Six Influences on Padre Pio
Six Influences on the Life and Spirituality of Padre Pio
"I only want to be a friar who prays"
- Our Lady of Mount Carmel: It was well known and observed that Padre Pio's parents and family were strongly devout. Daily Mass and Rosary were a given. However, did you know that Padre Pio's family also abstained from meat three times a week in order to honor Our Lady of Mount Carmel?
- Pius V: Pius V was the Patron Saint of Pietrelcina, where he was born. Pius V was active at the Council of Trent, and also instituted the Feast of Our Lady of Victory after the Battle of Lepanto and defeat of the Ottoman Empire. The town of Pietrelcina was known for its celebrations of many Feast Days throughout the year. This infusion of liturgical life made an impression on Padre Pio, who was baptized Francesco Forgione, but took the name Fra (Friar) Pio when he became a friar, in honor of Pius V.
- Capuchin/Franciscan: Padre Pio was around10 years when happened to hear a young Capuchin Friar speak as he passed through the area. Padre Pio found this friar's life and words captivating, and began the process of further schooling to be eligible for acceptance into their community. At the age of 15, Padre Pio took the Franciscan habit, as the Capuchins are an offshoot.
Stigmata: Padre Pio received the Stigmata on September 20, 1918, just like Francis of Assisi, the first person to bear the receive the wounds of Christ. He had been examined by doctors numerous times with no explanation, and the blood ws often reported to emit a pleasant odor. Just day he died on September 23, 1968, the stigmata disappeared, leaving no trace of scars or wounds he bore for fifty straight years.
- Transverberation: The concept of transverberation, as described by John of the Cross, is “The soul being inflamed with the love of God which is interiorly attacked by a Seraph, who pierces it through with a fiery dart. This leaves the soul wounded, which causes it to suffer from the overflowing of divine love”. In a short period preceding the permanent Stigmata, Padre instances and periods of time during which he had visions of, or was assailed with piercings, from which he suffered. On September 20, 1918, he reportedly was freed of all pain from these wounds and went into ecstacy – from which he emerged with the Stigmata.
- Charisms: Padre Pio has been reported to have received numerous Charisms, or gifts from God. They included supernatural knowledge, bilocation, the ability to read hearts in confession, and the odor of sancity. Padre Pio tried to keep these gifts to himself for God, which became more difficult the more he grew in popularity.
Padre Pio let an intense spiritual life, full of both suffering and mysticism. From this he said,
"In order to attract us, the Lord grants us many graces that we believe can easily obtain Heaven for us. We do not know, however, that in order to grow, we need hard bread: the cross, humiliation, trials and denials."