By Michael Gorre
America Needs Fatima Presents over 11,000 Prayer Petitions and a Large Candle to Saint Padre Pio on His 50th Anniversary.
Early in the morning of September 23, 2018, long-time America Needs Fatima members Mr. & Mrs. Bruce Becker and I stood in line with a throng of eager pilgrims in San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy. The loud boom of three fireworks and the ensuing cheer of the pilgrims signaled the beginning of the day’s celebration: exactly half a century since Saint Pio of Pieltrecina’s entrance into Heaven. The doors of the Church of Saint Pio opened and we made our way down into the lower church bearing over 11,000 prayer petitions and a large candle made from an equal number of small red candles sent to us by America Needs Fatima members to honor Padre Pio.
The devotion of the pilgrims was moving to see. Men, women and children of all ages passed before Saint Pio’s earthly remains, thanking him for graces and blessings received through his heavenly intercession.
As we entered the lower church carrying the two tightly filled boxes of petitions, many pilgrims looked with curiosity at the large number of prayer petitions. Then we lit the large red candle and spent time praying for America Needs Fatima members’ intentions. We also carried the petitions and candle into the old Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, where Padre Pio often celebrated Mass and heard confessions. We thought of all the graces obtained through Padre Pio’s intercession and asked that he hear America Needs Fatima members’ petitions with his characteristic kindness and devotedness.
After many prayers and a little anxiety about exactly where to leave the petitions and the candle, we encountered the office of the Capuchins just outside Padre Pio’s tomb. Brother Nichola kindly accepted the thousands of petitions and assured us they would remain at Padre Pio’s tomb for a period where he and his brother Capuchins would pray for the intentions contained therein. Then, as directed, we went to the “Garden of the Candles” just outside the Church of Saint Pio to leave our burning candle together with others at the foot of a life-size bronze statue of the celebrated saint.
It was a tremendous honor to present the prayer petitions and the candle of thousands of faithful America Needs Fatima members. Let us pray that Our Blessed Mother grant us the grace to love God and neighbor with heroic love as Padre Pio did and to give us the grace to be faithful to Holy Mother Church in these difficult times.
DAILY QUOTE for May 25, 2020
SAINT OF THE DAY
Pope St. Gregory VII
There was once a young country wife who practiced devotion to Holy Mary, just as her mother had taught her to do. This simple young lady considered herself fortunate to have married a handsome soldier.