Padre Pio and his favorite prayer

Padre Pio and his favorite prayer

Padre Pio is a figure that was controversial and debated in the Catholic Church sphere for a long time. Even after his canonization on June 16th 2002 by Pope John Paul II, his name kept splitting the public opinion between those who recognize his sanctity and greatness, and those who doubt some of his powers and miraculous manifestations attributed to him.

This is not the place to debate what we should believe or not about the Saint from Pietralcina. He devoted his existence to prayer, sacrifice and to the complete dedication towards other people, and that is a given fact; this is why his figure provoked an impressive devotional boost, which was already high when he was still alive, but even higher after his death in 1968. In almost every catholic city or home, we can find at least a statue of Padre Pio, or a medal, a pendant, anyway something that recalls this Capuchin friar that was so gentle, so good, and able to bring hope and healing to the most suffering body and soul.

St Father Pio of Pietralcina wooden statue painted
St Father Pio of Pietralcina wooden statue painted

In this particular article we want to linger on the prayer that Padre Pio used to say when someone asked him to pray for them or beloved ones, whether in person or in writing. These prayers, in which he conveyed all of his faith, love and spiritual energy, usually had the effect people hoped for, with astonishing, and even miraculous results.

Padre Pio did not invent this prayer, of course. It is actually a prayer we already know, and about which we already discussed in the past: it is the efficacious Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus written by Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque. Margaret Mary Alacoque was a French nun and mystic who lived in the XVII century; she received many revelations from Jesus and was one of the main promoters of the devotion of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In fact, the prayer Padre Pio used to say to help those who invoked his help is addressed mainly to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, such a good and merciful heart that cannot let the supplications of those relying on it go unheard.

As for all other prayers, it is obviously not a magic formula, nor an extraordinary litany that, if recited the right number of times and with the right intonation, can lead to miraculous effects. Padre Pio used to say it with all his heart, all the faith his big soul was capable of, and so should we, if we expect to be listened. Even though the Sacred Heart of Jesus is infinitely good and powerful, we must always remember that everything that happens or could happen in the future lies in the will of God, in His plan for all men and us. Only if we accept our smallness with absolute humility and awareness in front of Him and His will, we can hope to be listened in our pleas and satisfied in our big and small requests.

Here is Padre Pio’s prayer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus:

O my Jesus, you have said: “Truly I say to you, ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you.” Behold I knock, I seek and ask for the grace…

Our Father….Hail Mary….Glory Be to the Father. Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.

O my Jesus, you have said: “Truly I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.” Behold, in your name, I ask the Father for the grace of…

Our Father….Hail Mary….Glory Be to the Father. Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.

O my Jesus, you have said: “Truly I say to you, heaven and earth will pass away but my words will not pass away.” Encouraged by your infallible words I now ask for the grace of…

Our Father….Hail Mary….Glory Be to the Father. Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, for whom it is impossible not to have compassion on the afflicted, have pity on us miserable sinners and grant us the grace which we ask of you, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, your tender Mother and ours.

St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus, pray for us. Amen.

Padre Pio and guardian angels

Another aspect we would like to linger on about the figure of Padre Pio of Pietralcina is his special relationship with angels and, in particular, with the guardian angel. Padre Pio admitted he strongly felt this discreet and infinitely beneficial presence next to him since he was a child. In his writings he turned to his guardian angel using many names and nicknames which make us clearly perceive the evolution of this special relationship, from childhood to adulthood: little companion of my childhood, good secretary, little angel, my good angel, inseparable companion, celestial figure, illustrious warrior, celestial messenger. In other places, the friar from Pietralcina defines his guardian angel as a brother, as a friend, as a member of his family.

While going through Padre Pio’s writings, we realize how often he considered that figure, in is daily fight against Satan and its mischiefs, in spiritual matters and in practical matters. Not just that, but the Saint always reminded those asking for his help and comfort to do the same, that is, not lose sight on their guardian angel, and angels in general, as mediators between men and God, and as a precious help sent from Heaven.

It is even said that Padre Pio could come into contact with the Guardian Angels of those who looked for his help, and that it would allow him to know those people and their hidden truths.

What is it that made angels so special for the Saint from Pietralcina?

Padre Pio states that the guardian angel always watches over the person he was given custody of since the moment of conception. The angels’ mission, given directly from God, is to guide their protégés through the rugged path of life like a warlord, wrapping them in a shield with their wings, supporting their steps so that they will not stumble on stones and the ruggedness of the way.

Rosary with Padre Pio and Merciful Jesus in wood
Rosary with Padre Pio and Merciful Jesus in wood

This constant and comforting presence never leaves us, cradle-to-grave, protecting us from evil and keeping us in Jesus’ grace even when we are wrong andwhen we succumb to the temptation and sin. Even then, the guardian angel stays by our side, and according to Padre Pio, prays for us with even more passion in order to support our cause in front of God. Because this is also and most of all what a guardian angel does: he prays for us incessantly, and becomes mediator between us and God to bring all the good we do to his attention, such as our good actions, our best thoughts, our prayers, fears and hopes.

Therefore, according to Padre Pio, angels have to praise and glorify God, and work as mediators between Him and men. They also have to fight the devil, in all of its forms and manifestations, preventing it from ruining men and women’s lives. Guardian Angels in particular have to guide and support those under their protection.

Padre Pio used to encourage those he knew and loved, and all those writing and meeting him, to remember how lucky they were to have their own guardian angel by their side, and in general, all angels. He recommended them never to be tired of praying to their own guardian angel, and suggested he most appropriate prayers to say, as this one that is very famous:

“May your good guardian angel always watch over you, and be your guide on the rough path of life; may he always keep you in the grace of Jesus and hold you up with his hands so that you may not hurt your foot on a stone; may he protect you under his wings from all the deceits of the world”.