Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Padre Pio...pretty sure he always gets his way!
When Padre Pio wants something...well I've come to know...he gets it. Whether with God or with us, his spiritual children. Last summer I had a desire to go to Italy...not sure why, but there it was. It came to me several times, this desire, and finally I started looking at places to visit. It seemed the most attractive place to me was San Giovanni Rotundo and so with a willing heart I decided to spend a week in Padre Pio's home.
When I found out that his feast day would be during one of the weeks I was planning to visit Europe, I rearranged my plans to be in San Giovanni for his feast. It seemed a waste to only visit Padre Pio when there are so many other beautiful Catholic shrines, so in addition I attached a trip to Lanciano, San Loreto and Assisi. A couple weeks before my pilgrimage I made a road trip with my friend's mom to Pennsylvania for the baptism of my Goddaughter. On that trip I told my friend's mom how I was going to Italy and she expressed a desire to go with me. Of course I extended the invitation, never expecting that the mother of nine children would really take me up on it.
A week later she called me. Her husband had recently inherited some money and would it be very strange if they both came with me? Well, aside from the fact that it did seem strange to be heading to Italy with just my friend's parents, I welcomed them. Come to find out they would be celebrating their 33rd wedding anniversary at Padre Pio's Monastery and Shrine on his feast day.
The more I traveled with this beautiful couple, the more aware of the true situation I became. They had married on a Tuesday in order to marry on Padre Pio's feast day. In the shrine I was the photographer and videographer for them as they renewed their vows in Mary Pyle's house, in the very room Padre Pio's parents had died and where there was now a chapel. The priest, an English speaking priest from Padre Pio's order, not only renewed their vows in front of the tabernacle but also blessed their rings.
I'm not sure when, maybe it was during the all night vigil or the procession, maybe as we made our way to St Michael's cave, or maybe even as knelt in front of Padre Pio's incorrupt body in the newly built crypt church...but it came to me that this trip was not for me in any way...rather I had been honored with the responsibility of bringing this couple, children of Padre Pio, to him for their anniversary. Once I felt "in on the joke" I laughed and laughed. God has a sense of humor...but also He honors us with responsibility in many ways. He gives us jobs, children, sick ones, and in this case, the job of bringing this couple to Padre Pio.
From San Giovanni we went to Lanciano, Loreto, Assisi and Rome. So beautiful and so blessed. I can only hope that some day God will act so perfectly in my life! How blessed to be a part of His working in others!