Feast of St Pio of Pietrelcina

Padre Pio Triduum, Final Night, Saturday 23rd of September, 2023, The Friary, Ennis, Co. Clare

I love the short bio given of St. Pio in today’s Universalis:

He was born in the small village of Pietrelcina in southern Italy, and joined the Capuchin friars at the age of 16. He became a priest seven years later, and spent fifty years at the monastery of San Giovanni Rotondo, where he was very much sought after as a spiritual advisor, confessor, and intercessor. Many miracles were popularly ascribed to him during his lifetime. He died a few days after the fiftieth anniversary of his receiving the stigmata, and over 100,000 people attended his funeral.

During his lifetime and since his legacy has been immense.

The house at home is full of statues of the great saint, my deceased mother having great devotion to him.

During the week at the ploughing championships in Rathaniska a competition was held for Ireland’s favourite saint.  Thousands and thousands voted and the results were as follows:

6th was St. Martin de Porres.

5th was St. Therese of Lisieux.

4th was Padre Pio.

3rd was St. Patrick.

2nd was St. Brigid.

1st was St. Anthony of Padua.

The Franciscans must be very happy to have two of their own in the top 6!

The other thing I note is that the Irish people must be losing things big time, with solid devotion to and dependence on St. Anthony!  I hope, in these recessionary times that everyone has paid up and all the debts to him are clear…!

Stories and images are most helpful in getting a point across.

St Pio once wrote the following reflection:

I consider what writers say about the kingfisher, little birds who build their nests on the beach near the sea. They build in a circular form and so tightly compressed that the seawater cannot seep into the nest. Above is an opening from which they receive air. Here, these graceful little birds place their young ones, so that when the sea comes upon them by surprise, they can swim with confidence and float on the waves without being filled with water or submerging. And the air they breathe through that opening serves as a counter-balance so that those little balls of fluff are not overturned.

But, what amazes me most of all (Padre Pio continues) is that the anchor is cast above them and not below, in order to strengthen them against the waves.

I want your heart to be like this (he continues), well compacted and closed on all sides so that ….it will not be bothered or upset [by worries and evil]. Leave but one opening to your heart, that is, one toward heaven.





VISITOR, 1999)

This meaningful and beautiful story links in seamlessly with the most famous quotation from St. Pio:

“Pray, hope, and don’t worry.  Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer.”

I remember in Knock at the National St. Pio Pilgrimage in 2018 receiving a brown Franciscan wrist band with the simple words of the Holy Saint, Pray, Hope and don’t worry.

So my offering today is simply those two thoughts on this feast day of Padre Pio.

The powerful Kingfisher nesting image.

The threefold advice of the great Saint. Pray, hope and do not worry.

We entrust all our cares, worries, fears, anxieties, concerns to the Lord on the advice, counsel and guidance of St. Pio.

St. Pio pray for us.

St. Frances of Assisi pray for us.

St. Clare pray for us.

And let’s not forget the top man – St. Anthony of Padua.