Part three
Meeting Padre Pio
  Every person going to San Giovanni Rotondo could see Padre Pio the same day. It could be just a glimpse from afar, or when he was celebrating Mass or joining the evening prayers, or kneeling in the hallways when he passed, or confessing to him when the turn came, or if known to the friars, on the veranda with the rattan set, or in the backyard during the few minutes of recreation  in good weather.



  Padre Pio's cell room #5
   This is the cell #5 assigned to Padre Pio when he first moved to San Giovanni Rotondo              Objects used by Padre Pio currently preserved in his room          With the renovations he got assigned a new cell, the #1, were he stayed until death.  
   On the right side there is the window from which he waved to the pilgrims             Sandals custom made for his need       
  The left side had a desk, an pictures hanged on the wall            Detailed explanation            Padre Pio in his room
    Padre Pio having an haircut         Padre Alessio tinkering with the beard          Sick in bed     
    Eating in his room while sick                              
  Padre Pio ate very little. This is the refectory of the convent          His habitual spot had been preserved


  Meeting Padre Pio in different areas of the convent
   Outside Padre Pio's room    Just outside of the cloistered area      
   Spiritual daughters                 
         The saint Francis hall                                        
   Rattan set                                              Padre Pio with his brother Michele Forgione
 In the old sacristy             In the new sacristy           In the choir  
      Giving blessed medals to American soldiers in 1944-45            

Giving a medal with a sacred image he would say: "This is the weapon which will preserve you from your enemies."

   Some special visitors would meet Padre Pio in the guest hall of the friary         
    Blessing things             
  Here is famed Tenor Beniamino Gigli singing "Mamma", Padre Pio's favorite song                                                                   
        In 1938 princess Maria Josè del Belgio, future queen of Italy, visited.
  In the backyard garden                                                    
    Padre Pio meeting the faithful in the hallways and on the veranda. 05:14
   With the friars                                                                                                                                                                      




   Padre Pio had always a special attention for children, especially sick children, obtaining numerous graces for them.
  Padre Pio visiting with children, teachers and parents at the elementary school for families of employees of Casa Sollievo.

    "I wholeheartedly bless the work of catechizing children, the little flowers of Jesus."
          Padre Pio young visitors.              Padre Pio with a stupefied young friend.    
                                  Padre Pio puts his hand on the head of a child.
     A young visitor questioning Padre Pio if he is really Padre Pio.   Padre Pio sitting on a bench with children at the Casa Sollievo.
      Padre Pio taking compassionate care of a blind child in the old sacristy of the church.
      Padre Pio with young students preparing to become Capuchin friars.

  Children's religious plays.  At Christmas time, at Padre Pio's birthday, and in other special occasions, children would perform special plays. The plays were written mostly by Cleonice Morcaldi, who was a school teacher, and were rehearsed at home of Mary Pile, who had a big house, a large heart and immense patience.

   At the right side of the picture with Padre Pio, the hall at the friary. The hall was demolished in the 50's to make room for the new church).
    Padre Pio enjoying at Christmas a children's play.



Voting in the Italian Elections

  Padre Pio did not miss to cast his ballots on election days.
He was accompanied by other friars to the voting place, usually located at City Hall in San Giovanni Rotondo.


  He went by car. People knew about it, and lined the streets and filled the balconies.
 It was really more like a ticker parade in New York, with abundance of flowers and confetti.
  The Italian Carabinieri provided security.        Padre was greeted by the mayor and other dignitaries.
  Padre Pio casting his ballot.    Padre Pio returning the pencil used to vote.   Padre Pio  surrounded by faithful.  
     In a car.




A man of joy

  Padre Pio was a man full of joy. His joy came from the unconditional total offering of himself to God for the salvation of his brothers. He alternated highly mystical flight of spirituality to down to earth jokes and observations about the human misery and limitations.
  "I am feeling a spiritual joy that I cannot explain."  "My joy is so intense and profound that cannot be contained." "Let's serve God joyfully." "There  is joy in the spiritual battles. Learn how to fight and you will be certain of victory."  "God knows how to wonderfully alternate joys and tears until we reach perfection.""Keep an attitude of holy joyousness that gives encouragement to others."


A man of  generosity

  Padre Pio was a man of extreme generosity. He offered himself as a victim totally for the glory of God, the salvation of the humanity, and the freeing of the souls in Purgatory.
  Jesus, may I be for the world Way, Truth, and Life, and for You a perfect victim."
"I belong entirely to everyone."  "Everyone can say: Padre Pio is mine."
"I offer myself as a victim for everyone." 
"I suffer as much as anyone who has the whole of humanity on his back."
"My suffering gives glory to God, saves my brothers in exile, and frees the souls from Purgatory." "O Lord, don't strike my poor brothers, strike me."
"Like St. Christopher carried the child Jesus on his shoulders across a river, on my shoulders is the whole world."

"I have made a pact with the Lord: I will take my place at the gate to Paradise, but I shall not enter until I have seen the last of my spiritual children enter."    "When the Lord entrusts a soul to me, I place it on my shoulder and never let it go."
"If one of my spiritual children ever goes astray, I shall leave my flock and seek him out."
"Woe to those who lay a hand on my spiritual children." "Once I take a soul on, I also take on their entire family as my spiritual children."



A man of fight

     Padre Pio struggled physically with the devils all his life, and was beaten many times.
"The number of devils active in the world is greater than all the people who have been alive since Adam."
 "The devil is like a rabid dog tied to a chain; beyond the length of the chain he cannot seize anyone."
 “If all the devils would take bodily form they would blot out the light of the sun."

 "The human soul is the battlefield between God and Satan."
 "When we say: I, I do, I can, I succeed; I, I, I, this is the devil.”


A man of heaven

  Padre Pio was devout of S. Michel the Archangel venerated nearby in Monte Sant'Angelo since the 5th century.
He had visual familiarity with his guardian Angel since his infancy.

If you need me and cannot come to visit me, enter in a church, kneel at the Blessed Sacrament, and send me your Guardian Angel.”
"Send the guardian angel. He doesn't pay a train ticket and doesn't consume shoes." 
 “From cradle to grave our Guardian Angel never leaves us alone; not even when we sin.”
  Our Guardian Angel  never leaves us, even when we are disgusting God with our behavior.” "Oh if all men could understand this great gift that God assigned to us; this celestial spirit. "
"What consolation when, at the moment of death, you will see this Angel, who accompanied you through life and was so liberal in maternal care."

"For whoever is alone there is his Guardian Angel."
“When we die, our Guardian Angel will take our soul to heaven.”
"The Angels are jealous of us because they can't suffer."



A man of wisdom

  "My past, O Lord, to your mercy; my present, to your love; my future, to your providence!"
  “For God the past doesn’t exist, the future doesn’t exist. Everything is an eternal present.”
 "Hypocrisy is the greatest evil of our time. It exists in all levels of our society, in high places and in low places."
 “Nosiness (curiosity) is a defect that destroys charity, makes us lose peace, and has sad consequences. "
"Blasphemy is the surest way to go to hell.” “Guard jealously the purity of your heart and your body."
  "One day we will have to give strict account on how we spend our time."  "Life is a continual struggle against oneself."
” Do not delay for tomorrow what we can  do today.  How do we know that tomorrow we will still be alive?
"Drowning on high seas or chocking on a glass of water has death as the same outcome." "Wait, your turn will come."
  ” Do not delay for tomorrow what we can  do today. How do we know that tomorrow we will still be alive? "
"One day we will have to give strict account on how we spend our time."
"Gossiping nauseates me. We have so many defects ourselves; why do we want criticize our brothers?"
  "Hypocrisy is the greatest evil of our time."
"Vainglory is the woodworm of holiness."
"It is easier to cure a tumor than to change the heart of a person".
“Nosiness is a defect that destroys charity, makes us lose peace, and has sad consequences.
"Sadness is of no use to anyone."
"The thought of revenge has never crossed my mind."

  "To doubt is the greatest insult to the Divinity."
“Father, I don't believe in God." ”Why are you telling me? Tell Him!"
"Father, I don't believe in God."  "But God, my son, believes in you."
Father I don't believe in hell. "You will believe in it when you get there."


 "I'm a mystery to myself."   


“Yes, the coincidences are coincidences. But there is Somebody up there who arranges the coincidences.”           


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