Translation from Italian version by Rita Gallo “Il mistero di Padre Pio”

In the occasion of the anniversary of father Pio, 23 September, I thought to publish the sermon of Don Pierino Galeone from 18.09.2015.

I will talk to you of father Pio. Its about a person love, which is loved, and the love and kindness is the love and the kindness that is wanted. I want others to know, if you love father Pio you have to make other people know him, otherwise you love is not real. And the bonum duffusivum sui ( the love will spread by itself) if the love will not spread, it means that is not real love.

We try to building up a little, slowly slowly, together, in the person of father Pio, the merciful. Yes, its good, I have seeing twice Jesus on the altar; father Pio changed into Jesus and than turned back into father Pio and I saw in the confessional, when lucifer went to father Pio (lucifer went to confession to father Pio), God forced him. the father saw Jesus instead of father Pio), but lets leave those personal experience and go with the theology, inside the mystery of mercy in father Pio.

What’s mercifulness? The word mercifulness is compose of two words: love the miserable and sinners. And what has to be give to the sinners?. The love of God and understanding. Therefore the mercifulness consists in two words: the forgiveness of sin. And to be precise for building up in the person of father Pio the mercy, you have to see how he took upon himself the sins and how he obtained the forgiveness of sinners. I will tell you some little thoughts which are essential to see deeply the structure properly of mercy.

The sins: first of all surely, that I heard with my own ears, father Pio never committed any sin during his life, no mortal, no venial: “I do not ever remember offending the Lord in any way”, this is the point. However, to be able to forgive sins is clear that is necessary to turn to the Lord, the only one who can forgive the sins. But there’s a particular fact, that the Lord entrusted father Pio the atonement of sins and the administration of forgiveness of sins, for which entrusted to him the mercy. From what we deducted this entrusted, this gift of the sins of the world to father Pio? we are deducting from his wounds, S. Peter, said from his wounds we are heal,” therefore the wounds of the crucifix for 58 years in father Pio, had just the purpose, – the wounds, the crucifixion, stigmata – to take on the sins and the purpose to atone for with suffering. Obviously, at the atone of sins it could had not correspond the forgiveness of sins. If the Lord wanted to give the gift of to father Pio of His same wounds of crucifix, here the wounds have the purpose of to atone the sins. He wanted father Pio to take part, not only wounds of crucifix – he said that he was all wounded – I remember the episode when he refer to Bartholomew: he was skinned alive from men, there are not wounds that comes from a fall or an accident, which the wounds of father Pio have a specific reference to the purpose of the wounds of Jesus, that is the atone of sins. Put them together, the sins that took on father Pio and which suffered with his own suffering, it cost me, many times he said to the penitent: “You cost me the highest price of my blood,” therefore, a part from the wounds of the crucifix, father Pio had all other wounds; in reality, there were not only the wounds, but were the sins that the wounds had to atone.

The sins, and the wounds, the atone for the forgiveness of sins, had building up the personality of father Pio, not only print of the crucifix but was also print of merciful God in Christ, obviously, to reach to the highest participation to the suffering of Christ crucified, he had to train himself to suffering. And

which is the training to suffering so than after be available to receive the highest suffering, the crucifix, the crown of thorns, the scourge, etc.? he himself told me (to my question); “father, how do I have to learn to suffer like you did? “And he answered:” receive, day after day, the will of God were there’s suffering that the Lord knows very well how to calibrate for training you at suffering, to give you after this gift to suffer for the souls. “He told me in confession.

Therefore you imagine, its the obedience to the will of God the training through which Father Pio learned to love and to suffer, to suffer by loving, and love by suffering. It’s obedience. However, to reach this high obedience, highest, to receive all the suffering that the Lord day after day gave to his person, to the mind, to the will, to his psyche, to the sense, obviously this training could not have being exercised, performed, if not with an intense prayer, day. and night: and careful, the suffering physically that father Pio suffered were: tuberculosis and other illnesses that he had, and him, for love of God suffered all. After the Lord, miraculously gave him freedom from those physical suffering.

Then we have the mystical suffering. You imagine, he himself gave a description when he had the impression of the stigmata in his flash; the pain were so sharp that “that” individual with the spear injured the hands, the feet, the ribs, it was impossible to sustain without the Grace of the Lord.

The physical illness that with the obedience had received and sustained and overcome. mystical suffering; the mystic, the one that comes from God, has not only the physical illness, but the evil produced even from men, from his brotherhood, from his superior, from the same Pope John XXIII, Capovilla; three years of banishment, he was crying, but received everything for love of God, than the crown of thorns, the scourging, the crucifixion, all this mystic gifts that came from God, the training of his will to obey all that God personally made him suffered, the receive was with humility, moderate, compliant. Even if he cry a lot, suffered a lot, but always received. But there is another typology of suffering, the one that came from the devil, how many times he was scourged with chains, the brothers whom assisted him heard. I remember when a brother saw father Pio that was all swollen on his face and he thought that he fell from his bed: Father, what happened? Did you fell from the bed?. -“NO.” – “But did you see yourself in the mirror how are you?” -NO ” – “But look father, now you have to celebrate the Mass and you cannot go like this!” -Quite!.” – “I understand, last night you fought with bluebeard! this is how father Pio used to call the devil. – And yes father, but last night he gave it to you very hard!” – “Eh, I know! But you should see also how I reduced him!”

Therefore as you can see: physical pain, pain that came from brotherhood, from superior and directly even from the head office, pain that came from best children – he said – unheard of mystic pain, so much so that even the prefect Amato said in one of his sermon – I was there – father Pio had received the most complete mystic gifts, and in function of suffering, therefore, physical grief, grief from brotherhood, mystical grief, suffering that came from hell. Not only, but the greatest sufferings were the one product from men sins, and he never said No to the Lord, never he said that he didn’t want to suffer for a sinner, never! Always! On the contrary, scourge upon scourge…. (he wanted scourge inside the scourge that he already had).

Therefore, see, if there is this unheard ability to obedience, of training in suffering, of this gifts of physical suffering, environmental, mystics, minor suffering, etc…., suffering for the sins of the world!

pay attention for this, more than the scourge of the evil received, obviously could had not the same suffering of Jesus: The atone of the sins, because the mystical gifts – we can even read between the lines the illness that he had, even some.

sickness were so bad that threatened him to death – the mystic gifts, you have to know this, is not only contemplation and joy, beatitude, no! the mystical gifts are also gift of mystical suffering, that obviously overcomes of great length the physical suffering, psyche, mental….and he always received, in obedience to the will of God and the crucifixion for 58 years is a consequence of this humble obedience, mild, constant and silent, concealed, that welcome the will of God, even when those had reached the most evident contradiction. The superior prohibited the brothers to visit him because they believed that he was false; even John XXIII, so other, staff of the Church, they displayed serious doubt on the behaviour of Father Pio, on the basis of the deposition done from a spiritual daughter of bishop Maccari, he was destroy, but had always received all with trust in the Lord.

Because after all the mystical suffering is not as if it’s abstract….it go down somatically inside the structure of men: the mind, the will, the heart. the psyche, the sense, the same sexuality….was tortured from all those suffering. He used to say that there was nothing in his person that had not had suffered. He used to say, “I am all scourged, there is nothing in me that had not been attacked from suffering”.

Therefore, if at so much suffering of any type that he received in the will of God, and the specification on his suffering is giving it from the specify of crucifixion, because the crucifixion has to be read well, there are not only scourge….the hands, the feet….No, or else the shoulder, like was said….no. The scourge of the crucifix in Father Pio, had the same purpose of the scourge of Jesus, if not what sense had the scourge, to make suffering? If he participate to the crucifixion of Jesus, he participate to aim at crucifix, this is the atone of the sins of the word. And since the atonement is relevant to forgiveness, greatest atonement, greatest forgiveness, can you imagine? The structure of Father Pio is mercifulness, the body of Father Pio – is what remained – with mother Teresa and father Leopoldo.

Father Pio said – he told me – that his mission would be concluded at the end of the world and since the mission of a man like him which is merciful, is not other then continuity of mercy, of forgiveness, conversion, I imagine that great suffering, that began with humble obedience, mildness to the will of God, which after slowly, slowly was expressed in many ways, with physical sufferings, from brotherly, in mystical gifts, mystical suffering….pay attention, I have to tell you, that even the suffering of the souls of purgatory he received with sufferings, it was verified lots of times. I told you the episode in which a great number, one hundred souls of Purgatory, about nine, nine and half in the evening, under the window of Father Pio. “The Custodian father had prohibited after a certain time to the persons that used to go under the window of the cell and instead was heard crying no matter what. To the protest of the Custodian father, Father Pio said: “Look from the window, is not people, they are souls from Purgatory! “.

To say, what this man did not touch with his obedience. Whether in death and one death on the cross: “I live by dying” used to say. The conclusion Therefore of suffering and death, in any instant had in him the suffering of death….and the death is the conclusion in emblematic way of all the suffering.

Of this we have to talk: he done the House Relieve of Suffering, the reliever of suffering of the brothers was him. Jesus, Our Lady, had said to him to choose us as favourite children to join to his mystery of mercifulness ( Father Pio said that Jesus wanted that he would found the institute of Servants of Suffering because through this Institute, Father Pio had to be present and carry out in the world)….

I feel like crying…to reach this choice, needed to had suffer very much, needed to had obtain for us a forgiveness so great of our past life, to render less unworthy of this choice of the heavenly Father, to be on his side to complete this mission of mercifulness, because without mercy there’s no salvation!