St Pio and the Cross

Finding of the True Cross, by Agnolo Gaddi (1350-96). Basilica di Santa Croce, Florence, Italy.

The feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross celebrates two historical events: the discovery of the True Cross by Saint Helena, the mother of the Emperor Constantine, in 320 under the temple of Venus in Jerusalem, and the dedication in 335 of the basilica and shrine built on Calvary by Constantine, which mark the site of the Crucifixion.

In the Roman liturgy the preface of the Mass reminds us that since the tree of Paradise was the place of mankind’s fall, God has wanted the Cross to be the new tree that would save us: “ut unde mors oriebatur, inde vita resurgeret, so that where death arose, life might again spring forth.” The readings emphasise the lifting up of Christ on the wood of the Cross as an anticipation of his being raised into glory, and as the “magnet” that would draw all creatures unto HimThe Cross is the place of Jesus’ triumph, and from it, He wants us to help spread His reign. Christ our Lord was crucified; from the height of the Cross He redeemed the world, thereby restoring peace between God and men. Jesus reminds all of us, ‘And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all things to myself’ (Jn 12:32).

We adore You O’ Christ and we bless You, because by Your holy Cross, You have redeemed the world!

O Crux, ave spes unica! Hail, O Cross, our only hope!

The Cross has been the “only hope” in this vale of tears of countless saints throughout the history of the Church. The witness of saints (known, or unknown) and their willingness to carry their cross with love, patience and humility for the salvation of souls for Christ, has brought abundant grace and good fruits to the Faith. But one saint of the Holy Cross – a saint of our own times – has shone out above all others…

Imagine Jesus crucified in your arms and on your chest, and say a hundred times as you kiss His chest, “This is my hope, the living source of my happiness; this is the heart of my soul; nothing will ever separate me from His love.” (St Padre Pio)

Padre Pio was aware of being picked by God as collaborator in the redemption work of Christ (even if in his letters he confessed his unworthiness) and that this collaboration would be realised through the cross. The cross was the light that illuminated his life of tremendous, unbelievable suffering, and an endless fountain of strength, generosity, faithfulness and perseverance which were asked by his vocation.

*****

by Sensus Fidelium 

 

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