St Padre Pio: He was a generous dispenser of divine mercy, making himself available to all by welcoming them, by spiritual direction and, especially, by the administration of the sacrament of penance. The ministry of the confessional, which is one of the distinctive traits of his apostolate, attracted great crowds of the faithful to the monastery of San Giovanni Rotondo.
In fact, the ultimate reason for the apostolic effectiveness of Padre pio, the profound root of so much spiritual fruitfulness can be found in that intimate and constant union with God, attested to by his long hours spent in prayer and in the confessional. He loved to repeat, ‘’I am a poor Franciscan who prays’ ’convinced that ‘’prayer is the best weapon we have, a key that opens the heart of God’’.
This fundamental characteristic of his spirituality continues in the ‘’prayer groups’’ that he founded, which offer to the church and the society the wonderful contribution of incessant and confident prayer. To prayer, padre Pio joined an intense charitable activity, of which the ‘’Home for the relief of suffering’’ is an extra ordinary expression. Prayer and charity, this is the most concrete synthesis of Padre Pio’s teaching, which today is offered to everyone.
St John Vianney
St John Vianney, Priest (Patron of priests) Feast day- August 4 universally known as the ‘’cure of Ars),’’ St John Mary Vianney was ordained a priest in 1815. Three years later he was made parish priest of Ars, a remote French hamlet, where his reputation as a confessor and director of souls made him known throughout the Christian world. His life was one of extreme mortification.
Accustomed to the most severe austerities, beleaguered by swarms of penitents, and besieged by the devil, this great mystic manifested an imperturbable patience. He was a wonderworker love by the crowds, but he retained a childlike simplicity, and he remains to this day the living image of the priest after the heart of Christ.
He heard confessions of people from all over the world for the sixteen hours each day. His life was filled with works of Charity and love. It is recorded that even the staunchest of sinners were converted at his mere word. He died August 4, 1859, and was canonized May 31, 192