“Many are ready to ‘like’ the page of the great saints, but who does what they do? The Christian life is not an ‘I like,’ but an ‘I give myself.’”
—Pope Francis on the fiftieth anniversary of Padre Pio’s death
Toward the end of his life and after his death, Padre Pio has become a popular saint among Catholics. in 2018, Pope Francis made a visit to Pietrelcina to mark the centenary of Padre Pio receiving the stigmata and the 50th anniversary of the saint’s death. While there, he invoked the spirit of Padre Pio, encouraging those in attendance to put their faith into action. He urged them to follow the saint’s example and seek comfort and solace in prayer and the arms of Christ.
How can we emulate the life of this holy saint in our own ways? How can we deepen our prayer lives this Lent and beyond?
In Padre Pio’s Own Words
In all of life’s events, recognize God’s divine will, adore it, bless it. Do not be eager to free yourself from the things that are hard for you and particularly the things that are the hardest. Instead lift up your mind even more to the divine Father and tell him, “My life, like my death, is in your hands. Do with me what is most pleasing to you.”
In times of spiritual oppression, say to him, “Lord, God of my heart, you alone know and understand completely the heart of every creature. You alone know my pain, you alone understand that all my anguish arises from my fear of losing you, of offending you, and of not loving you as much as you deserve and as much as I ought to and want to. If you, to whom everything is present and who alone can read the future, know that it is better for your glory and for my salvation that I be in this state, so be it. I do not ask to be delivered from it. Give me strength so that I can fight and obtain the prize of valiant souls.”
(To Raffaelina Cerase, March 4, 1915)
St. Pio, help us be active in our faith and be of service to others in order to help spread the Gospel message.