Monday, September 24, 2007

St. Padre Pio - Powerful With Children

"I See Pio!"

Child's Prayer, St. PioAnne Marie, age 5, is my oldest. Ever since she was two she has had a very strong devotion to St. Pio. I know you might ask how does a two year old have a devotion to a saint. Well, that's a good question, because I have little to do with this particular devotion.

As an infant, Anne Marie lost hearing in her left ear, causing speech development delays. So when she would use full tangible sentences our ears would perk up. We were at a Church fund raiser with our friends Gloria, Anne Marie's God Mother, and Mary Kay, John Paul's God Mother, when she repeatedly said:

"I see Pio!"

"Where?" We asked and she pointed behind her head.

I think we reacted rationally. We thankfully acknowledged it. And in faith we believed her. Most of all we didn't do some frantic happy dance yelling "Look at my child, she is a mystic!"

"I see Pio!" This was sporadically repeated maybe three more times. It stopped somewhere around the age of three. It took some thought, but we finally discovered a mysterious connection. It was Gloria, her God Mother. With one exception, her proclamation happened in the car while going to or coming from seeing Gloria at some event.

Now, Gloria does have a healthy devotion to Saint Pio. So here is the interesting part. Gloria, a late religious vocation, will soon be a cloistered, habit-wearing Nun with the Poor Clares. For those who don't know it, St. Pio is a Capuchin priest; which, like the Poor Claires is a branch of the Fransician Order.

So let's fast forward to Saturday morning,
the day before the Feast of St. Pio.

Rose and Anne Marie, out of the blue, grab some paper and start coloring. OK, nothing out of the ordinary there. It's when they finished coloring that the unexpected occurred. They both drew pictures of St. Michael and his Church. I was shocked. We didn't teach them this. How did they even know St. Michael had a Church named after him? They mentioned St. Michael quite a bit during the day. I was a happy daddy.

The next day was St. Pio's feast day, and we were doing our bed time prayers. When it hit me. St. Michael was preparing the way for St. Pio. That makes perfect sense. It is a pious and documented belief that Saint Pio saw Our Lady, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Michael and his guardian angel daily. In fact, while growing up, he thought this was a common experience.

St. Pio had a great devotion to St. Michael. Why? Because as a priest Satan would physically attack the Padre in his private quarters to the point of physical harm. St. Pio even wondered if Satan was going to kill him, the attacks were so vicious. St. Pio would endure the beatings until he could take it no more. Then he would call upon the name of Jesus. Our Savior would send St. Michael to banish Satan.

"I see Pio!"

I find it intriguing three little words have so many connections. What little connections has God sent you?

St. Pio, pray for us.

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