Do we truly understand the power of intercessory prayer?  To pray for someone else, to ask God to bless them is surely one of the greatest tasks we can undertake on this earth.  In John McCaffery's book, "Tales of Padre Pio", he writes, "For those of us who saw Padre Pio physically only during our visits, he was always still with us when we were far away - but really with us.  Even though he was living his life in his Gargano monastery, and even if we did not see him in bi-location nor regularly receive his wonderful perfume, we knew that he was there, conscious of our needs, listening to us, eager to protect us, trying to guide us along the path to his Master..."

Padre Pio was so spiritually developed that his prayer for others was just a constant part of his existence.  God's grace showered his friends from afar, and his connection with them was as sure and certain as if he were standing beside them. 

We, too, have this capability, but it is not our own righteousness or piety which will bring it about; it is the righteousness bought by the blood of Christ.  Because of our Savior our prayer becomes effective, because of His sacrifice we, too, can be made holy.  And so our petitions can reach out to hold the hands of our sisters and brothers around the world as Padre Pio did, strengthening saints and encouraging sinners.  May we, like the humble friar of San Giovanni, guide others to the Master.  Amen.

St. Padre Pio, pray for us!