*"For me prayer is a surge of the heart, it is a simple look towards Heaven,
it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy."*
- Saint Therese of Lisieux
Saint Padre Pio **. . . the famed Holy Franciscan Stigmatist Priest of the 20th Century . . . called the **Holy Pray:gopray2:er of the Rosary his "weapon" . . .
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[INDENT]HE PRAYED CONTINUALLY:
THE CROSS AND** THE ROSARY** - by Joseph A. Pelletier
"The great gifts by which Padre Pio is so well known were not substitutes for the normal working of God’s saving grace. Like all of us, he needed the regular channels of grace- the Sacraments, Scripture, the Mass and private pra:gopray2:yer. In fact, his need for prayer was very great, in direct proportion to the greatness of his mission and of the gifts received for the fulfillment of that mission. Pray:gopray2:er was for Padre Pio, as for us, the means of obtaining God’s help for avoiding sin and practicing the Christian virtues.
Padre Pio was chosen by God to teach and to remind the world of the redemptive value of Christian suffering. That is the divine purpose behind his mysterious, life-long illness, the long years of molestation by the devil, the tedious hours in the confessional and the** 50 years of atrocious pain in his hands and feet, his side, shoulders, and head*. God chose him to remind a world which had come to shudder at the very thought of pain and suffering that man is expected to share in the sufferings of Christ, after the manner of St. Paul: *“ In my own flesh I fill up what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ for the sake of His body, the Church”** (Col. 1:24. See also II Cor. 4:10-11).
Continual pray:gopray2:er was vital to Padre Pio because of the continual crosses that he was called to carry. This began in his very early youth. When he was only six years old, he would leave home early in the morning to go to the mountain to pasture two sheep owned by the family. He went with another child of his age. Rather than play, as his friend wanted to do, he made little crosses with twigs of wood and planted them in the ground. The remainder of the time he spent reciting the rosary. The cross-in many forms- and the rosary. These would be the two most representative things of Padre Pio’s life.
The rosary **was part and parcel of Padre Pio’s love for the mother of Jesus. He used this pray:gopray2:er to maintain and nourish his love of Mary. But he also used it as a **most powerful intercessory aid for obtaining from God the help that he needed for himself and that he sought for others.
The saintly Capuchin’s love of Mary and constant recourse to her through the rosary was based on the teaching and recommendations of the Church, for which he always had the greatest respect, also on his sense of faith, which was a gift of the Holy Spirit. His love for his heavenly mother and his confidence in the power of her intercession grew daily through what one priest has called, “the reality test”- the proof of experience.
As one would expect from someone so filled with the love of Mary and so convinced of the power of the rosary, Padre Pio recommended both to all who approached him and particularly to his “spiritual children” who sought his very special protection and help. He sent them all to the Mother of Jesus and told them to say the **rosary** every day.
Padre Pio’s example confirmed his words. He gave the example of private, personal use of the rosary, as well as public recitation of that pray:gopray2:er. Those who saw Padre Pio in what he called his free moments, as he walked from one place to another, will remember him holding the *rosary* to his breast and praying it as he walked. Father Eusebio of Castelpetroso, a Capuchin who was Padre Pio’s constant companion for five years, once decoyed him into revealing that **
+ on a particular day he had said 60 rosaries **of 15 decades. +
It must be remembered that Padre Pio slept at the most two or three hours a night, never continuously, and often he never slept at all. The precise number of *rosaries* he said each day, of course, is not the point. The point is that he prayed the *rosary *continually in his free moments.
It was one of Padre Pio’s joys to officiate at the recitation of the rosary and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament in the church. During the last years of his life when he could no longer officiate, he continued to attend faithfully, helped to the church by two brother Capuchins who supported him under each arm."[/INDENT][RIGHT]. . . all for Jesus+
. . . thank You Blessed Lord+
. . . thank you Blessed Holy Mother Mary+
. . . thank you Blessed Holy St. Joseph+
. . . thank you Blessed Holy St. Francis+
. . . thank you Blessed Holy Mother Church+[/RIGHT]