Click here for link
On Feburary 16, 2008, Cardinal Carlo Caffara (Archbishop of Bologna), after a Mass celebrated at the tomb of St. Pio of Pietrelcina, granted an interview to Tele Radio Padre Pio, which was subsequently reported in the monthly magazine “Voce di Padre Pio” March, 2008 . Here are some significant excerpts.
Q. Your Eminence, recently in Corriere della Sera you said that you had always had a great devotion to Padre Pio. Please tell us why.
I have had great devotion to him since the beginning of my priesthood as a result of a rather unique experience. I had been a priest for some months and a brother-priest came to see me. He was quite a bit older than me and was going through a serious crisis of faith. It is difficult to describe what a crisis of faith is for a priest: a terrible thing! I told him “Brother, I’m too little, and sense that I can’t carry such a burden. Go to Padre Pio.” So he went, and while he was talking to Padre he had a great mystical experience, touched profoundly by the mercy of God. Now he is one of the best priests I know. There you have it, it all began like that.No, I didn’t. I never had the courage to go to him, thinking that I would be wasting his time! […] I retain that Padre Pio belongs to the series of great mystics who have this characteristic: the most profound sharing in the Cross of Christ, as they carry upon themselves the great tragedy of mankind today – atheism. Padre Pio, St. Gemma Galgani, St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross , Mother Theresa, the Curé d’Ars all had the experience of sitting round the table with sinners, living their experiences, of carrying, in a different way, the weight of the Agony in Gethsemane; they testified to the love of Christ Who takes upon Himself, the pain of the man who has left his Father’s house and doesn’t want to go back, even if he knows in his heart that he is better off in his Father’s house rather than tending to pigs. Man today continues to imagine that he can live as if God didn’t exist; and we see the devastation this has caused.Q. There is a prophecy by Sister Lucia dos Santos, of Fatima, which concerns “the final battle between the Lord and the kingdom of Satan”. The battlefield is the family. Life and the family. We know that you were given charge by John Paul II to plan and establish the Pontifical Institute for the Studies on Marriage and the Family.Yes, I was. At the start of this work entrusted to me by the Servant of God John Paul II, I wrote to Sister Lucia of Fatima through her Bishop as I couldn’t do so directly. Unexplainably however, since I didn’t expect an answer, seeing that I had only asked for prayers, I received a very long letter with her signature – now in the Institute’s archives. In it we find written: the final battle between the Lord and the reign of Satan will be about marriage and the family. Don’t be afraid, she added, because anyone who works for the sanctity of marriage and the family will always be fought and opposed in every way, because this is the decisive issue. And then she concluded: however, Our Lady has already crushed its head.Talking also to John Paul II, you felt too that this was the crux, as it touches the very pillar of creation, the truth of the relationship between man and woman among the generations. If the founding pillar is touched the entire building collapses and we see this now, because we are at this point and we know it. And I’m moved when I read the best biographies of Padre Pio , on how this man was so attentive to the sanctity of marriage and the sanctity of the spouses, even with justifiable rigor on occasion.
St. Aloysius Gonzaga
Note: The Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta, the Little Daughter of the Divine Will baptismal name was after St. Aloysius (St. Luis). “Luisa” means “mighty in warfare.”
Luisa was born on April 23rd, the Feast of St. George the Martyr, in the province of Apulia, which is located on the heel of the Italian “boot”—which points to Jerusalem. In Genesis 3:15 God promised to crush the serpent’s head. In 1868, within 3 years after Luisa’s birth, the Church of the “Pater Noster” in Jerusalem was rebuilt for the third time, recalling the only prayer taught by Jesus: “Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done on earth as It is in Heaven.”
Also the feast day of St. Aloysius, June 21st, was the same day of the release of the Baltimore Catechism.
St. Aloysius Gonzaga—Feast Day June 21st. He is known for his purity and the performance of great austerities and religious practices. St. Aloysius joined the Jesuits in Rome in 1585. He has been declared Protector of young students and Patron of Catholic Youth.
St. Aloysius Gonzaga is known for his purity and the performance of great austerities and religious practices. Aloysius is the Latin form of Gonzaga’s given name, Luigi. In English, the equivalent form would be Louis. The Gonzaga name is well known in Italy. Aloysius Gonzaga was born at Castiglione near Mantua, Italy, in 1568 to a celebrated family of wealth and prestige. As the first born son of his father, Ferrante, and his mother, Marta, he was in line to inherit his father’s title of Marquis. He grew up amid the violence and brutality of the Renaissance Italy and witnessed the murder of two of his brothers. In 1576, Aloysius’ parents sent him to attend the court of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Francesco de’Medici, in Florence. Later, accompanied by his parents, he traveled to Spain to join the court of Philip II in Madrid.
In Spain, Aloysius decided he wanted to join the newly founded religious order, The Society of Jesus. His father resisted his decision and there followed a struggle of wills that continued after his return to Castiglione in 1584. But Aloysius eventually prevailed. Renouncing his right to the title of Marquis and to the vast wealth he was destined to inherit, he entered the Society of Jesus in Rome on November 25, 1585. During his early studies in Rome, he would regularly go out into the streets of the city to care for victims of the plague. He himself contracted the disease as a result of his efforts for the suffering and died on June 21, 1591, at the age of twenty-three, six years short of his ordination as a Jesuit priest.
Even before his time as a Jesuit, Aloysius was known for his love of prayer and fasting. He received his First Communion from St. Charles Borromeo. As a Jesuit at the Roman College, he continued to devote his time to prayer and practices of austerity. His spiritual director was Robert Bellarmine, who later was canonized and declared a doctor of the church. When Robert was dying, he asked to be buried next to the grave of Aloysius. Today, they rest next to each other in the church of St. Ignatius Loyola in Rome. Pope Benedict XIII canonized Aloysius in 1726, and three years later declared him to be the patron of youth in the Catholic Church, an honor later confirmed by Pope Pius XI in 1926.
Volume 2 – June 20, 1899
…Afterwards, Heaven opened; it seemed that a very great feast was being prepared. At that very moment a young man of lovely appearance came down from Heaven, all dazzling with fire and flames. Jesus told me: “Tomorrow is the feast of my dear Aloysius – I must go attend.” And I: ‘And so You leave me alone – what shall I do?’ And He: “You too will come. Look at how beautiful Aloysius is; but the greatest thing in him, which distinguished him on earth, was the love with which he operated. Everything was love in him – love occupied him interiorly, love surrounded him externally; so, one can say that even his breath was love. This is why it is said of him that he never suffered distraction – because love inundated him everywhere, and with this love he will be inundated eternally, as you see.”
And in fact it seemed that the love of Saint Aloysius was so very great, as to be able to burn the whole world to ashes. Then, Jesus added: “I stroll over the highest mountains, and there I form my delight.” Since I did not understand the meaning of it, He continued: “The highest mountains are the Saints who have loved Me the most, and in them I form my delight, both when they are on earth, and when they pass into Heaven. So, everything is in love.” After this, I prayed Jesus to bless me and those whom I was seeing at that moment; and He, giving His blessing, disappeared.
Volume 19 – June 21, 1926
This morning, having received Holy Communion, I received It as usual in the Most Holy Will of God, offering It to my dear Saint Aloysius – not only the Communion, but all the goods contained in the Most Holy Will of God, for his accidental glory. Now, while doing this, I saw that all the goods contained in the Supreme Volition, like many rays of light, rays of beauty and of multiple colors, inundated the dear Saint, giving him an infinite glory. And my sweet Jesus, moving in my interior, told me: “My daughter, Aloysius is a flower and a Saint bloomed from the earth of my Humanity and made bright by the reflections of the rays of the Sun of my Will. In fact, though, holy, pure, noble and united hypostatically to the Word, my Humanity was earth; and Aloysius, more than flower, bloomed from my Humanity – pure, holy, noble, possessing the root of pure love, in such a way that in each leaf of his flower one can see written, ‘love’. But what renders him more beautiful and brilliant are the rays of my Will, to which he was always submitted – rays which gave such development to this flower as to render it unique on earth and in Heaven. Now, my daughter, if Aloysius is so beautiful because he bloomed from my Humanity, what will be of you and of all those who will possess the Kingdom of my Will? These flowers will not bloom from my Humanity, but will have their roots within the Sun of my Will. In It is formed the flower of their life; they grow and bloom in the very Sun of my Volition which, jealous of these flowers, will keep them eclipsed within Its own light. In each petal of these flowers one will see, written, all the specialties of the divine qualities; they will be the enchantment of all Heaven, and all will recognize in them the complete work of their Creator.” And while He was saying this, my sweet Jesus opened His breast and showed, inside it, an immense Sun, in which He was to plant all these flowers; and His love and jealousy toward them was so great, that He would not let them bloom outside His Humanity, but inside Himself.
Volume 26 – June 27, 1929
Having received Holy Communion, I was offering It for the glory of Saint Aloysius, and I offered, as a present for him, everything that Our Lord had done in His Divine Will with His mind, with His words, works and steps, for the accidental glory of Saint Aloysius on his feast day. Now, while I was doing this, my sweet Jesus, moving in my interior, told me: “My daughter, a more beautiful present you could not give to dear Saint Aloysius on the day of his feast. As you were offering your Communion and all my acts done in my Divine Will, so many suns were formed for as many acts as I did in It while being on earth; and these suns invested Saint Aloysius, in such a way that he received so much accidental glory from the earth, that he could not receive more. Only the offerings of acts done in my Divine Will have the virtue of forming their suns, because, containing the fullness of light, it is no wonder that It converts into suns the human acts done in It.”
Luisa was born and died in the Diocese of Trani-Nazareth, in the town of Corato, whose name in its original Latin, cor datum, means “a heart given.” This recalls the words of the Prophet Ezekiel:
“A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances. You shall dwell in the land which I gave your fathers; and you shall be my people, and I will be your God. (Ezekiel 36:27-28)