Pray, Hope and Don’t Worry.Padre Pio,  would often tell people who came to him, “Pray, Hope and Don’t Worry.”  These words give comfort and healing to millions of people.

Padre Pio was born May 25, 1887 in Pietrelcina, Italy, a small town in southern Italy, and he died on Sept 23, 1968.

Who was this man who has inspired millions around the world? And what does  he tell us today?

First of all he was a Capuchin. This means that he was a son of St Francis. When people think of Padre Pio they connect him with many spiritual gifts such as having the stigmata, perfume, prophecy, gifts of healing and bilocation.

If we didn’t know we might think he was a figure out of the middle ages. He was a contemporary saint. He lived thru the first and second World Wars,  the Second Vatican council, and the revolution of the 60’s.

God gave us Padre Pio to remind a skeptical world that God Exist. His supernatural gifts were in stark contrast to modern world rationalism, unbelief.  Padre Pio’s spiritual gifts remind our world that God can still confound the world and its unbelief.

Padre Pio was not a saint because he had such spiritual gifts. Padre Pio was a saint because he was faithful to Jesus and His Church. Padre Pio would hear confession for the thousands of people who came to him from all around the world. He had the gift to read hearts. One of the pilgrims that came to him was none other than John Paul II.

Because tens of thousands came to him from all over the world he had his detractors as well.  On June 1922, restrictions were placed on the public access to him.  He was ordered not to answer letter written to him. From the years 1924-1931 the Vatican issued a statement denying anything supernatural about Padre Pio. On June 9, 1931 Padre Pio was ordered by the Holy See to stop all activities, even hearing confessions, except the mass which was to be celebrated in private. This ban was reversed in early 1933 by the Holy See.

He was a saint because he loved Jesus and His Church. During this time the restrictions were placed on him he never once complained against the Church. He would often say when people pointed out the unfairness of how he was being treated, “we must love the Church She is our Mother.”

Padre Pio reminds us that the Church is our Mother. He reminds us of the value of obedience for the church, even when we have been hurt by the Church.

It is for His love for Jesus and His Church that we call Padre Pio  Saint Padre Pio

Padre Pio Pray for Us – May we Follow the Words of Padre Pio, “Pray, Hope and Don’t Worry.”

Father Stefan Starzynski is the author of Miracles: Healing for a Broken World and the Spiritual Director of the Paul Stefan Home for Mothers