* 23 September 2002 *
On Saint Pio of Pietrelcina’s canonisation day, the Holy Father also established the annual day of obligatory remembrance for 23 September. The Department responsible has not published the official text for this celebration, so that this year one may celebrate the Common Mass of Pastors or the Common of Saints. The texts enclosed here, therefore, are simply aids to assist in the celebrations. We present here, for those who wish, the text of the Mass in honour of St. Pio of Pietrelcina used by the Holy Father for the day of the Canonisation. We include also an outline for the Vigil of Prayer and the text used by the Franciscan Order for the Office of the Readings of Blessed Pio of Pietrelcina.
– Mass of the Canonisation of St. Pio of Pietrelcina
– Second reading for the office of readings of Blessed Pio of Pietrelcina used by the Franciscan family
– Vigil of Prayer
CANONISATION MASS OF ST. PIO OF PIETRELCINA
The only thing I can boast about is the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world.
Almighty, everlasting God, who gave your priest Saint Pio the singular grace of sharing in the cross of your Son and renewed the wonders of your mercy by his ministry, through his intercession, grant that we be ever joined to the passion of Christ, and joyously brought to the glory of the resurrection. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who is God and lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen.
A reading from the letter of Saint Paul to the Galatians (6:14-18)
Brothers, the only thing I can boast about is the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world. It does not matter if a person is circumcised or not; what matters is for him to become an altogether new creature. Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule, who form the Israel of God. I want no more trouble from anybody after this; the marks on my body are those of Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with your spirit, my brothers. Amen. This is the word of the Lord.
From Psalm 15
R. My happiness lies in you alone, O God.
Preserve me, God, I take refuge in you.
I say to the Lord: “‘You are my God’,
O Lord,it is you who are my portion and cup :
It is you yourself who are my prize.
I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel,
Who even at night directs my heart.
I keep the Lord ever in my sight,
Since he is at my right hand, I shall stand firm.
You will show me the path of life,
The fullness of joy in your presence,
At your right hand happiness for ever.
I bless you Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for revealing to little ones the mysteries of the kingdom.
A reading from the Gospel according to Matthew (11,25-30)
Jesus exclaimed, “I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children. Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased you to do. Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father; an dno one knows the Son except the Father, just as no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the son chooses to reveal him. “Come to me, all you who labour and are over-burdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.” This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you O Christ.
PRAYER OF THE GIFT
Accept, O Lord, the gifts we offer in memory of Saint Pio, an dby our partaking in these sacred mysteries grant that we may be worthy to receive the saving fruits of redemption. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
“I will be with you always until the end of the world,”, says the Lord.
PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION
Lord, strengthened by this holy banquet,grant that, following the example of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, we may worship you with constant devotion and assist all with unfailing charity. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
SECOND READING FOR THE OFFICE OF READINGS OF BLESSED PIO OF PIETRELCINA AS USED BY THE FRANCISCAN FAMILY
From the Letters of Blessed Pio of Pietrelcina
(Epist. I, 1065; 1093-1095)
I will raise my voice and will not stop imploring him;.
Out of obedience I am obliged to manifest to you what happened to me on the evening of the 5th of this month of August 1918 and all day on the 6th.
I am quite unable to convey to you what occurred during this period of utter torment. While I was hearing the boys’ confessions on the evening of the 5th, I was suddenly terrorized by the sight of a celestial person who presented himself to my mind’s eye. He had in his hand a sort of weapon like a very long sharp-pointed steel blade which seemed to emit fire. At the very instant that I saw all this, I saw that person hurl the weapon into my soul with all his might. I cried out with difficulty and felt I was dying. I asked the boy to leave because I felt ill and no longer had the strength to continue. This agony lasted uninterruptedly until the morning of the 7th. I cannot tell you how much I suffered during this period of anguish. Even my entrails were torn and ruptured by the weapon, and nothing was spared. From that day on I have been mortally wounded. I feel in the depths of my soul a wound that is always open and which causes me continual agony. What can I tell you in answer to your questions regarding my crucifixion? My God!! What embarrassment and humiliation I suffer by being obliged to explain what you have done to this wretched creature! On the morning of the 20th of last month, in the choir, after I had celebrated Mass I yielded to a drowsiness similar to a sweet sleep. All the internal and external senses and even the very faculties of my soul were immersed in indescribable stillness. Absolute silence surrounded and invaded me. I was suddenly filled with great peace and abandonment which effaced everything else and caused a lull in the turmoil. All this happened in a flash. While this was taking place I saw before me a mysterious person similar to the one I had seen on the evening of 5 August. The only difference was that his hands and feet and side were dripping blood. This sight terrified me and what I felt at that moment is indescribable. I thought I should die and really should have died if the Lord had not intervened and strengthened my heart which was about to burst out of my chest. The vision disappeared and I became aware that my hands, feet and side were dripping blood. Imagine the agony I experienced and continue to experience almost every day. The heart wound bleeds continually, especially from Thursday evening until Saturday. Dear Father, I am dying of pain because of the wounds and the resulting embarrassment I feel deep in my soul. I am afraid I shall bleed to death if the Lord does not hear my heartfelt supplication to relieve me of this condition. Will Jesus, who is so good, grant me this grace? Will he at least free from the embarrassment caused by these outward signs? I will raise my voice and will not stop imploring him until in his mercy he takes away, not the wound or the pain, which is impossible since I wish to be inebriated with pain, but these outward signs which cause me such embarrassment and unbearable humiliation. The person of whom I spoke in a previous letter is none other than the one I mentioned having seen on 5 August. He continues his work incessantly, causing me extreme spiritual agony. There is a continual rumbling within me like the gushing of blood. My God! Your punishment is just and your judgment right, but grant me your mercy. Lord, with your Prophet I shall continue to repeat: O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger; do not punish me in your rage! Dear Father, now that my whole interior state is known to you, do not refuse to send me a word of comfort in the midst of such severe and harsh suffering.
R. He who wishes to come after me, must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me..
V. Christ in place of his joy, that was held up to him, gave himself up to the cross, despising its ignominy. *
Take up your cross and follow me.
COLLECT (from the Mass of the Canonisation)
Almighty, everlasting God, who gave your priest Saint Pio the singular grace of sharing in the cross of your Son and renewed the wonders of your mercy by his ministry, through his intercession, grant that we be ever joined to the passion of Christ, and joyously brought to the glory of the resurrection. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who is God , and lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen.
PROPOSED VIGIL OF PRAYER
Padre Pio and the Church
(During the acclamation the Blessed Sacrament is exposed)
O God our Creator, who redeemed us through the blood of Christ your Son, concede to your Church that it may feel in the heart of each of its faithful the desire for your Reign, and that they may give witness by their words and by their work to the holiness of your Gospel. Through Christ our Lord.
Padre Pio and the Church.
(From the Acts of the First Congress of Studies on Padre Pio’s Spirituality).
Padre Pio loved the Church because it is the depository of the mystery of salvation. Because of this he said:”I want to live and die in the Church.”.
Padre Pio loved the Church as the people of God. The individual members of the Church cannot remain closed in themselves. They cannot be wrapped up in themselves. Each member must work for the others. He exists for the service of the others. He must feel responsible to such a point that the others cannot be saved without him. The measure of this giving is Christ, who gave everything for our sanctification..
Padre Pio imitated him marvellously in this. His whole life was an ardent desire to save others. It was a total gift of the salvation of his brothers. He gave his time, his prayers, his sufferings, all of his blood.
The fear of not being able to gain all his brothers for God threw him into great anguish. He writes: : “Poor me! I cannot find rest. I’m tired and I’m immersed in extreme bitterness, in the most desperate desolation, in the greatest anguish. This is not because I cannot find God. It is because I cannot gain all my brothers for God. What should I do? I don’t know. I suffer. I ask God to save them, but I don’t know at all if God accepts some of my moans “.
Padre Pio really gave his entire life for his brothers. Indeed he would have given his life a thousand times for them. He wrote: . “For the soul inflamed with divine love, meeting the needs of one’s neighbours is a fever that slowly consumes one. “.
He wrote again: “I have worked. I want to work. I have prayed. I want to pray. I have stayed awake. I want to stay awake. I have cried. And I want to cry always for my brothers in exile. I know and I understand that this is very little, but I know how to do it. I am able to do this, and this is all that I am able to do.”.
PAUSE FOR SILECE
I am ready, Lord, to do your will;.
I waited patiently for the Lord;
He inclined to me ,
and heard my cry.
He put a new song in my mouth,
A song of praise to our God.
Sacrifice and offering thou dost not desire,
but thou hast given me an open ear.
Burnt offering and sin offering thou hast not required.
Then I said, “Lo, I come.
In the roll of the book it is written of me;
delight to do thy will, O my God
thy law is within my heart;.
I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation;
I have not restrained my lips, as thou knowest, O Lord.
Do not thou, O Lord withhold thy mercy from me,
thy steadfast love and thy faithfulness
ever preserve me!
PAUSE OF SILENCE
PRAYER OF PADRE PIO
Jesus, my adorable Jesus, may I die at your side! Jesus, my silent contemplation is more eloquent at your dying side. Jesus, your sufferings penetrate my heart and I abandon myself in you. My tears have dried and I agonise with you for the cause that such agony has reduced you and for the intense and infinite love that submitted you to all this!
Divine blood, you freely drip from the loving heart of my Jesus. The fullness of suffering, the extreme bitterness and the pitiless struggle draws you from his heart and to sweat from his pores to gush forth to cleanse the world! Let me gather you, divine blood. I wish to keep you first in the chalice of my heart, for it is the most convincing proof that only and solely love has drawn you from Jesus’ veins. With this I wish to purify myself, to purify every place contaminated by sin, and to offer you to the Father.
From the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans
I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. For by the grace given to me I bid every one among you no to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith which God has assigned him. For as in one body we have many members, and all the members do not have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us , let us use them : if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in ourserving; he who teaches, in his teaching; he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who contributes, in liberality; he who gives aid, with zeal; he who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness .
Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with brotherly affection; outdo one another in showing honour. Never flag in zeal, be aglow with the Spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints, practise hospitality;.
The word of God.
Thanks be to God.
Moment of reflection
From Franciscan founts
Francis, a man of the Gospel,never excused himself from doing good. In fact, he was like the angels on Jacob’s ladder who either ascended to God or descended to their neighbour. He had learnt to organise with great sagacity the time that was conceded to him to gain merit: part of it he spent in apostolic work for his neighbour, and part he dedicated to the peace and ecstasy of contemplation.
Hence, after he had dedicated himself, depending on the exigencies of the time and place, to the procuring of salvation for others, he would leave the crowds and noise and search for solitude, with its secrecy and peace. There he would dedicate himself more freely to God and would cleanse his soul of the least grain of dust that contact with man had left.
Presentation of the Pledge
(in a brazier before the altar each person may place a written pledge)
Prayer of the faithful
SINGING OF THE OUR FATHER
PRAYER OF JOHN PAUL II
(from the Homily of the day of Canonisation)
Glorious, humble and beloved Padre Pio. Teach us, we pray, humility of heart, so that we may be counted among the little ones of the Gospel to whom the Father promised to reveal the mysteries of His Kingdom.
Help us to pray without ceasing, certain that God knows what we need even before we ask Him.
Obtain for us the eyes of faith that will help us recognise in the poor and suffering, the very face of Jesus.
Sustain us in the hour of trouble and trial and , if we fall, let us experience the joy of the sacrament of forgiveness.
Grant us your tender devotion to Mary, Mother of Jesus and our Mother.
Accompany us on our earthly pilgrimage toward the blessed Homeland, where we too, hope to arrive to contemplate forever the Glory of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!