It was yesterday when I promised myself that I am going to visit St. Pio of Pietrelcina today.
And yes, I went there this morning.
Well not exactly in Pietrelcina, but in his lovely chapel in Eastwood, Libis.
The place is so peaceful, so solemn and full of holiness. Well, what can I expect from a church? Ha!
I actually did not know St. Pio much. I only read his name in those prayer books that I have but I do not know him by heart.
So when I visited his place, there I have known him and some of his works. His prayer and intercession is so strong and this is why many believe in him. I am one of them. He is my patron saint now, along with Mama Mary, Saint Joseph, Mother Theresa, Saint Isidore, and Saint John Paul II.
I was so eager to know him more so the moment I got home, I did some research about him.
So here are some facts about my beloved St. Pio (thanks Wiki!):
- His real name is Francesco Forgione. He was born on May 25, 1887.
- Padre Pio had his first occurrence of the stigmata: bodily marks, pain, and bleeding in locations corresponding to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus Christ.
- The blood flowing from the stigmata smelled of perfume or flowers, a phenomenon mentioned in stories of the lives of severalsaints and often referred to as the odor of sanctity.
- He died on September 23, 1968 and he was declared to be a Saint on June 16, 2002 by Pope John Paul II.
Here are some photos from St. Pio’s lovely place. These were only captured by phone camera.
The church strictly honors the sanctity of the place so if you are going to pay St. Pio a visit, make sure that you wear clothes that do not reveal your soul. You know what I mean.
When I went there, I saw a woman who was being asked by the security personnel to take one of these malong clothes to cover herself up. She obeyed.
Turn-off-your-phones-signs are everywhere. Yeah, I know, and I am so sorry to keep my phone on while i was inside. I really want to capture the church’s beauty and so I can share it with you here.
On the walls are framed testimonies from people who have experienced miracles, answered prayers, blessings and healing that were granted by God through the powerful intercession of Padre Pio. I have read some of them and man, I am so amazed with their stories. Moreover, I am greatly amazed by Padre Pio, by my Lord Jesus Christ and the Father who made all these things possible!
There, I also saw this huge frame displaying the beautiful testimonies of famous news anchors Julius and TinTin Babao.
Flowers are almost everywhere! The blood flowing from Padre Pio’s stigmata smelled of perfume or flowers.
I went outside the church and explored more of its places.
I saw this grand arc that will lead you to another chapel.
These are all rosaries. It is prohibited to take any of them home.
At the end of this rosary-filled-tunnel-arc-or-whatever is a cave-like chapel. Why is it cave-like? Well, it’s dark inside and it’s purely made up of huge stones and some good woods.
On its altar shows the Christ Jesus and His two servants St. Francis and St. Pio.
Adjacent to this chapel is another door which I am hesitant to enter at first. It’s a huge door made up of old woods, and it’s doorknob is a huge metal, like those that I see in roman empire films.
I slowly pushed the door fearing that there might be something scary inside. It was so dark in there, I thought I was entering a horror house (that kind of feeling, yeah. Sorry.)
I asked the caretaker if taking photos is allowed. She said yes, as long as there is no camera flash.
Here are some of the statues that are displayed inside the holy sanctuary.
The weeping Mama Mary and the King of kings.
I also saw this prayer place for the blessed Mother Mary, the Lady of all grace.
I encourage you to go visit this beautiful place. Pray there and cry your heart out to God, and ask St. Pio’s powerful intercession.
I believe in him. And I believe that he will intercede in all my prayers. I believe that God will answer my prayers because Mama Mary and Padre Pio are both praying for me.
“Don’t spend your energies on things that generate worry, anxiety and anguish. Only one thing is necessary: Lift up your spirit and love God.” – St. Pio of Pietrelcina.