Friday, 30 December 2011

Padre Pio’s favourite painting of Our Lady: its Christmas significance


This depiction of Our Lady of Grace is painted on the wall and ceiling behind the altar in the church of San Giovanni Rotondo, where Padre Pio had his ministry. In the painting, Baby Jesus is reaching for his mother’s milk, which represents grace. We are also the children of Mary, and may partake of this grace.
At Christmas, the very centre of our celebration is that the Virgin Mary gave birth to Christ who is God and therefore the creator of all graces. The Blessed Mother is the Mediatrix of all graces, since Baby Jesus grew in her womb, and was nurtured from her milk and loved by her embraces: all of this is portrayed in Padre Pio’s favourite painting.
In the majority of crib scenes we do not see Our Lady or Baby Jesus wearing crowns. At the time, such honours of regal coronets had not been bestowed on the child in the manger and his humble mother. But in Padre Pio’s favourite painting, Our Lady wears the golden crown signifying that she is queen and Baby Jesus wears a smaller fit-for-a-baby crown. It is our tradition in Europe that the wife of the king is the queen, but in Jewish law the queen was the king’s mother. So, in effect, Our Lady was made a queen when she became Jesus’ mother.

54 comments:

  1. Dear Readers, I am asking that you all pray to Padre Pio and the Blessed Mother for my 53 year old husband, Paul. We just found out he has metastatic renal cell carcinoma - kidney cancer that has spread. There are few treatments that offer much hope of survival. We have 5 children, 5 grandchilren and 2 more "on the way". We always pray the daily rosary and have complete trust in our Merciful Lord Jesus. A friend loaned us a relic of the True Cross and a 1st class relic of Padre Pio (drop of his blood). Paul sleeps with a relic clutched in each hand every night. I sent Padre Pio novena cards in all my Christmas cards and tell everyone I meet about him, asking them to pray to St. Pio for Paul, as well. Paul's only hope is a miraculous healing, which we fully expect. However, we also know that his healiing may not be complete until he is in heaven. Our youngest is only 13 and I admit there are days when my confidence is shaken thinking of a future without her daddy. He's a hardworking, joyful, faithful man who does much good for family, friends, and strangers alike. We live in Indiana, USA. My dear Irish readers, if it matters, Paul's mother and my mother gave us our proud Irish blood! Ave Maria Tracy Burch

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  2. I will pray for you and Paul. Padre Pio is my daughter's patron Saint. He is very powerful.

    Your love glorifies God.

    Blessings,

    Kathleen

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  3. Dear Tracy,

    I'm really sorry to hear of your husband's plight; I have heard that this is a particularly painful type of cancer. I will pray for Paul and your children. May I suggest that you also pray to St Philomena - Padre Pio was very devoted to her - when I was in Italy in 2008 I spoke with Italian nuns who knew Padre Pio and told me that he prayed to St Philomena.

    May Paul get all the healing graces he needs to make a full recovery, and may you Tracy be rewarded for sending Padre Pio novena cards with your Christmas cards.

    I invite all readers of this blog to pray for Paul.

    Mary

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  4. Tracy, I will pray for your Paul. He needs to be with you and his children. I truly believe Padre Pio will help. Blessings to you all.
    Peggy

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  5. Tracy, Paul & Family,
    I also have devotion to Padre Pio and will pray for his intercession and healing for Paul. I also am an ovarian survivor. Our adopted son came from Korea on December 23, 1986 and I found out the end of January, 1987. I was complely healed, Praise God, and I asked all the saints for a miracle and God said yes. I don't know how God will answer your prayers, but I will remind Him that Paul would be grateful to raise his family.
    Jill and John from Michigan

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  6. Tracy,
    I have prayed for your Paul as I read your
    plight. Our Lady, the Padre, and St. Joseph
    are great intercessors....
    Nonni/Joanie 30 December 2011

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  7. It was my pleasure to say a prayer as well.

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  8. Tracy,
    I offer Paul and your family my most humble prayers for a complete healing. I may never know the outcome of this until I enter eternal life, but I have found that God is most pleased to answer prayers of those who have no stake whatsoever in the outcome; those who simply offer their charity through prayers. May your family have many more of these from countless readers. God Bless!

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  9. please pray for my daughter who had a breakdown. pray for complete healing.

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  10. Tracy,

    Through all our prayers let God's will be done for you because he loves all his children.

    Take care and God Bless you always.

    Lorna
    Toronto,Canada

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  11. Christine and Morgi30 December 2011 18:05

    We (my daughter and I) believe in the power of prayer - very strongly - and we will pray for a MIRACLE FOR PAUL - very strongly.

    May God Bless you both as you journey this together; you are on a ship with rocky seas & God is your lighthouse. I am sure Padre Pio is there with you - right next to you - on many a night. Amen.

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  12. Tracy and Paul,
    Please try alternative Cancer Therapy. You can go to cancercontrolsociety.com and find a Doctor in your area. Also please watch on youtube World Without Cancer. I'v seen this information really help.
    On this feast of the Holy family lets ask them to Bless and protect you both.
    Larry katsbulas

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  13. I will pray for your husband and your family during this trying time. I believe Padre Pio healed my nephew when he was hit by a car and in a coma for 4 days. I pinned a relic of Padre Pio to the bulletin board above his bed in the er and he walked out of the intensive care unit after 6 days! He wasn't even moved to a regular room....never give up hope! Remember, God has a plan for all of us!

    Susan

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  14. Tracy Ijoin the others in praying for Paul to Padre Pio. I am his spiritual daughter and he never denies anything I ask of him. V.

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  15. Saint Pio of Petralcina, Holy Capuchin priest hear the faithful who love Jesus. Please ask our Lord to let this cross pass from Paul that his healing will bring others to Jesus and bring glory to God.
    Little Singer from Virginia

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  16. Prayers and my masses for Paul.
    Bob

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  17. Tracy,

    I will pray for your husband, too.

    I would also like to suggest that you look into this. http://www.neoplas.org/id1.html If that link doesn't work, search for Neoplas Innovation in Brentwood, TN. It is a new treatment, and one of the cancers it is for is the one your husband has. I don't know anyone who has been here or used it, but thought I would mention it. I found it while doing online research only two days ago, and now I have seen your plea for prayers.

    I also would like to mention a natural treatment that I have read about in case you have never heard of it. I don't know anyone who has used it either, and it might be worthless, but if there is no other medical alternative, you might try looking up the Budwig diet protocol. Something so natural combined with our prayers might be good.

    Please don't think I am doubting a miracle by suggesting these treatments. Who knows...maybe my guardian angel led me here for a reason. The peace of Christ be with you and your family. Pamela

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  18. I have prayed to the Sacred Heart of Jesus for Paul, Tracy, and family. Jesus, I trust in you!

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  19. Dearest Tracy, family, and friends:
    It gives me great joy to answer your request for prayers. I have been praying while reading your appeal and will continue to do so. Padre Pio is dear to me as is the cancer saint, St. Peregrine. To him I offer unbounded gratitude for favors granted through his intercession on behalf of many (including my wife, Rosie) who have come to know of our friendship, my devotion and trust that God's Will be done. And may you be blessed with assuring peace.
    St.Perigrine, Padre Pio, Mary Most Holy,
    Pray for us. Amen.
    Rosie and Eddie, California

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  20. Dear Tracy: I will pray for Paul and your family. I also have breast cancer and may have to undergo chemo in 4 weeks. I've prayed to Padre Pio and also to St. Peregrine, the patron saint of cancer who was miraculously healed by Jesus of a painful leg cancer. I will pray a novena to St. Peregrine for Paul.

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  21. I also prayed for Padre Pio's intercession and will continue to keep Paul and your family in my prayers.
    Donna/Ohio USA December 31, 2011

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  22. Ask his and your guardian angels to help too. They help if they can in any way they can. Just need to be asked. :-)

    God bless you, your husband and your family.

    Mary guide.

    Kevin (Derry/Ireland)

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  23. Brothers and Sisters, I ask for your powerful prayers to our dear Lady, the Queen of Heaven, and Her Son, our Beloved Jesus Christ, through the intercession of St. Pio for my son, John Michael who is on his way to the hospital. He has dual diagnosis, mental illness and alcoholism. He became agitated and threatening last night. Please pray that John Michael receive the best care possible in accord with God's holy will. Our Blessed Mother has walked this long road with me and She does not fail me. John at one time had a vocation, and has a deep faith in God. As a family we visited St. Pio's tomb in San Giovani Rotondo to pay our respects. My plan is to take John Michael to Medjugorge. Please pray this can happen! Never doubt that faith can move mountains. I am holding you all in my prayers as well. With gratitude and love, Cheri

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  24. Brothers and sisters,

    I want to invite you to visit us at:

    http://www.ourprayerbucket.com

    We are an Internet-based prayer group with over 2 million members.

    Please stop by and leave a prayer request and please share the site URL with those people you know who are in need.

    God Bless You All,'

    Chester (USA)

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  25. Oh, my dear, faithful Readers, Imagine my surprise and delight when I decided to check this blog "just in case" there were any responses to my pleas for Paul's healing of cancer...WOW!!! I am humbled, overwhelmed and so VERY grateful for the outpouring of support and promise of prayers - for a complete stranger, no less. I ask all of heaven to reward your charitable compassion and sacrifices. Life can be a frightening, lonely journey for those without faith, especially when the inevitable painful trials come our way. That's one more reason I love and treasure our Catholic faith - we're all in this boat together - brothers and sisters in Christ. I feel your love and unity all the way from across the Atlantic, in Canada and across America. It's the best birthday gift I could have received (yes, I'm a New Year's baby). I will show all of thse comments to Paul and my kids when they come over tomorrow and cook ole' mom a birthday dinner! The Lord put it in my heart to draw strength from His parable of the "Persistent Widow": Let's keep storming heaven with so many requests for Paul's healing, day and night, that He will "re-think" calling him home quite yet, make those cancerous tumors disappear and grant healing just to "shut us up!" (this analogy is done with much respect. Our Lord Jesus Himself gave us this parable in Luke's Gospel. I hesistated to say "shut up", but drastic times call for drastic measures). The Lord delights in heeding our requests. When I start to feel discouraged, I remember that what 'seems' like a refusal, is actually an invitation to greater ardor. Jesus blesses us with the chance to show Him how much we rely on Him and how little we can depend on ourselves. OK, Lord. I get it...when will it be enough? Give us the graces we need to be patient and persevere and the asurance that what we ask You for is ours. Already, several people have told us that they never go to church - never pray. But because they admire, respect and appreciate Paul so much, EVEN THEY are praying every night for his recovery. Amazing! These are genuine miracles! For hearts hardened and cold, who know not the Lord's goodness, to turn TO him in prayer, when all other efforts failed to move them, well, then, that is consolation to us indeed. Who knows the seeds Paul's illness is planting in people? The harvest is already growing fast(like his cancer). Time is short - in more ways than one. We thank these people and then remind them NOT to wait to pray or have a relationship with Jesus and His Blessed Mother until some misfortune befalls them or a loved one. Paul is like a magnet, drawing others to confide in him. They always find sound advice (filled with good humour, by the way) and a strong shoulder to cry on. He considers this his ministry - encouraging, building up, offering hope, redirecting negative thoughts to open their eyes and see all of the good in their lives and this beautiful world God the Father created for us. Paul tells them to fully expect God to fulfill His Promises and not lose heart - to rely on Divine Providence. "Nothing happens to us in life unless God will it so...What God arranges for us to experience at each moment is the best and holiest thing that could happen to us" (St. Claude de la Columbiere). Thank you again, dear readers. And thank you to Mary O'Regan for letting me use this blog to ask for prayers from so many good people whom I never would have been able to on my own. Tracy Burch Indiana, USA

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  26. I will pray for Paul, too. St. Padre Pio is so dear to me. I will ask Our Lady of Grace to nourish Paul with effusions of Divine Grace filled with healing and courage. I didn't know this beautiful painting of Our Lady portrays Jesus reaching for her milk to be nourished. Our Mother nourishes us now with heavenly milk. EWTN family will also be praying 24/7 for you and the Holy Spirit Sisters of Adoration in Philadelphia, along with the Holy Souls Ministry on radio. Peace, Joy, Love and Hope for the New Year. Please pray for my family too.

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  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  28. God does work in mysterious ways, and every joy or sorrow in this life is for the good of our souls and those around us. Your faith and trust in God in good and bad times will be rewarded but in Gods time and in His way. We are His children and His love is so great for us that He sent His only Son to become one of us and to die for us.

    Our Blessed Mother Mary and all of our brothers and sisters in Heaven (especially the holy St. Padre Pio) so clearly saw this truth while living on earth, and know are there for us in valley of tears.

    I will offer up daily Rosaries and Masses for those intentions offered here, and know that through this site and reading the comments I have a deeper hope and trust in this coming new year - thanks be to God.

    Here are a few quotes of the humble saint:

    “Prayer is the best armor we have, it is the key which opens the heart of God.”

    “The habit of asking ‘Why’ has ruined the world.”

    “God enriches the soul which empties itself of everything.”

    “The life of a Christian is nothing but a perpetual struggle against self; there is no flowering of the soul to the beauty of its perfection except at the price of pain.”

    “A good heart is always strong, it suffers, but with tears it is consoled by sacrificing itself for its neighbor and for God.”

    “The Cross will not crush you; if its weight makes you stagger, its power will also sustain you.”

    “Let us climb Calvary without getting tired, carrying our Cross and be certain that the climb will lead us to the beatific vision of our dear Saviour.”

    “It is just as well to make yourself at home with the sufferings that Jesus is pleased to send you, as you must always live with them. In this way, when least you are expecting to be liberated from them, Jesus, who cannot bear to keep you long in affliction, will come and relieve you and comfort you, giving you new courage.”

    “Rest like the Virgin on the Cross of Jesus and you will not be deprived of comfort. Mary stood petrified before her Son crucified, but it cannot be said that she was abandoned. On the contrary, He loved her so much more for her suffering, she could not even cry.”

    “Pray that God will console you when you feel the burden of the Cross, for in doing so you are in no way acting against the will of God, but you are placing yourself beside the Son of God who asked His Father during the Agony in the Garden to send Him some relief. But if He is not willing to give it be ready to pronounce the same ‘Fiat’, ‘So be it’ that Jesus did.”

    IN the hearts of Jesus & Mary,
    Jason

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  29. Please pray for my husband Monty Ply. He is a vietnam vet with ptsd. He wants to Quit smoking, and drinking. He has a lot of back pain, and lots of trouble sleeping. Thanks, You are all in my prayers too. God bless everyone!!

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  30. Thanks for posting this Padre pio was a true gift from god and as was his devotion to our lady, and i love your blog. Happy new year and godbless, xx

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  31. Prayers are being said for you. I understand the fear and pain of this diagnosis. I believe in the power of faithful prayers. God Bless all of you with peace and miracles.

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  32. please pray for my daughter marie she has had a
    marriage break up and lost her job. she was suffering from a break down. she needs confidence and many prays.

    Thank you
    Rick

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  33. Dear Tracy, Paul and family,

    I stumbled across this blog by accident, or did I?. Your words Tracy, brought me to tears. It was only 7 short years ago that I too was asking for prayers, being diagnosed with stage IV, incurable breast cancer (IBC) at the age of 35. I was given 12-18 months average life exp. with treatments. My children were 3, 3, and 1. After going to Medjugorje in July of 2006 the cancer in my body stopped growing and nothing has shown up on my CAT/PET scans since then. God is great. I ask Him to use me to raise up my babies who are now 10, 10 and 8 : )
    You and your family will be in my prayers. Tonight, when I say my Rosary I will pray for a complete cure for your husband and that God will continue to use him to bring others closer to His Son, Jesus Christ. I will also pray to Padre Pio and ask him to pray for your husband. May God bless you this New Year. Blessings, your sister in Christ, Alaina

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  34. God bless you Paul
    Blessings Megan

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  35. Please pray for my U.S. Army soldier son who was injured, and my younger son who leaves for U.S. Marine Corp boot camp in in January. I have a special affection for Padre Pio, and have entrusted my boys to his loving care and prayers. My older son had a near-death experience during his accident, be will recover. Please ask Padre Pio to continue to watch over them, and bring them closer to Our Heavenly Father. I will pray for you all.

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  36. prayers abound dear tracy, for you and yours! and for all who ask for our prayers!

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  37. My husband was diagnoised with this exact cancer 4yrs,8mos.ago and is still with us today because of a miracle he received through the Eucharist,St Pio's holy oil,Blessed Fr Seelos relic and water from Lourdes, also many prayers of others .He was anointed every day (28) while in hospital with the sacrement- Anointing of the Sick.God Bless,we will pray.

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  38. Dear Tracy,
    I will put Paul's name on our prayer list that our monthly Rosary Group gathers to pray for. Rest assured in our prayers and in the goodness of God. I, too, am devoted to Padre Pio and I always draw confidence in remembering his words: "I will be able to do so much more for you from Heaven." Saint Pio of Pietrelcina will intercede for Paul and for your entire family!

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  39. Dear Tracy, i will pray for your husband Paul.I am on the Healing Team at our church. Padre Pio is a great Saint to pray too. Also ask St.Gemma she is very good for interceding on cases like this. Peace St. Raphael

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  40. Dear Tracy, you and Paul will be in my prayers . My wife Judie Lynch journeyed with St Pio for 11 years in which many graces were born including Our Lady leading me to a soul who had been the reciepiant of the grace drawn down by my wife's cross. PIo came to her in 2000 when she was first diagnost with medistatic breast cancer . We offered this passion with Jesus' passion for souls and Pio was with us for 11 years , each time before my wife's cross got heavier we received a mass card with pio's picture on it 6 different times over the years. I ak you to ask Judie Lynch to intercede with Pio on behalf of Paul and youreself as Judie is now with the Lord Dec. 20 2011. this cross you have is one cross yours and Paul's. God Bless you both in Christ Bill

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  41. I am praying for all of you-the sick and their families and caregivers. During my cancer treatment I had the grace to pray for Padre Pio's canonization and have always felt that he looked over me.

    I call on all of the saints in Heaven for their assistance and stand with my brothers and sisters asking for healing by the Holy Name of Jesus and the covering that ony His Precious Blood can give.

    There is a Servite priest, Fr. Peter Mary Rookey, who has been graced by God with healing through a prayer ministry. You can find him online in Illinois and call him. He blessed me twice and I received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit during my cancer experience, and I have been blessed continually these last 14 years.

    God bless all of you, Your sister in Christ

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  42. God bless you all,
    Please pray for my little grandson Patrick who was just diagnosed with autism. My prayer is for the wonderful people who work with him, that he may make progress, through their help and lead a wonderful and fruitful life. He is a handsome little boy who will turn 5 years old this month. I pray for all the parents who have autistic children, that God may grant them strength,courage and endless patience as they raise these beautiful children.

    Thanks everyone and God love you
    Maria

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  43. Hello Tracy,
    I will say a prayer for Paul also! My father (native born Italian) went to confession to Padre Pio about 1952. He and my mom married in 1953. All of us (their children) and now OUR children have come to know him as well. We always feel him near us helping to guide us on the right path that leads to God.My husband and I have been to San Giovanni Rotondo twice and took dad back there with us after so many years! San Pio will hear your prayers and intercede for sure! God's will be done- let's pray for a complete healing if it is God's will!

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  44. I am hoping so very very much for the miracle of a baby for my daughter and her husband. He is a diabetic and she is now 38 years old. She has given up hope and won't even discuss options any longer. There seem to be so many emotional obstacles that only a real miracle would seem to be the answer!My daughter was the victim of sexual abuse as a young girl so the issues are many, but God can do anything! Can someone join in prayers with me to ask for this gift? I promise as a grandmother to do all in my power to help this child to walk with God and to consecrate the baby to the Blessed Mother to the best of my ability. Thank you for your help!

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  45. I will pray for you ministry of writing Mary. God bless you for sharing St. Padre Pio's favorite image of Mary and for your gentle care for your readers as you treated and encouraged Paul's wife above. Being a grandson from County Kerry (Stack) and of a Dubliner (Rellihan)I resonate with your Irish faith that I see in your words and profile. You can sing Morning Has Broken in all its pristine beauty and loveliness. Keep singing Mary because our tired old world needs you and your fresh morning song.

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  46. Remembering you and yours in my daily Novena to Padre Pio.God Bless you all

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  47. We want to THANK YOU AGAIN, dearest readers, for your kind words and promises of prayer for Paul to be healed of metastatic kidney cancer. You will never know how much we appreciate your charity and concern and promise to ask the good Lord to bless all of you, as well. It's very cold here in Indiana right now. With the short days, the bleak, barren landscape, combined with our anxiety about the future, our spirits are starting to shiver and sag like the ice-laden tree branches outside. Nothing seems to be improving. As a matter of fact, it's all bad news, worse news, and even worse news. The biopsy shows even more aggressive cancer cells than was thought (which was bad enough)and so far, very few treatments are even available. We are traveling to MD Anderson Hospital in Houston, Texas next week. Pray we find a glimmer of hope there. Although Paul gets around OK and still goes in to work (as the maintenance man at our parish of St. John's), he is getting weaker, more tired and more frustrated each day. He's always been the perennial optimist and the one to make me (and everyone else!) smile. The past few days, he has been quiet, reflective, and a little sad. He's worried about who will feed our animals, run our small garden center, take care of our family, pay the bills, etc. when he's in the hospital - and beyond, if the Good Lord does not see fit to cure him. Paul told me he's sorry he didn't get me a birthday gift or card or help plan our family meal, but he's losing motivation, knowing each day, holiday or even each simple, ordinary event may be his last. This is a man who's worked with his hands and backbone his whole life - he was raised on a farm and we still have a small area with some livestock (they say you can take the boy off the farm, but not the farm out of the boy...it's TRUE!)He's happiest when he's building something - always has the next project in mind. He was working on erecting a soup kitchen for "lonely people" on our property when his illness was first discovered in September. I know it sounds corny, but it's the truth. He feels called to minister to lonely, hurting people and wanted to offer them a beautiful, comfortable landscaped area in which to enjoy nature and visit with each other. Paul's gift of gab is legenadary around here, but he also knows how and when to listen. He said the Lord even told him what to name it: Paul's Gathering Place for the Lonely. I'm starting to ramble, so I will end this post here. Please continue to pray to our Lady and Padre Pio so hard and so much, that the doctors in Texas will just send us home next week saying they couldn't find anything wrong with him!!! On this Feast of The Most Holy Name of Jesus, I humbly, urgently ask God the Father in Jesus' Name, to heal Paul Burch ASAP (and give me and the kids the graces we need, too). Ave Maria Tracy Burch

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  48. Please,please pray for Joan, she is having surgery today Jan.4th,2012(breast cancer)....pray the prayer of Thanksgiving( Jonah 2:1-10)...because Our Lord is kind and merciful, loving and will hear our prayers...for her succejsful surgery,healing and deliverance...
    Thank You all !
    O,Most Prescious Blood of Jesus Christ, of Our Savior and Redeemer,save and protect us always !
    Jesus,Son of David we Trust in You !

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  49. Dear all,
    please, pray for a family that are affected by cardinal evil spirit of addictions....
    In Prescious Jesus name, have on them , heal them, save them and free them...
    Thank You all for Your kindm prayers...in advance...
    God Bless You all !

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  50. Dear Tracy:
    My brother, Father Ken, recently passed away from renal cell metastatic cancer after a long battle. He was a priest for 33 years and entered the hospital, passing away after forty days on his deathbed!! His cancer progressed to his brain where his tumors formed a circle around his head with what looked like little spikes on his x-ray. To us, his family, it looked like an interior crown of thorns. Upon his entering the hospital, while sitting in his chair by the nurses station, the charge nurse said she looked up at him and saw that his head was way back and he was looking at something above him, smiling and whispering. She rushed to his side and asked "Father Ken, are you alright"? What are you looking at? He smiled calmly answering "there's a little white dove that's flying around my head. "Father, look at me, what is my name, what am I wearing"...causing him to look down at her and respond correctly when his head snapped back again. And again she asked if he was alright to which he responded...OH, OH, now there's two little, three little, so many little white doves flying around my head!" This nurse told me she was so moved. She will never forget “that look of joy” on his face and had never seen anything like this in all her years of caring for the sick. For the next couple of weeks, he quietly told me each day of the Saint who was visiting him that day and marvelous stories I never knew about these saints. Often he would tell me the Saint was sitting beside him as he was relating their story to me. Before he died there were astounding happenings that his brother priests were in awe of. He died in the odor of sanctity. I have approached my brother, Father Ken, who is in heaven, on your behalf and I encourage you to approach him too as he suffered what your husband has. He had much compassion for the sick, always visiting and praying for them. I already know he has spoken to Jesus as I requested of him on Paul's behalf.

    I worked with Father Alessio, Padre Pio's assistant, as did many people, distributing 3rd class relics while he was alive to help in the building of the church in San Giovanni Rotondo. Father Alessio arranged for the privilege of my brother to say Mass at Padre Pio's altar. He too loved Padre Pio and always sought his intercession. Now in Heaven before the beatific face of Our Lord, I know my brother has interceded with Padre Pio on Paul’s behalf. “Pray, hope and don’t Worry”...God already knows.

    To all those suffering this affliction of cancer, I offer another little unknown Saint who will surely intercede for you, just simply "Father Ken". Our Lord knows him well.

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  51. Dear Anne, Thank you SO MUCH for your words of comfort and about your holy brother, Fr. Ken. I just now saw your post on Jan. 29 (our Renee's 14th birthday). I'll sleep well with renewed hope and trust in God's Mercy and tender love. I love hearing about Padre Pio and others who love him, too. What a gift you gave me - and it wasn't even my birthday!
    For all you dear readers who wonder about Paul, we went to MD Anderson Hosp 2 times. The doc had no magic new drug that cures metastatic renal cell carcinoma. Many told stories of terminal loved ones who found health & healing there. Our hopes were high, but they sadly found that Paul has a 2nd, rarer subtype cancer cell that is more aggressive and deadly than the other one. There is NO MEDICAL CURE. Even the finest cancer hospital in the USA can offer no more than a few extra months of life. I hope & pray it doesn't go to his bones or brain. Dear God, please don't let him suffer!

    Coming home during last week's Midwest ice storm was a nightmare with canceled and detoured flights, then wrecking the truck on the 2 hr icy drive home. Thanks be to God, we found a doc on Friday who can give the treatments only 25 miles from home. We return to Texas every 2 mo.for tests. What a relief! One blessing is Paul hasn't had many side effects of the chemo yet, though we expect them after another round or two accumulates in his system. Weight loss, nightly fevers and excessive sweats continue.

    He has flu-like fatigue but goes to work every day at St. John's and our small Garden Center. Please join us in asking the Holy Spirit to direct our decisions in health, family and business matters wisely.

    We continue to pray the daily rosary and Divine Mercy chaplet for acceptance of God's Will, which we hope includes a miraculous healing! Christians of every denomination and Jews are promising intense prayers for Paul. He has touched many lives through his good humor, generosity and charismatic personality, they all want him to stick around. Our world NEEDS more people like Paul. He's one-in-a-million. He inspires others to enjoy the simple things in life (especially family and nature), and to trust in Our Lord and His Holy Mother with everything and at all times. Their prayers are accepted with gratitude and humility and many graces, seeing how we are all united in our faith in the One True God. Small differences in theology simply vanish. They say, "We are praying". I say,'"GOOD!!! Thanks! Keep it up!" Just this evening, he was instrumental in the begninnings of another family reconciliation.

    People are drawn to him, his good-natured common-sense, his honesty and forthrightness. I think I see a lttle of God's Plan here. Our suffering and sacrifices are benefitting many who have grown lukewarm in their faith or are struggling with meaning in life. After being drawn to Paul, they are then re-directed to Jesus and Mary. What a privilege to participate in evangelization and salvation of souls.

    All in all, our children, grandchildren and siblings are coming together, holding it together and trying to keep despair, fear, anger and discouragement at bay. I am anxious about that, because Paul still feels OK now. I wonder when / if he starts to not feel so good, if we will be able to stay focused. I hope so.

    We trust and believe that we are surrounded by much love and heavenly help through our family and friends, Guardian Angels, Patron Saints, deceased loved ones, the Holy Souls in Purgatory and Jesus and Our Blessed Mother Mary, who never leave our side for an instant. Only heavenly graces have helped us avoid bitterness and a defeatist attitude. We continue to offer up our trials and sufferings and try not to become too absorbed in our own crosses, but still reach out to others to help them carry theirs. Following the Master through the Way of the Cross has always been - and still is - the only way to heaven, isn't it?

    Ave Maria Tracy Burch

    Fr. Ken, pray for us

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  52. Hi Mary,

    I am trying to contact you regarding the image Padre Pio Favourite painting The Path Less Taken (Padre Pio with Our Lady of Grace from the San Giovanni Rotonda in Italy).

    We are desparately trying to get a print of this image for our brother in law, Andy, as he has a particular devotion to Padre Pio.

    If possible can you come back to us in the next 3-4 days as Andy is coming to visit us here in Ireland on 25th January.

    We look forward to hearing from you.

    Kind regards

    Christeen & Carol

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  53. Dear Christeen and Carol,

    Thank you for getting in touch, and I am so glad to hear that your brother-in-law Andy has a devotion to Padre Pio. It is very thoughtful of you to get him an image of the painting.

    From reading your comment, I guess that you are asking me to give or get you a print of the image of Padre Pio's favourite paining of Our Lady, is that right? To be honest, I do not have a print of the favourite painting, nor do I know where to get one. So, I'm not in a position to give you an image or get one for you.

    The picture that you see on the post above is available on the internet, but I do not have a hardcopy of it.

    Perhaps you could print the picture from the internet? This is the best that I can suggest.

    God bless you and may you get lots of graces and blessings,

    Mary

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  54. Hi Mary - thank you so much for your quick reply - much appreciated. The image we are looking for is the 2nd one on this page - Padre Pio with Our Lady of Grace - we have found it on the internet but the printers tell us the resolution is too low. We will keep searching - we are not ones to give up easily!! Andy is turning 60 next weekend so we were hoping to have it for him then but I'm sure he won't mind if it's a little late. Padre Pio was also our parent's favourite saint - they prayed to him all the time - we even had his image on their memorial cards. God Bless you in your work. Christeen & Carol.

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