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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.

 


 

 

 

 

Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for May 25, 2020

“I will take away not the grace but the feeling of grace...

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May 25

 

“I will take away
not the grace but the feeling of grace.
Though I will seem to leave you
I will be closer to you.”

Our Lord to St. Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi


My Mother, I will stand with you on OCTOBER 10, 2020

Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

Pope St. Gregory VII

In 1073 at the death of Alexander II, the people of Rome cri...

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Pope St. Gregory VII

Pope Gregory VII was born Hildebrand in Tuscany, Italy. Little else is known of his early life. Hailed, historically, as one of the greatest of the Church's pontiffs and one of the most remarkable men of all time, his name, Hildebrand, meant “bright flame”. Those who hated him, which were many, interpreted the name as “brand of Hell”.

Hildebrand was a Benedictine monk, for a time living in Cluny, from whence he certainly gleaned the monastery’s ideal of societal reform.

As a cleric, he became chaplain to Pope Gregory VI, and a few years later, under Leo IX was made Cardinal Deacon. A man of outstanding energy and insight, Hildebrand became a power in Rome. It is greatly due to him that the practice of electing popes through a college of cardinals was established.

In 1073 at the death of Alexander II, the people of Rome cried out for the holy genius who had helped steer the Church for twenty years, “Hildebrand for Pope! Holy Peter wants Hildebrand, the Archdeacon!” Once before the holy monk had eluded the tiara but this time a proper college of cardinals, seconding the popular cry, induced him to accept an honor duly his.

Hildebrand assumed the name Gregory VII, and threw his energy and zeal into a continued reform, especially fighting simony (the sale of ecclesiastical posts) and clerical incontinence.

He confronted Emperor Henry IV head- on about his practice of choosing men for ecclesiastical positions. On meeting with dogged resistance, the pontiff finally had recourse to excommunication which drastically curtailed the proud monarch’s power, ultimately bringing Henry on foot to the Pope at the Castle of Canossa. Because of Henry’s rebellious obstinacy, Pope Gregory saw fit to leave him out in the cold for three days before receiving and reinstating the royal penitent.

But Henry failed to make any true personal reform and alienated his princes who elected another ruler. Still, he later rallied and went as far as electing another Pope, a Clement III, calling down upon himself another sentence of excommunication. He also attacked and entered the Eternal City in 1084, which forced Pope Gregory into exile. Henry had his protégée “pope” crown him Emperor. Ultimately repelled by an army fighting for the true pope, the Emperor Henry left Rome, but complications sent Gregory VII again into exile, this time to die.

His last words before his death were a summary of how he had lived, “I have loved justice and hated iniquity, therefore I die in exile.”

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

There was once a young country wife who practiced devotion t...

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Mary and the Simple Country Wife

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. Little did she know that her soldier-husband had made a deal with the devil, that he would sell his wife for a certain sum of money.

One crisp, autumn morning the couple went out for their customary walk. Oddly, this time the young man insisted on heading towards the forest. It was at the forest where he intended to deliver his young bride over to the devil.

On their way to the forest, the couple passed in front of a Church dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The wife, overtaken with a desire to enter the church begged her husband to allow her to pray a Hail Mary in that church.

As the young lady entered the church, Holy Mary came forth from it, taking the form of the wife and accompanied the man into the forest.

When they at last approached the devil at the forest, he said to the man, “Traitor! Why have you brought me instead of your wife, my enemy, the mother of God?”

“And you,” said Mary, addressing the devil, “how have you dared to think of injuring my servant? Go, flee to hell.”

And then, turning to the man, Mary said to him, “Amend your life, and I will aid you.”

She then disappeared and that wretched man repented, amended his life and became a husband worthy of his simple country wife.

From the Glories of Mary, by St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.

 

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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.

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