On July 31, I will be making a pilgrimage to San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy to visit the tomb of St. Padre Pio. He was a Capuchin Franciscan priest, born in 1887, died in 1968 and canonized a saint in 2002. St. Pio is known throughout the world today as one who was a holy mystic, confessor and devout religious. My personal connection to this modern day saint is one that I have mentioned to people over the years. In 1954, my parents wrote a letter to St. Pio asking that he pray to God that they would have children. St. Pio had written back to my parents indicating that he would pray for them. I was born a year later and my brother Richard three years later. I truly believe that my existence and priesthood are due to St. Pio’s intercession.
As I always do when going on a pilgrimage, I would like to invite you to write any petitions on the lines in the attached document below. The petitions will be brought with me and remembered at the Masses I will be celebrating there. You may put the petitions in an envelope with “St. Padre Pio Petitions” written on the outside and deposit them in the collection basket or drop them off at the Ministry Center. If you do not wish me to see the petitions, please mark “Confidential” on the envelope. It will then not be opened but the petitions will be remembered at Mass. You may also e-mail the petitions to me at: email@example.com. I will need to have the petitions in my possession no later than Monday, July 29. You will all be remembered in my Masses and prayers during this pilgrimage. Please pray for me as well. Thank you. “Pray, hope and don’t worry,” said St. Padre Pio. Through his intercession may God help us to be people of prayer, hope and trust. – Father David