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Posted October 10, 2011
Padre Pio was born Francesco Forgione in Pietrelcina, Benevento, Italy in 1887. He took the habit of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin in 1902, was ordained to the priesthood in 1910, and died in 1968, having gained worldwide attention for his mystical experiences including bilocation and visible stigmata. He was canonized in 2002. In "Padre Pio's Spiritual Direction for Every Day," author Gianluigi Pasquale presents excerpts from Padre Pio's letters to more than 20 spiritual directors, directees, and friends. Though most of the entries were written in the early twentieth century they speak clearly to today's Christians striving for sanctity. To one friend, he suggested ways to avoid scorning God, including you must forgive everyone in Christian charity and not complain about offenses done to you. To another he described the three facets of charity: love of God, affection for oneself, and preference for one's neighbor. Padre Pio's writings often addressed virtue. He named four virtues for interior perfection: charity, joy, peace, and patience. The virtue of kindness, he wrote, is essential for dealing with our neighbor, and it is characterized by pleasantness, courtesy, civility, and an aversion to rudeness. In another letter, he declared that Jesus likes to communicate with simple souls, thus we should hold the virtue of simplicity in great esteem. In a lovely letter to another friend, Padre Pio urged continuing on the chosen path without fear, remaining in the boat in which the Lord has placed her. Your fear, he wrote, would be sillier than a baby's fear in the lap of its mother.
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