Thursday, September 30, 2010
(St. Pio of Pietrelcina)
Every morning, I say I want to emulate the life of a Franciscan or follow the Rule of St. Francis. And, yet, yesterday, when I got home from a long day at work, my reaction to a series of events that happened this week, culminated in behavior more in tune with the devil.
I thought I would sit down and relax at my picnic table with an afternoon snack of frittata before attending a music event, but when I looked in the refrigerator, there was none to be found (although I did make two huge frittatas the night before).
Just as this happened, a friend and his 18-year-old son walked into my house without knocking. On top of that, I have house guests for two weeks who were enjoying a day in Newport and I just needed a little downtime.
So nothing happened as planned. I was upset and exhausted. All I want is eight hours of uninterrupted sleep each night and I’ll be fine.
St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio) once said that the love of God was inseparable from suffering and that suffering all things for the sake of God was a way for the soul to reach God. Maybe I need to incorporate the Roman Catholic Church a little more into my life.
A family friend, Francesca, was from the same small town in Italy as St. Pio. Somewhere in my late mother’s house is a rosary that Francesca gave her that was blessed by him. Before St. Pio was canonized in 2002, she would tell my mother that he was going to be a saint one day. My mother never lived to see it since she died in 1999.
St. Pio was born Francesco Forgione on May 25, 1887. At age five, he knew he wanted to live a life devoted to God. He attended daily Mass and prayed the rosary at night. His family abstained from meat three days a week in honor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
As a young boy, St. Pio told his parents that he communicated with Jesus, Mary,and his guardian angel regularly as though it were something everyone did. When he desperately wanted to become a Capuchin friar, his father found him a tutor from the United States who educated St. Pio in the Capuchin ways.
St. Pio entered the order on Jan. 6, 1903 and was ordained a priest in 1910. He is said to have had apparitions of the devil who attacked his body and mind. At times, St. Pio received the stigmata and was also able to bilocate.
He founded a hospital and medical research center called Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza (Home of the Relief of Suffering) in San Giovanni Rotondo. It is near the Sanctuary of Monte Sant’ Angelo sul Gargano, the oldest shrine in Western Europe dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel.
St. Pio died on Sept. 23, 1968 and his feast day is Sept. 23.