Padre Pio, G.K.Chesterton and – women who wear trousers!!

Padre Pio strict with women who wore trousers? Padre Pio was equally severe with men about their sartorial selections including some men who wore trousers…

by Mary O’Regan

Padre Pio refused a Canadian lady absolution and told her to return home. The lady had been selling women’s trousers in her clothes shop in Vancouver, but she had travelled all the way to Italy to meet Padre Pio. But when she went into the confessional, Padre Pio asked her to go home, dispose of all the trousers in her shop and not even to donate any of the items to women who might wear them.

When I first read this account – I thought it was exaggerated. I did further research because it did seem as though some anti-women-wearing-trousers webpages were using an incident where Padre Pio told a woman (who made her living from selling women’s clothes) as an exemplar to prove the erroneousness of women wearing trousers. But the account of the women-who-sold-trousers-and-was-refused-absolution is genuine and was published in the book Arrivederci, Padre Pio. But to recount this story without bearing in mind how Padre Pio suffered when he had to refuse someone absolution is not only an injustice to Padre Pio’s character, but it also makes it sound as though Padre Pio was gratuitously punishing the lady. When asked why he, on occasion, closed the small confessional in the faces of some, Padre Pio said, “Don’t you know?” he asked, “what pain it costs me to shut the door on anyone? The Lord has forced me to do so…I am His useless tool.”

Much is also made of Padre Pio’s disdain for mini-skirts; the sign that was displayed in the San Giovanni Church read; ‘by Padre Pio’s explicit wish women must enter the confessional wearing skirts at least 8 inches below the knee. It is forbidden to borrow longer dresses in church and to wear them for the Confessional’. Again, I’ve often heard it cited by both Catholics and non-Catholics that if Padre Pio was against mini-skirts, then us women folk should not wear them.

Padre Pio is often painted as a stern figure who had behind-the-times ‘issues’ with women’s clothes. But Padre Pio was no misogynist. It is often forgotten that Padre Pio was as strict with men about clothing – men were not permitted to enter the church with short or three-quarter length sleeves or short trousers or shorts. Both boys and men had to wear long trousers, or else they were shown out of the church. In the 1960’s, Padre Pio’s fort was one of the few churches where the fashions of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s were favoured over those of the 1960s. But I would love to hear Padre Pio’s opinion on some men that I have known who like to show off their ‘designer’ underwear while wearing low jeans, but then criticise women in trousers.

Padre Pio also admonished priests for their sartorial ‘disguise’. One day a gentleman dressed smartly in a jacket, tie and pants was in the sacristy waiting for Padre Pio. When Padre Pio clapped eyes on this sophisticated man he said, ‘Father, you came in disguise, but you don’t have to be ashamed, next time come dressed as a priest.’

Once Padre Pio met a young man who was in trousers and a sweater – Padre Pio told him to come back wearing the cowl of St Dominic. The man was flabbergasted, but confessed to being a Dominican priest. In this instance, Padre Pio showed-up a man who was wearing ordinary trousers because it hid the fact that the man was a priest.

(Not to got off the topic, but there is an ancient Golden Girls episode where Dorothy, the swotty, opinionated, tall-as-a-tree school teacher falls for a fellow who dresses in jeans and a shirt – until she finds out that he’s a priest – he comes to her house for dinner dressed in a clerical garb to show her that he’s unavailable. He revealed that he was a priest a bit late – Dorothy is distraught. Sophia (Sicilian widow who once when trying to woo another Italian dressed all in thick black head-to-toe, ‘so he’ll know I’m available!’) struts down to the Church to give the priest a piece of her mind.)

When other great and highly esteemed Catholics like GK Chesterton and Cardinal Siri argue about what women should and shouldn’t wear, there is a sense that they think only women have a responsibility for dressing well and for modesty. Not to affront GK Chesterton fans, but his remarks on women wearing trousers are crass: ‘as a little while ago it was common for an “advanced” woman to claim the right to wear trousers; a right about as grotesque as the right to wear a false nose…’ Chesterton may have been writing in a time when the dictatorship of politically correctness did not reign, but by only stating, in his opinion, that women in trousers may be ‘grotesque’, without remarking on men’s ‘grotesque’ choices of clothes, he presents an unbalanced argument.

One can say that Padre Pio had unfair advantage in commenting on modesty and clothes – he could read minds and souls. He prevented a gangster from killing his wife, a girl from knifing her ex-boyfriend and even when a priest ‘in civvies’ approached him, he knew he was a priest because Padre Pio could see the indelible mark of ordination of the priest’s soul. But for the advantage of us ordinary people who cannot read souls, Padre Pio gave this advice; ‘nothing represents an object more faithfully or clearly than a mirror. In the same way, nothing more widely represents the good or bad qualities of a soul than the greater or lesser regulation of the exterior, as when one appears more or less modest…the internal virtue of modesty, which regulates the external workings of the body.’

When Padre Pio was explaining how the exterior of a person reflects their interior – he did not say that this applies more to women than to men. And this is the problem with modern commentary and debate on fashion and clothes – it is often about contesting what women should and should not wear – while forgetting that men too bear a responsibility to be modest.

About Me
I am an Irish writer based in Kensington, London. In particular, I write about matters concerning the Catholic faith. I strive to attend Tridentine Mass every day. Politically I am termed ‘a euroskeptic’ because I have come to loathe the EU-septic. If I write anymore, then I’ll have handed too much info to the other side, and should expect to be arrested!http://thepathlesstaken/

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58 Responses to Padre Pio, G.K.Chesterton and – women who wear trousers!!

  1. Everyone is a product of their culture. Nowadays women’s trousers would be considered modest compared to tight jeans, dresses showing cleavage, mini skirts. Heck, Aquinas even called women “disordered males.”

    That was then; this is now. Don’t assume what was appropriate in the past, would be applicable to the present.


  2. kathleen says:

    Wow, I’m amazed by this! Surely the woman who was refused absolution by St. Padre Pio was not sinning by selling trousers? (Unless the trousers were to be worn by women for indecent ends…. can’t imagine what!) I think she must have had some other unconfessed or unrepentant sins on her conscience for Padre Pio to be so strict and unyielding.

    Faith, you make a very good point; a lot of people would consider trousers super-modest compared to some other fashions nowadays! Muslim women, who wear veils because they think showing their hair enticing the wrong sort of attention, wear trousers all the time (wtih a tunic covering their backsides though.)

    I agree that modesty in dress is important, but trousers are an accepted part of women’s attire these days, and need not be in any way provocative. I wear jeans quite often (but not to Holy Mass) and it never crossed my mind that it might be wrong!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Now that you mention it, Kathleen, not only Muslim women wear trousers, so do Hindus, and Chinese women. Wearing trousers is for modesty. Padre Pio was just a product of his time and culture.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. teresa says:

    Faith Flaherty, Kathleen, indeed, Chinese women, especially the peasants, have always been wearing trousers because they have to labour in the fields and with trousers it is much more convenient and decent as well. Trousers are also a much better protection against cold, wind and spying male eyes as well. I recall reading something which says that in Europe women started to wear trousers because they started to labour like man. Otherwise they wouldn’t be able to work in an industrial world and feed their family, one must remember the beginning of the 19th. century and the industrialization and women had to work as well otherwise they and their family would starve.

    Mongolian women wear traditionally trousers and Manchurian women as well, even the upper class, because they ride horses like men and fight on horseback at war as well.


  5. Teresa is correct. Nowadays most women work, and dress accordingly. In Padre Pio’s time, most women were homemakers. And actually, I find it hard to believe that Padre Pio would deny anyone absolution. And even if he did ever refuse anyone absolution, he certainly would not have told anyone. We’re talking about the sacrament of reconciliation. No Confessor, especially Padre Pio, would violate a penitent’s confidentiality. And she wouldn’t have told anyone, would she? In the 1960’s that would have been humiliating? Besides the confidentiality in confession is two-way–between Confessor and penitent. I think this story is an urban myth.


  6. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Padre Pio says it himself; he is a “useless tool”.

    I hope this story is a myth.


  7. LSC says:

    “Teresa is correct. Nowadays most women work, and dress accordingly. In Padre Pio’s time, most women were homemakers. ”

    Very true. I think women should dress accordingly. When you are working in the fields, factories, roofing, construction etc. pants are appropriate BUT do they need to be sprayed on? Do they need to be cut an inch or two above your mons? Does your tshirt have to be so tight you can read your bra size IF indeed you are wearing a bra? Dress appropriately please. Look at the women on the ‘real housewives’ programs. HOOKERS in the 50’s 60’s were more modest than these women. Clothing is meant to cover your nakedness and to protect you, not to serve your vanity. Men, do you really want other men looking at your wives and seeing everything ? Shouldn’t that be something cherished between the two of you?

    Look at the world since modesty and decency went out the door in during our ‘liberation’. Sex abuse by teachers, priests, ministers, politicians, men and women alike is rampant. We live in a world of constant sexual titillation. Movies, bill boards, books, television, you can’t even watch television during family hour without racy commercials for drugs, underwear, and the family shows…are just commercials to turn your children into ravenous consumers, with disrespectful smart mouths.

    Would to God we could put the genie back in the bottle. Women’s lib has done nothing to elevate women. It has taken us away from our children and homes, allowed the government and strangers to raise our kids. Remember, the basic rule of Socialism was that to control or destroy a country all you needed to do was break up the family. Liberation was their cry. LIberate the women, get them out of the house away from the kids…. Degrade the husbands value as a protector and provider, get the kids into state run schools and care centers so they can be “properly educated”.

    born in the 50’s lived through the liberation, BLECH PHOOEY! What better career can a woman have than mother to her children!


  8. rebrites says:

    Hmmm. I´ve had a long and satisfying professional career that would have been unthinkable if “the libbers” hadn´t opened the way for me. I did it wearing both dresses and pants, and without having to ask for my husband´s permission.
    I successfully raised two stable and decent children at the same time.
    Should I have to choose between the two?


  9. toadspittle says:


    “Look at the women on the ‘real housewives’ programs.
    HOOKERS in the 50′s 60′s were more modest than these women. “

    No, LSC, you look at the women on “Real Housewives”.
    Even if you do so between the gaps in the fingers you hold in front of your eyes.
    Toad won’t, and never has. (Ain’t got a telly, anyway.)

    If your eye offend thee, cast it out. So – get casting, girl!

    (or at least cast the TV out. And get a life.)


  10. toadspittle says:

    No word so far, from LSC, the “Desperate Homemaker”.

    “…you can’t even watch television during family hour without racy commercials for drugs, underwear, and the family shows…are just commercials to turn your children into ravenous consumers, with disrespectful smart mouths.” already pointed out, there is a remarkably simple solution here.


  11. Francis says:

    St Padre Pio was defending the most powerful force in the world femininity. The prince of the world has an agenda to destroy femininity. Because the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. It was not that wearing pants is immodest it is that femininity is under attack because of its great power to heal the world. We should reject the idea that this is old fashion. This is what the world says. But we are not of this world. Our Lady has appeared everyday for 31 years in Medjugorje to help us. She has appeared for so long because we need a Mother to guide us in these times.


  12. Eva. S says:

    Every one has the ability to read souls. We are all born in 3D. We all learn to walk,talk,write,read and so on. Only some of us become better writers,talkers,etc. Were all divine. Our quest in this mortal life,should be about embracing yourself,your loved ones and planet earth,and not waste on futile discussions such as clothing,and how to worship. In the end it doesnt really matter:all roads lead to rome. One of the things that matters to me as à non catholic,is the existence of the Vatican. The Vatican should be stripped of their rights as a nation and be brought back to its essence:being a church. They should stop meddling with politics asap. Worlwide people (women)of all races and of all beliefs suffer due to the political agenda of your church. In modern times,i find that an outrage.


  13. Faith says:

    Your premise is wrong. The church does not meddle in politics. The church stance on abortion, homosexuality, marriage, family, conscience has never changed. We follow the Bible. From the beginning our stance has been the same. It is now. It always will be. Our doctrine has never changed. If the modern cultural politics accuses us of meddling, it’s the other way around. It’s not us. We have the same beliefs as we always have held.


  14. Darlene says:

    We’ve unfortunately have been carried away by strange teachings. What was then is now and we must obey, but lovingly so. In a study done (mentioned in “How To Find Your Soulmate Without Losing Your Soul” by Jason and Crystalina Everet, and “Dressing With Dignity” by Colleen Hammond) what happens to men when they seewoman wearing pants, the results were shocking. Automatically men looked at a woman’s crotch from the front and from behind the eyes went straight to the…butt. Naturally there are certain lines that males’ eyes follow and so they can’t help it. So gorgeously gorgeous darlings, please wear modest skirts and when it gets cold throw on some mathcing tights. I personally have quit wearing pants, within 2012…probably twice. We were all born to be saints, lets help the guys out. Oh, and if you were broke like me, the thrift store has some great things for cheap and patterns if you want to start making your own stuff!


  15. toadspittle says:

    “I personally have quit wearing pants,”

    Then all Toad can do is emulate you, Darlene!
    (What a lovely name. Is it Polish?)

    Although, he’s worried that, in his case, he might frighten the horses.
    Which would not do.


  16. Dave says:

    It isn’t about modesty as much as it is about femininity. Here is what Cardinal Siri said. Pretty prophetic. The fact that woman who are wives and mothers work has caused many problems in our society read Familias consortium byJohn Paul II. The home has been destroyed. Woman don’t wear pants because they work. Woman started working because they started wearing pants.


  17. toad says:

    “(The Catholic Church) An institute run with such knavish imbecility that if it were not the work of God it would not last a fortnight”

    Some of us were a teeny bit puzzled when we read this the other day on CP&S.
    But, if we now read Dave‘s link above, re rude girls wearing trousers, we shall see that it is no more than simple fact.
    Thanks for that, Dave. It put Toad right into the jolly Christmas spirit.
    What a wonderfully prurient mind mind naughty old Cardinal Siri must have had!
    The painstaking and distasteful research he must have had to do! Unaided!
    The man was a saint!


  18. toad says:

    ::Far too harsh Toad.
    And not funny enough.


  19. mary says:

    African women work in fields with skirts on, not pants, and muslim women wear tunics over their pants so you only see the the lower leg portion. The same with Indian women. That makes me think that the way western women wear pants is questionable.


  20. johnhenrycn says:

    That comment makes me smile, Mary, and I agree. ‘Bishop’ Richard Williamson, of SSPX, once said the same thing about women wearing pants – 10 or 12 years ago I think; and one of this blog’s best contributors, who comments above [22 Dec 2011@18:31] but who I shall not name, because she seems to have reconsidered her views – although I have not changed mine – once said the same thing on another blog we used to frequent. Haven’t got time to access the sermon of the ‘Bish’ on that point tonight, but I’m sure it’s to be found somewhere on The Angelus website, unless he’s been expunged for his otherwise weird views.


  21. johnhenrycn says:

    Last night, I watched How Green Was My Valley, a 1941 movie starring three strong women, Maureen O’Hara, Anna Lee and Sara Allgood – none wearing pants, slacks, tousers or jeans – and all the more feminine for it.


  22. johnhenrycn says:

    Well, Mary (doesn’t she has a beautiful avatar, btw?) has got me thinking about Teresa’s comment above, which I’d not seen before:
    ” Chinese women, especially the peasants, have always been wearing trousers because they have to labour in the fields and with trousers it is much more convenient and decent as well.”


  23. johnhenrycn says:

    My grandmother had to guide the plow while her brothers led the horse around the field, and they would shout at her when she didn’t cut an acute right angle at each corner. I doubt she ever wore things looking like trousers. Even later in her life, tending her small vegetable garden, I never saw her wear trousers. Once, I shot her in the leg with my little bow and arrow while she was bending over to dig out potatoes, and she wasn’t wearing trousers. I remember that clear as day.


  24. Toad says:

    “…strong women, Maureen O’Hara, Anna Lee and Sara Allgood – none wearing pants, slacks, tousers or jeans – and all the more feminine for it.”

    JH, as always, puts his finger on it, in a manner of speaking.
    Nothing more feminine than a girl with no pants on.
    Not much sexier, either, some might say. Down with womens’ trousers!.


  25. Toad says:

    ….and up with skirts!


  26. johnhenrycn says:

    Well, Toad, I didn’t mean it in that way, but you’ve always had a liking for the burlesque, no?


  27. kathleen says:

    Oh dear, John Henry, now you’ve got me wrought with scruples! 😉

    I just love pretty skirts (and I have more skirts in my wardrobe than trousers/jeans) but can you imagine how difficult it is to modestly make sure “you show no leg” when romping around with a group of children……. or whizzing into town on your bike before the shops close….. or hiking up hills with the wind blowing around you? These are all things I do pretty often, and trousers, I can assure you, are a lot more decent attire for girls/women who practice such activities. 🙂


  28. johnhenrycn says:

    What you say is true, Kathleen. I was just being a bit contrarian to liven things up.


  29. Janet Baker says:

    I am troubled by this strange propensity of Catholics to hang on every word of a saint as though they are all Dogmas of the Church. Padre Pio was a very holy man, to be sure. But he was just a human being. Modesty is a virtue, to be sure. But what constitutes modesty in any given age might involve some prudential judgment and areas where good people can differ, right? I too fail to see how that story of absolution refusal can be valid, given the seal of the confessional.


  30. Toad says:

    Could it be, that Padre Pio, as well as being a saint, was a thundering, blustering old sexist bully?
    Surely not.


  31. Suzanne says:

    Times may change…. But God doesn’t, Faith! The standards of yesterday are still today’s standards! I didn’t say style, though… you can dress with Padre Pio’s standards and still look like a 21st century woman, just a catholic one.
    Pants, short skirts, leggings, etc, did not happen by accident. They have been created and promoted by the freemasons, enemies of the Church, to destroy catholic women and therefore catholicity!


  32. There is not need for this “balance.” We should be informed about both, but one may speak of immodesty in women without speaking of it in men. They are related but distinct topics, in the particulars. It’s not unfair in any way. Not only do we have no need to apologize for the wise Catholics who came before us, but it is impious to do so. We do not have to apologize to feminists for the Church, for her manifestly anti-feminist teachings.


  33. kathleen says:

    @ Nicholas Escalona

    In reference to your last sentence I would like just to clarify that the Church is indeed “anti-feminist” – and with good reason – but She is wholly pro True Femininity… as I’m sure you agree by the words of your comment.
    In fact, as I have often argued with those who try to condemn the Church for the solely male hierarchy – that is the way it should be; why Our Saviour bestowed the priesthood only on His (male) Apostles; how only men can take the role of the Saviour’s eternal priesthood symbolising the bridegroom wedded to His Bride, the Church.

    In my opinion, and those of all my traditional Catholic female friends, it is truly a wonderful thing to be a woman in the Catholic Church, where women are honoured and appreciated as nowhere else.
    And we have Our Blessed Lady as the most exalted of models of all the best feminine qualities! How blessed we are!


  34. Linda Briggs-Harty says:

    So, am I not allowed to follow Padre Pio if I wear pants? I have always held a strong devotion to this now saint. I love his spirit, his words, his Christ-like
    sacrifice. But unless he comes to me personally and says, “Do not wear pants,” I will continue wearing pants (modest styles, of course). This all seems silly to me. God judges our hearts, from inside out. If our hearts are clean and our intentions pure, then it seems to me we’re in a good place spiritually. I’m from a state in the U.S. where we often say, “Show me–I’m from Missouri.” Well, St. Pio, show me if you want me to change. I’ll be amazed if he indicates such a need.


  35. Linda: the whole Church, not only St. Pio, has many teachings that shock us today: so much the worse for us. Good intentions do not make evil into good, and we are unable to judge whether our hearts are clean: Christ and the Church do this.

    The tradition of the Church is very strict that woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor men women’s clothing. Pants are unequivocally and obviously men’s clothing in our society. And at least the sorts of pants that we wear are also objectively immodest on women, because of the way they cling to the skin. Here is a letter indicating the tradition of the Church on this matter.

    Given how far society has degenerated in the last 100 years, taking special note of feminism and the sexual revolution, & unless our upbringing was exceptional, we should expect to have very little intuitive idea of what is immodest or not, and we should distrust what we think we know on the topic. Your reaction shows that you too readily judge by the spirit of the age, which is an evil spirit that confuses and hides the truth.


  36. johnhenrycn says:

    Bill Clinton is also from Missouri, the Show Me State. I don’t hold it against Linda Briggs-Hartley, but women ought not to wear trousers.


  37. Brother Burrito says:


    I think the safest spiritual attitude to take in the modern world is to admit that, yes, the lunatics have actually taken over the asylum, but that the sane are still in the majority.

    All shall be very well in the endgame. I am sure of that. Don’t despair.


  38. toadspittle says:

    Bill Clinton is from Arkansas, not Missouri.
    He pretended to be from a town called Hope, but he’s really from Hot Springs – a wide open town devoted to gambling, idle pleasure, and bad women.
    Al Capone regularly went there for all three – and the baths.
    Latin can be tricky – for rednecks, especially.

    People from Missouri generally say, not, “Show me” but, “I’m from Missouri, can you speak more slowly, please?”

    We have been down the “female modesty” road before. My original comment was: “Up with skirts – down with pants!”
    Pants are far more modest on women, for obvious reasons. I prefer skirts, worn with stockings and suspenders, rather than tights. (Well, I used to. And I can still dream.)
    And when Scotland becomes independent, they will ban pants entirely – for everyone.
    Or send them packing, back to Pakistan..


  39. johnhenrycn says:

    You’re right (for once), Toad. Bill Clinton is from Arkansas, The Natural State, not the Show Me State. Mea Culpa.


  40. Beverly says:

    It’s not just about modesty, it’s also about women dressing like men. How one dresses effects their demeanor. The current popular tv shows illustrates this exactly. Actresses are soldiers, cops, and bounty hunters. They jump into bed with a different partner every episode. They talk like the old fashioned stereotypical sailors and act like then as well. They wouldn’t be caught dead wearing modest long skirts and actually acting like women. No wonder there’s so much sexual confusion these days.


  41. Hi folks,
    The Show Me State woman again here. I wrote my post above before traveling on a pilgrimage with other faithful Catholics in late October to San Giovanni Rotondo in Italy. Not one of the many women on the tour of 49 people wore a skirt while visiting St. Pio’s shrine. That’s because a) they believe like me faith isn’t determined by
    outer apparel but mainly our inner state of soul, b) the large complex around the shrine and hospital grounds demands a lot of walking and c) it isn’t practical, comfortable or necessarily holy to wear dresses/skirts over pants in such circumstances. It’s all a matter of balance and modesty: some pants clearly are more presentable than others. With our world’s grave problems, I think this whole matter of pants vs. skirts/dresses is a silly distraction.


  42. Spencer says:

    In all good humor, i just found this blog and find it pretty nice, though in this comment debate spread over years I find it sort of funny to point out, in the days of the Apostles up into the Middle Ages most Christian men (likely living in the Roman Empire) would have been wearing tunics and toagas (man dresses in a way), trousers only started to become popular during the early medieval ages for surviving in colder climates like Britain or Germany. Look up how low previctorian necklines were and you can see that fashions change in what is considered acceptable or proper.


  43. Sandra says:

    Padre Pio and GK Chesterton can say whatever they want to me. Both of them make me smile and I don’t get even the least bit offended by them. Sadly, I wasn’t born within their time or their environment. I would not allow today’s writers or clergy to get away with it, as I know they are not coming from the exact same place or mindset that these two fine gentleman came from. I find Padre Pio (or should I say St Pio) and Chesterton’s comments quaint and archaic. If Padre Pio had refused me absolution due to wearing trousers (which is all I ever wear) then I would go home and happily look for the hideous, lengthy skirt that goes all the way over my ankles, which makes me trip over. I should wear it always for when I go to the confessional, with St Pio on the other side of the confessional. In other words, that skirt would be getting lots of wear. Incidentally, I don’t like mini skirts either. They’re absolute robbery! So little fabric for such a high price, and they never look any good and you’re always cold. Like I said, robbery.


  44. Pingback: (Fatima) “Certain fashions will be introduced that will offend Our Lord very much. ” “Woe to women lacking in modesty! The Blessed Mother of Jesus, Message at Fatima. | Shepherd

  45. Pingback: A Catholic Approach to Fashion: Part 1 (Guest Post) – FSSPX Resistance-Anglia

  46. toadspittle says:

    “The story about Padre Pio’s sign is false.”
    No matter. It produced some excellent comments, back then – when Toad was never “moderated.”
    ( well, hardly ever.)


  47. Adam says:

    Padre Pio is right.
    Catholics should not be swayed by the fashion of the day.
    We are not talking about Mongolian women working in the fields but about women in Western countries.
    Joan of Arc wore armour and men’s garments as an EXCEPTION not as a NORM.
    The woman selling trousers in Canada was not doing it to assist women working in the fields.
    Catholics should have the backbone to dictate the fashions and not be subject to them.


  48. Adam says:

    Yes true saints see themselves as useless tools at God’s disposal…which only proves how greatly God loves us.


  49. Brother Burrito says:

    Well I certainly see myself as one of God’s useless tools, but I really can’t be sure that that makes me a Saint.

    The jury is still out on that one, I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

  50. Rachel says:

    If this is really true than I am afraid to go to confession wearing pants or wearing clothing that does not conform to the standards enforced by St. Padre Pio. If God gave him these signs of stigmata then clearly the power of God is on this man, and I fear that power. I am very poor. I have tried to convert a pair of pants that I have into a long skirt using a sewing video on You Tube, but after it was all cut-up, I realized it was only enough fabric for a miniskirt so I threw it away. I have been wearing pants since then and I feel very guilty so I came back to your website. It gave be another inspiration; I can use the two pairs of pants that I have left and make a full-length skirt for Mass because two will afford me enough fabric! I just want to make St. Padre Pio smile at me from Heaven. I do not have a long slip for the long skirts that I have, but the pants I am using are a khaki material so I will not need one. It is shameful and mean that the clothing makers do not properly line skirts and dresses anymore. Finding the proper slips is getting more and more difficult, especially when they make everything so sheer! Not to mention slips with buttons snaps and zippers are almost nonexistent anymore and elastic is a precarious way, at best, to hold up an undergarment, especially if you’re trying to lose weight! If priests would make the effort to instruct women to dress the Christian way, the supply would match the demand. In spite of the lack of leadership by priests, what can the Catholic community do to empower women to supply flattering and beautiful fashions that in no way inhibit the welfare of souls through immodesty? I was thinking we could have free courses that teach women and girls the art of dressmaking, pattern design, alterations and thrifty behaviors so they will not need to depend on the liberal market trends to be fully clothed! After all, Jesus said that even birds don’t have to worry about what to wear! How much more should women and girls have access to modest clothing, which grants us access to God Himself? Without God, we are more spiritually poor than in any other way!


  51. Raquel says:

    Dear Rachel, I wept on your testemony…I also want to make Padre Pio smile from Heaven. Even more, Our Lady and Our Lord. I pray that the Lord blesses all your efforts to dress in a modest and feminine style that brings honour to God. I make my long skirts and my son modest loose trousers. I am not a dressmaker, anyone can do basic sewing, you don’t.even need a sewing machine, with decent fabric, simple cuts that look good enough for Mass.I have practicising modesty, long skirts only, modest tops, veiling, for 7 years. I have been bullied but I trust in Our Lady protection. She will guide and protect you too if you will.

    Liked by 1 person

  52. bananarepublic12 says:


    Women were subjugated for too long in a male patriarchal society. Okay when .couples have children they are, BOTH PARENTS, .respon sible for them. Why shouldn’t women work outside the home and use their talents and if she is qualified to work in a higher paid job then there is NOTHING wrong with the man staying at home and minding children. Women should be allowed to develop and use their talents EQUALLY the same. If they wish fists at home then equally fine but at least they should NEVER be denied the opportunity. Okay feminism in the past ma y not have been ideal and certainly , if it meant “men hating”, because some men are greater promoters of women’s emancipation than some women were more misogynistic than the men themselves. Feminism is about e!powering women NOT , hating men and it NEVER should be. But what I am in favour of is CHOICE, What woman would want to surrender her salary when her husband is NOT required to do likewise.

    As for abuses of women and children by clergy or non clergy, I think you’ll find that this is as old as the Bible itself. It is naive of people to think feminism or modern times which as encouraged such abuses. These things always went on in the past, the so called, ,” good old days” , usually behind the safety of closed doors. Thankfully we live in a society , for all its faults will now bring people to account for their heinous actions.

    As for clothing, I believe , it is what is beneath the clothing and what is in the person’s heart which truly matters. As for feminism, it was all my poor female ancestors had to get their first footing up the after empowerment or at least to have a voice.

    As for Padre Pio, I remain totally baffled by the number of breached confessions he had allegedly heard, when the seal of this precious sacrament is about CONFIDENTIALITY.????


  53. bananarepublic12 says:


    Good luck with your dress code but it is what is in your heart and your actions is that which matters. God and Mary Madonna, knows that already. I know some who attend Baptists churches . They conform to the guidelines but they are essentially nothing more than hypocrites. Keep Jesus in your heart. Jesus ALONE is the one who forgives. Mary is the intercession but JESUS alone is our true SAVIOUR. Saints, as Pope Francis himself,
    were the products. of their time.

    In first century Palestine men , including Jesus Christ himself , wore dresses and robes which would be considered cross and inappropriate.I

    Just trust in the Lord above everything else and you will have true SALVATION


  54. Marysia says:

    @bananarepublic12 If we were angels then only “what’s inside your heard and soul” would matter. But we do have bodies. So we can’t say any longer than the outside doesn’t matter. We worship with our entire bodies, not just our minds. That’s why body postures and clothes carry importance. “The attire of the body, and the laughter of the teeth, and the gait of the man, show what he is (Eccles 19:27).” The language of clothing is understood by everyone. Society speaks through the clothing it wears.


  55. John C. Reddick says:

    As a matter of fact, G. K. Chesterton DID condemn trousers for men, more than once, e.g., “I think [the triumph of nineteenth century materialism] is as dull as their coats, as dirty as their streets, as ugly as their trousers, and as stupid as their industrial system.” What made trouser-wearing women even more offensive to GKC was exactly his belief that women were of a greater innate dignity than men, so that every grotesquerie committed by a man became far worse when committed by a woman. GKC’s dislike of the European costume of his time is one of his most recurrent topoi, explored particularly in “The Napoleon of Notting Hill,” where the change from modern to medieval style costume is the primary symbol of the regeneration of England.


  56. Brother Burrito says:

    Mr Reddick, I concur with GKC that women have greater innate dignity than men. They inherit this trait from our Blessed Mother Mary

    This dignity, misappropriated, is sadly also why women are more likely to sin through pride.


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