Padre Pio – Crown of Thorns

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“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.

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