(Nov 2016) Greetings to all of you! (Pilgrimage continued)
As we bid goodbye to Assisi, our next stop was Giovanni Rotondo, the home of Padre Pio, a four hour drive by bus! As many of you may know, Padre Pio was a Franciscan mystic who was blessed with the Stigmata, the five wounds of Christ on his body. He lived many years with this affliction and many miracles were attributed to his prayers. He was the ultimate "Confessor" in that many people felt converted once they left his confessional. We were able to see his confessional in the Church there and it continues to draw people to that special spot. Once we got to the Church we were able to file in a long line to observe Padre Pio in a glass coffin. He was vested in his Franciscan habit and looked like he was merely sleeping. Fifty years after his death, his body continues to look like the day he died. Even his beard was evident on his face. It was a very touching scene as many pilgrims passed by his coffin, putting their hands on the glass to be near to this amazing man. We were also shown his residence in which he lived a very simple life. After some praying at the Shrine, we regrouped for dinner and a much needed rest. Next stop: Rome! More on that next week.
By now we are in the second week of Advent and I pray that you are able to do some praying and contemplating on this great mystery that had changed the world. As I mentioned in another article, our parish has purchased the content on Reformed.org which has a wonderful four week journey to Christmas. Try it out and try to keep Christ in Christmas. Remember, it's free to our parish family!
Well, that is all for now. May God bring you His Peace during this great season of Advent.