Tag: St. Padre Pio

The Power Of A Father’s Love: Two Dad’s Who Raised Holy Men

The Power Of A Father’s Love: Two Dad’s Who Raised Holy Men

The Power Of A Father’s Love: Two Dad’s Who Raised Holy Men

Meet the devoted dads of Sts. John Paul II and Pio.

In recent years, the sacred and important role of fatherhood is undervalued and deeply misunderstood, we may do well to remember and thank God for the lives of men whose earthly fatherhood paved the way for two of the greatest spiritual fathers of modern times. Both Pope St. John Paul II and St. Pio of Pietrelcina owed much to their fathers — and as a result, so do we.

Wojtyla & Son

Pope St. John Paul II, reflecting on his priesthood during the 50th anniversary of his ordination, explained that while the seminary itself most definitively influenced his formation, he had come to understand that God had used many people and experiences, some long before, to “make his voice heard.”

First and foremost was the great saint’s father.

“My preparation for the priesthood in the seminary was in a certain sense preceded by the preparation I received in my family, thanks to the life and example of my parents. Above all I am grateful to my father, who became a widower at an early age. I had not yet made my First Holy Communion when I lost my mother: I was barely nine years old… After her death and, later, the death of my older brother, I was left alone with my father, a deeply religious man. Day after day I was able to observe the austere way in which he lived. By profession he was a soldier and, after my mother’s death, his life became one of constant prayer. Sometimes I would wake up during the night and find my father on his knees, just as I would always see him kneeling in the parish church. We never spoke about a vocation to the priesthood, but his example was in a way my first seminary, a kind of domestic seminary.”

(Gift and Mystery, emphasis in original).

Who was this deeply religious man? How did his life — and, ultimately, his death — help to lead his son to ordination and eventually to his canonization as one of the Church’s holiest men? Papal biographer George Weigel’s Witness to Hope recounts the providential “how.”

The elder Karol Wojtyla (St. Pope John Paul II’s Father) was born in 1879. He continued the family trade, first working as a tailor, but then later became an officer in the Hapsburg army. He was recognized as a man of character, integrity and justice, and he lived a life of austerity and simplicity, leading his young son Karol, nicknamed “Lolek,” in a daily routine punctuated by regular prayer, including reading the Bible, reciting the Rosary and attending daily Mass. Capt. Wojtyla would teach Lolek Polish history — but the most meaningful lessons were those of interior conversion, resignation to the will of God and redemptive suffering. For by the time young Karol was 12, they had both tasted the bitterness of loss. Not only had the family lost wife and mother Emilia, but Lolek’s brother, Dr. Edmund Wojtyla, 14 years his senior and his only living sibling, died after contracting scarlet fever from a patient.

Years later, a new cross would crystalize, as all the horrors of World War II marched into their beloved Poland and turned their lives upside-down. Suffering from hunger, cold, the suppression of the Church and the university, and the death of their friends and priests, father and son found solace in their faith and in each other. Each day, walking home from his back-breaking job at a limestone quarry, Lolek would bring food to his bed-ridden father.

One freezing day in February 1941, he hurried home to his father, after stopping to pick up medicine. He would return home to find his father had died. The young man spent the night at his father’s bedside, overcome with grief and blaming himself for not being there in the elder Karol’s final moments.

It was a terrible blow.

But the future Pope slowly began to see that perhaps this great loss was in fact a signpost, pointing him to a vocation to the priesthood. The fatherhood of one Karol had given way to the spiritual fatherhood of another, and this new fatherhood would bless the entire world.

In Witness to Hope, Weigel explains that “Lolek also learned from his father that manliness and prayerfulness were not antimonies. Perhaps, above all, the captain transmitted to his son an instinct for paternity. He would, later, come to understand this in theological terms: The instinct for paternity and the responsibilities of fatherhood were a kind of icon of God and of God’s relationship to the world. Fatherhood meant rejecting the prison of selfishness; fatherhood meant being ‘conquered by love.’”

Padre Pio’s Padre

Another one of the most beloved saints of the last century was St. Pio of Pietrelcina, also known as Padre Pio. He also owed a debt to his father regarding his priesthood, as related in Padre Pio: The True Story (Third Edition) by C. Bernard Ruffin.

Young Francesco Forgione — Franci, as he was affectionately called — grew up in a humble, hardworking family in southern Italy. Orazio and Guiseppa Forgione owned a small farm that brought in enough money to provide for the family’s needs but not enough to pay for the education of their intelligent, pious second son, who from a young age desperately wanted to be a “friar with a beard.”

When his parents went to the nearby Capuchin friary to speak to the friars about their little boy, he waited anxiously at home. They returned with good news. “They want me! They want me! They want me!” the 10-year-old cried, jumping for joy.

But Orazio had a dilemma. He couldn’t trade an education for farm produce, and jobs were scarce to nonexistent in their area. Yet he was determined that his son receive the schooling necessary to become a priest. With resolve, he left for America and labored there, on and off for years, sending home about $9 a week — enough for Franci to receive the equivalent of a high-school education and allow him to join the Capuchins.

His son was grateful and wrote to his father, “I, in a special way, send continual prayers to our gracious Virgin, in order that she may protect you from every evil and restore you to our love, safe and sound.” His father would return safely to stay in 1912, but had missed his son’s ordination two years earlier, when he was given the religious name of Pio. 

It was a sacrifice he was more than willing to make — for as far as Orazio was concerned, it was just another sacrifice in the life of a father who had done much to shape the life of faith in his young son.

A simple and joyful man, Orazio was devoted to the Mass and Rosary and would stop with his wife to pray in the church each day after laboring long hours in the fields.

Although he could not read, Orazio was a gifted storyteller and would tell his children stories from Scripture that he had memorized.

This was a father who desired above all that Christ be the center of their family life.

In his old age, Orazio would come to live near the friary in San Giovanni Rotondo, already a famous place of pilgrimage for the profoundly moving Masses and many miracles attributed to his saintly, mystical son.

It was said that when the throngs of pilgrims who came to see Padre Pio would compliment Orazio on being his father, the old man would become emotional and humbly reply, “I didn’t make him. Jesus Christ did.” At the end of his life, though, it seems he was ready to claim a little credit. His granddaughter related that, just before he died in 1946, he declared, “All of you have to get out of the way because I’m going to call the angels and tell them to take me to heaven, because I can say, ‘I’m Padre Pio’s father!’”

Like Pope St. John Paul II, St. Pio would become a spiritual father to many who sought his help in life and in death. Padre Pio would say: “I will stand at the gates of heaven, and I will not enter until all my spiritual children are with me.”

These are just two examples of the power of a father’s love — the power to give faith, to make men, to shape saints.

The 12 Secrets Of The Apocalypse Given By Jesus To St. Padre Pio. 

The 12 Secrets Of The Apocalypse Given By Jesus To St. Padre Pio. 

The Twelve Secrets of the Apocalypse given by Jesus to St. Padre Pio.

Not many know that Padre Pio among so many gifts had a very special one, that of prophecy, and the Lord Jesus Christ himself communicated with him, and in a letter of 1959 addressed to his superior, Padre Pio tells the revelation that Jesus made about the World’s End.

The epistle, attributed to Padre Pio, is quite long, full of messages, so we will only take an extract with 12 messages taken from the book by Renzo Baschera “I grandi profeti”.

1. The world is walking in ruins. Men have abandoned the right path to venture on roads that end in the desert of violence … If they do not drink from the source of humility, charity and love, it will be a catastrophe.

2. Terrible things will come. I can no longer intercede for men. Divine piety is about to end. Man had been created to love life, and ended up destroying life …

3. When the world was entrusted to man, it was a garden. Man has turned it into an atmosphere full of poisons. Nothing now serves to purify the house of man. A deep work is necessary, which can only come from heaven.

4. Prepare to live three days in total darkness. These three days are very close … And in these days they will remain as dead without eating or drinking. Then the light will return. But many will be the men who will not see it anymore.

5. Many people will escape scared. It will run without a goal. They will say that there is salvation to the east and people will run to the east, but it will fall on a cliff. They will say that to the west there is salvation and people will run to the west, but they will fall into a furnace.

6. The earth will tremble and the panic will be great … The Earth is sick. The earthquake will be like a snake, they will feel it crawling everywhere. And many stones will fall. And many men will perish.

7. You are like ants, because the time will come when men will take their eyes off for a crumb of bread. Businesses will be looted, warehouses will be taken in assault and destroyed. Poor will be one who in those dark days will be without a candle, without a jug of water and without the necessary for three months.

8. A land will disappear … a great land. A country will be erased forever from geographical maps … And with it history, wealth and men will be dragged into the mud.

9. The love of man for man has become an empty word. How can you expect Jesus to love you, if you do not even love those who eat at your own table? … Of the wrath of God men of science will not be forgiven, but men of heart.

10. I’m desperate … I do not know what to do for humanity to repent. If you continue on this path, the tremendous wrath of God will be unleashed like a tremendous thunderbolt.

11. A meteorite will fall on the earth and everything will shine. It will be a disaster, much worse than a war. Many things will be canceled. And this will be one of the signs …

12. Men will live a tragic experience. Many will be overwhelmed by the river, many will be burned by fire, many will be buried by poisons … But I will stay close to the pure of heart.

Be attentive, because the Lord will come like a thief in the night.

St. Padre Pio, Pray For Us! 

‘Within A Very Short Time, Satan Will Come To Rule A False Church’ – St. Padre Pio To Rome Exorcist Fr Gabriele Amorth On The Third Secret Of Fatima 

‘Within A Very Short Time, Satan Will Come To Rule A False Church’ – St. Padre Pio To Rome Exorcist Fr Gabriele Amorth On The Third Secret Of Fatima 

In an article on the “Secret of Fatima”, Steve Skojec, the founder and editor of OnePeterFive, published for the first time in the English language words from Rome’s chief exorcist, Father Gabriele Amorth (d. 2016), about Padre Pio and his knowledge of the Third Secret of Fatima. They come from a newly published book written by José María Zavala, entitled The Best Kept Secret of Fatima (El Sécreto Mejor Guardado de Fátima). Zavala interviewed Father Amorth in 2011, and was instructed to keep the interview secret until after the exorcist’s death.

Fr. Amorth personally knew Saint (Padre) Pio for 26 years, and it is from this towering figure of 20th century Catholic sanctity that he claims to have learned the contents of the Third Secret of Fatima. According to Fr. Amorth, Padre Pio said that the Third Secret pertained to the infiltration of the Vatican by Satan and the rise of a “false church” – details that are not found in the Vatican’s official publication of the Third Secret in 2000. Below we publish details of the interview with Fr. Amorth:

***

In the interview, Fr. Amorth relates — as he has done elsewhere — that he does not believe the consecration of the world by Pope John Paul II in 1984 was sufficient to satisfy the requirements set forth by Our Lady.

“There was no such consecration then,” he [Father Amorth] says. “I witnessed the act. I was in St. Peter’s Square that Sunday afternoon, very close to the Pope; so close, I could almost touch him.”

Pressed by Zavala as to why he so forcefully believes that the consecration was not done, Fr. Amorth replied: “Very simple: John Paul II wanted to mention Russia expressly, but in the end he did not.”

Fr. Amorth said further: “I have no doubt that the consecration did not occur on the terms required by the Virgin. But we must not lose sight of what she herself wanted to tell us through Lucia: In the end My Immaculate Heart will triumph.’”

Zavala then asked about the Third Secret: “Forgive me for insisting on the Third Secret of Fatima: Did Padre Pio relate it, then, to the loss of faith within the Church?”

Fr. Gabriele furrows his brow and sticks out his chin. He seems very affected.

“Indeed,” he states, “One day Padre Pio said to me very sorrowfully: ‘You know, Gabriele? It is Satan who has been introduced into the bosom of the Church and within a very short time will come to rule a false Church.’”

“Oh my God! Some kind of Antichrist! When did he prophesy this to you?” I [Zavala] ask.

“It must have been about 1960, since I was already a priest then.”

“Was that why John XXIII had such a panic about publishing the Third Secret of Fatima, so that the people wouldn’t think that he was the anti-pope or whatever it was …?”

A slight but knowing smile curls the lips of Father Amorth.

“Did Padre Pio say anything else to you about future catastrophes: earthquakes, floods, wars, epidemics, hunger …? Did he allude to the same plagues prophesied in the Holy Scriptures?” [asks Mr. Zavala]

“Nothing of the sort mattered to him, however terrifying they proved to be, except for the great apostasy within the Church. This was the issue that really tormented him and for which he prayed and offered a great part of his suffering, crucified out of love.” [says Fr. Amorth]

“The Third Secret of Fatima?”

“Exactly.”

“Is there any way to avoid something so terrible, Fr. Gabriele?”

“There is hope, but it’s useless if it’s not accompanied by works. Let us begin by consecrating Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, let us recite the Holy Rosary, let us all do prayer and penance …”

by Maike Hickson, www.onepeterfive.com 

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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