Franciscan Spirit Blog

Lent with Padre Pio: First Friday

“In books we seek God, in prayer we find him. Prayer is the key which opens God’s heart.”
—Padre Pio

When Padre Pio’s parents took him to the Capuchin monastery at the age of 15 to see if their son could enter, the friars said he had to have more schooling before being considered. Padre Pio returned to his hometown and received private tutoring to help him meet the necessary requirements to enter the monastery. Eventually, he was accepted.

Throughout his life, though, it was his prayer life, not his intellect, that sustained him. God, for him, was not a foreign figure to learn about, but more a companion to be encountered daily on his faith journey. It was this desire to truly know Christ that drove Padre Pio to immerse himself in a life of prayer and devotion to Christ and his message.

In Padre Pio’s Own Words

Be patient, my daughter, in putting up with your imperfections if you wish to attain perfection. Remember, this is a very important point if we want to make progress on the paths that lead us to God. When you cannot make great strides on your path, be content with small steps, waiting patiently for legs to run or, even better, wings to fly.

Be content for now, my daughter, to be a small bee in the honeycomb, for very soon you will become a large bee capable of producing honey.

Humble yourself lovingly before God and before others, because God speaks to the lowly. “Hear,” he says to the bride in the holy psalms, “consider, and incline your ear; forget your people and your father’s house” [Psalm 45:10]. This is the attitude with which a loving child lies prostrate when speaking to the heavenly Father and waits for his divine answer. God will fill your vase with his balm when he sees it is empty of the world’s perfumes. And the more he humbles you, the more he will exalt you.

(To Antonietta Vona, May 21, 1918)

lent with padre pio


St. Pio, may we be as open as you were to learning about Christ through prayer and personal experiences. Help us to keep our eyes open for Christ’s presence in our lives.


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