Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, announced during Mass on the Feast of Padre Pio of Pietrelcina that Pope Benedict XVI will visit the saint’s tomb at San Giovanni Rotondo next year.
During the Mass celebrated by Cardinal Bertone at the saint’s altar in St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Secretary of State explained that “what needs to be emphasized is not the quantity of mystical phenomenon that occurred in the life of this saint, but rather the love that consumed him. Padre Pio was in love with God,” he continued, “and he knew how to guide these rivers of grace over the thousands of men and women he met daily in the sacrament of Confession and in spiritual direction.”
According to the SIR news agency, Cardinal Bertone also referred to the saint of the stigmata as “a good and faithful servant of the Gospel: he lived totally oriented towards the Kingdom of Heaven, as can be appreciated in his numerous writings.” He was also “a disciple of Christ who wanted nothing more than to love Him and seek Him,” and as a priest he “was consumed by the love for God and neighbor, as evidenced by his long days of listening to penitents and his nights of prayer.”
Cardinal Bertone also noted that Padre Pio was a “sincere son of the Church who even in difficult moments preferred not to defend himself, dying to himself and being buried in a docile silence of being pierced by fruitful obedience.”