Recently relics of St. Padre Pio were presented at the Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore. I drove up after the morning communion service. St. Padre Pio was born in Italy in 1887 and died in September 1968. He was beatified by Pope St. John Paul II on May 2, 1999. His feast day is September 23. St. Padre Pio was religious at a young age and knew he wanted to live a life for God at the age of 5. He was also a sickly individual having Typhoid fever at 10, being significantly ill at 17 and later. However, it didn’t stop him from joining a monastery as a monk when he was 15. He became a priest in 1910.
As a young, man he experienced the stigmata of Christ and had wounds on his hands and feet. They bled but did not become infected. They were noted to be perfectly round. After some initial controversy, Fr. Pio was allowed to minister more publicly and became noted for his piety, charity, and his preaching. He is noted to have said, “Pray, hope and don’t worry.”
The experience of being in the presence of the St. Pio’s relics was wonderful. I felt a deep peace as I prayed for several people I know and for my family. There was a continuous flow of people. People would touch their rosaries and other items to the glass encased relics. Deacon Bob Shepherd (who helps out with communion services here at St. Jane) is assigned there, and we talked. He told me that Fr. Boric, the rector of the Basilica, attended a Mass in Italy presided by Fr. Pio when he was 14!
Let us pray for the intercession of the saints as we believe they are close to God. We need all the help we can get!