Franciscan Spirit Blog

Lent with Padre Pio: Ash Wednesday

“The life and mission of Padre Pio testify that difficulties and sorrows, if accepted with love, transform themselves into a privileged journey of holiness, which opens the person toward a greater good, known only to the Lord.”
—Pope John Paul II at Padre Pio’s canonization Mass in 2002

It is said that Ash Wednesday is the one day you can tell who is Catholic because they’re walking around with ashes on their foreheads. The ashes serve as a reminder of our sinfulness and mortality and provide a perfect beginning to the Lenten season. The next 40 days will be a journey of reflection on our faith in light of Christ’s suffering, death, and resurrection.

On this journey, we will be accompanied by St. Pio of Pietrelcina, more commonly known as Padre Pio. This humble Capuchin friar embodied the true spirit of walking with Christ throughout his life. Each day we will provide a Lenten reflection as well as words from Padre Pio himself (see below).

Meditate on the Padre Pio’s words below. How can we rely on God’s providence to sustain us through Lent and beyond?

In Padre Pio’s Own Words

I heartily recommend that you take concern to have your heart be more pleasing to our Master day by day. Do things in such a way that the current year will be more fruitful in good works than the last. The years are passing by, and we are approaching eternity, so we need to redouble our courage and lift our souls up to God, serving him with more diligence in everything that our Christian vocation or profession requires of us. This alone can make us pleasing to God. It can free us from the world that is not of him and from all our other enemies. Only this can enable us to arrive at the gate of eternal salvation.

Let us then face the present trials to which Divine Providence subjects us, but let us not lose heart or be discouraged.

Let us fight hard, and we will carry off the prize that God has stored up for strong souls. Remember, my daughter, the words of the Divine Master to his apostles, which he directs to us today: “Let not your hearts be troubled” [John 14:1]. Yes, little daughter, do not let your heart be in turmoil in the hour of trial, because Jesus has promised his assistance to whoever follows him.

(To Antonietta Vona, 1918)

lent with padre pio


St. Pio, as we begin our Lenten journey,
help us to die to ourselves and open our
hearts to Christ in the same way that you did.
Be our companion and guide us where we need to go.


Sign Up for Our Daily Newsletter​

Includes Saint of the Day, Minute Meditations, and Pause + Pray.

Skip to content