In my years doing youth ministry, one ice breaker question I’ve asked is: “If there’s a superhero power you could have, what would it be?” I’ve asked this to totally different groups and I seem to always get a smart kid who says towards the end, “I’d have the power to absorb everyone else’s powers.” Saint Padre Pio was this kind of saint that had many gifts from God whereas other saints were known to only have one of these gifts. We’ll go through 5 of them. But there are more as we won’t even get into his stigmata, his incorruptible body, and his ability to bilocate and levitate. May this whet your appetite to learn more about him!
Let’s begin. The first is:
1) Gift of Perfume. Pio was well known to many people for giving off this scent because he was that close to Jesus. This is a good reminder of Jesus’ sweet love for us. Speaking of Jesus being sweet, St. Bonaventure said a prayer: “Pierce, O most sweet Lord Jesus, my inmost soul with the most joyous and healthful wound of Thy love.”
2) Gift of converting others. There were thousands of conversions thanks to Pio, but here’s one testimony: “I now enjoy true peace of soul, I now know the true God. For this I am grateful to you, for I owe you so much, and to Padre Pio I owe everything!” Now, as Catholics, we believe in a lifelong, ongoing conversion, so we can pray to Pio for intercession on our journey of faith!
3) Gift of curing others’ illnesses. The number of these cures are great in number. One story is of Maria Panisi, who had tuberculosis. Pio visited her and said, “What do you mean by saying you are sick? Your lungs are made of steel!” Move over Superman (Man of Steel).
4) Gift of Discernment of Spirits. Pio could read consciences and let people know what they were not confessing. Step aside, Professor Xavier.
5) Gift of prophecy. Pio’s predictions were so amazing, he was clear even on dates. He used this gift for spiritual benefits such as telling a man to repent before dying on this particular day…Doctor Strange, you’re not the only future seer.
And while these may be amazing gifts, let’s remember the Giver of these good gifts, God our Heavenly Father. And for Pio as he was focused on God and not his gifts.
St. Padre Pio, pray for us!
Going old school,