Padre Pio: "Hypocrisy is the greatest evil of our time"


Padre Pio said to American soldier Bill Carrigan in 1945: "Hypocrisy is the greatest evil of our time. It exists in all levels of our society, in high places and in low places."

Just this week I came across this quote from Pio decrying hypocrisy at 'all levels' of society. I found it when doing ever deeper research on the Stigmatist of the Gargano, and for the first time in a long time I was startled by Padre Pio's words, especially since reading it just after posting my last piece on avoiding a hypocritical prayer life when I was asking myself if hypocrisy is all that bad. It was like Padre Pio was putting a stop to my second-guessing.

I have been studying the life of Padre Pio for some time and am doing this rather forensic inquiry in preparation for editing my book on Padre Pio, which while a finished draft of work needs added analysis in places, and I have found that there is a huge body of quotes from him that don't quite get the attention of his more cheering truisms such as, "pray, hope and don't worry, worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer".  Among the more strongly-worded, industrial strength sayings of Pio are, "the devil is in the cinema", "if you imitated Mary Magdalene in her sins, have the courage to imitate her in her penance", and "happiness is not of this world", the last one answering the question that most people, especially young women in my peer group have asked me as to whether Pio said anything about having continuous happiness in this life.

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