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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.

Comments

Pingback from Philippines: Padre Pio Church in Libis, Quezon City | La Vie en Rose
Time: September 16, 2009, 9:53 pm

[…] Italy: The Padre Pio I Know […]

Comment from carol sabroso
Time: September 29, 2009, 2:32 pm

wow that’s wonderful blessings, indeed.

Comment from teri
Time: November 5, 2009, 8:18 pm

Hi Monette,

Thank you for the very beautiful description of the St. Pio Chapel and for giving detailed directions going there. I have heard about this place from my sister & it has been on my mind to go and visit. I believe you are truly blessed by St. Pio and that you and your husband were truly destined to live in France as per your wish. Thanks to St. Pio and our heavenly Father for granting your request!

I have some pressing issues in my own life at the moment and it is consoling to know that this place could bring renewed hope for the future.
Thanks again and God bless you and your hubby!

Teri

Comment from arlene
Time: November 10, 2009, 5:23 pm

wow!! nakaka inspire naman ang kwento mo. ive been searching lately for something i dont know what. i tried na most of all the church that all catholic been goin.

thank you and god bless!

Comment from Prose
Time: November 29, 2009, 4:41 am

I’ve been dying to go to St. Pio’s chapel in Libis but have no idea on how to get there. Thank you for the directions! Thank you also for describing the chapel. I hope to go there anytime this week.

Thank you and God Bless.

Comment from may nitura
Time: December 13, 2009, 9:56 am

hi monette,
as i was reading your story about the miracle padre pio gave you. i cant wait to go to pdre pio”s chapel to thank him about the miracle which he gave me too.. ive learned about him when i watched the rated K and try to pray his novena immediately. asking him to help me get a visa to korea which i know i cant have it because i was banned for working there as TNT.. surprisingly after 1 week korean embassy issued a visa for me but when i arrived in the korea airport the immigration officer saw my old ID i was interogated for 4 hours and i was expecting to go back to the philippines right at that moment but when i call his name it was really magic that the officer told me to just go.. i want to think tat padre pio help me..

Comment from may nitura
Time: December 13, 2009, 9:59 am

hi monett, please try to e mail me pictures of padre pio”s church in rotondo italy. this is mye mail add. maezon21@yahoo.com

Comment from Ina Rabino-Dahilig
Time: February 10, 2010, 12:23 pm

thank you so much Ms. Monette, your story is awesome! The more that I get to really love Padre Pio. I actually gave birth to our second baby boy last Sept. 23rd 2009 and learned that it’s Padre Pio’s death anniversary. Since we already decided to name our baby Francis Angelo (Francis taken from the late Francis Magalona), I told my husband to call him Pio as his nickname instead of Kiko. Sept. 23rd also happens to be my mother’s birthday and my anniversary here in the US. I started to know Padre Pio also when I saw him featured on Rated K. Thank you so much for your wonderful blog about him and can’t wait to visit his chapel in Libis and hopefully we can go to Italy as well (through his help :-)
Be more blessed :-)

Comment from jen v.
Time: March 2, 2010, 3:33 pm

hi monette,

i was inspired by your blog about st. pio…nadiscover ko abt him is thru TFC…since then, nagresearch nako kun sino nga si st. pio…parang natouched nya puso ko…ewan ko kun ano meron karisma pro sabi ko sarili ko sya na ang magiging patron saint ko….
thanks for posting d map…at least pag umuwi ako sa pinas alam ko na kun and there’s no reason para dko makadalaw don…
monette, may favor sana ako….i work in middle east country, meron naman catholic church dito pro wala sila novena prayer or picture ni st. pio….pwede ba ko makahingi sa yo???i know pede magdownload sa internet pro mas gus2 ko talaga totoong picture nya or prayer booklet….at chaka parang iba pag galing italy….cencia kapal ko no?
anyway, hope to hear from u…god bless!!

jen(“,)

Comment from monette
Time: March 17, 2010, 11:55 pm

Hi Jen!

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? :)

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