In the Gospel of John, we can find this wonderful verse: “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13). St. Padre Pio, born Francesco Forgione, was a Catholic member of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin. There are many miracles attributed to Padre Pio: he was also one of the few people to have borne the stigmata of Christ, for the love of God and for humanity. St. Padre Pio stayed faithful to his vocation throughout his life. In spite of the many personal turmoils and the temptation of the Devil, he preserved his integrity by making prayer his priority, following St. Paul’s example: “pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:15-18).
Discover St. Padre Pio’s many devotions to Christ, to the Virgin Mary and to the guardian angel.
“Lord, God of my heart, You alone know and see all my troubles.
You alone are aware that all my distress springs from my fear of losing You, of offending You, from my fear of not loving You as much as I should love and desire to love You.
If You, to whom everything is present and who alone can see the future, know that it is for Your greater glory and for my salvation that I should remain in this state, then let it be so.
I don’t want to escape from it.
Give me the strength to fight and to obtain the prize due to strong souls.
St. Padre Pio prayed daily to his guardian angel, and thanked him regularly for his protection and his company. In a letter addressed to his spiritual daughter, Padre Pio wrote this devotion:
“May your good guardian angel always watch over you; may he be your guide on the rugged path of life. May he always keep you in the grace of Jesus and sustain you with his hands so that you may not stumble on a stone. May he protect you under his wings from all the snares of the world, the devil and the flesh.” (Padre Pio, letters 15/07/1913)
Following his example, we can say his beautiful prayer to the guardian angel, or use one of the many other prayers to guardian angels to give thanks for their protection.
“Lord Jesus Christ, Who, for the love which You bear towards men, remain in this Sacrament night and day, waiting, calling, and welcoming all who come to visit You: I believe that You are present in the Sacrament of the Altar;
I adore You from the abyss of my nothingness, and I thank You for all the graces You have given me, particularly for having given me Yourself in this Sacrament, for having given me Your Most Holy Mother Mary as my Advocate, and for having called me to visit You in this church.
I pay reverence to Your most loving Heart today, and this for three purposes:
First, in thanksgiving for this great Gift;
Second, to make reparation for all the outrages You have received from all Your enemies in this Sacrament;
Third, I intend by this visit to adore You in all the places on earth in which You are present in this Sacrament, and in which You are least honoured and most abandoned.
My Jesus, I love You with all my heart. I repent of having so often displeased Your infinite Goodness in the past.
I resolve with the help of Your grace not to offend You ever again in the future; and for the present, poor sinner though I be, I consecrate myself wholly to You. I renounce and surrender to You my whole will, my affections, my desires, and all that belongs to me. From this day forward do whatever You please with me and what belongs to me. I ask and wish only of You Your holy love, final perseverance, and the perfect fulfilment of Your Will.
I recommend to You the souls in Purgatory, especially those most devoted to the Most Blessed Sacrament and to the Blessed Virgin Mary. I also recommend to You all poor sinners.
O, my beloved Savior, I unite all my affections with the affections of Your most loving Heart, and thus united, I offer them to Your Eternal Father, and I beg Him in Your name that for love of You He accepts them and heed them.
St. Padre Pio also composed prayers to be recited after the Eucharist.
“O Sacred Heart of Jesus, filled with infinite love, broken by my ingratitude, pierced by my sins, yet loving me still;
accept the consecration that I make to You of all that I am and all that I have.
Take every faculty of my soul and body and draw me, day by day, nearer and nearer to Your Sacred Heart, and there, as I can understand the lesson, teach me Your blessed ways.
Padre Pio composed many prayers for strength and for the Lord’s protection. His famous ‘efficacious’ prayer and novena to The Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ is a result of his profound empathy towards the suffering of his brothers and sisters around the world. You can also ask for his assistance and protection by saying the prayers of intercession, composed by Archbishop Vincenzo D’Addario or by Pope John Paull II.
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On the occasion of St. Padre Pio’s Feast day, take part in a novena to the saint priest and dedicate 9 days to pray, meditate and grow your faith!
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