John Paul II on Blessed Pio Campidelli

At his Beatification on 17th November 1985, Pope John Paul II spoke of the young Passionist, Pio Campidelli –

In the International Year of Youth, Pio Campidelli, Brother Pio of Saint Aloysius, is raised to the glory of the altars. This young man, like savoury salt, gave his life for his land, for his people. He offered his life for the Church, the Pope, the conversion of sinners and his Romangna.

Brother Pio found the fundamental value in his religious life in the very gift of himself. This essential trait of his interior physiognomy was especially evident to others at the moment of his death when “fully aware of his imminent consummation, he continued daily to offer to fulfil his sacrifice perfectly in order to conform himself to the will of God; he offered it for the Church … and in particular for the good of his beloved Romagna (Canonical Process). Only at that moment did the particular note of his virtue express itself, which revealed the style of his entire spiritual experience.

From childhood on, Pio Campidelli, had felt an attraction to prayer, liturgy and religious instruction and, sustained by the good example of his family, he maintained it enthusiastically, showing it with expressions typical of innocent childhood, such as devotion to Our Lady, the Blessed Sacrament, and the Crucified.

Having entered the Passionists, he found there a favourable climate for the development of his predominant desire to live in union with God in his very internal intimacy, and to prepare himself to involve others in this passionate experience through the exercise of priestly ministry. He was not able, however, to attain the priesthood because God called him to himself at the age of twenty one. In the special vow of the Passionists to continue the memory of the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus, Pio learned how totally to involve his own life, thereby realizing his mission of the specific vocation of his religious family. He came from a poor family, his health was always frail, his intelligence average; yet he never considered his poverty and limitations a misfortune, nor was he frustrated by them. He nevertheless fulfulled his greatest potential because he “sought wisdom in prayer .. from his youth he followed her steps … and found there much instruction” (cf. Sir 51:13-16).

Thus Brother Pio was true “salt for the earth” for those who knew him while he was alive and continues to be “salt” for those who draw near to the luminous testimony of his example”.

[Source: L’Osservatore Romano, 25th November 1985, p. 3]

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