|The Personality of
by Gennaro Preziuso
Social Aspect of Padre Pio
The object of Padre Pio's preoccupation was man as a whole, man made of body and
vigorous realism, this concern for the concrete, this attachment to the commonplace of
man, his moral misery, debility, fragility and somatic illnesses is most beautiful and
is the logic of the incarnation, that is the logic of love. I think of the forsaken poor
of the Gargano and how they lived in economical, social and medical privation.
San Giovanni Rotondo, thanks to Padre Pio, presents itself to the world as a kind of
miracle. It is the miracle of love!
Pio gave his adopted town a higher incentive and superior motivation to the work of
renewal and social progress: love or rather evangelical charity towards our neighbour, the
image of God, redeemed and ennobled by our Saviour.
Pio realized in an exemplary way what today is known as the "social obligation of the
Pio established a "style" of obligation: serious, upright, disinterested,
supernaturally motivated and evangelically justified.
saw man smitten by disease, man in need of an external aid like the Eucharist of Jesus.
explained the initiation of his apostolic works, their purpose and particular traits.
Pio became the precursor of psycho-somatic medicine: he favoured a medical approach that
did not overlook the spiritual interests of the patient.
Padre Pio there did not exist the ailment without the patient: the patient is a man made
up of a psychological and physical aspect.
brought God to the patient as well as his health and he brought the patient to God in the
joy of a refound spiritual well-being.
cannot remember the advice that Padre Pio gave to the medical employees in the Home for
the Relief of Suffering. Advice that arose from his total and comprehensive vision of the
Pio knew God with all his attributes, and he knew man with all his shortcomings, his
frailty, his misery and his sin.
loved God and he loved man. He wrote with regards to this, "I am devoured by love for
God and by love for my neighbour."
these two great loves he felt himself like a prisoner.
ascertained in himself the hunger, the anticipation and the hope of God and he ascertained
the necessities and needs of man.
sought the encounter, the union, the synthesis, the symbiosis between these two loves. He
reconciled the Creator and the creature and he sacrificed himself to the weak party, to
had within himself something of both parties. He realized in his person the annihilation
and humanization of God and he realized in himself the doxa, that is to say the
glorification, exaltation and divinisation of man.
Padre Pio there was a kind of incarnation of Jesus Christ, as in Jesus Christ there was
the incarnation of God. And all this not just because of his virtues and charisms, but
also because he was a priest.
brought to God the prayers, the petitions and the offerings of the faithful and he brought
to the faithful the answers and graces from God.
did not just consecrate the Eucharist in the name of the Church and in the person of
Christ but he became the Eucharist. He repeated with Jesus in every moment of his life,
"Take and eat for this is My Body offered up for you!"
could see the "sanctity" of Padre Pio, the splendour of the Word and the love of
the Holy Spirit in this humble Capuchin friar, Padre Pio, who for many, like myself, he
continues to be:
- a glimpse of Heaven;
- an angel on earth;
- a foretaste of the infinite; - a prelude to beatitude;
- and hope for the eternal.
[From the Voice of Padre Pio, November 1996,
Friary of Our Lady of Grace, 71013 San Giovanni Rotondo, (FG), Italy. Used with permission
of: The National Center for Padre Pio, 2213 Old Route 100, Barto, PA 19504, through which
a subscription may be obtained.]