Padre Pio and Chiesa viva      

 - Our Patron and Padre Pio's -
St. Michael of St. Michael's Basilica, Monte S. Angelo,
Gargano, Italy


Oh most Noble Prince of the Angelic Hierarchies 
valorous warrior of Almighty God,
and zealous lover of His glory,
terror of the rebellious angels,
and love and delight of all the just ones,
my beloved Archangel Saint Michael,
desiring to be numbered among thy devoted servants,
I, today offer and consecrate myself to thee,
and place myself, my family,
and all I possess under thy most powerful protection.

I entreat thee not to look at how little, I,
as thy servant have to offer,
being only a wretched sinner,
but to gaze, rather,
with favorable eye at the heartfelt affection
with which this offering is made,
and remember that if from this day onward
I am under thy patronage,
thou must during all my life assist me,
and procure for me the pardon of my many grievous offenses,
and sins, the grace to love with all my heart my God,
my dear Savior Jesus and my Sweet Mother Mary,
and obtain for me all the help necessary to arrive to my crown
of glory.

Defend me always from my spiritual enemies,
particularly in the last moments of my life.

Come then oh Glorious Prince and succor me in my last struggle,
and with thy powerful weapon cast far from me
into the infernal abysses that prevaricator
and proud angel that one day thou prostrated
in the celestial battle.

Saint Michael, defend us in our daily battle
so that we may not perish in the last Judgment.

Grotto of St. Michael at the Basilica of Mont St. Michael

We have chosen St. Michael of the Gargano Mountains as our patron because many times, when dealing with troubled souls, Padre Pio would recommend a visit to the Basilica of St. Michael on Mont St. Angelo not far from San Giovanni Rotondo.  Often times, he would hand them a prayer to St. Michael - encouraging them to have a devotion to him.   In these troubled times, we should all take heed to Padre Pio's advise and call upon St Michael for help. 

History of Sanctuary of Monte Sant'Angelo sul Gargano Mountains

The history of this Shrine to St. Michael dates as far back as the late 300’s, when St. Michael appeared to a Catholic bishop on this mountain that contained an opening to a cave.  But first, he appeared to the landowner of this mountain as a “beautiful bull” that ended up causing the man to chase after it and desire to kill it.  Upon attempting to shoot the beast with an arrow, the arrow mysteriously turned back on the man and hit him in the foot. Being frightened, the landowner went to the bishop. After the bishop prayed and did penance to discern what exactly was the cause of this event, St. Michael appeared and told him that this land was sacred ground and that this particular man had offended him. He said: “I am the Archangel Michael, and am always in the presence of God. The cave is sacred for me, I have chosen it; I, myself, am its watchful custodian... There where the rock opens wide the sins of men can be forgiven. What is asked for here in prayer will be granted. Therefore, go to the mountain and dedicate the grotto to the Christian religion.”
You can see here by this story that St. Michael did not hesitate to show his disapproval of the man tramping on “his property” by hitting him in the foot with an arrow! The poor man thought this bull would be a fine specimen to add to his other herds – what was wrong with that?

However, despite this vision of St Michael, this rather hardhearted bishop did not immediately take St. Michael seriously. It took more proof to win the bishop’s heart.  In 492, this bishop was asking for a victory over the enemies of the region. St Michael appeared to him after three days of prayer and penance.   St. Michael promised a victory which the complete extermination of his enemies. Then, in 493, the bishop finally desired to obey St Michael’s request and consecrate this ground and grotto to him “but the Archangel appeared to him again and announced that he himself had already consecrated the grotto. The grotto, itself, is the only place of worship not consecrated by human hands and over the centuries has received the title of “Celestial Basilica”.
So you see that St. Michael was not about to wait around for this defiant bishop – he had gone ahead and consecrated the ground himself. 
The history of this grotto continues… in the year 1656, a terrible pestilence raged all over Southern Italy. The Archbishop of the region had recourse to the Archangel Michael with prayers and fasting. The Archbishop even thought of forcing the Divine Will “by placing a supplication written in the name of all the towns-people in the hands of the statue of Saint Michael. And then as dawn was breaking on September 22, (remember that date – September 22nd) while he was praying in a room of the bishop’s palace of Monte Sant’Angelo, there was a sort of earthquake and Saint Michael appeared to him in dazzling splendor and ordered him to bless the stones of the grotto engraving them with the sign of the cross and the letters MA (Michael Archangel). Very soon, not only the town was delivered from the plague, but also all those who asked for the stones wherever they lived.” Finally St. Michael is pleased and grants a proof of his approval by the curing of his devotees from the plague! As a perpetual memento of the prodigy and out of eternal gratitude, the Archbishop erected a monument to Saint Michael in the town square:


And so, September 22nd was the date of this wonderful prodigy!  This happens to be also the eve of the 41st anniversary of Padre Pio’s death.

Father Alessio Parente, a Capuchin friar who took care of Padre Pio the last six years of his life, was quoted as saying that the devil came every day to beat Padre Pio.  When this would occur the whole monastery would shake. He would know what was happening and quickly run to Padre Pio’s room to find him in a pool of blood on the floor severely beaten. Padre Pio suffered these beatings for the salvation of souls.  When Padre Pio would cry out for Jesus to have mercy on him, St. Michael would then appear and Satan would leave him.  St. Michael along with the Blessed Mother and St. Francis of Assisi and his Guardian Angel were his daily companions. Therefore as St Michael was a special guardian of Padre Pio in life, would he not be his guardian in his final repose? As Padre Pio is quoted as saying, “I will make more noise when I am dead than when I was alive!” Perhaps, in the great noise he will make, St Michael will be there as ready as ever to assist him in his battles with Satan!

Padre Pio and St. Michael

defend us in our daily battles!

For more info on St. Michael's Shrine:
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