Today sees the release of the much-awaited film Padre Pio, directed and written by Abel Ferrara and starring Shia LaBeouf. The R-rated movie offers us a glimpse into the life of the much-loved saint during his early 20s, when he was experiencing much suffering, confusion, and above all, passion for Christ.
However, in parallel to Pio’s own torment, we also get to witness the real suffering of the local villagers where Pio’s monastery was located. We can see their pain in trying to cope with the aftermath of World War I, when there was much hunger, loss of human life, and a strong desire for change and class equality.
The movie in itself is a visual masterpiece, and as it talks of the life of such a venerated — yet sometimes tormented — saint, it is full of meaningful messages that we can use in our own lives.
So without giving the story away, we’ve selected a few impactful quotes to think about when dealing with your own sufferings and temptations.
Padre Pio praying to God as he heads to his new monastery:
You will give me what I need, I know you will not refuse.”
Padre Pio talking to an unrepentant man in the confessional who questions if there is a hell:
You don’t know if there’s hell? You will when you get there!”
When Padre Pio sits next to a man on the floor, who’s unable to walk with bandaged legs, before giving him a blessing, he says to him (the man subsequently stands up and walks):
Have the courage to do what you hear.”
Padre Pio offering the best advice:
If you lift your spirit up in prayer, the Lord will show you the design he has for you.”
And although this final quote is not from Padre Pio, it is still powerful. A devout cobbler in the village is trying to remind a friend of the importance of fostering peace among the divided neighbors:
There is no greater love than this: to give one’s life for one’s friends.”