Saturday, December 15

Like Jesus, Padre Pio was for salvation, not condemnation — Caloocan bishop

photo by ANA BARBARA A. SAN DIEGO/ THE FLAME

THE HEART of St. Pio of Pietrelcina, like that of Jesus, “burned with the priestly zeal to save and not to condemn sinners.”

This was the homily of Fr. Virgilio David, Caloocan bishop and Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) vice president, on Monday following the arrival of the incorrupt heart relic of St. Padre Pio at the University.

Ang paraan ni Kristo ay hindi pumatay. Christ’s way is never the eagerness to kill, but the zeal to offer one’s life” the bishop said.  

“People who are too eager to fight for a cause can also be very dangerous. Like those who say ‘Ipaglaban ang kaayusan at katiwasayan ng lipunan laban sa mga kriminal!’ People like this eventually start to feel more comfortable changing the slogan ‘Ang mamatay nang dahil sa’yo’ into ‘Ang pumatay nang dahil sa’yo,’” he added.

David also noted that the stigma against drug suspects has become dangerous to the point that it only takes one “toxic whisper” to lead to their death.

“This stigma can get people jailed or even killed, then people just shake their heads with pity when they see their dead bodies on a street alley, especially among the informal settlers in Metro Manila,” he said.

St. Padre Pio was a Franciscan Capuchin monk from Italy who had the same wounds that were inflicted upon Jesus Christ on the cross. The saint performed miracles like curing the blind and his corpse is “incorruptible” as it has not decayed.

The saint’s incorrupt heart relic has been transferred to the Manila Cathedral and will tour the country until its scheduled return to Italy on Oct. 26. F CRIS EUGENE T. GIANAN

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