“A seed has been sown in the ground which the Lord God shall warm with the rays of His love.”
—Padre Pio at the opening of the House for the Relief of the Suffering
In 1940, Padre Pio came up with the idea for what he referred to as a “cathedral of charity”—the House for the Relief of Suffering in San Giovanni Rotondo. Padre Pio, himself, offered the first donation of one gold coin to help make it a reality. His followers immediately joined in to support his efforts. In 1956, the hospital officially opened on the hill above the town. It still operates to this day and as well as being a full-service hospital, it is also a world class scientific research center.
Perhaps because of his own suffering, Padre Pio was devoted to alleviating the suffering of others, both physical and spiritual. How can we be a measure of hope for others?
In Padre Pio’s Own Words
By God’s will I continue to be in poor health. But what causes the worst suffering are those strong sharp pains in my chest. At certain times I feel such great agony that it seems the pain is breaking my back and my chest. However, Jesus never stops soothing my sufferings from time to time in another way, by speaking to me in my heart. Oh yes, my father! How good Jesus is to me! Oh, what precious moments those are!
That happiness has no comparison. It is a happiness that the Lord lets me taste almost only in times of affliction.
At those times, more than ever, everything that is of the world is repugnant to me, and I have no other desire than to love and suffer. Yes, my father, even in the midst of so much suffering I am happy, because I seem to feel my heart beating along with Jesus’ heart.
(To Fr. Benedetto of San Marco in Lamis, September 4, 1910)
St. Pio, bring your healing touch to our spirits.
Guide us on our quest to seek communion with God.