The story about the Relic of Saint Padre Pio.
When I presented the plan to invite keynote speakers for our monthly prayer meeting back in November 2018 to Fr. Gabriel de Chadarévian, O.P. (Fr. Gabriel) the Spiritual Director of St. Mary’s Padre Pio Prayer Group (PPPG), I learnt that Fr. David Bellusci, O.P. (Fr. David) works in Rome during Summertime. Fr. David’s name came up during the meeting as he would be one of the priests that I would invite to give presentation for PPPG.
After the initial meeting with Fr. Gabriel, I begin to send out the invitations, including an invite to Fr. David. He was quite responsive, and we then settled on a date for him to come to give a talk to our prayer group on May 4, 2019. When Fr. Gabriel mentioned the city of Rome, I immediately thought about the Relic of Padre Pio.
Let’s back up a little to the era when Fr. Pierre Leblond, O.P. (Fr. Pierre) was still the pastor of St. Mary’s and the Spiritual Director of our PPPG, we started the initiative to request for the first-class Relic of Saint Pio from the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin (Latin: Ordo Fratrum Minorum Capuccinorum). We discovered that there are certain requirements that must be fulfilled and upon approval, that the Relic will only be released in person and to be picked up from the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin headquarters in Rome. The initiative later had to be put on hold due to the news of Fr. Pierre’s sabbatical.
I had seen Fr. David around at St. Mary’s parish, and I attended several of the Masses he celebrated but I had never spoken to him. During our email exchanges before we settled for May 4, 2019 PPPG, I wanted so much to raise the topic of the Relic, I was hoping he would help us obtain the Relic on our behalf since he would be in Rome in Summer 2019. I then decided to exercise patience and wait until after May 4, 2019 PPPG and prayed that the prayer meeting would go well and there would be the opportunity to talk about the Relic and the big favour I was about to ask him.
I could not wait for May 4th to come. And when the day finally arrived, I felt so blessed to have the opportunity to talk to Fr. David about the Relic. He said “Yes” to go to the Capuchin headquarters to bring the Relic home. Praise God!
Then, there was a problem. I had found the Special Messenger, but the process to request the Relic - which had once been put on hold - was yet to be activated and I had no idea how long this would take. If the approval came after September 2019, Fr. David would have left Rome and returned to Vancouver. The requirement to have someone physically pick up the Relic in Rome was non-negotiable.
One of Padre Pio’s famous quotes reminded me to “Pray, hope and don’t worry”. Indeed I should not worry, the smooth process of obtaining all the necessary documents and approvals from our Pastor and the Archdiocese came easy and soon after a letter came from the General Postulator of the Order Friars Minor Capuchin in Rome granting our request, and they were expecting Fr. David to stop by for the retrieval of Saint Pio’s relic. I truly believe in Padre Pio’s intercession in this matter and that this was what he would have wanted for our prayer group.
On August 13th, 2019 the first-class Relic of Saint Padre Pio was released to the hands of Fr. David. On September 1, 2019 the Relic landed safely here in Vancouver, and on September 7th, 2019 the Relic was venerated publicly for the first time in a beautiful Mass and this coincided with the celebration of the 3rd anniversary of our prayer group. All my beloved Dominican priests; Fr. Pierre - founder and the first Spiritual Director, Fr. Gabriel - our current Spiritual Director and Fr. David – the Special Messenger of our prayer group celebrated this special Mass together. How wonderful!
The Relic is now venerated at every prayer meeting, every first Saturday of the month.
Written on Jan 11th, 2020 at 4:30am by Lucy Rodjito
PPPG Bloggers the faithful members of St. Mary's Padre Pio Prayer Group
list by titles
Blessings from PPPG