Padre Pio: "Marriage is Calvary"
The second part of John Carmichael's interview on At Home with Jim and Joy is available on YouTube.
Joy Pinto, wife of Jim, is a spiritual daughter of Padre Pio, and with this in mind, John told Joy about Padre Pio's counsel to his very first spiritual daughter, Giovanna Rizzani, which is that, "Matrimony is Calvary." Padre Pio said this to Giovanna because she was trying to figure out if she was called to religious life or marriage, and another priest had previously instructed her to enter a convent, which perplexed Giovanna, and so she sought out her father-in-spirit Pio who told her it was not God's will for her to become a nun: "My daughter, Christ does not want you on Mount Tabor, but on Calvary. Religious life is Tabor. Matrimony is Calvary." Pio shone more light on this gem of insight, "On Tabor one seeks, one finds, and one lives united with God in prayer and in contemplation. On Calvary one finds suffering in crucifixion with Jesus." When Giovanna knew she was destined to find a husband and be, "in crucifixion with Jesus," she was filled with great happiness. Her spiritual father, Pio, the stigmatist who bore the bloody wounds of Christ advised his daughter to enter the state of life that is to be "in crucifixion."
I have the text of this remarkable conversation, it is from the depositions and sworn testimony that Giovanna gave concerning her extraordinary relationship with Padre Pio. Pio called Giovanna "the first born of my heart," as she was entrusted to him on the very day she was born, January 18, 1905. At the time Pio was only 17 and had only been in the seminary two full years, when one bleak winter's night he was taken by bilocation to tippy-top of Italy, Udine, where he met Our Lady outside a grand mansion, who told him that his first spiritual daughter was being born that very night. Our Lady instructed Pio: "I entrust this creature to you, she is a precious stone still in a rough state: work on her, polish her, render her as brilliant as possible, because one day I wish to adorn myself with her."
Giovanna has gone to God, and has, I believe, become a bright diamond who adorns Our Lady.
As an aside, Giovanna's father had been a die-hard Mason who scorned the Faith, and died the day Giovanna was born. In his dying moments, he repented, and is verily the first Mason that Pio had a hand in converting.