St. Padre Pio’s “Domestic Sanctuary”

St. Padre Pio’s “Domestic Sanctuary”

Pope Francis praying in St Padre Pio’s Cell

On Saturday, March 17, 2018, the Pope prayed in Padre Pio’s room. A memorable moment in the pilgrimage of Francis to San Giovanni Rotondo, southern Italy, a small homeland of the Capuchin friar. After having prayed in front of the crypt containing the body of the saint, the Pope greeted the sick friars, then moved to the convent of the Capuchins to retire in the place of the last dwelling of the stigmatized religious.

The capuchin friar gathered in prayer in less than 7 square meters. The Pope wanted to visit this special ‘simple sanctuary’,  where Padre Pio prayed for all souls: “Pray a lot, my children, pray always, without getting tired” (May 5, 1966), he recommended.

Francisco recalled that prayer is an act of love and St. Padre Pio knew it; Jesus taught to pray to the Father in the secret of the room without indiscreet eyes: “When you pray , do not do like the hypocrites: they like to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, to be seen. I assure you, they have their reward. You, on the other hand, when you pray, retreat to your room, close the door and pray to your Father who is in secret.” 

Saint Padre Pio initiated the work of the “prayer circles”, but he also transformed the prayer into contemplation and help of those who suffer through the work of the Hospital “Casa Alivio del Sufrimiento”. The Pope recalled on several occasions: “Padre Pio has been a servant of mercy.” For that reason, he has placed it as a symbol of the monolithic confessor, rigorous, but merciful and ready to listen always.

The Pope also pulled a little the ears to the faithful: ” It is not enough to click me ‘like’ to the page (in social networks) of the Saint: you have to imitate his life”.

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