St. Padre Pio anticipated Christmas every day throughout the year, starting from the day after Christmas that had just passed. He loved the Infant Jesus so much that in his childlike joy he could barely wait to celebrate Midnight Mass, when he would hold the Babe in his arms (the doll you see on the cover of Padre Pio's Christmases) and process through the very small antique church of San Giovanni Rotondo. The church was packed with villagers as he walked to the altar and lovingly laid the Babe in the crib.
The crib was just as much a deep part of his love of Christmas, and he'll tell you why in this book.
But there are many other events concerning Padre Pio’s Christmases. . .
. . .the frustrating time he spent in the army during the First World War--it's almost comedic, except that he was desperately trying to celebrate his Christmas Masses
. . .the Christmastimes he would sit awhile with his spiritual daughters, explaining to them the immense love of our Lord in being born in such humble surroundings
. . .the miracle of a sick child many miles away during his Midnight Mass, with the help of Baby Jesus
. . .the spiritual daughter who caught sight of Padre Pio carrying the living Baby Jesus as he came down the staircase in the Sacristy just before Midnight Mass
Well, on it goes. . .
It's good to remember St. Padre Pio especially at Christmastime, because meanwhile, in that other world beyond San Giovanni Rotondo -- the secular world, the world celebrating the “holiday” -- people are scattering about in zig-zag confusion, pressing through the noisy, crowded, glittering stores, doing their last minute Christmas shopping to the accompaniment of blaring, often jazzy Christmas music. Maybe the shoppers are going to a party later, or maybe they'll fall asleep that night on the sofa in their homes, too exhausted to appreciate the glowing Christmas tree or contemplate the Nativity scene beneath its branches -- or what had actually taken place in history that night centuries and centuries ago and changed the world. Yet in their good hearts there is the desire and intention to please, to show their love of others via the gifts as they rush and hurry in the stores at these last minutes. . .
But aren't they missing the real moment?
Padre Pio's Christmases is available in Print or Kindle format at Amazon