This Thursday 23 September is the liturgical feast day of St Pio of Pietrelcina. It was also twenty eight years ago that Jesus, through Padre Pio, showed me what he wanted from my life.
For me the vocation to be a Franciscan Capuchin, following Jesus in the footsteps of St Francis, like Padre Pio did before me, was not an easy thing at all. I perfectly remember how much I struggled with my vocation. “What? Become a Capuchin? A Dominican yes! Or perhaps a Jesuit or a Redemptorist (even though in Malta this religious institute of consecrated life does not exist). But a Capuchin? It is too hard for me!” And the struggle went on and on ….
Amid this turmoil I remember having a nap in the afternoon of 23 September 1993. I woke up at 6.20 pm, went into the kitchen and asked my beloved mum to prepare tea for me. The TV was open and I started going from a channel to another until, on RAI DUE, there was a Mass going on, of the twenty-fifth anniversary of Padre Pio’s death. Something within me told me to keep following the Mass. And that was what I did. After some minutes I started feeling deep peace descending on me. Then, all of a sudden, I felt myself being embraced by a deep warmth that practically left me speechless. At that point my heart literally exploded with emotion and I wept from the bottom of my heart. After some minutes of weeping all became clear to me. The Lord Jesus wanted me to be a Capuchin thanks to the powerful intercession of Padre Pio.