Padre Pio Prayer Groups USA

Padre Pio Bread and Pastry

Padre Pio Prayer Groups

National Office

St. Francis Renewal Center
1901 Prior Road
Wilmington, Delaware 19809

Re: Padre Pio Bread and Pastry October 24, 2007
Dear Spiritual Children and Friends of Padre Pio,

The Lord give you His peace!

Veneration of the Saints can often generate some rather strange devotional practices. At times, a Saint’s name is promoted in view of profitable ‘merchandising’ that preys on individuals’ love for a Saint. I say this to warn you of practices that are not always holy and altruistic in their intent. In this regard, there is something about which I must speak: Padre Pio Bread, and Padre Pio Pastries (?!).

A Recipe for Padre Pio Bread has been circulating for months. From where it derives I have no idea. Let me state categorically: There is no such thing as Padre Pio Bread, or a Bread Recipe connected with Padre Pio! The Roman Catholic Ritual of Blessings does have blessings for various things. Bread can be blessed with the Blessing for Food provided in the Ritual, and it can be done in honor of Padre Pio. But there are no recipes, nor have there ever been recipes for Padre Pio Bread. Please tell anyone promoting this, to stop these foolish practices that only make people ridicule our love and veneration for the saints, when devotion is distorted in this way.

I have been informed also that there are now cookies in the shape of hands, feet and heart with red food centers resembling Stigmata, in honor of Padre Pio. This seems to have come up in more than one place. I hope that the majority of our association family have not fallen for this foolishness and are not catering to these outlandish and misleading practices. Of all people, Padre Pio would never have endorsed such absurdities.

The Bread Recipe and cookies of Padre Pio are not accepted practices of venerating the memory and seeking the intercession of Padre Pio. Both the recipe for the Bread of Padre Pio and the Stigmata shaped cookies are fanatical and irreverent practices, and are not part of solid Catholic devotional expressions. They are foolishness! These practices lead people away from a healthy and solid veneration and devotion for the saints.

Pastry, Bread, and cookies blessed with the relic of Padre Pio and sold under the ‘protection’ of Padre Pio are not only misleading but also irreverent. This merchandising preys on the devotion and love of the simple faith that seeks anything that speaks of Padre Pio. Purchase the cookie if you like the cookie, but do not expect it to perform any effect on your spiritual life and soul. Saints are not involved in magic, fanaticism, or modern voodoo! There’s no other way to state it.

As you would be advised and encouraged to avoid ‘chain letters’ that exploit the faithful and are devoid of any backing from the Church, so I would ask the members of the Association, and any one else who may read this letter, to please desist and/or avoid acquiescing to the abuses I mentioned above. Cookies and Bread of Padre Pio, as they are promoted, are not in accord with sound Catholic devotional practices and are down right foolish, fanatical, and absurd.

With every best wish for all of you, I pray that we may all grow in a solid and spiritually healthy love and devotion for Padre Pio and all he sought to instill in us. As faithful children of the Church, may the spirit of prayer and reparation in union with the Crucified Christ and His Holy Mother grow ever stronger in our hearts and show in our lives.

May God bless you; Our Lady guide, guard, and protect you; and Padre Pio watch over each one of you, his spiritual children, with loving care.

Peace and Blessings
Fr. Francis A. Sariego, O.F.M. Cap.
National Coordinator