Monday, September 10, 2012

Spiritual Friendship - Padre Pio and Holy Angels - Love of God


"In the presence of the angels Lord, I will praise you." - Psalm 138:1




"The angel of the Lord is encamped around those who revere him, and rescues them." - Psalm 34:7
 
Padre Pio had a great life-long devotion to St. Michael, the Archangel. Padre Pio loved the sanctuary dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel and always encouraged people to visit it.


Selected Passages on Padre Pio and Angels

Saint Padre Pio and Holy Angels - Work - Hand in Hand for Love of Saving Souls



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Padre Pio's first prayer in the morning was for the reigning pope. Padre Pellegrino Funicelli, assistant to Padre Pio for many years, recalled how Padre Pio's alarm would sound at 2 o'clock in the morning as he rose to prepare for Mass by several hours of prayer and meditation. By the side of his bed he kept three pictures St. Michael the Archangel, the Virgin Mary, and the pope. The lamp in his room had to be draped because the light would bother his eyes. Nevertheless, the drape had to be parted so that the first light of day would fall on the pope's picture. That was how he would begin his day praying for the Holy Father.

Once during a religious discussion when some were upholding certain ideas not sanctioned by the Church, Padre Pio abruptly interrupted the conversation and remarked, "You can say what you want but I stand with the Church and that is enough."




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Once after hearing Charles' confession, Padre Pio told him to make a pilgrimage to Monte Sant'Angelo and visit the shrine of St. Michael the Archangel. Padre Pio had experienced St. Michael's protection on many occasions and had gone on pilgrimage to the shrine in 1917. Each year Padre Pio made a preparation of forty days for St. Michael's feast. "Consecrate yourself to St. Michael and to the angels," Padre Pio told Charles. "You will need the help of St. Michael, living in this world."




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I spent a week in San Giovanni Rotondo in 1965 and had the honor to attend Padre Pio's Mass on my 21st birthday, January 8th, 1965. There were not many visitors to the monastery at that time of year. I got up every morning while it was still dark and was able to enter the church about 4:30 am. The Mass began at 5:00 am. Padre Pio's Mass was unforgettable, with long silent pauses in which Padre Pio appeared to be in ecstasy. He took off his half gloves during the Mass and from my vantage point where I was sitting in the trancept of the church, I was able to clearly see the stigmatization of his hands.

One morning I went into the church to make a visit to Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. As I was leaving, I looked up and saw Padre Pio at his place in the choir. He looked down at me and smiled. He held up his Rosary for me to see and pointed at it. I took my Rosary out and held it for him to see. I knew that he was encouraging me to pray the Rosary.





One night before going to sleep at my hotel, I prayed and asked my guardian angel to go to Padre Pio and tell him of all my spiritual needs. The following night I joined the villagers outside in the square below Padre Pio's cell. They gathered there every evening to bid goodnight to Padre Pio. He came to the window and gave everyone his blessing and spoke to the group in Italian. I asked the woman next to me who spoke English to tell me what Padre Pio said. She told me that Padre Pio said that he had been kept awake the previous night by a guardian angel from America.



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 Once Padre Pio asked Joe to select a name for his guardian angel. "Pick a name for your guardian angel and call him by that name always," Padre Pio said to Joe. "When you send him to me, he will come instantly."

During Padre Pio's lifetime many people asked for his help through his prayers. He would often say to individuals who requested his intercession, "You have cost me a lot." We know that he suffered for others in order to help them. He made sacrifices and denied himself and offered all of his sufferings to God.

He often sent his Guardian Angel to people to assist them. Many times he advised people to send their own Guardian Angels to him. "When you send your Guardian Angel to me, the angel comes instantly," he said. He was familiar and comfortable with the realm of angels.







Padre Pio communicated with his spiritual children in many ways. A delicate perfume often announced his invisible presence. It suggested that he was with the person in spirit, listening to their prayers. It expressed his compassion, his presence and his help. What a grace it has been for so many who have become aware at some time of the beautiful fragrance of perfume or roses, so often a sign that Padre Pio was near.



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Brother Flavian found the newspaper article about Padre Pio so interesting that he decided to make the four-hour train trip from Rome to San Giovanni Rotondo to visit him. He arrived at his destination in the middle of the night and was told that if he wanted to attend Padre Pio's 5:00 a.m. Mass, he should go at once to the church and wait for the doors to open. Brother Flavian did just that. He couldn't believe the large crowd that was already assembled in front of the church, waiting in the darkness. When the church doors finally opened, the crowd of people rushed forward and ran to the seats in the front of the church. The local Italian people jealously guarded the best seats, close to the altar where Padre Pio would be saying Mass. Brother Flavian had to sit in the very back of the church.


STATUE PADRE PIO WAS PRAYING BEFORE WHEN HE RECEIVED THE STIGMATA

 

Brother Flavian went to the monastery afterward and introduced himself. The Capuchins welcomed him and asked him to stay in the monastery for the duration of his visit. The next day, he was invited to be up on the altar when Padre Pio celebrated his Mass. He knew what a privilege it was to be so close to Padre Pio at the Mass. During the Consecration, Brother Flavian happened to glance down at Padre Pio's feet. He saw that they were not touching the ground. He looked again very closely to make sure he was seeing correctly, but there was no doubt. There was the carpeted floor. Padre Pio's feet were elevated above it. His half gloves were removed during the Mass and Brother Flavian could see the wounds of the stigmata in his hands. He was awestruck by what he had witnessed.

Brother Flavian called the Father Provincial of his Order in Rome and told him that he had been planning to stay in San Giovanni Rotondo for five days but he wanted to stay longer. He told his Superior that he was in a holy place, the very air he breathed was holy. And Padre Pio was a saint. He could not bear to leave so soon. The Provincial gave Brother Flavian permission to stay for three months.

Every day, for the next three months, Brother Flavian attended Padre Pio's Mass and every week he made his confession to him. He did not speak Italian and Padre Pio did not speak English, but oddly enough there was no language barrier. He spoke to Padre Pio in English and Padre Pio understood him. Padre Pio used to say that one of the special duties of his guardian angel was to translate foreign languages for him. 





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Fr. John wanted to make his confession to Padre Pio, but Padre Pio's assistant, Fr. Dominic Meyer told him it would not be possible. The confessions were booked solid for two weeks in advance. However, Fr. Dominic told Fr. John that he would speak to Padre Pio about him. A short time later, Fr. John received a letter from Fr. Dominic. Padre Pio had sent a message saying that if Fr. John ever needed his help while hearing confessions, to send his guardian angel to Padre Pio and he would help him immediately. Padre Pio added that if he needed help for any other reason, just to send his angel, and he would respond at once.   

In June of 2007, Msgr. Esseff celebrated his 79th birthday. He has been a priest for 54 years. He continues to serve as a retreat master and spiritual director for bishops, priests, and seminarians. He has never forgotten Padre Pio's words, "Just send me your guardian angel if you ever need my help," words spoken almost 50 years ago. As a confessor and spiritual director, Msgr. John has needed Padre Pio's help and guidance on many, many occasions. Frequently, when faced with a difficult case, not knowing the right words to say or the best advice to give, he has sent his angel to Padre Pio. The answer has always come. He continues to send his guardian angel to Padre Pio and has felt Padre Pio's ever-present help through these many years.
 


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When Padre Pio finished praying his morning Rosary, he would walk across the upper balcony of the church and through a connecting door into the old church. There he would recite the Angelus, the beautiful prayer to the angel of God, with all who were gathered. Afterward, he would bless the crowd.


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In 2002, Alex's wife Deirdre was diagnosed with cancer. The family prayed to Padre Pio for another miracle but on August 15, 2003, on the feast of the Assumption, Deirdre passed away. She was surrounded by her loving family. Alex prayed that he would be able to accept the passing of his dear wife.

The night before Deirdre's funeral, Alex had a vision of his wife. She had a beautiful smile on her face and she was being carried to Heaven by an angel. Alex was at peace, knowing that his wife was now free of pain and was happy in Heaven. Alex clung to his faith in God and found the strength to go on.



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Bill had been in a coma for many days, the doctor told Mary Ann that he could offer no hope for her husband. He had done everything that he could for Bill. Bill was dying. The doctor told Mary Ann to take care of any arrangements that she needed to. Mary Ann called Father Solcia and told him the news. He immediately came down to the hospital and gave Bill the Last Rites and the blessing for the dying.

To his family's great relief, Bill did not pass away. He came back to consciousness after being in a coma for eighteen days. He told Mary Ann that while he was in a comatose state, he had a remarkable experience


He found himself in a place of pitch darkness. There he saw the faces of frightful demons. It was truly a place of pain and suffering. An angel came to Bill and tried to lead him out of the dark ravine. "We have to climb the mountain, Bill. We have to go toward the light," his good angel would say. No matter how hard Bill tried, he was always pulled back down toward the darkness. More than anything in the world, Bill wanted to get to the place of light.




 

At one point, Bill saw a saintly man dressed in robes of pure white. Looking closer, he realized that it was St. Benedict. "Save me!" Bill entreated St. Benedict. St. Benedict pointed toward his right, indicating the way that Bill was to go. Bill went in that direction and soon saw a figure close to him. It was Padre Pio. "Stop right there, Bill," Padre Pio said, in a voice full of authority. "You must go back. Your work is not finished."

Bill feels that he has been given a second chance at life. His family was certain that they were losing him. His own doctor confirmed it. But as our faith teaches us, God always has the final word. Indeed, our lives are in His hands. Bill knows for certain now that he has work left to do. Each new day is a gift from God and an opportunity to share his faith and to serve. Today Bill is alive and well and working in the service the Lord.


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Padre Pio had a vision when he was fifteen years old, of that very battle of good verses evil which takes place within the human soul. His vision was a revelation of the spiritual warfare that he would encounter throughout his life.    

In the vision, the young Padre Pio (Francesco Forgione) suddenly saw a majestic and beautiful figure standing beside him. The man had a radiant countenance, similar to the brightness of the sun. He said to Francesco, "I am here to tell you that you are going to have to fight like a courageous warrior." The resplendent figure took Francesco by the hand and led him to an open field. In the field stood two large groups of men. One group had beautiful and shining faces. They were wearing robes of the purest white. The other group was dressed in black garments. They were ugly and frightening in appearance.

Francesco stood in the middle of the open field with the radiant figure beside him. Suddenly he saw a treacherous and hideous being coming toward him. The gruesome figure was so tall that he appeared to be a giant. "You must fight with this creature," the resplendent man said to Francesco. "But do not worry because I will be with you."






Francesco became terrified as the monster-like figure advanced toward him. He felt weak and began to tremble uncontrollably. He thought that he was going to faint. Francesco's spiritual guide then took his arm to support him. He felt strengthened by the celestial man's touch. Francesco entered into a violent battle with his dangerous adversary and finally conquered him. The radiant figure placed a magnificent crown on Francesco's head but then quickly removed it. He said to Francesco, "You will receive a crown that is even more beautiful than this one if you will continue to stand up to the dark being whom you just fought. Be strong and do not fear. I will always be near and will always help you."

Shortly after, Francesco had another vision and was given the realization that the beautiful and resplendent man who had stood beside him in the vision was Jesus. In truth, it was Jesus who was always with him, assisting him in the many trials and tribulations of his life. In his fight against evil forces and in his life-long battle against demons, Padre Pio would always remain close to God and would be victorious.

If the demons attacked Padre Pio at times, the angels were always nearby to shield and protect him. The angelic realm was very real and very much alive to Padre Pio. Whenever he spoke about angels, he spoke from his own direct experience. He had been able to see and communicate with angels from his childhood.




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"Have great devotion to this good angel. How consoling it is to know that near us is a spirit who, from the cradle to the tomb, does not leave us even for an instant, not even when we dare to sin. And this heavenly spirit guides and protects us like a friend, like a brother." - St. Pio of Pietrelcina
 

7 comments:

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Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot for this posting. I would like to have the spiritual experience of Padre Pio in my life. Please pray for me and my family

Anonymous said...

The Lord is my light and my salvation.

Anonymous said...

thankyou for your wonderful post..may god bless you.

Anonymous said...

We thank God for Padre Pio.Stay blessed.

Anonymous said...

We thank GOD for the gift of Padre Pio. Stay blessed

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