On this feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, we start our joyful novena to St. Padre Pio. That might seem like a funny juxtaposition, but there's room here for all the emotions in our wayfaring hearts, just like there was in the hearts of all the saints when they were stuck in exile as we are now. The big difference between us and them is they've made it at last into the arms of Our Lord Who dries all tears, and they want to help us get there too.
Their Mother and ours is the one who experienced the most piercing sorrow as well as the most delightful joy, so don't hesitate to continue turning to Mary with all your needs. She, more than anyone, understands both sorrow and joy, and she's consoled by our desire to receive her compassionate, maternal love.
But bigger by far than the sorrow is the joy, because we are not alone, and even our worst fears are just silly when we've got friends and spiritual fathers like Padre Pio and his buddy Don Dolindo (of Surrender Novena fame). I feel the need to mention them together because my friend Maura, who's been writing about Don Dolindo here (not here at Miss Marcel's Musings, but HERE if you click the HERE :) told me that today is Don Dolindo's feast! That is, he considered the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows his nameday since his name Dolindo means "suffering" and he loved Our Lady. Happy Feastday, dear Don D!
Don Dolindo, like Padre Pio, loved to help those in need - which is really everyone! - so he started what he liked to call the apostolate of the umbrella. You can read about that HERE and smile at his adorable fatherliness. No wonder so many have found hope and peace in his Surrender Novena (okay, you can find that HERE!), and he even has a Surrender Rosary (also called the Rosary of Abandonment) HERE that I especially love.
Padre Pio won't mind that we're sharing his post with Don Dolindo since he used to tell people who came from Naples, "Why do you come here to see me when you have your own saint in Naples, Don Dolindo?!" The saints in Heaven belong to us all, and I can just hear that dear, gruff voice saying to us now, "Why are you coming to me when you have Don Dolindo?"
Nice try, Padre, but no getting out of it, you promised to be our spiritual father, so while we're happy to have your spiritual brother Don Dolindo as our uncle, we're coming to you to get what we need - namely, miracles in answer to our many petitions for ourselves and those we love, for the Church and for the world.
So let's get to it and pray, trusting that absolutely every intention is covered by love. As our photo displays above, Padre Pio promised, "I assure you that, when the Lord calls me, I will say to Him: 'Lord, I shall remain at the gates of Paradise; I shall enter only when I have seen the last of my spiritual children enter.'" Add to this his wonderful assurance, “Once I take a soul on, I also take on his entire family as my spiritual children," and we are in like Flynn!
Here, then, is our novena prayer to Padre Pio. If you forget to say it on one of these next days leading to his feast, don't worry, we've got your back! I'm asking my angel to say it every day for me, and I'll join in as long as he reminds me, with all your intentions included too.
Novena Prayer to St. Padre Pio
O Blessed Padre Pio,
holy bearer of the wounds of Christ,
accept us this day as your spiritual sons and daughters
and keep us always on the little way by your intercession.
And do thou, O our Spiritual Father,
relieve our suffering and the suffering of those we love,
and then stay there at the Gates of Heaven, as you promised,
until all of your spiritual children have entered through,
even and including us and all those we love.
Through Christ our Lord, Amen.
Finally, on this feast of Our Lady, I can't resist bringing everyone to her one more time:
Blessed Mother of those whose names you can read in my heart,
watch over them with every care.
Make their way easy and their labors fruitful.
Dry their tears if they weep; sanctify their joys;
raise their courage if they weaken;
restore their hope if they lose heart,
their health if they be ill,
truth if they err,
and repentance if they fall. Amen.
Draw me, we will run!
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