Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Celebrate the Feast of Saint Padre Pio


Saint Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio)

Francesco Forgione was born in Pietrelcina, Italy, on May 25,1887, and named in honor of St. Francis of Assisi. The devout Francesco at an early age felt drawn to the priesthood, and became a Capuchin novice at the age of sixteen. Ordained a priest in 1910, he became known as Padre Pio.  During this time he suffered much, both physically and spiritually, all of which he accepted with praise and thanks to God, trusting that if God allowed it, God could use it for the good of others.

On September 20, 1918, while kneeling in front of a large crucifix, Padre Pio received the visible marks of the crucifixion, with wounds in his hands, feet, and side, making him the first priest to receive the stigmata in the history of the Church. On the day he died in 1968, at the age of 81, the wounds disappeared, a miracle Padre Pio had predicted 50 years earlier.

Padre Pio was blessed with many mystical gifts. The blood from the wounds of Jesus in his body carried a beautiful perfumed aroma. He had the gift of bilocation, or being in two places at the same time. He had the ability to read the hearts of the penitents who flocked to him during his long hours of hearing confessions. Padre Pio used the confessional to bring both sinners and devout souls closer to God; giving just the right word of counsel or encouragement to all. 

Thousands went to his monastery in San Giovanni Rotondo suffering from all sorts of illness, including cancer, tuberculosis, blindness, etc. Many received healing through his intercession. Padre Pio had a great love for Mother Mary, Saint Michael the Archangel, and his Guardian angel, and received much help from them. He also had a great love and prayed much for the Souls in Purgatory. 

In 1948, a young Polish priest heard about Padre Pio and visited him for Confession and spiritual direction. Though we do not what they shared, the young priest, Fr. Karol Wojtyla, was deeply moved by the encounter. Almost two decades later, in November 1962, now a bishop, Karol Wojtyla returned to Rome for the second Vatican Council. He sent a note asking Padre Pio to pray for his friend, Dr. Wanda Poltawska, a survivor of a Nazi concentration camp and mother of four, who had been diagnosed with a very serious and aggressive intestinal tumor. Padre Pio replied, “To this one, it is impossible to say no.” Padre Pio prayed all night for the woman. When Bishop Wojtyla called home two weeks later to hear how the operation went, he learned that the tumor had disappeared!

In May 1967, Dr. Poltawska herself was able to leave Communist Poland briefly for a trip to Italy. She journeyed to San Giovanni Rotondo, where she attended a Mass celebrated by Padre Pio. At the Mass, Poltawska could see Padre Pio’s own agony, the stains of blood from his wounds, the sweat running down his face. Afterward, she waited to greet him. He passed by her, walking slowly on his pierced feet. He stopped, then gazed at her, smiled, and said, “Now you are all right?” The doctor was stunned. She had never met Padre Pio, yet he recognized her. He had suffered for her, because he could not refuse the request of the young Polish Bishop. And, as Providence would have it, Dr. Poltawska was there, in Rome, on June 16, 2002, when her old friend, who had become the first Polish pope, John Paul II, canonized the gentle Padre as Saint Pio of Pietrelcina!

I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.  

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.

–Galatians 6:17-18 

Submitted by guest blogger Bart Tesoriero

Friday, July 31, 2020

Feast of Saint Ignatius of Loyola

Patron of Soldiers, Educators and Retreatants



Saint Ignatius was born at Loyola, Spain, in the year 1491. After
being wounded in battle, he decided to serve Jesus as his King.
Ignatius went to study at the University of Paris, where several
young men joined him to serve Christ. They were known as the
“Companions of Jesus,” or the Jesuits. “The Companions,” said
Ignatius, “are ready to do any work or go anywhere in the world
for God’s greater glory.” They became famous teachers, and
continued to serve the poor. The Jesuits lived and taught as
soldiers of Christ. Pope Francis is the first Jesuit in history to become a pope.
Saint Ignatius suffered many trials, but he trusted in God, and
composed his famous “Spiritual Exercises.” Saint Ignatius died
on July 31, 1556.
Prayer of Saint Ignatius
Take O Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will.
All that I am and all that I possess, You have given to me.
I surrender it all to You; dispose of it according to Your will.
Give me only Your love and Your grace, that’s enough for me.
With these I will be rich enough, and will desire nothing more. Amen.

 “Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam”--“For the Greater Glory of God"
           -The Motto of Saint Ignatius





Friday, July 24, 2020

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Friday, July 17, 2020

Friday, June 19, 2020

Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Born in France in 1647, Margaret Mary Alacoque was crippled by a disease at age 8.  After promising to give her life to Jesus’ service, she was miraculously healed through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. At 23, she entered the Visitation Order of Nuns.


Sister Margaret Mary fervently loved our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament—the consecrated Body of Christ from Holy Communion, which is kept in the tabernacles of Catholic churches. The world had grown cold and unresponsive to God and His offer of salvation through the grace His Son won for us all on the Cross. Over the course of a few years, Jesus appeared to Margaret, revealing to her His Sacred Heart.  


The flames coming forth from Jesus’ Heart remind us of His burning love for us and His desire that we love Him in return. The crown of thorns around His Heart reminds us of His sacrifice for us and His invitation that we offer our sufferings to Him, as Saint Paul teaches us: “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church” (Colossians 1:24).


Jesus made at least twelve promises to Sister Margaret Mary, revealing the abundance of His love and telling her how He would help those who honor His Sacred Heart. He said,

“Behold this Heart which has loved men and women so much, and yet they do not want to love Me in return.

Through you My divine Heart wishes to spread its love everywhere on earth.”

Jesus further promised, “I will bless every home in which an image of My Heart will be honored.”


Sister Margaret Mary died in 1690, and was canonized a saint in 1920.

Submitted by guest blogger Bart Tesoriero

Friday, May 15, 2020

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