For this feast of St. Padre Pio, Diane over at Te Deum laudamus! reflects on how he dealt with persecution and hardship in the middle of his own vocation:
We know that St. Pio suffered greatly at the hands of Church authorities. Such things should not come as a surprise to any priest or religious. Such tests from God should almost be expected in one’s life time. Pearls are created by friction; gold is tested in fire.
This is a compilation of things I have had on Padre Pio in other posts over the years. I hope it is helpful in some way.
First, let us look at what happened to Padre Pio:
As his spiritual influence increased, so did the voices of his detractors. Accusations against Padre Pio poured in to the Holy Office (today the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith). By June 1922, restrictions were placed on the public’s access to Padre Pio. His daily Mass time varied each day, without announcement to diminish the crowds, and he was ordered not to answer correspondence from people seeking spiritual direction. It was also rumored that plans were being developed to transfer Padre Pio. However, both local and Church authorities were afraid of public riots and decided that a more remote and isolated place than San Giovanni Rotondo could not be found.
Despite the restrictions and controversies, Padre Pio’s ministry continued. From 1924 – 1931various statements were made by the Holy See that denied the supernaturality of Padre Pio’s phenomena. On June 9, 1931, the Feast of Corpus Christi, Padre Pio was ordered by the Holy See to desist from all activities except the celebration of the Mass, which was to be in private.By early 1933, Pope Pius XI ordered the Holy See to reverse its ban on Padre Pio’s public celebration of Mass, saying, “I have not been badly disposed toward Padre Pio, but I have been badly informed.”In the book Padre Pio: The True Story by Bernard Ruffin, he recounts that after Vespers on June 11, 1931, Padre Raffaele summoned Pio to the friary parlor to read the decree received, without comment:
“Padre Pio is to be stripped of all faculties of his priestly ministry except the faculty to celebrate the Holy Mass, which he may continue to do provided it is done in private, within the walls of the friary, in the inner chapel, and not publicy in church”.
The saint’s response:
“God’s will be done,”…then he covered his eyes with his hands, lowered his head, and murmured, “The will of the authorities is the will of God.”