Padre Pio praying
before the Image of Our Lady of Fatima in 1959
Padre Pio had an
astonishingly unconditional, total, perennial, unwavering love for
the Virgin Mary. He would call her in many different ways; some of
them: Maria, Madonna, Mamma, Mammina, Madre, Madonnina,
Madonnella, Signora, Vergine Maria, Madre Maria, Diletta Madre,
Tenera Madre, Madre mia cara, Celeste Madre, Madre di Misericordia,
Bianca Signora, Maria Santissima, Mamma mia, Madre Immacolata,
Santissima Vergine, Cara Madre, Mamma dolcissima, Madonna Mia, Mamma
nostra, Dolce Signora, Vergine Santa, Madonna delle Grazie.
Padre Pio’s devotion
to the Virgin Mary was rooted in the truth that Jesus specifically
wills such devotion. Jesus chose to come to earth through Mary.
Similarly, Jesus chooses that we come to Him through her; for her
soul magnifies the Lord. Padre Pio understood all of this. Padre Pio
said many times: "I wish I had a voice loud enough to tell all
the sinners of the world to love Mary. She is the ocean across which
one must travel in order to reach Jesus." Above Padre Pio’s
door were the words: "Mary is the reason of all my hope."
"The Holy Virgin assists me."
Speaking of Our Lady,
Padre Pio said: "Each grace passes
through her hands."
Father Tarcisio Zullo
asked Padre Pio: "Father, is the Madonna at this moment in this
room?" Padre Pio's answer: "Wrong formulation. You should
have asked 'Did the Madonna ever leave this room?"
One evening Dr.
Kisvarday was talking with Padre Pio in his cell when the light went
off. He got up to get a candle. "Were are you going? There is
so much light. We don't need a candle. Don't you see the Madonna
lighting up the cell?" Dr. Kisvarday: "I didn't see the
Madonna, I saw only pitch dark."
Padre Onorato Marcucci,
Padre Pio and Fra' Giovanni
To Padre Onorato going
to Lourdes. "I have been to Lourdes many times. You don't need
a car or a train, there are other means too."
Padre Pio used to tell
a story: "One day Our Lord making rounds of Paradise saw some
strange faces. He asked Peter: 'Who let these people in?' Peter:
'There is nothing i can do.' The Lord: 'But you have the key.'
Peter: 'There is nothing I can do, and you can't do either.' The
Lord: 'What do you mean?' 'It's your mother. She has another key.
She let's them in.' "
Padre Pio said of the
Mother of God: "The Madonna is the shortcut to get to God."
Padre Pio advises:
"Love the Madonna, and make people to love her."
yourself in the hands of Mary. She will take care of you."
"Let's pray the
Madonna of Graces. She will heal you." After: "Mary healed you, not
On April 24,1959, the
Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima visited Italy, starting from
Naples. The same day, Padre Pio became very ill. He had
broncopneumonia and could not celebrate Mass. On August 1st, Padre
Pio recovered in-patient at Casa Sollievo but the illness continued.
On August 5, the Statue of Fatima came to the Convent. On August 6
the Statue was just leaving in a helicopter. From the hospital,
Padre Pio pleaded, "Madonna, my Mother, I have been sick since
you came to Italy; and now you are leaving, and leaving me sick."
Padre Pio reported:
"I felt a chill in the bones." Then: "I'm feeling well." "I am
healed! Our Lady has healed me!"
Later he said:
"The Madonna came here, to heal Padre Pio." On August 10,
Padre Pio resumed celebrating Mass, and the 21th he resumed the
Reading a note
from a faithful was no excuse to let the Rosary from his hand
Concerning the Rosary,
Our Lady herself said to Padre Pio: "With this weapon you will
win." Convinced of the power of the Rosary, Padre Pio always
held the Rosary in his hands. When his death was approaching, he
recommended the Rosary to his spiritual children by saying:
"Love Our Lady and make her loved. Always recite the Rosary."
Padre Pio always wore
the Rosary around his arm at night. A few days before his death, as
Padre Pio was getting into bed, he said to the friars who were in
his room, "Give me my weapon!" And the friars,
surprised and curious, asked him: "Where is the weapon? We cannot
see anything!" Padre Pio replied, "It is in my habit,
which you have just hung up!" After having gone through the
pockets of his religious habit, the friars said to him: "Padre,
there is no weapon in your habit! . . . we can only find your rosary
beads there!" Padre Pio immediately said, "And is this not
a weapon? . . . the true weapon?!"
Padre Pio instructed:
"Recite the Rosary and recite it always and as much as you can."
To Padre Onorato
Marcucci, grabbing the Rosary that he had put few seconds on the
nightstand: "With this, one wins
One person said:
"We always saw him with his
rosary in his hand - in the friary, in the halls, on the stairs, in
the sacristy, in the Church, even in the brief interval when going
to and coming from the confessional." Another person added, "When at
the end he did not talk to us anymore, we told him our thoughts. We
asked for help. And all he did was to show us the rosary, always,
Padre Pio instructed
his spiritual children: "In all the free time you have, once
you have finished your duties of state, you should kneel down and
pray the Rosary. Pray the Rosary before the Blessed Sacrament or
before a crucifix."
Padre Pio used to
carry permanently a Rosary in his hands and would pray it many times
testified that he had to help Padre Pio wash his hands one at a time
"because he didn't want to leave the rosary beads, and passed the
Rosary from one hand to the other."
To Lucia Merlinda:
"After the Glory, say: Jesus, I love you, and I repent for offending
repetitiveness of the Rosary:
"Pay attention to the mysteries. They change at every decade."
To Enedina Mori:
"When you get tired reciting the Rosary, rest a bit, and then
On February 6, 1954 at
9:00 PM, to father Carmelo: "I
still have 2 rosaries to pray today. I said only 34 so far. Then I
will go to bed."
Answering to Padre
Michelangelo: "Today i said 32 or
33 rosaries. Maybe 1 or 2 more."
Answering to Padre
Mariano: "About 30. Maybe some
more, but not less." 'How do you do it? "What is the night for?"
Answering a question:
"Some days I say 40 Rosaries, some other days 50." "How do
I do it?" "How do you manage not so say any?"
To Lucia Pennelli one
morning around 7:00 AM after Mass: "How many rosaries did you
say so far today?" "Two". "I already said seven."
To Lucietta Pennelli,
one day at about noon: "Today I
have already said 16 complete Rosaries."
"Pray the rosary frequently. It costs
so little, and it's worth so much!"
"We can't live without the Rosary."
"Say the rosary, and pray it every
"The Rosary is the weapon of defense
"The Rosary is the weapon given us by
Mary to use against the tricks of the infernal enemy."
"Mary has recommended the Rosary at
Lourdes and Fatima because of it's exceptional value for us and our
"The rosary is the prayer of the
Madonna, the one that triumphs on everything and everybody."
"Always recite the rosary and recite it
as often as possible."
"Mary is present in every mystery of
"Satan always tries to destroy the
rosary, but he will never succeed."
"Mary has taught us the rosary just as
Jesus taught us the Our Father".
"I always pray for the sick. Every day
I say a holy Rosary for them."
Mosaic on the
Altar at the Church of St. Mary of Graces as seen today