Pontiff Proposes Example of Padre Pio

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VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 23, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI presented St. Pio of Pietrelcina as a model, calling him a “dispenser of divine mercy” through the confessional.

At the end of the general audience, the Pope pointed to today’s feast of Padre Pio, offering the 20th century saint as a model for youth, newlyweds, the ill and priests.

He urged youth to follow the “testimony of faith and charity” that animated the life of the Capuchin priest, as an aid to “project your future as a generous service to God and neighbor.”

The Holy Father asked the saint to help those who are sick to “experience in suffering the support and consolation of the crucified Christ,” and he invited newlyweds to “maintain in your families a constant concern for the poor.”

“May the example of this very popular saint,” the Pontiff added, “be for priests in this Year for Priests, and for all Christians, an invitation to always trust in the goodness of God.”

And he exhorted the faithful to approach the “sacrament of reconciliation, of which the saint of Gargano, a tireless dispenser of divine mercy, was a faithful and assiduous minister.”

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