Understanding the value and need to pray always, Padre Pio responded to and accepted the repeated pleas of Pope Pius XII in 1947 during the height of the Second World War and encouraged the faithful to gather in groups to pray according to the intentions of the Holy Father. In 1947, at Padre Pio’s invitation, Prayer Groups began to spring up, and take on a more stable form. Padre Pio stated: “Let us be the first to respond to the appeal launched by our Supreme Pontiff”. In a world armed with War at that time, Padre Pio wanted a world armed with Prayer. “Prayer is the best weapon we have, and the key to God’s heart”.
The Padre Pio Prayer Groups were therefore a direct response to the Spiritual needs of our times as perceived by Padre Pio of Pietrelcina and directed by him. The Prayer Groups today are composed of members of the faithful, who try to respond to Christ’s invitation to pray, and distinguish themselves for their fidelity to the Church, with a generous charity towards the suffering, according to what Padre Pio indicated. Laity, as well as Priests and Religious, can be members of the Prayer Groups. Their purpose is to promote the spreading of the teaching of Christ, who repeatedly insisted on the necessity of prayer. The Prayer Groups commit to following the general principles of the Franciscan Spirituality of Padre Pio, which include:
- Total and unconditional adherence to the teaching of the Catholic Church, guided by the Pope and Bishops.
- Obedience to the Pope and the Bishops whose representative, in each Group, is the Spiritual Director. This representative is a priest nominated by the Bishop.
- Prayer with the Church, through the Church, and in the Church. By this is meant an active participation in the liturgical and sacramental life of the Church as an essential means of intimate union with God.
- A willingness to share in the sufferings of Christ, as an effective means of reparation, according to the teachings of St. Paul.
- Generosity and self-sacrifice in undertaking works of charity, especially for the suffering and needs, as a practical demonstration of the members’ love of God.
There is a total of 77 Prayer Groups in the Island of Ireland, 33 in Northern Ireland, and 44 in the Republic of Ireland. Each Prayer Group normally holds a monthly meeting, during which the Holy Mass is celebrated, preceded, and followed by other prayers, including the Rosary. There are no fixed days of times for these meetings, as these are determined by local, regional, and national meetings of Prayer Groups.
Further information on joining one of the Padre Pio Prayer Groups can be obtained by contacting the Irish Centre for Padre Pio.
The members of the Prayer Groups are not obliged to contribute financially.
Reach out to us – we would love to hear from you!
Use the following details and contact form to get in touch with the National Centre for Padre Pio about any questions or inquiries.