St Padre Pio: An “Alter Christus” at the Altar when celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

According to some estimates, approximately 20 million people have attended Holy Mass celebrated by Padre Pio.

Concerning the value of the Mass, Padre Pio said: “If men only appreciated the value of a holy Mass they would need traffic officers at church doors every day to keep the crowds in order.”
Padre Pio was asked what celebration of Mass meant to him. He responded: “It is a sacred participation in the passion of Jesus. All that the Lord suffered in His passion, I suffer, to the extent that it is possible to a human being. And that is apart from any merit of mine, but entirely due to His goodness.”

Before Padre Pio offered the unconsecrated host on his Paten, he would run his fingers around the host to make sure there were no loose particles.

  • “Every holy Mass, heard with devotion, produces in our souls marvellous effects, abundant spiritual and material graces which we, ourselves, do not know. It is easier for the earth to exist without the sun than without the holy Sacrifice of the Mass.”
  • “I am going to the wine-press of the Church, to the holy altar, where from the Blood of that delightful and unusual Grape, is distilled the sacred Wine with which only a few fortunate people are permitted to become inebriated.”
    On July 25, 1915, Padre Pio wrote a letter to Annita Rodote on how to properly attend the Holy Mass:
  • “The Divine Master calls the church the house of prayer. In order to avoid irreverence and imperfections I exhort you in the Lord to: Enter the church in silence and with great respect. Take the holy water and make the sign of the cross carefully and slowly. Before God in the Blessed Sacrament genuflect devoutly. At your pace, kneel down and render to Jesus the tribute of you presence. Confide to him all your needs, and those of others. Speak to him with filial abandonment. Be very composed when standing up, kneeling down, and sitting. Carry out every religious act with the greatest devotion. Be modest in your glance. Don’t turn you head here and there to see who enters and leaves. Don’t laugh. Don’t speak to anybody, except when requested for charity or other strict necessity. Say the words distinctly, observe the pauses, and never hurry. Behave in such a way that all those presentare edified by you. Don’t leave without asking Jesus for his blessing, and forgiveness for your shortcomings. Leave the church recollected and calm.”

From his own handwriting to his spiritual directors and the spiritual daughter Cleonice Morcaldi, we know that Padre Pio experienced during Mass the Passion of Jesus, including the Agony in the Garden with the sweat of blood, the scourging, the crowning of thorns, the hostile crowds, the Via Crucis, Veronica, Simon of Cyrene, the Crucifixion, the seven words, the sipping of the gall, even death and deposition.

“My Mass is a sacred accomplishment of the Passion of Jesus.”
“In knowing the Passion of Jesus, you will also know my Passion.”
“The Mass is the complete union between Jesus and me.”
“All of Paradise is close to the altar when I say Mass.”
“The angels attend my Mass In legions.”
“The angels around the altar adore and love.”
“The Holy Virgin assists me.”
“During the Consecration a new, awesome and wonderful annihilation and creation happens.”
“I suffer all what Jesus suffered, from the Garden to the Cross.”
“I inadequately suffer to the extent a human creature can possibly suffer.”
“I suffer the agony of death like Jesus in the Garden Gethsemane.”
“The sufferings are so acute that they can neither be described nor imagined.”
“I suffer the bitterness of gall very often during the Mass.”
“I suffer the most from the Consecration to Communion.”
“My suffering is insignificant compared to the suffering Jesus experienced.”
“I don’t want my Calvary to be alleviated; rather to make it harder. We must suffer.”
“The offertory is the moment when the soul becomes detached from all that is profane.”
“I suffer the crowning of thorns during Holy Mass and also before and after it.”
“Without the crown of thorns the immolation would not be complete. The thorns are around the whole head.”
“The crown of thorns is never taken away. The head and the heart are the wounds that hurt the most.”
“I suffer the scourging from the beginning to the end of the Mass, but more intensely after the Consecration.”
“I also speak the “seven words” that Jesus stated on the Cross.”
“During the Way of the Cross I am Jesus Himself. Jesus Himself helps me like Simon of Cyrene and Veronica”
“At Calvary, there were screams, blasphemies, loud clamoor, and threats . . . that was really an uproar.”
“I find my rest on the Cross.”
“In His last gaze the dying Jesus looked towards His Holy Mother.”
“I put my last gaze on my brothers in exile.”
“In Holy Communion I ask the Lord to let me be another Jesus, all Jesus, always Jesus.”
“My Communion is a fusion. Like two candles that fuse together and cannot be distinguished one from the other.”
“I die mystically, at Holy Communion. Communion is the culminating point of my suffering.”
“In Communion Jesus put his delight in his creature.”
“The Eucharist gives an idea of the union we will have in heaven.”
“How could I live failing even for a single morning to receive Jesus in Holy Communion?”
“Help me carry the cross. I want to carry it for all.”
“O Lord, don’t strike my poor brothers, strike me.”
“I want to expiate the sins of all, like Jesus did on the cross.”
“I take all iniquities on myself, as it is part of the Divine Sacrifice.”
“I see all my children who come to the altar, as if in a mirror. I tell Mary: Here are the children of your Son.”
“If we only knew how God regards it, we would risk our lives to be present at a single Mass.”
“The Mass gives to God an infinite glory.”
“Mass is redemption of your soul and reconciliation with God.”
“Listen to the Mass the way the virgin Mary stood at Calvary”
“The holy Mass regenerates the world.”
“The fruits that we receive at Mass cannot be enumerated. We will know it only in Paradise.”
“I want to save my soul at any cost.”
“I live for Jesus Christ, I live for his glory, I live to serve him, I live to love him. If it depended on me I would never leave the altar.”

On September 20th, 1968, Padre Pio celebrated his last Mass, giving glory to God before his death – This coincided with the 50th Anniversary of the appearance of the Stigmata.

Prayer of Padre Pio of Pietrelcina after Holy Communion

Stay with me, Lord, for it is necessary to have You present so that I do not forget You. You know how easily I abandon You.

Stay with me, Lord, because I am weak
and I need Your strength,
that I may not fall so often.

Stay with me, Lord, for You are my life,
and without You, I am without fervor.

Stay with me, Lord, for You are my light,
and without You, I am in darkness.

Stay with me, Lord, to show me Your will.

Stay with me, Lord, so that I hear Your voice
and follow You.

Stay with me, Lord, for I desire to love You
very much, and always be in Your company.

Stay with me, Lord, if You wish me to be faithful to You.

Stay with me, Lord, for as poor as my soul is,
I want it to be a place of consolation for You, a nest of love.

Stay with me, Jesus, for it is getting late and the day is coming to a close, and life passes;
death, judgment, eternity approaches. It is necessary to renew my strength,
so that I will not stop along the way and for that, I need You.

It is getting late and death approaches,
I fear the darkness, the temptations, the dryness, the cross, the sorrows.
O how I need You, my Jesus, in this night of exile!

Stay with me tonight, Jesus, in life with all it’s dangers. I need You.

Let me recognize You as Your disciples did at the breaking of the bread,
so that the Eucharistic Communion be the Light which disperses the darkness,
the force which sustains me, the unique joy of my heart.

Stay with me, Lord, because at the hour of my death, I want to remain united to You,
if not by communion, at least by grace and love.

Stay with me, Jesus, I do not ask for divine consolation, because I do not merit it,
but the gift of Your Presence, oh yes, I ask this of You!

Stay with me, Lord, for it is You alone I look for, Your Love, Your Grace, Your Will, Your Heart, Your Spirit, because I love You and ask no other reward but to love You more and more.

With a firm love, I will love You with all my heart while on earth
and continue to love You perfectly during all eternity.    Amen

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