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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Padre Pio: For the Love of Corpus Christi

St. Padre Pio: Born Francis Forgione in the south-central Italian town of Pietrelcina, he was a simple Capuchin monk who spent his entire life celebrating Mass and hearing confessions.

He did not travel the world, collect rare artifacts, scale walls or suffer in dungeons. He was not a soldier or a millionaire. Yet, he was a great warrior who fended off Satan himself and saved countless souls, literally. He built a hospital with his compassion and drew thousands upon thousands of Catholic and non-Catholics alike to his tiny confessional, where many waited as long as thirty days to be heard and absolved of their sins by this simple man who bore the wounds of Christ, the stigmata.

Just as The Little Flower, St. Therese of Lisieux, spent her life in one monastery and changed the world through the living sermon of her little ways, St. Padre Pio defeated evil and cast out darkness to make present Christ among us, never traveling but a few miles from home. His daily Mass took ninety minutes. This was not due to additional prayers but to his love for the ultimate prayer itself and his need to contemplate the great mystery of The Eucharist, often times bringing him to tears of joy and gratitude. Padre Pio could read hearts and souls, much to the surprise of many sinners, and his rare gift of bi-location was well spent as he brought comfort to the dying.

Here is a wonderful book my pastor,  Fr. Deo, lent to me. It's a compilation of essays about Padre Pio from people who knew him best, covering topics such as his childhood, early priesthood, how the stigmata came to be, his work in the confessional, and his love for the Mass. A true delight to read all at once or bit-by-bit.

God bless!

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