September 24, 2010
On September 20, 1918, Padre Pio was kneeling in front of a large crucifix when he received the visible marks of the crucifixion, making him the first stigmatized priest in the history of Church. The doctor who examined Padre Pio could not find any natural cause for the wounds. Upon his death in 1968, the wounds were no longer visible. In fact, there was no scaring and the skin was completely renewed. He had predicted 50 yearsprior that upon his death the wounds would heal. The wounds of the stigmata were not the only mystical phenomenon experienced by Padre Pio.
To read more about St. Padre Pio, see the EWTN site for his biography and more!
When my children first heard about St. Padre Pio about six years agao, they were enthralled with the miracle of his stigmata. Ok, and so was I. Though I was a cradle Catholic, I had never heard this term, nor did I know what it meant! This hero of our faith continues to be a family favorite at our house and the amazement never ceases each time we review his story.
I wrote a previous post back in May at the time of St. Padre Pio's birthday. We had a special occasion that inspired these crazy Stigmata Krispy Treats. But hey, my kids loved them! Another door of discovery opens when we introduce more visual crafts and treats to enhance our liturgical celebrations!
The kids are so excited to make these treats again for his feast day, today.
As for me, Padre Pio brought great insight into suffering. I feel that God sent him my way to guide me forward during my journey back to the church. I was initially introduced to his writings in this simple book about 12 years ago. It came at just the right time, God's time, to serve as His salve for my own wounds. After great lost and suffering, St. Padre Pio was instrumental in gently leading me home. Here are a few of my favorite inspirations from the book:
"Your tears were collected by the angels and were placed in a gold chalice, and you will find them when you present yourself before God." (p. 42)
"The soul that is destined to reign with Jesus Christ in eternal glory must be remodeled by the blows of the hammer and chisel. But what are these blows of hammer and chisel by which the divine Artist prepares the stone, that is to say, the chosen soul? Dear sister, these strokes of the chisel are the shadows, fears, temptations, spiritual torments and agitation, with a dash of desolation and even of physical pain.
Thank the infinite mercy of the eternal Father, then, for treating your soul in this way, for it is destined to be saved." (p. 42)
The cross will never oppress you; its weight might cause you to stagger, but its strength will sustain you. (p. 41)
I am grateful that St. Padre Pio has touched my soul, a long with countless other Saints who make up the heroes of our faith....
For Celebrating this feast, See Catholic Icing for some fun ideas!
*I also love these Faith Folders over at My Little Flower*
I keep this little prayer card in my purse...
Prayer for the Intercession of Saint Pio
Dear God, You generously blessed Your servant, St. Pio of Pietrelcina, with the gifts of the Spirit. You marked his body with the five wounds of Christ Crucified, as a powerful witness to the saving Passion and Death of Your Son. Endowed with the gift of discernment, St. Pio labored endlessly in the confessional for the salvation of souls. With the reverence and intense devotion in the celebration of the Mass, he invited countless men and women to a greater union with Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. Through the intercession of St. Pio of Pietrelcina, I confidently beseech You to grant me the grace of (mention your request). Amen.
Glory be to the Father (three times).