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A Gospel according to Lk 9:7-9

Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening,

and he was greatly perplexed because some were saying,

“John has been raised from the dead”;

others were saying, “Elijah has appeared”;

still others, “One of the ancient prophets has arisen.”

But Herod said, “John I beheaded.

Who then is this about whom I hear such things?”

And he kept trying to see him.


Who then is this about whom I hear such things?”

And he kept trying to see him.

Have you ever met a saintly priest that is persecuted, even by his flock, other priests, and even his superiors?

Padre Pio experienced some of this. As his holiness increased, so did the accusations from his detractors. These accusations would pour into the Holy Office, today the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith. His superiors restricted him from answering letters of people seeking spiritual direction, changed the time of his daily mass, and by 1931, he could only celebrate mass in private.

The decree received said: "Padre Pio is to be stripped of all faculties of his priestly ministry except the faculty to celebrate the Holy Mass, which he may continue to do provided it is done in private, within the walls of the friary, in the inner chapel, and not publicly in church". *

Padre Pio's response was: "God's will be done,"...then he covered his eyes with his hands, lowered his head, and murmured, "The will of the authorities is the will of God." *

God allowed these things to happen to Padre Pio. And this priest spent this time fasting, reading about the Fathers of the Church, and praying. This shows great patience from this saint. It is easier to bear accusations from our enemies, than from our own brothers.

In March 1933 the Holy Father sent representatives to interview Padre Pio, Monsignor Luca Pasetto and Monisgnor Felice Bevilaqua. In their report:

"They found no wild-eyed fanatic, no crazed neurotic, no embittered rebel, but a pleasant, humorous man. According to [Padre] Raffaele, Pasetto was very much impressed with Pio's humility, his docility, and the whole of his conduct. He recognized Pio as a man of prayer and entirely godly." *

Later in 1933 Pope Pius XI reversed this order saying: "I have not been badly disposed toward Padre Pio, but I have been badly informed." *

There are many more stories about Padre Pio. In this part of his life we learn how he applied the virtue of patience to attain such docility.

In the book "Introduction to the devout life" by St. Francis of Sales tells us about patience:

"Follow Saint Gregory’s advice: When you are justly blamed for some fault you have committed, humble yourself deeply, and confess that you deserve the blame. If the accusation be false, defend yourself quietly, denying the fact; this is but due respect for truth and your neighbour’s edification. But if after you have made your true and legitimate defence you are still accused, do not be troubled, and do not try to press your defence—you have had due respect for truth, have the same now for humility. By acting thus you will not infringe either a due care for your good name, or the affection you are bound to entertain for peace, humility and gentleness of heart."

So, have you ever met a priest that has or is being persecuted by his flock, other priests, and even his supervisors?

Pray for this priest. Specially the PAPA Prayer for Priests. Let them know about PAPA, and invite others to pray for this priest.

God is allowing this to happen to His servant. We need to help them with our prayers so they can persevere, be patient, docile, humble, and saintly. And so can we also learn from them.

God bless y'all!

* Source Padre Pio the True Story, by Bernard Ruffin


PAPA Foundation
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