Pietrelcina, Italy, Mar 17, 2018 / 03:40 am
Speaking Saturday in Pietrelcina, the town where St. Padre Pio was born, Pope Francis encouraged devotion to Holy Mother Church, explaining how despite the imperfection of its members, it was beloved by Padre Pio.
"Here [in Pietrelcina, Padre Pio] began to experience the motherhood of the Church, of which he was always a devoted son," the Pope said March 17.
"He loved the Church, he loved the Church with all its problems, with all its troubles, with all our sins. Because we are all sinners, we are ashamed, but the Spirit of God has called us into this Church that is holy."
"And he loved the holy Church and sinful children, all of them. This was Saint Pio."