Today we celebrate the Feast of St. Padre Pio. A man who has immersed himself in our family and our work. It is almost impossible to draw a boundary between where our work ends and his begins. We owe everything to him.
Providence in its incomprehensible way allowed us to meet giants in the Faith who lived at Padre Pio's school. Three of them have a special place in our hearts...
First is Father Mariano from Santa Croce di Magliano, the first chaplain of the House for the Relief of Suffering, accompanied us at the beginning of our conversion in 1986. We keep his testimonies close, and recount the many stories he shares that taught us more than any book ever could.
Next is Frà Modestino da Pietralcina, born in the same small village as Padre Pio. He was one of the closest to the Father. Cinzia and I met him during our honeymoon in San Giovanni Rotondo in 1988. He was always close to us, he said: "When I am in heaven, I will help you even more because your family is my family!"
He would call us several times during the week, telling us about moments of his life close to Padre Pio. What an immense gift it was to hear great teachings from him on those beautiful phone calls.
The final man, the one that always held our hands, illuminating our steps with the teachings of Padre Pio, was Don Nello Castello, a priest from Veneto who lives near us.
He has helped us in everything. He has counseled us, and been the safe haven in the storms allowed by God of life. If only we could recall the many times he repeats to us, "The work serves to make you saints."
Every problem, every situation, every doubt, was solved by him telling us anecdotes and teachings that he had learned in the long years he lived close to Padre Pio.
Cinzia and I, as far as possible, are available to share with you the gift of these precious testimonies, they are the teachings that have shaped our marriage, our family and our work.
"Free you have received, free you give!"
We thank God for the gift of Padre Pio's gift to humanity and we go with faith to him, imploring his intercession!
St. Padre Pio, pray for us!