Mahalo to Fr. Vince Inghilterra for sharing the article below.
Our Lady in Padre Pio's Life
Bro. Francis Mary F.I.
Every canonized Saint bears witness to an important fact: holiness is intimately connected with devotion to Mary, the Spouse of the Holy Ghost who is the Sanctifier. How could it be otherwise considering all graces come to us through the Mother of God and the Mother of the Church. According to St. Louis Mary De Montfort in his classic Marian work, True Devotion to Mary, assaults by Satan will be most fierce and intense in the latter times.
In speaking of the great saints and apostles of the latter times who will eventually triumph over Satan and his followers he gives what seems to be a pen sketch of Padre Pio, "They shall be true disciples of Jesus Christ, walking in the footsteps of His poverty, humility, and contempt of the world. . . . They shall carry on their shoulders the bloody standard of the cross, the crucifix in their right hand and the rosary in their left and the sacred names of Jesus and Mary in their hearts . . . " (these were the last words on the lips of the dying Padre Pio).
Padre Pio’s Marian devotion was a profound part of him from infancy to old age. He related later in life how as a boy he went to the shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary in Pompeii, near Naples, without permission, knowing that his mother would not give him the permission. He visited her shrine frequently when he was stationed in Naples as a soldier. Nothing could stand in his way when inspired to give Mary his love. The particular area of Italy where Padre Pio was born, Pietrelcina, had as a special patroness, Our Lady of Liberty. However, his devotion to her was expressed more in action than in words.
Though he wrote a brief meditation on her Immaculate Conception, and there are scattered references to her in his early letters (later on he was forbidden to write letters by the Holy See and as a result his written testimonies on Mary are few), yet, throughout his priestly life the most beautiful and effective "sermon" in her honor, was the Rosary which he prayed constantly. It was this chain of hope that linked him with heaven and the supernatural, that world which is unexplainable to the rationalist, and materialist.
Similar to another great Franciscan Marian Saint of our times, St. Maximilian Kolbe, Our Lady appeared to Padre Pio as well. Upon being asked twenty years later why he had kept this and other supernatural visits a secret he replied in all sincerity that he thought everyone saw our Lady. His spiritual director, Padre Agostino of San Marco, relates: "One day he ingenuously asked me ‘Don’t you see our Lady?’ At my negative reply he answered, ‘You are just saying that out of holy humility!’..." read the rest here.
- Brother Francis Mary is a member of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. He is the editor of numerous books under Saints and Shrines Series published by the Academy of the Immaculate. This article was taken from the recent book he edited entitled: Padre Pio- The Wonder Worker. The above article is taken from Padre Pio- The Wonder Worker edited by Brother Francis Mary, FI and published by The Academy of the Immaculate.