Padre Pio Prayer Groups USA

Articles 14, 15, 16 and 17


Art. 14 – Each Group shall normally hold a monthly meeting. The Holy Mass will be celebrated with a suitable homily, preceded and followed by other prayers, especially the liturgy of the hours and the Rosary.

This article lists the various activities of the Groups.  As you can note, The Eucharist, Homily, Rosary and even the Liturgy of the Hours are expected as regular practices.  The Mass and Rosary are the basics that Padre Pio himself encouraged; the Liturgy of the Hours is the prayer of the Church, which could be used as an act of Preparation or thanksgiving to the Eucharist (even adapted forms for the laity are encouraged).

Retreats, spiritual exercises, days of recollection and other works of piety as seem opportune can be arranged, in accordance with the directives of the competent ecclesiastical authority.

These religious activities beyond the monthly meeting practices are a reminder that the association does not aim at sanctifying one day a month.  Members of the Association of the Prayer Groups seek to grow in the spirit of prayer and their Catholic Christian life.  This cannot be done by just joining a pious organization.  The organization, through the unity of its membership, is the vehicle that affords the time, place, space, and means to experience other spiritual means of growth in knowledge of our faith, in prayer and in charitable works.  All must be done always in accord with the directives of the local ordinary and assistance of the Spiritual Director.

Art 15. – The following general intentions are recommended to the Prayer Groups. The Church, the Pope, the Bishops, Ecclesiastical and Religious Vocations, the sanctification of the Clergy, zeal in living the Christian life, the conversion of sinners and atheists, the sick, especially the incurable, the old and other intentions which include the needs of the Church and society at any particular time.

The Association was founded in response to the Holy Father’s requests for “storm troopers” of prayer during a time of World War that was killing millions of human beings and as a spiritual warfare against the “isms” and ideologies that were and still are offensively attacking the Church and the Gospel principles we are called to live and proclaim.  The General Intentions set are our way of always being one with the Church and in this world aware of its needs.  Prayer is the first and strongest means of entering the heart of God and persistently and collectively reminding ourselves that only when we act with, in and through God that hearts are changed, bodies healed, and the world around us takes on a new look.

Art. 16 – Members of the Groups shall dedicate themselves to the Prayer of Reparation and following the teachings of the Apostle Paul shall offer their suffering, as their share in the Passion of Christ, Redeemer of the world.

As Spiritual Children of Padre Pio who bore the marks of the Crucified, we too are asked to participate in the Passion of Christ with trust, resignation and joy we too, as St. Paul says, are called to “make up in our lives what is lacking in the Passion Christ”.  Thus, down through the centuries, the Paschal Mystery may always continue to be re-presented in the lives of the Mystical Body of Christ. Jesus redeemed us once and for all.  But we, as His extension in time, continue the mystery of that great culminating act of God’s love on Calvary by our acceptance of the cross in our daily lives.

The members of the Prayer Groups shall perform works of Penance and Reparation, so that their prayer be more acceptable to God. They shall seek to be an example through accepting the sufferings and sacrifices which form part of their daily lives and by the sincere practice of the Christian life.

Holiness of its nature requires that we seek the things that pertain and lead to God.  Penance is a word that expresses the difficulty or pain that is usually caused when we have to detach ourselves from old ways, habits, persons, places, and things that keep us from responding wholeheartedly to God’s insistent and daily call to be different. I would rather use the more scriptural word metanoia or change of heart and mind.  The hand will not reach for what the heart does not desire. When our hearts are set on God, our minds are fixed on Him, and our lives will do all that it necessary to achieve that goal.  Reparation follows automatically.  When I love someone deeply, I not only do all that I can to show that love, but I also try to make up, as best I can, for anything that I have done to offend the one I love.

Padre Pio encouraged his directees (Spiritual Children) to pro-actively – to use a modern term – direct their lives in such a way that they consciously seek to repair (reparare) whatever may have caused them to distance themselves from God.Thus, even material acts of penance (no pain no gain) are often necessary to help us achieve this end.

The greatest act of penance, reparation, change of heart and mind is to detach ourselves from the ego that seeks to dominate us, and live in the will of God.  A daily acceptance and total resignation to God’s will in all things is the greatest means, and the simplest to makes strides on the road to holiness.  What is interesting is that when we accept to live this way, all the other acts and practices take on a totally new and precious meaning.  We no longer see them as “penitential burdens commanded by an offended God” and that satisfy our personal need to know that we are “doing something for God”, but they become our daily bouquet of love filled expressions that keep our minds focused on things of heaven rather than the allurements that often can seduce a soul on its journey to God.

They shall dedicate themselves, in a special manner, to works of charity, especially towards the sick, the old, the marginalized.

Charity (in the commonly understood sense) is to Love as Religion is to Faith.  Religion is the outward expression of our beliefs; if the two are in harmony there is balance, credibility, and integrity to our lives; if not, we are hypocrites. When we say that we Love in the God-centered sense then, that Love must, of its nature, be materialized in expressions that manifest our awareness of the image of God that we see in our sisters and brothers less fortunate than we.  Those challenged in any way (physically, spiritually, socially, etc.) are God’s little ones crying out for the Scriptural glass of water to one of the least ones. As Spiritual Children of Padre Pio, we open our heart to all the world and seek to be that healing presence of Jesus.

Art. 17 – The members of the Prayer Groups are not obliged to contribute financially. Whenever the Prayer Groups desires to contribute to the expenses of organization and to help the Foundation “Home for the Relief of Suffering”, they are free to do so and can forward their contributions to the Foundation. They can make collections for this purpose with the permission of the respective Diocesan Ordinaries and where it is prescribed, with the permission of the competent civil authority.

This article keeps us focused on the spiritual character of our Association.  Padre Pio founded the Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza and asked that those who could help in keeping the facility operational and updated.  The Prayer Groups around the world have generously continued throughout the years to support this Home for the Relief of Suffering.

This is not the place to get into the history of the Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza.  We should, however, remember that it was a dream Padre Pio had that has grown into a magnificent facility serving thousands of persons down through the years, often expecting no remuneration for services rendered.

Because the Groups are also subject to the benevolence and approval of the local ordinaries, it is necessary that we never promote special collections that would go against the directives of the local (Arch) Diocesan policies.  Free will offerings and collections among the Prayer Group members for the works of Padre Pio are personal and private and would not be contrary to the article abovementioned.

The Padre Pio Prayer Groups is an Association of persons seeking to deepen their spiritual life and thus to find a happy balance between the life they live as wayfarers in this world and as pilgrims on journey to heaven.  The Father, Son and Holy Spirit, eternal Triune God is the ultimate desired goal; Jesus is the incarnate mediator; the Gospel is the guide; the Church is the medium in which we travel; Padre Pio and his charism is the facilitator. As spiritual as the objectives are of the Association, we still are conditioned, motivated, and sometimes encouraged by very material things and actions that help make the invisible we seek to understand and approach more visible by the external acts of love and sacrifice we accomplish.  Thus, while contributions are not at all obligatory, they are gratefully accepted for the good of the donor in a spirit of selfless charity, and for the good of the recipient to alleviate the burdens of the Suffering Christ” in our sister or brother in need.