Padre Pio & Mary Pyle

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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.

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