Unless I have my quote wrong, St. Padre Pio had once stated that he would wait outside the Gates of Heaven OR *would not enter the Gates of Heaven UNTIL *(I’m not sure) for all his spiritual children. How do you interpret this? He’s been declared a saint, which we understand to mean he has reached Heaven. Does that mean all those who followed him under the title of “spiritual child” of Padre Pio - have also died?
Padre Pio promised that he would wait at the gates of Heaven, not that he would not enter. He had no control over that part. You’re either in or out. Also, remember that this is metaphoric language. It is not to be taken literally. First of all, Heaven does not have gates. It’s not a gated community. The term “gate” comes from Jewish language. Jewish cities were gated cities. If we look at Jerusalem, it is a walled city. The Jews imagined Heaven to be like Jersualem. That’s why Jesus used the word gate in his promise to Peter, “The gates of hell will not prevail against you.” There are no gates. He’s referring to Satan and the powers of evil.
When Padre Pio speaks of the gates of Heaven, he’s using the wording of the scriptures, which was the wording of the first century Christian Jews.
Hope this helped.
Br. JR, OSF
Thank you, Br. JR -
Very well explained - the “gates” analogy. Brings to mind Our Lord’s words that it is easier for a rich man to pass through the ‘eye of the needle’ than to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Our Lord wasn’t speaking of a sewing needle - but one of the gates of Jerusalem - named such because it was so small that camels had difficulty getting through.
Through the years I had a difficult time discerning those words of St. Padre Pio.
God bless you.