Five Insights on Death and Dying From St. Pio of Petrelcina

St. Pio of Petrelcina, better known as Padre Pio, is one of the world’s most popular saints. Born in the town of Petrelcina in 1887, he entered the Capuchins in 1902 and was ordained a priest in 1910. God gave him the stigmata eight years later. God also gave him the gift of bilocation and an extraordinary ability to read people’s hearts. Worried by his reputation for supernatural abilities, the Vatican briefly in the early 1930s removed his ability to hear confessions or say Mass publicly. He died on 23 September 1968. He was canonized in 2002.

At the canonization, Pope St. John Paul II offered a prayer to him, which began “Teach us, we pray, humility of heart, so that we may be counted among the little ones of the Gospel to whom the Father promised to reveal the mysteries of His Kingdom.” It ended: “Accompany us on our earthly pilgrimage toward the blessed Homeland, where we too, hope to arrive to contemplate forever the Glory of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”

 

Maybe you don’t know that I can pray even now for the happy death of even my great-grandfather. For the Lord, the past doesn’t exist, the future doesn’t exist. Everything is an eternal present. Those prayers had already been taken into account. And so, I repeat that even now I can pray for the happy death of my great-grandfather.

— A story taken from C. Bernard Ruffin’s Padre Pio

Even if your parents are in Heaven, we must always pray. If they no longer need prayers, they are applied to other souls.

— Written to a spiritual daughter

Stay with me, Jesus, for it is getting late and the day is coming to a close, and life passes; death, judgment, eternity approaches. It is necessary to renew my strength, so that I will not stop along the way and for that, I need You. It is getting late and death approaches, I fear the darkness, the temptations, the dryness, the cross, the sorrows. O how I need You, my Jesus, in this night of exile! Stay with me Lord, because at the hour of my death, I want to remain united to you, if not by Communion, at least by grace and love. 

— From St. Pio’s prayer after communion

Aspire to the heavenly prize. Continually look to eternity in Heaven and despise the comfort and affairs of the world.

—  A spiritual aphorism

Lord, God of my heart, You alone know and see all my troubles. You alone are aware that all my distress springs from my fear of losing You, of offending You, from my fear of not loving You as much as I should love and desire to love You. If You, to whom everything is present and who alone can see the future, know that it is for Your greater glory and for my salvation that I should remain in this state, then let it be so. I don’t want to escape from it. Give me the strength to fight and to obtain the prize due to strong souls.

— From one of St. Pio’s prayers to Jesus

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