The Blessed Mother and Padre Pio
On May 2, at the beatification of Padre Pio, about 100,000 flyers about Padre Pio and Our Lady were distributed by The Fatima Crusader's Rome office. Below is the English version of this flyer which was printed in both Italian and English. This brief article and the article below are all part of the text of this flyer.
Padre Pio's love for and devotion to the Blessed Virgin is legendary. Indeed, he spent much of his ministry extolling Her virtues and urging all Catholics to throw themselves on Her mercy. One well-known writer has suggested "behind all the marvelous gifts of Padre Pio, his extraordinary guidance of souls, his gift of bilocation and his camaraderie with the angels, was Our Lady, Who cherished him as a mother would a child, even to the point that, after he had been beaten by the devils one night in his room, She came and put a cushion under his head, in order to relieve his suffering."
Padre Pio wrote often of his love for the Mother of God, reminding us "to rest your ear on Her maternal heart and listen to Her suggestions, and then you will feel all the best desires for perfection being born in you." He considered Our Lady to be the great harmonizing and directing force behind the Holy Sacrament of Penance and said that "to understand and to make the sacrament more fruitful, you must confide yourself to the inspirations and guidance of the Blessed Virgin."
As a true son of Our Lady, Padre Pio loved the Rosary and is reputed to have said a 15-decade Rosary as much as thirty-five times per day. In many photographs, he is shown with his right hand hidden within the pocket where he always kept his Rosary beads. Indeed, he urged all Catholics to "love the Madonna and pray the Rosary, for the Rosary is the weapon against the evils of the world."
When asked about the role of Our Lady in God's plan for salvation, Padre Pio responded by saying that "all graces given by God pass through the Blessed Mother." It was with that understanding that he almost daily offered the Mass of the Immaculate Conception in the last decade of his life on earth. He is quoted as saying of Our Lady that She "accompanies me to the altar and remains at my side while I offer up the Holy Mass."
The Meditation Prayer
on Mary Immaculate
Perhaps the most inspiring and moving of all Padre Pio's writings is the beautiful "Meditation Prayer on Mary Immaculate" (to get your own free copy of this prayer, contact The Fatima Crusader). In this extraordinary work, the blessed Capuchin expresses the fullness of his wisdom and the richness of his devotion to the Queen of Heaven. "She sprang from the mind of God," he writes, "as a pure ray of light, and will shine like a morning star over the human race that turns to Her."
Padre Pio and
Our Lady of Fatima
Padre Pio expressed his special devotion to Our Lady of Fatima daily as he knelt and prayed at Her Shrine within the monastery before a large picture surrounded by burning candles. Indeed, he credited the Virgin of Fatima with saving his life.
In 1959, the pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima visited in Italy. At the same time Padre Pio became very ill and was diagnosed with a fatal, cancerous tumor. On August 6th, the statue of Our Lady arrived in San Giovanni Rotondo. Rising from his sick bed, Padre Pio prayed before the statue and kissed Her feet. As the statue left by helicopter, he said: "O Mother of mine, when You came to Italy, you found me with this sickness. You came to visit me here in San Giovanni and found me still suffering from it. Now You are leaving and I am not delivered from my illness!"
As Padre Pio spoke his prayer, a miracle occurred. High above the monastery, the helicopter with Our Lady's statue suddenly circled the building three times. The pilot would later say he could not explain why. At the same time, Padre Pio felt a shudder immediately run through him. His body was penetrated by a flow of light and he felt the tumor burst. He cried out. "I am healed! Our Lady has healed me!"
"Thank the Virgin of Fatima for me," he subsequently wrote. "On the very day that She left here, I felt well again. I have been back to celebrate Mass since three days ago."
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