Thursday, May 1, 2014

Serving the Holy Mass of Padre Pio

"The Mass of Padre Pio!  No one will be able to describe it.  Only one who has had the privilege of living it can understand. . . "


Fra Modestino Fucci (1917-2011) was a saintly lay brother who lived alongside Padre Pio at the Friary in San Giovanni Rotondo for many years.  He often had the privilege of serving at the traditional Latin Mass celebrated by St. Pio.   The saint's death in 1968 signified the culmination and close of a great era in the Church.  The very next year Pope Paul VI issued the missal for the Novus Ordo liturgy, almost putting an end to the Mass that made Padre Pio.  Brother Modestino carefully recorded his impressions of what it was like to serve at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass celebrated by St. Pio, and they have been published in the current issue of the Friary's magazine, "The Voice of Padre Pio."  The following excerpts are presented, with permission, from the article "Witness to the Padre," pp. 19-20.


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I would watch and observe Padre Pio closely every time, from the moment he left his cell at dawn to celebrate Mass.  I would see him in a state of suffering and anxiety.  He seemed restless.  As soon as he reached the sacristy where he put on the sacred vestments, I had the impression that already he was no longer aware of what went on around him. 

He was totally absorbed and conscious of what he was about the fulfill.  His face which was of normal color became frighteningly pale when he put on the amice.  From that moment onwards he paid no more attention to anyone.  Clothed in the sacred vestments he made his way to the altar.  Even though I walked ahead of him, I was aware that his gait became more dragging, his face sorrowful.  He seemed to stoop always more, as if, I thought, crushed beneath the weight of a gigantic invisible cross.

Once he arrived at the altar he kissed it lovingly and his pale face became inflamed.  His cheeks would become crimson, his skin translucent so that one almost saw the flow of blood that rushed to his cheeks.  After the Confiteor, he beat his breast with hollow and heavy blows as if accusing himself of all the worst sins committed by man.  His eyes remained closed without being able to prevent big tears that disappeared into his thick beard.

At the Gospel, as he announced the Word of God, it seemed as if he fed himself with these words, tasting their infinite sweetness.  Immediately after, the colloquy between Padre Pio and the Eternal began.  This colloquy caused Padre Pio to weep abundant tears, that I saw him wipe with a big handkerchief.  Padre Pio, who had received the gift of contemplation from the Lord, entered into the abysses of the mystery of the Redemption.  The veils of that mystery having been torn by the suffering of his faith and love, all things human disappeared from his sight.  Before his gaze was God alone!
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Everyone saw Padre Pio suffering.  He pronounced the liturgical prayers with  difficulty and interrupted by sobs.  The embarrassment the Padre felt at being in the presence and the searching gaze of others was enormous.  He would probably have preferred to celebrate Mass in solitude so as to be able to give free rein to his suffering and to his indescribable love. 

In those moments Padre Pio lived sensitively and really felt the Passion of the Lord.  Time went quickly, but he was outside time!  That was why his Mass lasted an hour and a half or probably more.  At the Elevation his suffering reached its height.  Watching his weeping, his sobbing, I was afraid his heart would burst, that he was about to faint from one moment to the next. God's Spirit had by now penetrated his whole body.  His soul was rapt in God.  He offered himself with Christ, victim for his brothers in exile. 

Each gesture of his denoted his relationship with God.  His heart must have burned like a volcano.  He prayed intensely for his spiritual children, for the sick, and for those who had already left this world.  Every now and then he leaned on the altar on his elbows, probably to relieve his wounded feet from the weight of his body.  I heard him repeat often through his tears: "My God! My God!" A spectacle of faith, love, suffering and emotion that reached the point of drama when the Padre raised the Host.  The sleeves of the surplice came down and his torn, bleeding hands were in the sight of all, whereas his gaze was on God! 

At Communion he seemed to calm down.  Transfigured in a passionate, ecstatic abandon, he fed on the Flesh and Blood of Jesus. How much love emanated from his face!  The people, astounded, could not but kneel before that mystical agony, to that total annihilation of himself. The incorporation, the assimilation, the fusion was total!  Padre Pio would remain as if stunned as he tasted all the divine sweetness that only Jesus in the Eucharist knows how to give.

So the sacrifice of the Mass would be completed with a real participation of love, of suffering and blood.  And it brought about many conversions.  At the end of the Mass another suffering would devour him - that of going to the choir loft to remain alone and in silence, recollected in prayer to be able to thank Jesus.  He would remain immobile as if without life.  If someone had shaken him he would not have noticed, so absorbed was he in divine contemplation.

The Mass of Padre Pio! No one will be able to describe it.  Only one who has had the privilege of living it can understand. . .

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"The Voice of Padre Pio" is a bi-monthly magazine published by his Friary in Italy.
For Subscriptions please contact the international information center nearest you: Info Centers
Or in the USA and Canada send a check for $21.00 directly to the Friary, made out to
Edizioni Voce di Padre Pio
mail to:
The Voice of Padre Pio
Piazzale Santa Maria delle Grazie, 4
71013 San Giovanni Rotondo (FG)
Italy
(Please check Internet for current international postage rates.)

26 comments:

  1. JMJ What a shame that a traditionalist agenda is pushed in this article. "Pope Paul VI issued the missal for the Novus Ordo liturgy, almost putting an end to the Mass that made Padre Pio" It was not the Latin form of the Mass that made Padre Pio; rather it was the Mass itself, independent of the language in which it was offered. There is only one sacrifice for sins and hence only one Mass. Padre Pio would have slapped anyone who spoke against the Pope.

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    1. Thank you, I am glad someone responded to this post. True it was not the Latin itself of the Mass, but the solemnity, spirituality, holiness, sacrificial emphasis, and prayerful silence of the traditional Mass that nourished Padre Pio. Can one become a spiritual giant from celebrating a casual Novus Ordo Mass, or a clown, balloon, rock or reggae Mass, where applause, laughter and jokes subsist?

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    2. "Can one become a spiritual giant from celebrating a casual Novus Ordo Mass, or a clown, balloon, rock or reggae Mass, where applause, laughter and jokes subsist?"
      The answer to this straw-man argument is no. There is an alternative, viz. a Novus Ordo Mass celebrated according to the rubrics, as thousands of priest celebrate daily.
      Also it is important to remember that priests could and did celebrate the Tridentine Rite Mass badly. My aunty used told me how people liked a particular priest's (Tridentine Rite) Mass on Sunday because he did it in 15 minutes, which is impossible unless one celebrates in a very rushed way.

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    3. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that Padre Pio said to Paul VI that he did not wish to say the new mass, and the pope replied that the new mass is only being offered as an alternative...I have never "experienced" a Tridentine mass for less than 35 mins. Novus ordo - 20 was the fastest (daily) mass I "assisted" at!

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    4. Father Joseph I feel so very sorry that you have been bought by the Nervous Ordo, and is incapable of coming up with anything better than a priest saying a Mass in 15 minutes. Give me a break

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    5. Tables and meals are for protestants.The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass,celebrated by a valid priest or bishop (not the Anglican orders of the novus ordo) is for Catholics.

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  2. Dear Father Luke,
    a line by line study of both masses shows conclusively that the Catholic Church currently has two completely different masses. One is a protestant table with emphasis on the 'supper of the lord" done by the "work of human hands." The other is the august sacrifice of Calvary anew. Moreover, nothing else between the two "rites" is even remotely close: Our liturgical calendars are different, our sacraments are different, our catechesis is different. Oh, and BTW there is no such thing as a "'traditionalist agenda". There is Catholic of 2000 years and a new rite that is 50 years old. In the history of the Church there has never been a term 'traditionalist." If we are wrong now, then 1960 years have been wrong, which of course is a logical impossibility.

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    1. "a line by line study of both masses shows conclusively that the Catholic Church currently has two completely different [M]asses. One is a protestant table with emphasis on the 'supper of the [L]ord done" by the "work of human hands." "
      Firstly it is good to give your name. "Anonymous" is often a synonym for cowardly.
      Actually you are completely wrong. There quite a few more than two liturgical rites in which Mass is said. You reduce them to two, or perhaps one, by denying the orthodoxy of the modern rite. Do you accept the validity of these other rites? If so, why did you not mention them? Do you accept the validity of the Traditional Roman rite even though it was first used after other liturgical rites? The first Church language in Rome was Greek, not Latin. Eventually someone decided that if the bulk of people spoke Latin and not Greek, then the liturgical language should be changed. If you had been alive then, would you have accepted this? Or would you have you used your own arguments in order to oppose the setting up of a new rite in Latin?
      He thought he knew more than the Pope. People who adopt the reasoning displayed in your anonymous attack on the Church are really protestant, not Catholic. Martin Luther claimed to be going back to the original purer form of the faith, against modern accretions. The attitude of this writer resembles that of Luther.
      Any Catholic should know that the Pope is head of the Catholic Church. Do you accept this? If you do not, then you are protestant. If you do, then why do you think that you can ignore him? What sort of head is the Pope if we can pass judgment on him and thus ignore his decisions. Can you cite any saint who advocated that we ignore or reject the decisions of the Pope?

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    2. Actually, we are the first protestants! 1054? But also 1204. A very tragic event. As a Roman Catholic I am ashamed to have read about what the Latins did to the Orthodox then. Who said that the bishop of Rome should be supreme - as opposed to being first among equals, a position Rome enjoyed for centuries.

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    3. Ever hear of "the slaughter of the Latins"?The oh so holy orthodox killed thousands of innocent Roman rite catholics.

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  3. It is said that Padre Pio petitioned Pope Paul VI to be spared the changes that were even then being imposed on the mass. It is also said that Padre Pio wrote to the Pope saying that Vatican II should be wound up as quick as possible.

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  4. There are numerous rites in the Church. There is one true Roman Rite. And we have a "new" invented by committee and tainted with Protestantism rite that has nearly destroyed (if possible) Christ's Church. The "new" rite, objectively speaking, is illicit as such was condemned by the Council of Trent.
    Session VII, Canon XIII:

    If anyone says that the received and approved rites of the Catholic Church, accustomed to be used in the administration of the sacraments, may be despised or omitted by the ministers without sin and at their pleasure, or may be changed by ANY PASTOR of the churches to other new ones, let him be anathema.

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  5. Father, perhaps the new mass can be celebrated well, but it rarely is. The council wanted to retain Latin, but it was tossed. No one demaded we destroy altars and sanctuaries, but they were destroyed. The ear wrenching English translations, the cacophonous music, the ugly churches - this is our environment today. I don't blame the pope, I blame the tasteless, tyrannical pastors and liturgists. As pope Benedict said, the old Mass has always been legal.

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    1. Pope Paul Vi has to share some or even most of the blame. His progressivist agenda was to have the old Latin Mass replaced by the new liturgy. Technically it was still legal, but woe to anyone who celebrated it.

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    2. In my opinion Pius XII shares the blame for his destruction of the most ancient ceremonies and rites between 1951-1958.No one ever remembers it was Pius XII who shortened the holy communion fast from midnight to just a mere 3 hour's.
      The novus ordo crowd is funny.
      "TLM" "Extraordinary Form" "Ordinary Form" wow I can remember when I was an uninformed clueless half protestant novus ordo type.You couldn't pay me to go back to that lying false counter "church".

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  6. It is like night and day in comparison for the Traditional Latin Mass and the novus ordo. The Priest faces Christ on the alter in the Latin Mass. The prayers are directed to
    God for the people. In the novus ordo Mass, the priest faces the people. He is more like a entertainer then a priest. Lack of reverance towards God is seen among the people. No genuflection or acknowledgement of the Holy is shown towards the Blessed Sacrament. People dress like they are going to a park rather then a Church where God is present. There are so many abuses in the novus ordo Mass that to list them all would be quite a task. Unless the Latin Mass is restored in all its splendor, I fear the abuses are going to continue. A liberal minded Pope is certainly not going to progress the cause for reestablishing the Most Holy Sacrifice of Mass like it used to be. A Mass that gave us myriads of saints throughout the ages of the One Holy Apostolic Roman Catholic Church.

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    1. for one who says such (false) words against our Holy Mass I do hope (for the Church's sake) you are a schismatic

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  7. I agree with Fr Joseph... I love the Tridentine Mass as well as anyone, but the ordinary form is the ordinary form, and the Church believes in this Mass and believe it is valid and true and that God loves it as well...
    Let us pray by St Pio's intercession we may be ever loyal to the Magisterium lest the Shepherd is stuck, and the flock is scattered...

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  8. I attend a Tridentine Mass on weekends and serve at a Novus Ordo mass during the week. I have found that about 90% of the NO mass is in the Tridentine (but in English) and about half the Tridentine mass is missing in the NO. I think that what has the most effect on me in the Tridentine Mass is the solemnity, spirituality, holiness, sacrificial emphasis, and prayerful silence. It has had a tremendous effect on my spirituality and has helped me understand the NO mass more fully. It is like the most important part of the Tridentine mass was preserved in the NO, thus making it valid. But the question is, why does the Tridentine mass have so much more of a spiritual effect on people. I know that from experience that, on average, are much more faithful to the teachings of the Church than the average at a NO parish. The question is, is this caused by greater Graces from God at the Tridentine or the emotional effect of the Tridentine Mass.

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  9. A mass is a mass is a mass. As a practicing catholic (born and raised catholic) and who attends mass daily for most of my life (I am 43), I know I am insignificant to comment on a mass. A mass is a celebration and a sacrifice. My duty is to attend as lovingly as possible. Granted I do enjoy some mass better than others. That is only because of my weakness. If only we understand what a mass is, we don't care which priest said the mass, we don't care what rite the mass was said, we can experience Jesus. The way I pray is different from the way you pray. God listens to both our prayers. It is when we feel unable to concentrate on the mass, we should ask God to help us. If we tune ourselves only to certain mass and not the other, we not only did not understand the mass, we also did not know God. No layman has the ability to judge a mass certainly not I. If only we understand the mass, we will die out of gratitude and love and our heart will burst out just attending one mass.

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  10. Re-blogged this on Catholicism Pure & Simple: http://catholicismpure.wordpress.com/2014/09/22/serving-the-holy-mass-of-padre-pio/

    Kathleen

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  11. I don't think anyone who is intellectually and spiritually honest can argue we are living through a Great Apostasy. "Catholics" today profess they are "Catholic" and "a good person" yet they believe and follow very little of the true faith. The heresy of Modernism has infected the entire world - including the hierarchy of the Church. Those Catholics who practice the true faith as it was handed down for centuries are today mocked and scorned - sadly even by Pope Francis himself. Christ said we shall know a tree by its fruit and the fruits of the Church post Vatican II are devastating. No one can argue this. I see Pope Francis, hierarchy and Catholics today openly welcome and approve of Muslims, Protestants, Buddhists yet at the same time they reject as "schismatics" and "heretics" those "traditional" Catholics who have never changed and continue to practice the true faith? This all by itself is quite telling. For some reason there is tremendous fear of traditional Catholics and those who hold to faith of eternal Rome. One must rightly ask the question - what are they so afraid of? The answer quite clearly is TRUTH.

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    1. Well stated !!! St. Padre Pio, St. Jose Maria Escriva, St. Gertrude, Sts. Peter and Paul..........Our Lady of Victory, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary......PRAY FOR US!

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    2. You are so right. When I hear Catholics talk about the Faith as basically equal and as valid as the false religions, and correct them, they give a look as if to say that "we" don't really believe that anymore, and to say so hurts people's "feelings" and isn't "nice". My reply is that I didn't make it up, it is the fact, and the Catholic Faith is the only religion founded by God. Of course, they know this is true, but they are more concerned about not offending those they should be trying to convert than God.

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  12. Christ made Padre Pio and Christ made the Mass. The lack of charity throughout this comment thread is the real scandal of the Church. So much anger and judgement. God have mercy on all of us.

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  13. Dear BGrady,
    I believe that the reason for the controversial comments is because of the seriousness of the issue. As you said, "Christ made the Mass," but is the novus ordo Mass really the same Mass that had been passed on for almost two thousand years before it was modified? Or was it an artificial new creation? It is certain that the "Mass the made Padre Pio" was the same that Jesus instituted, and organically developed by the early Church. The real "scandal" is the probably millions of people who have left the Church or no longer believe in its teachings because of the new Mass.

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