The centenary year of Stigmata, the 50th death anniversary and
the annual feast of St. Padre Pio
The centenary year of Stigmata, the 50th death anniversary and the
annual feast of St. Padre Pio was celebrated with pomp and gaiety at the
St. Anne's Friary, Bejai here on 23 September 2018.
The Festive Mass was celebrated by Dr Peter Paul Saldanha, bishop of
Mangaluru diocese. Fr Peter Cyprian D’Souza, the provincial councillor,
Fr Paul Melwyn D Souza, the superior and many priests from diocese and
religious congregations joined the celebration as concelebrants.
In his homily, the bishop Peter Paul Saldanha said, "Once when Padre Pio
was praying he experienced a vision of the wounded Christ and received
the Stigmata. On September 20, 1918, while hearing confessions, Padre
Pio had his first occurrence of the stigmata: bodily marks, pain, and
bleeding in locations corresponding to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus
Christ. This phenomenon continued for fifty years, until the end of his
life. The blood flowing from the stigmata. Though Padre Pio said he
would have preferred to suffer in secret, by early 1919, news about the
stigmatic friar began to spread in the secular world. Padre Pio's wounds
are said to have been examined by many people, including physicians.
Sometimes the wounds were visible and sometimes they were not visible
but Padre Pio was suffering from pain. He was praying to God to heal his
wounds as he was feeling shy. Many people were coming to him to see his
wounds and Padre Pio was requesting God to heal the wounds from outside
but at the same time he prayed that he was ready to bear the pain."
"St Padre Pio is a great example for living a life of simplicity and
prayer. He showed us the importance of prayer and confession of our
sins. He had faced many challenges in his life. Vatican has testified
regarding the stigmata meaning wounds of Christ’s passion that used to
appear on his body. Church prevented him from doing his duties of priest
for two years. Then finally all realised that the wounds that appeared
on Padre Pio’s hand were a miracle,”
“In his entire life he gave importance to prayer and love to poor and
destitute. He tried to give salvation which was assured by Jesus Christ,
by hearing sins of people by the sacrament of confession. Today, crores
of devotees follow the way of life taught by Padre Pio. They are taking
Padre Pio as a role model for holy life which is based purely on
humanity. The feast of Padre Pio reminds us about a life of prayer, love
and self sacrifice. Now we too should make efforts to attain the
holiness in life like Padre Pio," he added.
Music director Joel Pereira and his team enhanced the spirituality of
the Eucharistic celebration with melodious hymns.
After the Eucharistic celebration, bishop Dr Peter Paul Saldanha was
honoured. Bishop released a book on legal information — 'Kanoonache
Vater' authored by advocate Fr Jochim D'Souza and "Amar Jivith - Vol 17"
Audio CD of hymns produced by Fr Dolphy and Fr Peter Cyprian D’Souza.
Fr Paul Melwyn D Souza rendered vote of thanks. Sumptuous dinner was
served to all the faithful. Fr. Derick D'Souza compered the programme.