Part two

Man of Prayer

  "Pray, hope, don't get agitated. Agitation doesn't help at all. God is merciful and will listen to your prayer."
("Prega, spera, non agitarti. L'agitazione non giova a nulla. Dio è misericordioso ed ascolterà la tua preghiera.")
     "What mankind lacks today is prayer."
"The only way to gain salvation is through prayer."
"We seek God in books, but it is in prayer that we find Him. Prayer is the key that opens the heart of God."
"Prayers will never be wasted."   "Prayer is the best weapon we possess."




  When at 12 noon Padre Pio appeared at the window of the choir above the entrance of the church, he prayed the "Angelus Domini" (The Angel of the Lord) with the faithful.


In this link we hear Padre Pio praying the Angelus.  The Latin words and the English translation are on the screen.
    Padre Pio seen at the window and looking at the faithful from the inside of his room.
       At the end of the prayer Padre Pio waved his old fashioned oversized white hand kerchief.
Here in this video we see Padre Pio waving to the crowds. (02:07)  
  The window as it is preserved.



Saint Mary of Graces


      This is the image of St. Mary of Graces in the old original church of the convent.
 Padre Pio called Mary in many different ways. Some of them: "Maria, Madonna, Mamma, Mammina, Madre, Madonnina, Madonnella, Signora, Vergine Maria, Madre Maria, Diletta Madre, Tenera Madre, Madre mia cara, Celeste Madre, Madre di Misericordia, Bianca Signora, Maria Santissima, Mamma mia, Madre Immacolata, Santissima Vergine, Cara Madre, Mamma dolcissima, Madonna Mia, Mamma nostra, Dolce Signora, Vergine Santa, Madonna delle Grazie."
During special celebrations of the Madonna Padre Pio prayed the Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Here we can hear Padre Pio praying the Consecration.

The words in Italian and the English translation are on the screen.
     The new church of St. Mary of the Graces. The old church and convent are on the left in the picture.
   When the new church of St. Mary of Graces  was built, a large mosaic depicting the Madonna of Graces in glory, surrounded by angels, was placed on the altar. Padre Pio spent many hours praying in front of the
  After Padre Pio was proclaimed saint, his image was added to the mosaic.  
    When Pope John Paul II visited the church on May 27, 1987, after Padre Pio's death, and before Padre Pio was proclaimed saint, he remembered the long hours that Padre Pio had spent praying in front of that image of the Madonna.  
 Padre Pio used to say:
 "The Madonna is the shortcut to get to God." "Love the Madonna, and make people to love her."
Abandon yourself in the hands of Mary. She will take care of you."  "The Madonna is the shortcut to get to God."
To a person asking Padre Pio to pray for a grace: "Let's pray the Madonna of Graces. She will heal you."
After the grace had been obtained he said :
"Mary healed you, not me."



  During the festivities of the Virgin Mary Padre Pio prayed the Visit to the most Holy Mary by St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.
Here we can hear Padre Pio praying the Visit.  The words in Italian and the English translation are on the screen.




The Madonna of Fatima

    On April 24, 1959, the Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima visited Italy, starting from Naples.
The same day  Padre Pio became very ill. He had bronco-pneumonia and couldn’t celebrate Mass.


Narrated in Italian with subtitles in English (02:53) 


  On August 1st Padre Pio was recovered inpatient at Casa Sollievo. His illness continued.

Padre Pio honoring the actual statue of the Madonna of Fatima.
  On August 5 the Statue of Fatima came to the Convent. On August 6 the Statue was just leaving in helicopter. Padre Pio from the hospital: "Madonna, my Mother, I have been sick since you came to Italy; and now you are leaving, and leaving me sick." Padre Pio reported: "I felt a chill in the bones." Then: "I’m feeling well." "I am healed! Our Lady has healed me!" Later he said: "The Madonna came here, to heal Padre Pio." On August 10 Padre Pio resumed celebrating Mass.
A novena was held in the church in preparation  of the visit of the Madonna of Fatima. 
Every evening Padre Pio concluded the novena with a short sermon.
Here you can hear Padre Pio preaching in his own voice in Italian.

The English translation can be read on the screen.


Padre Pio and the Rosary

                    The Rosary was always in his hands.
   Padre Pio used to carry permanently a Rosary in his hands and would pray it many times a day.  Father Marcellino testified that he had to help Padre Pio wash his hands one at a time "because he didn't want to leave the rosary beads, and passed the Rosary from one hand to the other." 
To father Onorato Marcucci, grabbing the Rosary that he had put few seconds on the nightstand: "This is my weapon. With this, one wins the battles."
    Padre Pio used to say: "Pray the rosary frequently. It costs so little, and it's worth so much!"   "We can't live without the Rosary." "Say the rosary, pray it every day." "The Rosary is the weapon of defense and salvation." "The Rosary is the weapon given us by Mary to use against the tricks of the infernal enemy." "Satan always tries to destroy the rosary, but he will never succeed."  "The rosary is the prayer of the Madonna, the one that triumphs on everything and everybody." 


    How many complete rosaries did Padre Pio say every day?  On February 6, 1954 9:00 PM, to father Carmelo: "I still have 2 rosaries to pray today. I said only 34 so far. Then I will go to bed."  Answering to Padre Michelangelo: "Today I said 32 or 33 rosaries. Maybe 1 or 2 more."   Answering to Padre Mariano da Magliano Santa Croce: "About 30. Maybe some more, but not less." 'How do you do it? "What is the night for?" Answering a question: "Some days I say 40 Rosaries, some other days 50."  How do I do it? "How do you manage not so say any?" To Lucia Pennelli one morning around 7:00 AM after Mass: "How many rosaries did you say so far today?" 'Two". "I already said seven."To Lucietta Pennelli, one day at about noon: "Today I have already said 16 complete Rosaries."  Padre Alessio Parente asked Padre Pio why he would constantly say the rosary and no other prayers. Padre Pio: “Because the Madonna never refuses me anything that I ask through the prayer of the rosary.”


Evening prayers, Vespers, blessing with the Monstrance.

  In the evening the rosary was prayed in the church, and Padre Pio joined or lead the prayer.
When there was the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament  it was followed by the adoration and benediction.
  On Sunday and holydays  the solemn vespers were celebrated. At the end there was the blessing with the monstrance.

On special days Padre Pio would give a short exhortation before the blessing.

The 3rd picture shows Padre Pio blessing with the monstrance in the chapel of Casa Sollievo.


During the Eucharistic adoration Padre Pio prayed the Visit to the most Very Holy Sacrament by St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.
Here we can hear Padre Pio praying the Visit.
The words in Italian and the English translation are on the screen.




Mass, Sacraments, Prayers


Were did Padre Pio say Mass

  Padre Pio said Mass on different places: The original St. Mary church, a stage outside St. Mary church, the porch of the convent's hall, the new St. Mary of Graces church, the internal chapel of the convent during the restrictions. He also said mass on the outside of the hospital, at the grand opening of "The House for the Relief of Suffering."
    Old St. Mary    Outside St. Mary    New St. Mary       Porch    Casa Sollievo   



The Mass of Padre Pio


"If people knew the value of the Mass, there would be policemen at the door,

to regulate the access to the church, every time that a Mass is celebrated" .


"If we only knew how God regards it, we would risk our lives to be present at a single Mass."        

  From his own handwriting to his spiritual directors and the spiritual daughter Cleonice Morcaldi, we know that Padre Pio experienced during Mass the Passion of Jesus, including the Agony in the Garden with the sweat of blood, the scourging, the crowning of thorns, the hostile crowds, the Via Crucis, Veronica, Simon of Cyrene, the Crucifixion, the seven words, the sipping of the gall, the death and deposition.    

The Mass of Padre Pio was a spectacular mystical event, mixing the height of the human complete immolation to God, that we could see,  

with a mystical and physical renewal of the Passion of Christ from the Garden to the Golgota, that we couldn't see, but were able to feel.


"My Mass is a sacred accomplishment of the Passion of Jesus."

"In knowing the Passion of Jesus you will also know my Passion."


Being at five in the morning near the altar of Padre Pio was really a close encounter of the special kind with the supernatural.    

"It is easier for the Earth to be without the Sun than without the Mass."

Padre Pio meditating before Mass.

 "The Mass is the complete union between Jesus and me."


  Exiting the sacristy for the entrance procession.
"All of Paradise is close to the altar when I say Mass."
        "Confiteor Deo Omnipotenti...." 
 ("I confess to almighty God and to you, my brothers and sisters......")

"I want to expiate the sins of all, like Jesus did on the Cross."
"O Lord, don't strike my poor brothers, strike me." "Help me carry the Cross. I that carry it for all."   

  "...Mea culpa..."   ("...through my fault.....") 
"I take all iniquities in myself, as it is part of the Divine Sacrifice."
  Ascending the altar after the introductory prayers.    Oratio   (Collect)       Reading the Epistle  
     Listening to the lecture          Gospel Proclamation             Gospel during high Mass       
    Blessing:      Offering:           
 Incense:    Washing hands:
    Prefatio  (Preface):     
      "Pray, brother and sisters, that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God, the almighty Father" 
"Orate fratres ut meum ac vostrum sacrificium acceptabile sit apud Deum, Patrem omnipotentem." 
             Canon: "Therefore, O Lord, we humbly implore.." "The igitur clementissime Pater..."
Consecration, elevation, and adoration of the Bread.
                                             Consecration, elevation, and adoration of the Blood of Christ.
               Memento. "Remember also, Lord, ...."
     "I see all my children who come to the altar, as if in a mirror. I tell Mary: Here are the children of your Son."
Communion Body and Blood:   "Corpus Domini nostri Jesu Christi custodiat animam mean in vitam aeternam. Amen."
  "How could I live failing even for a single morning to receive Jesus in the Communion?"
"My Communion is a fusion. Like two candles that fuse together and cannot be distinguished on from the other."  
" In the Communion I ask the Lord to let me be another Jesus, all Jesus, always Jesus."
 "Ecce Agnus Dei, ecce qui tollis peccata mundi."
 ("Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb.")
       Communion of the faithful. "The Eucharist gives and idea of the union we will have in heaven."
      purification of the paten    purification of the chalix  the gloves back on
                          Final blessing:  "May almighty God bless you, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit."
  Final prayers (Tridentine rite)
"The holy Mass regenerates the world." "The Mass gives to God an infinite glory."
  Leaving the altar at the end of the Mass.

"If it depended on me I would never leave the altar."
             In these pictures Padre Pio is a deacon in a High Mass, and  prays during a Mass.
  Here we can hear Padre Pio's own voice after a sermon on the Mass.
The words in Italian and the English translation are on the screen.




A glimpse of the wounds during Mass

  The last few days of life the wounds disappeared, and the skin was absolutely normal.
                          Padre Pio's hands during last Mass: no wounds.                                        
     The chasuble that Padre Pio wore in his last Mass, preserved in San Giovanni Rotondo.




The most famous picture of Padre Pio

  Elia Stelluto about to tell Padre Pio that he might have to use the flash.
They are in the hall of the convent, watching the Christmas play of the children, prepared by Mary Pyle and Cleonice Morcaldi.
Padre Pio's facial expression: "Oh no! Here he comes again."
(The huge flash lamp used by Elia Stelluto can be seen at the bottom right of the picture).
  The most famous picture of Padre Pio, taken by Elia Stelluto. Here is how Elia Stelluto described it:  "In the 40's there was the war going on, and I was a teen ager, and there was no regular schools, and I frequented daily the convent.  I bought a small camera and took picture of Padre Pio; many of them. On day my masters, the photographer Federico Abresh, asked me if I would take a picture of Padre Pio with the flash, at the moment when He turned to the assembly to give the final blessing. He said that he would give me 5000 lire (the equivalent of what I could make in a year). Padre Pio was known to dislike the light of the flash, and it was prohibited to use it. I prepared myself during the Mass, and took the picture from about five feet. Padre Pio didn't like the flash. After the Mass I went to him in the sacristy to apologize.  And he was very sweet and made me promise to "take as many pictures as you want, but never use anymore that mousetrap " (the bulky flash of the old days). I will never forget the moment that I took that picture of Padre Pio with the white carnations in the background. By the way, I refused the 5000 lire, because I had made Padre Pio mad."
      Elia Stelluto with his sister Mary.    




Liturgical year: Christmas, Ash Wednesday, Holy Thursday. Good Friday



  Christmas was a very special time for Padre Pio. He loved the celebration of the newborn baby Jesus.
He used to say:
"In the end, the gamble of our life is all in this Child."
  Padre Pio  on Ash Wednesday      On Holy Thursday Padre Pio carries the Blessed Sacrament to the place of reservation
  Padre Pio celebrates the rites of Good Friday                              
    Pictures taken on Good Friday April 16, 1965, at 2:00 PM, before the liturgy of Good Friday   
  Here we can hear Padre Pio's own voice after a sermon on the Cross.
The words in Italian and the English translation are on the screen.





   First Communions                 


  Padre Pio giving Communion to his father Zi' Grazio.
   Communions outside Mass                

After a day of confessions: "Oh the souls! If you knew how much they cost!"

"I want to help Jesus in the tremendous task of man's salvation".

"The mercy of God, my son, is infinitely greater than your malice.”

"Before reproaching a soul, I suffer it first. But it is not I who act, but He who is in me and above me."

"Confession is the purification of the soul." "Confession should be made no later than every eight days."

"Do not dwell on sins that have been already confessed. Jesus has forgiven them."

"Place a tombstone on the confessed sins, just as the Lord has done."

 “If we put in the confession all our good will the mercy of God is so great that he will erase even what we cannot remember or know.”

                                    Preserved today

Padre Pio spent most of his day hearing confessions. From 1918 to 1923 he heard confessions fifteen to nineteen hours a day.

During the 40's and 50's about eight hours a day. In 1962, 83.035 women and 19.837 men registered for confession with Padre Pio: an average of about 273 per day.

In 1967 Padre Pio confessed about 15.000 women and 10.000 men. An average of 70 people per day.

For the women there was a confessional. The men confessed in the old sacristy.

The average confession made to Padre Pio lasted only three minutes. Padre Pio heard a total of about five million confessions. Padre Pio demanded that each confession be a true conversion. No excuses, no insincerity, but frankness, honesty, firm resolution. It was like being before the judgment of God.

Padre Pio had strong views on female fashions in dress. A sign read: "By Padre Pio’s explicit wish, women must enter his confessional wearing skirts at least eight inches below the knees. It is forbidden to borrow longer dresses in church and to wear them for the confessional.”

 Shorts, and short sleeves, even on children, were not accepted. To a man going to confession in short sleeves he said: “Either you lengthen the sleeves or shorten your arms.”

  Padre Pio confessed almost always in the same places:  He confessed the women at the confessional on the left side of the entrance of the original church of St. Mary. He confessed the men in the sacristy of the original church.


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