were built in Pietrelcina.    She purchased the house where Padre Pio had been born and contributed a large sum to his hospital.    In 1968, Maria died in that hospital when she was aged eighty years.

Alberto del Fante, another devoted follower of Padre Pio wrote  “I was an atheist.    But Padre Pio has given me life in every way.    Now I pray. I attend Sunday mass.    It gives me pleasure when my children make the sign of the cross before they eat, and thank God who gives us our daily bread.     I am happy when I receive Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.”

Padre Pio gave his followers the word of God in a most informal, relaxed and personal way. A casual remark meaningless to anyone but the person concerned would condition them to follow his guidance. A word from him would lead them to pray the rosary or to spend an hour in front of the Blessed Sacrament.

A nurse from Brooklyn, New York wrote – “Padre Pio helps me every day.    I receive favour after favour.     Apparently he is as concerned with people now as he ever was.”

Alfonso d’Artega was a renowned musician who conducted symphony orchestras in America and in Europe.     He and his wife went San Giovanni Rotondo to see Padre Pio.     Alfonso wanted to go to confession to him.

They allowed themselves two days.   Padre Vincenzo said they could see Padre Pio, but they would have to wait five days for the appointment.    Alfonso was heartbroken as he had committed himself to a  recording session in three days.     He would have to return to Rome.

As he walked away cresfallen a man crossed the street and asked him  ”Have you been to confession?”    Alfonso answered no and told the man of his predicament.     ” I’ll give you a ticket”  the man replied.    ” I’ve tried to give it to others but no one will take it.”    Suspecting he was making a deal, Alfonso asked what strings were attached.    “None, just take it.” the man replied.

Alfonso took it and returned to the friary.    Padre Vincenzo was just locking up when Alfonso came and told him of his good fortune.    One hour later Alfonso was kneeling, shaking, before Padre Pio.     Alfonso later said  ”He was very gentle with me.   He gave me absolution straight away despite my many mistakes.”

Padre Pio has given millions of favours to those who ask him, favours from God with whom he intercedes.    And he still does. that is why we have gathered here this morning, as we gather on the first Saturday of every month to ask Padre Pio to intercede for us, to win for us from God all the graces and blessings that we need.

Padre Pio please hear us and help us.

Padre Pio – Stigmata and His Wounds

In September 1911, Padre Pio wrote to his spiritual advisor Padre Benedetto.

Yesterday evening something happened which I cannot understand.   In the centre of the palms of my hands a redness appeared.    There was also an intense and acute pain.    Even under my feet I can feel some pain.

Six months later he described what is commonly known as the “transfixion” of his heart.

From Thursday evening until Saturday and on Tuesday I experienced excruciating agony.    My heart, my hands and my feet seemed to be transfixed with a sword. I felt tremendous pain

It was he said as if someone has plunged a fiery sword into his heart.

The wounds disappeared after a few days but the occurence was repeated every week.    After a few years the wounds became permanent, and also the constant pain, always the pain!

In September 1918 he wrote

The intense pain of the open wounds makes me angry against my will.    It leads me to the pain of delirium

And again

I have endured terrible and sorrowful hours.    I die every moment, and fear for the loss of faith in God.    My soul doesn’t know God.   Oh God where are you?     Where have you gone to hide?    Where can I look for you?    Have you given me up for ever?    My God, my God why have you forsaken me?

Then he described in detail the beginning of the stigmata.

It was the morning of the 20th of last month.    I was in choir after celebrating holy mass when I was overcome with drowsiness.    When this was happening I saw in front of me a mysterious exalted person spilling blood from his hands, feet and heart.    The vision faded away and I noticed that my hands, my feet and my side had been pierced and were bleeding.

The wound of my heart pours blood profusely.    My father I am dying from suffering through the pain and confusion which I feel in my soul.    I fear that I will die from the loss of blood if my Lord does not heed the groans of my poor health and stop what is happening.

Will he take away the pain that I’m experiencing from this external sign?    I will cry to him at the top of my voice and will not stop begging him so that in his mercy he will take away, not the suffering, not the pain but I will beg him to remove these external signs which utterly confuse me and which cause indescribable and unbearable humiliation.

Finally in December 1918 he wrote to Padre Benedetto.

For many days I have been aware of something like a shaft of iron entering from the bottom of my heart and penetrating through to the lower part of my right shoulder.    It causes me excruciating pain and does not let me get a bit of sleep.

I offered myself to God as a victim for you

And he offered himself as a victim for us too.    So as we gather today we give thanks to Padre Pio for taking our sufferings on himself and we ask him to continue to bless us and to intercede for us with God.

 

By Father Canice Murphy O.P.

 

Sunday Reading – 16th June 2013

FIRST READING:           2 Samuel 12:7-10.13

Nathan said to David, ‘ The Lord the God of Israel says this, “I anointed you king over Israel; I delivered you from the hands of Saul; I gave your master’s house to you, his wives into your arms; I gave you the House of Israel and of Judah; and if this were not enough, I would add as much again for you. Why have you shown contempt for Yahweh, doing what displeases him? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword, taken his wife for your own, and killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. So now the sword will never be far from your House, since you have shown contempt for me and taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.”

David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against Yahweh’. Then Nathan said to David, ‘Yahweh, for his part, forgives your sin; you are not to die.’

RESPONSORIAL PSALM:   Ps 31
Response :                              Forgive, Lord, the guilt of my sin.

1. Happy the man whose offence is forgiven
whose sin is remitted.
O happy the man to whom the Lord
imputes no guilt,
in whose spirit is no guile. :                          Response

2. But now I have acknowledged my sins:
my guilt I did not hide.
I said: ‘I will confess
my offence to the Lord.’
And you, Lord, have forgiven
the guilt of my sin.                                            Response

3. You are my hiding place, O Lord;
you save me from distress.
You surround me with cries of deliverance. Response

4. Rejoice, rejoice in the Lord,
exult, you just!
O come, ring out your joy,
all you upright of heart.                                   Response

SECOND READING:       Gal 2:16. 19-21

We acknowledge that what makes a man righteous is not obedience to the Law, but faith in Jesus Christ. We had to become believers in Christ Jesus no less than you had, and now we hold that faith in Christ rather than fidelity to the Law is what justifies us, and that no one can be justified by keeping the Law. In other words, through the Law I am dead to the Law, so that now I can live for God. I have been crucified with Christ, and I live now not with my own life but with the life of Christ who lives in me. The life I now live in this body I live in faith: faith in the Son of God who loved me and who sacrificed himself for my sake. I cannot bring myself to give up God’s gift: if the Law can justify us, there is no point in the death of Christ.’

Gospel  Acclamation          Jn 1: 14. 12

Alleluia, alleluia!
I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, says the Lord;
no one can come to the Father except through me.
Alleluia!

Or                                             1Jn 4:10

Alleluia, alleluia!
God’ so loved us when he sent his Son
to be the sacrifice that takes our sins away.
Alleluia!

Gospel:                                   Luke 7:36—8:3

One of the Pharisees invited Jesus to a meal. When he arrived at the Pharisee’s house and took his place at table, a woman came in, who had a bad name in the town. She had heard he was dining with the Pharisee and had brought with her an alabaster jar of ointment. She waited behind him at his feet, weeping, and her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them away with her hair; then she covered his feet with kisses and anointed them with the ointment.

When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet, he would know who this woman is that is touching him and what a bad name she has.’ Then Jesus took him up and said, ‘Simon, I have something to say to you.’‘Speak Master’ was the reply. ‘There was once a creditor who had two men in. his debt; one owed him five hundred denarii, the other fifty. They were unable to pay, so he pardoned them both. Which of them will love him more?’‘The one who was pardoned more, I suppose’ answered Simon. Jesus said, ‘You are right.’

Then he turned to the woman. ‘Simon’, he said ‘you see this woman? I came into your house, and you poured no water over my feet, but she has poured out her tears over my feet and wiped them away with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but she has been covering my feet with kisses ever since I came in. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. For this reason I tell you that her sins, her many sins, must have been forgiven her, or she would not have shown such great love. It is the man who is forgiven little who shows little love.’ Then he said to her, ‘Your sinS are forgiven.’ Those who were with him at table began to say to themselves, ‘Who is this man, that he even forgives sins?’ But he said to the woman ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace.’

Now after this he made his way through towns and villages, preaching, and proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom of God. With him went the Twelve, as well as certain women who had been cured of evil spirits and ailments: Mary surnamed the Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, Joanna the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, Susanna, and several others who provided for them out of their own resources.

The gospel of the Lord.

0r GOSPEL:                          Luke 7:36-50 (Shorter form)

One of the Pharisees invited Jesus to a meal. When he arrived at the Pharisee’s house and took his place at table, a woman came in, who had a bad name in the town. She had heard he was dining with the Pharisee and had brought with her an alabaster jar of ointment. She waited behind him at his feet, weeping, and her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them away with her hair; then she covered his feet with kisses and anointed them with the ointment.

When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet, he would know who this woman is that is touching him and what a bad name she has’. Then Jesus took him up and said, ‘Simon, I have something to say to you’. ‘Speak, Master’ was the reply. ‘There was once a creditor who had two men in his debt; one owed him five hundred denarii, the other fifty. They were unable to pay, so he pardoned them both. Which of them will love him more?’ ‘The one who was pardoned more, I suppose’ answered Simon. Jesus said, ‘You are right’.

Then he turned to the woman. ‘Simon,’ he said ‘you see this woman? I came into your house, and you poured no water over my feet, but she has poured out her tears over my feet and wiped them away with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but she has been covering my feet with kisses ever since I came in. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. For this reason I tell you that her sins, her many sins, must have been forgiven her, or she would not have shown such great love. It is the man who is forgiven little who shows little love.’ Then he said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven’. Those who were with him at table began to say to themselves, ‘Who is this man, that he even forgives sins?’ But he said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace’.