The Seraphic Mass Association for the support of Capuchin Franciscan Foreign Missions, was founded in 1899. It has been approved and recommended by each succeeding Pope since its foundation. It is a practical way of assisting the Capuchin Franciscan Friars in their ministry, while gaining spiritual benefits for those who are enrolled in the Seraphic Mass Association. Those enrolled in the Association as well as well as their benefactors, are remembered in Prayers and Masses offered by the Franciscan Friars. A wonderful and memorable gift that one can give to anyone for Christmas, birthday, or feast day, is a certificate of enrolment. For deceased relatives and friends, instead of flowers, a certificate of perpetual participation in the Seraphic Mass Association will express genuine sympathy and lasting remembrance, as well as benefit the soul of the deceased.
St Padre Pio is the patron.
St Padre Pio was born on 25 May 1887 in a small Italian village of Pietrelcina. He was named Francesco in honour of St. Francis of Assisi. He was very devout and at an early age felt drawn to the priesthood. He became a Capuchin novice at the age of 16 and received the habit in 1902. Francesco was ordained to the priesthood in 1910 after seven years of study and became known as Padre Pio. He was assigned to the friary in San Giovanni Rotondo, where he spent most of his life.
On 20 September 1918 while praying before a crucifix after Mass, he later wrote under obedience that a mysterious figure appeared to him bleeding from wounds on hands, feet and side, while experiencing indescribable peace. Padre Pio received the gift of the stigmata-open, bleeding wounds on his hands feet and side, which was to last 50 years until his death when the wounds mysteriously vanished. He was the first stigmatized priest in the history of the Church. He had the ability to read the hearts of penitents who flocked to him for confession which he heard for ten to twelve hours per day. Padre Pio also had the gifts of bilocation and was able to heal by touch. He had great devotion to Our Lady and prayed 30 Rosaries a day.
In 1952, Pope Pius XII urged people to respond to Our Lady of Fatima’s call by forming prayer groups. When Padre Pio heard this, he immediately encouraged his followers, and “Padre Pio Prayer Groups” were established and spread throughout the world.
In 1956, he founded a hospital “Home for the relief of suffering”.
In 1962, Bishop Karol Wojytla (Pope John Paul II), whilst attending 2nd Vatican Council, wrote to Padre Pio for a sick friend. At the time, Padre Pio was receiving about 2 000 letters per week. He immediately attended to Bishop Karol’s letter, saying : “…we cannot refuse him !”. The tumour disappeared.
Padre Pio died on September 23 1968 at the age of eighty-one just after the 50th anniversary of receiving the stigmata. His funeral was attended by about 100 000 people. Pope John Paul II whilst still an Archbishop, visited the tomb in 1974,and beatified Padre Pio in 1999. On 16 June 2002, over 500 000 people gathered in Rome to witness Pope John Paul II proclaim Padre Pio a saint.
About 5 million people visit San Giovanni each year to view the saint’s remains.
Novena to St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina,
Dear God, You have generously blessed Your servant, St. Pio of Pietrelcina, with the gifts of the Spirit. You have marked his body with the five wounds of Christ Crucified, as a powerful witness to the saving Passion and Death of Your Son. Endowed with the gift of discernment, St. Pio laboured endlessly in the Confessional for the salvation of souls. With reverence and intense devotion in the celebration of Mass, he invited countless men and women to a greater union with Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist., Through the intercession of St. Pio of Pietrelcina, I confidently ask You to grant me the grace of (mention your intentions here). Amen.
Pray 3 x Glory Be to the Father
St. Padre Pio, pray for us!
The Seraphic Mass Association
Under the auspices of the Capuchin Franciscans in South Africa
❖ P O Box 118
❖ Howard Place 7450
❖ Cape Town
❖ Tel: (021) 633-6298
❖ Fax: 0866 855 437
❖ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
❖ Standard Bank
❖ Pinelands Branch
❖ “Seraphic Mass Association”
❖ Account No: 073052884