Sunday, April 15, 2018

Padre Pio on Modesty, the Forgotten Virtue

     Nothing reflects the good or bad qualities of the soul more than modesty. Compare Padre Pio's teaching shown below, to St. Paul's description of the behavior of persons in the last days, and discern where we are in salvation history.

     The Apostle Paul warns: “Know also this, that, in the last days, shall come dangerous times. Men shall be lovers of themselves, covetous, haughty, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, wicked, without affection, without peace, slanderers, incontinent, unmerciful, without kindness, traitors, stubborn, puffed up, and lovers of pleasures more than of God: having an appearance indeed of godliness, but denying the power thereof. Now these avoid.” [2 Tim. 3:1-5.]

     Did someone say “selfie?” 

     From a letter of Padre Pio to one of his spiritual daughters: 

     Once you leave church, be as every follower of the Nazarene should be.  Above all, be extremely modest in everything, as this is the virtue which, more than any other, reveals the affections of the heart.  Nothing represents an object more faithfully or clearly than a mirror.  In the same way, nothing more widely represents the good or bad qualities of a soul than the greater or lesser regulation of the exterior, as when one appears more or less modest.  You must be modest in speech, modest in laughter, modest in your bearing, modest in walking.   All this must be practiced, not out of vanity in order to display one's self, nor out of hypocrisy in order to appear to be good to the eyes of others, but rather, for the internal virtue of modesty, which regulates the external workings of the body.


     Therefore, be humble of heart, circumspect in words, prudent in your resolutions.  Always be sparing in your speech, assiduous in good reading, attentive in your work, modest in your conversation.  Don't be disgusting to anybody but be benevolent towards all and respectful towards your elders.   May any sinister glance be far from you, may no daring word escape your lips, may you never carry out any immodest or somewhat free action; never a rather free action or a petulant tone of voice.

     In short let your whole exterior be a vivid image of the composure of your soul.

     Always keep the modesty of the divine Master before your eyes, as an example; this Master who, according to the words of the Apostle to the Corinthians, placing the modesty of Jesus Christ on an equal footing with meekness, which was his one particular virtue and almost his characteristic:  "Now I Paul myself beseech you, by the mildness and modesty of Christ" [2 Cor. 10:1], and according to such a perfect model reform all your external operations, which should be faithful reflections revealing the affections of your interior.

     Never forget this divine model. Try to see a certain lovable majesty in his presence, a certain pleasant authority in his manner of speaking, a certain pleasant dignity in walking, in contemplating, speaking, conversing; a certain sweet serenity of face.  Imagine that extremely composed and sweet expression with which he drew the crowds, making them leave cities and castles, leading them to the mountains, the forests, to the solitude and deserted beaches of the sea, totally forgetting food, drink and their domestic duties.

     Thus let us try to imitate, as far as we possibly can, such modest and dignified actions.  And let us do our utmost to be, as far as possible, similar to him on this earth, in order that we might be more perfect and more similar to him for the whole of eternity in the heavenly Jerusalem.

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Pietrelcina, July 25, 1915, from a letter to Annita Rodote, in Volume III of his Letters – used with permission. To read the entire letter, click Here.

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  1. yes cover up esp during Holy blessed mass yes amen we pray

  2. Amen. and ladies, please covedr your heads during Mass. A hat or veil; mantilla will do.

    1. Not necessary. God looks at the heart.

    2. The Apostle Paul in First Corinthians taught that women should have their heads covered when in prayer.

  3. CAn't remember which Padre Pio book I read this in. A man approached Padre Pio in the Confessional wearing a short-sleeved shirt that bared most of his arms. Padre Pio took one look at him and said in his inimitable way, Young man, you'll either have to shorten your arms or lengthen your sleeves.
    I'm not sure the quote is perfect (Although I think it's close), so I left out quote marks.


  4. what about the gross immodesty displayed in nearly all Catholic school classrooms where so-called sex-ed is mandatory from grades 1 to 12? If, as Our Lady of Fatima said, ''More souls go to hell for the sins of the flesh than for any other reason'', how evil it is, how mortally sinful, for Catholic teachers, especially nuns who break their vows of chastity, to give explicit, graphically detailed instructions to their young students how to specifically commit those very same sins of the flesh? How can receiving Holy Communion from a priest whose parish is part of a Diocese which inflicts such blatant pornography on the children who attend its schools, be anything but a sacrilegious reception of the Eucharist? The sex-ed scandalization of children in Catholic schools is the prime moral crisis in the Church today and to whatever extent, active or passive, that we let this systematic, obscene corruption of our children continue, we thereby jeopardize the salvation of our souls. Devotion to St. Padre Pio is a hypocritical fraud if we're resigned to such sex-ed, or even worse, are ''cool'' with it. Please don't attend or donate to any parish in a Diocese which runs a sex-ed program in its school system. Please take your children out of such Catholic schools lest they be lost to any sense of modesty or purity. Please know Sex-ed is an extension of the porn industry: same producers, same writers, and same shameless models and performers.

    And be aware that pedophile priests are the most enthusiastic supporters of sex-ed in Catholic schools! Children who are required to consume so much imagery of sexual anatomy and acts in Sex-ed class become desensitized to sin, and their moral consciences are disabled, since how else could they remain in sex-ed class, year after year, seeing, hearing, and personally participating in such a sordid atmosphere in order to comply with the embarassing demands of their sex--ed teachers? The sex-ed regimen sets up students to be victims of pedophile priests. Sex-ed class gives pedophile priests their easiest access to children. Without sex-ed classes in Catholic schools, the molestation of children by pedophile priests would not have reached its current, terrible extent.

    1. Unfortunately sex ed is in every vocation public, private and catholic controlled by state laws governing. There is abuse in every level of education, profession, this a travesty? Yes it is even teaching transgender, homosexuality in schools is also a travesty. Until we can get legislation to override these teachings all we can do is pray for intervention and keep sending our messages to our leaders without stopping.

  5. Is it a sin for men to wear short sleeves?

  6. Dear Not That Guy,
    Of course not. In today's church I've seen them in shorts, tights and sleeveless shirts. I imagine the worst Padre Pio would have done is send the man off to find better covering before hearing his confession. Padre Pio believed it showed disrespect for Our Savior's presence (remember--they were in church) and for the suffering He bore for us. It seemed to him a careless disregard. The point has always been made: would we go to a wedding banquet or state dinner in short sleeves or inappropriate apparel? Why lower the standards in God's house? This of course applies to both women and men.If you look through the old Padre Pio magazines (The Voice of Padr Pio and La Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza) you will come across pictures of women in longish skirts and kerchiefs, and men always in jackets or long sleeves.This was Padre Pio's world--and the townpeople and those who came from far and wide loved him for it and followed through...When I briefly met Padre Pio I was wearing a fashionable skirt stopping at the knees. One of the Capuchins gently suggested that I try to lower it. I did so, unzippering until it was below my knees.

    i hasten to say that Padre Pio was not petty. He was kind, loving, compassionate, sensitive. He loved Jesus every breathing moment and often slept at the Tabernacle to keep Him company. Once a little girl showed up for her First Communion in a green dress, due to difficulties, instead of the ususal angelic white one, as all the other little girls had on. She stood out awkwardly, as though not belonging. However, without giving it unusual notice, Padre Pio found a special place for her in the ceremony.

    As I said, this was Padre Pio's world.