Episode 99, Dive into Padre Pio, Solanus Casey, and Andre Bessette
Joel Schorn is an accomplished author and has published several books; today we discuss one of his books, “God’s Doorkeepers - Padre Pio, Solanus Casey, and Andre Bessette.” The book is available at franciscanmedia.org. This show will focus on St. Padre Pio and St. Solanum Casey; in a few weeks, we will discuss St. Andre Bessette.
A Humble Path
All three saints had a familiar thread in their lives in that they had lower positions in their respective orders and were never named Provincial Superiors, etc. Humility radiated from all three saints. It is a virtue most pleasing to God, although one that society feels is a weakness.
Saint Padre Pio first was born in 1887 in Italy and died in 1968. He had many spiritual gifts, even as a child. As many know, he bore the wounds of Christ, or stigmata, and had the gift of healing, reading souls, and bilocation. He was ordained a Capuchin and rarely left the monastery in San Giovani. Like St. John Vianney, he heard Confessions for hours and helped many understand the mercy of God. Once, a man went to Confession and Padre Pio asked him, “Is that all?” The man said yes, and Padre Pio replied, “Don’t you want to confess about the affair you have been having?” The man told this story and knew that Pio had read his heart. Padre Pio also helped build a modern hospital for the poor. He not only wanted to help them heal spiritually, but he also wanted to help them heal medically.
Father Solanus Casey is an American saint. He was born to Irish immigrants and was an intelligent child but a mediocre student. He was sent to a seminary where the main language spoken was German and tests were administered in Latin; he knew neither. So, he moved on and became an Order priest and a Capuchin like Padre Pio.
Like Saint Faustina, complete resignation to the Will of God was a driving force in his life. He had health problems from diphtheria as a child. He was assigned to simple tasks like being a janitor, and wrote, “Considering the lack of my talents, I leave it to my superiors to judge on my faculties and to dispose of me as they think best.” Two great quotes from Solanus Schorn points out are, “The only things that could place obstacles to the power of God at work in the world are doubt and fear,” as well as, ”One of humanity’s greatest weaknesses is setting a limit on God’s power and goodness.” Father became a simples priest, meaning that he could not preach formal sermons or hear confessions.
Hidden in Christ
Both saints demonstrate that extraordinary holiness arises primarily out of acknowledging our own reliance on Christ in humility. In our next interview with Joel Schorn, we will dive deeper into the life of Andre Bessette and discuss what it means to be one of God's doorkeepers.