Franciscan Spirit Blog

Lent with Padre Pio: Holy Saturday

“You must have boundless faith in the divine goodness, for the victory is absolutely certain.” 
—Padre Pio

For years, followers of Padre Pio waited for the Church to recognize what they felt they already knew—he was a saint. Even after his canonization process was opened, it was another 20 years before he became St. Pio of Pietrelcina.

As we wait in anticipation of Christ’s Resurrection, we are reminded that as difficult as it may be, the waiting is worth it. For it is through doing so that we realize the true blessing of what is yet to come.

Consider the words of Padre Pio below. How can we conquer our own fears and live a life of bold witness? How can prayer help us get there?

In Padre Pio’s Own Words

“Wretched man that I am!” exclaimed the great chosen vessel, the Apostle to the Gentiles. “Who will deliver me from this body of death?” [Romans 7:24]. There can be no doubt that this apostle was one of the greatest saints and a star of the first magnitude in our holy church. How many persecutions, toils, and pains he suffered for Jesus Christ! What burning charity, what fiery love, what ardent zeal for Jesus’ honor! What revelations, visions, ecstasies, and raptures even into the third heaven!

And yet this holy apostle, rich in so many virtues and with such excellent gifts, expressed the lament above…. [He tells us,] “Three times I have been beaten with rods; once I was stoned. Three times I have been shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been adrift at sea” [2 Corinthians 11:25]. He also speaks of other hardships he endured out of love for Jesus: “many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure” [2 Corinthians 11:27]….

Tell me, daughter, is there anything lacking that prevents us from declaring this great apostle and teacher of the gentiles perfect? Yet even he felt in himself a whole host of moods, aversions, and natural habits and inclinations that were conspiring to his undoing and to spiritual death…. He answers that dilemma quoted above by saying that the grace of God through Jesus Christ will keep him not from fear or terror or battle—all the things you are feeling, my dear daughter—but from being overcome and conquered.

(To Maria Gargani, June 18, 1917)


St. Pio, teach us to be joyful in our waiting and use the time to stop and reflect on the importance of that for which we’re waiting.

lent with saint clare

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