Thursday, March 4, 2010

St. Pio de Pietrelcina Chapel

[N.B. This was written last March 1, 2010 but I chose not to publish it for fear of preempting one of my requests. Today, I find it proper to publish it as a sign of gratitude to the intercession of Padre Pio. My brother passed his board exam. ~ The Authoress.]

It was one of those days when I felt I had to purge myself of moral errors and to pray for a thousand beautiful things. Yes, I have been contemplating so much about my spiritual health (apart from body health - thanks to Yoh-gurt Froz poster).

Then I remembered my friend Victoria's suggestion to visit St. Pio de Pietrelcina Chapel in Libis.* I have also been curious about the chapel as it was featured in Korina Sanchez's Rated K where Julius Babao revealed that he and his wife Christine Bersola-Babao are devotees of the Italian saint. It was shown in the show segment that the initial shape of Christine's fetus was the same as that of Padre Pio's wound due to stigmata. For more information about St. Pio of Pietrelcina, just click here.

The chapel was a stone's throw away from Citibank-Eastwood. It seems to be a solemn haven for miracle seekers and faithful devotees. I felt an overwhelming feeling of peace and solemnity all over the place. "Silence" markers were plastered all over the chapel, prayer room, candle room and an outdoor area where you can kneel in front of a life-sized Padre Pio statue. Since we arrived an hour late for the mass, we opted to offer prayers instead.

I had this very positive feeling about one particular request to Padre Pio. Such request pertains to the success of my brother Jobo in his board exam which he took last Saturday and Sunday. Yes, the same day I went to the chapel. My brother's real name is Giovanni and I found out that Padre Pio's hometown is San Giovanni Rotondo, a city in southern Italy. In fact, the Padre Pio Pilgrimage Church can be found in said city. Wikipedia tells us: "Built in devotion to Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, it can accommodate 6,500 people seated at worship, with standing room for 30,000 people outside." Wow. I don't know whether this may be considered preemptive stuff but my gut feel tells me that my visit to this chapel was very timely.

The whole worship center is way above the normal thing. Inside the chapel, a wall was entirely devoted for the devotees' testimonials of Padre Pio's intercession in their lives. Majority wrote about their miraculous healings from the killer Big C. In the garden area, a statue of Padre Pio was found to have tints of red liquid trickling down its nape and neck, resembling blood. Apart from its innate peace and quiet, there are alcohol pumps outside their comfort rooms and a vendo machine. Their petition form carries a logo upon which you can write all the desires of your heart and drop the same at the petition boxes. Aside from prayer room where you can contemplate on Padre Pio's images while writing petitions and a televised image of an altar, there is also a candle room where candles are neatly arranged. A handy lighter was there too. I do not intend to compare this chapel to others but the desire of the devotees to keep it holy, clean and organized is quite impressive. 

I think I found a new haven for Sunday worship at the St. Pio de Pietrelcina Chapel in Libis.

*Directions: From Ali Mall in Cubao, board a jeepney going to Rosario Pasig. Tell the driver to drop you off at Citibank in Libis. Use the footbridge to go to the other side. Walk till you see Honda Cars-Libis and the chapel's right beside it. Jeepney fare from Ali Mall to Citibank-Libis is Php 9.

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