You guys, I have a confession to make. I’m majorly obsessed with a man named Pio and I don’t care who knows it!
Padre Pio of Pietrelcina (1887-1968) is what one might call a boss man and there’s no getting around it. He rules the school on heaven and earth. I truly don’t even know where to begin because his life gives us so many examples in ways to grow in holiness.
Padre Pio is one of those saints where everybody knows his name, but a lot of people don’t really know why. They might recall that he had the stigmata, or that he was a worldwide sensation, but besides that, most details of his life go unnoticed.
Here’s the deal, though. Padre Pio is also one of those saints who put your spiritual life to shame. His obedience, faithfulness, patience (for the most part!), and docility to the spirit are truly things to aspire to.
There is one thing in particular, however, that really sticks out to me about Padre Pio’s life and demeanor, and that is his heroic outlook on suffering. Padre Pio suffered so much throughout his life. In the beginning of his time as a religious, he couldn’t live in any of his order’s friaries because they aggravated some mysterious illness he had. He spent years in his hometown as he suffered quietly, unable to participate in community life. From there, he received the stigmata, and the majority of individuals (including many within the Church) thought he was a crazy lunatic who was artificially creating his wounds. He would receive physical injuries from demons assaulting him in the middle of the night. He witnessed death and destruction as both world wars ravaged the landscape. He barely slept; he barely ate. He put other’s needs before his own, and would sit in the confessional for sometimes 16 hours a day. And the craziest thing about all of this? He would give thanks for these moments of suffering because he knew that they were drawing him closer to God.
I mean, say whaaaaa?! This guy is insane! When I learned about all of these details in his biography by C. Bernard Ruffin (which I highly recommend), I was so uplifted. He is an incredible example to us all, with whatever kind of suffering the Lord allows in our lives. He also puts things in perspective and makes many of my sufferings look quite pathetic. I know I would prefer a little discomfort here and there rather than having a demon throw things at me in the middle of the night.
I have found myself gravitating towards Padre Pio in my moments of suffering not only because he is a great example of how to suffer valiantly, but also because he founded a hospital to relieve physical and spiritual suffering. He also had many spiritual daughters, which is another reason to add to the massive list as to why he is the perfect patron saint.
Long story short: Padre Pio’s awesome. Pray to him.
Aubry Rose is a recently married lass living in the most exciting of places – Northern Minnesota. She works for the Church and blogs about random things every once in a blue moon. Some of her favorite pastimes include thrift shopping and forcing her husband to give her back massages.