VATICAN CITY, MAY 31, 2002 (Zenit.org).- Padre Pio of Pietrelcina will be remembered in history as “a great apostle of the confessional,” says the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
In an article in Thursday´s Italian edition of L´Osservatore Romano, Cardinal José Saraiva Martins said that for 58 years the Capuchin religious sat for hours and hours, morning and afternoon, administering the sacrament of reconciliation.
“This was certainly his greatest title of glory in his cause of canonization, the proof of his holiness, and the most brilliant example that he has left the priests of the whole world,” the cardinal said. The friar will be canonized June 16.
In the article, Cardinal Saraiva Martins highlights the center of the friar´s spiritual life: the cross.
“Other things are emphasized about Padre Pio, which are easier to understand and to accept. However, if the reality of the cross is removed from the life and spirituality of Padre Pio, his holiness becomes empty,” the cardinal explained.
“The cross, not as an incident but as an attitude of life, because all his life was lived in the shadow of the cross for the glory of God, his personal sanctification, and the salvation of brothers,” Cardinal Saraiva Martins continued.
In Padre Pio´s spirituality, suffering “is not a punishment” but “proof of a love of predilection” for “privileged chosen souls to participate in the sorrowful mysteries of the Redeemer,” the cardinal added.