Sunday, 14 October 2018 15:16

Priest asks devotees to love like Christ and Padre Pio

When we love truly, we get hurt deeply.

These were the words that Antipolo Bishop Francisco De Leon uttered in front of the thousands of devotees of St. Padre Pio who heard Mass on the second day of visit of the heart relic at The Manila Cathedral at 12:10 p.m.


“But real love and to love really, you have to be open to the other person. If you’re not then, that is not real love. But there is a danger of being open to another person and the danger is this. Pwede kang masaktan kapag binuksan mo ang iyong puso sa isang tao siya’y minamahal mo pwede kang masaktan,”  Bishop de Leon said.

Capuchin Priests prepare the incorrupt heart relic of Padre Pio enclosed inside a glass container for public veneration in Davao. 
(Photo by Nemrieck Kiel Umali/Diocese of Digos Social Communications)


Reflecting on the events in the life of Christ, Bishop de Leon said, the love of Christ is like the love of God to mankind. Christ, who is the son of God embraced his sufferings during the times when he was persecuted.

At that time, one of his apostles betrayed him, the other denied him and the rest run away from him. Despite these things, his unconditional love prevailed. He chose to forgive and died on the cross.

“Subalit ang ginawa niya ay siya’y nagpatawad mula pa sa krus. Panginoon patawarin mo sila hindi nila nalalaman ang kanilang ginagawa. That wound and that heart crucified him on the cross and killed him but on the third day he arose again,” he said.

Like Christ, Padre Pio also has his own sufferings like that of Christ. The holy priest bore the same wounds of Christ.

“And that stigmata are not punishment given by God. It is a privilege given by God.  If you really love Jesus and the cross, if you truly follow the cross, Jesus saying, “If you like to follow me carry your cross, you will suffer, we will suffer,” he said.

Padre Pio’s stigmata were doubted by the church including the monastery where he belonged. They thought the wounds came from the devil. Because of that, he was forbidden to hear confession and celebrate public mass.

At the end of his homily, Bishop De Leon challenged the devotees to imitate the saint’s characteristics.

“Kung totoong devotee tayo ni Padre Pio, hindi lang misa, hindi lang nobena, hindi lang paghalik sa relic, kundi paggaya sa kanya, sa kanyang pagmamahal kahit masakit, patuloy na nagmamahal hanggang sa wakas ng kanyang buhay,” he said.

Bishop De Leon also reminded the faithful to embrace their own sufferings and cross in life.

“Kaya nga sa bawat simbahan may cross to remind us of the depth and the width and the pain of the love of Christ,” he said.

The heart relic visited the University of Santo Tomas (Oct. 8), The Manila Cathedral (Oct. 9-11), Archdiocese of Cebu (Oct. 11-14), and currently at the Archdiocese of Davao (Oct. 14-16).

After the visit to Davao, the relic will be brought to Lipa, Batangas on Oct. 17, then back to the National Shrine of St. Padre Pio in Sto. Tomas, Batangas on Oct. 18 – 26  before it returns to Italy. (Jheng Manalang Prado/RCAM-AOC)


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