Italy: The Padre Pio I Know
Padre Pio is my spiritual giant. He is my one and only favorite saint! :)
I came across Padre Pio’s life story one stormy night in Manila, Philippines. They have just suspended classes in all levels the next day, and since I work in a school, that means I have a free day too! Yey! So I decided to curl on my bed and devour a new book I was reserving for the weekend, which apparently, mentioned Padre Pio several times. Too many times, actually, that I decided to make a little research on who this man was. From then on, I have never forgotten this holy man, nor his story, nor what he has done in my life.
This blog post is actually about the circumstances behind my trip to San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy. I took this trip to fulfill a promise I have made to the dear Padre after an almost impossible prayer has been granted through his intercession. Suffice it to say that I live in Paris, France now because of him. Now, isn’t that quite an impossible prayer request? And yes, it has been granted a few days after I wrote him a letter.
I remember that lazy Saturday afternoon in Manila when my husband and I decided to just go and visit Padre Pio’s Chapel in Libis, Quezon City. There was no mass going on and there were just a few people inside the chapel. I was thrilled to be able to go in front and kneel in front of his relic, where you can also write your prayer request. It was my first time to actually go up front because the place is always packed whenever we go there. So I took my sweet time and stared at the framed relic for quite sometime…half expecting that something will jump out of it! Hihihi! When I realized that nothing extraordinary will happen, I started to write my prayer request. No, actually, it was not a request…it was just me writing a letter to a good friend and telling him what’s interesting about my life.
I remember writing down that I tremendously enjoyed my Paris trip in 2006 when my husband was assigned there. I told Padre Pio that I wished I had more time and more money to spend in that beautiful city…and if he can tell Papa God that I am very thankful for such blessing since I was only wishing of visiting HongKong Disneyland for Christmas, but he took me to Disneyland Paris instead! I also told him if he thinks it is possible for me to go and live there, and maybe work there, and maybe learn French? I even wrote “hihihi” after it as I wasn’t serious about my request. I just wanted to share my dreams with the Padre, as I normally would to my close friends. I drew a big heart with the words “thank you” inside…a drawing I always make since I was young, which hasn’t improved over the years…just like all my other stick drawings. I guess I’m not much of an artist. And of course, I signed my name — the one with the flower drawing at the end, which people say looks more like a mosquito. I kissed my letter…yeah, I always kiss my letters…and dropped it in the special box they have in the chapel. That was Saturday.
The next day, Sunday, hubby and I were surfing the Internet when I came across a job posting from an IT company in France. I showed the job opening to him and he said that it was an “exact” match with his professional profile. But what grabbed both our attention was that it was the same company where he was assigned to two years ago, and it says the work would be mostly based in Paris. I felt more or less 10 butterflies in my stomach. I have this nagging suspicion that my letter has indeed reached heaven. And so, my hubby sent them his CV and hoped for the best.
That Wednesday, hubby was on his way home when he received a call from Ireland where the hiring office of the IT company is based. He was asked a few basic questions and he was actually surprised that the lady knew a lot about him already which were not even part of his CV. As it turns out, the HR lady already made her research and called people in France since the open position was for the same project he worked on two years ago…with pretty much the same people on the team, and pretty much the same everything. What are the chances, huh?! And just like that, after a few more interviews, we received confirmation a couple of days after, that they are hiring him. If I can, I would have given Padre Pio a bear hug right then and there! I wonder…can you actually do that to a saint?!
Standing at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport six months after all this happened, I am still at awe on how the circumstances seem to be tailor-made for us. I said a silent prayer of thanks and made a promise that the first town I will ever visit outside Paris will be San Giovanni Rotondo, the little town on the mountain that was home to Padre Pio for 50 years. I wanted to go there to personally thank the dear Padre who has probably read my letter out loud to Papa God. I hope he showed Him my heart drawing, too. And I wonder if they think that the flower on my signature really looks like a mosquito. Does it? Will it be better if I drew a star instead? I guess I will never know…
To read about our trip to San Giovanni Rotondo, which can also serve as your travel guide if you plan to go there, please click here.
Comment from monette
Time: March 17, 2010, 11:55 pm
Thank you for visiting my blog. I’m so happy you’ve heard of Padre Pio — he is great! I’ll see about that novena. Can you give me your address so I can send you a copy in case I have one more to spare? :)
Comment from monette
Time: March 21, 2010, 11:16 pm
Makaka-asa ka na me and my family will pray for Reden…and for you as well. It must be really difficult to stay strong given such a challenge. But we know that with God’s grace, everything will be alright.
Comment from michael
Time: November 14, 2012, 7:23 pm
Hi Teng! I think the easiest way would be to take the LRT-1 from United Nations and connect to LRT-2 going to Cubao station. From Cubao, you could take a Jeepney going to Eastwood Libis which will be very close to the St. Pio’s chapel. You could also take the LRT-2 up to Katipunan and take a cab from there. I have been away for 4 years now so I’m not sure of the other options but the jeepney from Cubao was the one Monette and I usually takes. I hope this helps. God bless!