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MEMORIAL SAINT PADRE PIO, SATURDAY OF TWENTY-FOURTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME, SEPTEMBER 23, 2023



Responsorial Psalm

Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.


REFLECTION


Francesco Forgione was born in Pietrelcina, Italy on May 25, 1887. Today we celebrate St Padre Pio of Pietrelcina.


At the age of five, Francesco dedicated his life to God. Quiet, he loved going to Church and prayer. He had the gift of seeing and speaking with his guardian angel. He was admitted to the novitiate of the Capuchin Order of the Friars Minor in Morcone, Italy. At the age of 23 he was ordained a priest.


The Holy Mass was the center of his spirituality. His Masses lasted several hours as he spent time in contemplative silence. His piety was noted and many people from far away would visit with him for counsel and confession. Spiritual riches flowed from him and thousands of people would come and many would have life changing experiences. He prayed continuously, simple prayers, and loved to pray the rosary. He had a special mission for the souls in purgatory and encouraged everyone to pray for them. He used to say, "We must empty Purgatory with our prayers." (1)


Father Agostino Daniete, his confessor, director and beloved friend said, "One admires in Padre Pio, his habitual union with God. When he speaks or is spoken to we are aware that his heart and mind are not distracted from the thought and sentiment of God." (1)


All his life he had poor health. He offered all his suffering as sacrifice to God, for the conversion of souls. On September 20, 1918, the stigmata appeared while praying before the crucifix, giving thanksgiving after Mass. At the age of 31 he became the first priest in the church to have the stigmata. He bore the painful wounds in his hands, feet and side for fifty years. (1)


He had many spiritual gifts and charisms, gift of healing, bilocation, prophecy, miracles, discernment of spirits, the ability to read hearts, the gift of tongues, the gift of conversions, gift of seeing angelic images in form, and a fragrance that emanated from his wounds. (1)


He would rise at 2:30 AM to prepare for Mass. He ate 300 -400 calories a day, and spent 19 hours of work daily. He never read a newspaper nor listened to the radio. He warned people against watching television. He lived a life of poverty and was detached from self, possessions, and from comforts. (1)


He passed away September 23, 1968, with a rosary in his hand and the words, Gesu, Maria (Jesus Mary). He always said, "After my death I will do more. My real mission will begin after my death." (1)



God Bless You


(1) Catholic Online, Padre Pio

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