Literature in English is scarce about this youthful Italian Blessed and, I have to admit, when I first read whatever I could gather about him I wasn't completely impressed or inspired. There were no spiritual fireworks about him that wowed me, but rather, he just appeared too "ordinary", as far as I could personally evaluate... and I wondered to myself as to what made him sainthood-worthy.
Sadly, when he was about 6-years-old, Luigi's father, Giuseppe, died of typhoid, which left his family even more desperate. An uncle arrived to help support his mother and three siblings, but the uncle's bad behavior made home-life a trial for them.
|The venerated painting of the|
Madonna of Casale
I further recognized that, in essence, Bl. Pius was walking the little way, a method of spirituality later made popular by St. Therese the Little Flower (d. 1897)... and my early doubts about his sanctity vanished. I see why his companions must have been so impressed with him - they probably came to sense the powerful force of love that emanated from Pius' being despite his seemingly ordinary exterior.
manifest yourself to us, we beseech you,
as you did to Blessed Pius,
and grant that we may follow you unceasingly,
our one and true God, in purity and sincerity of life,
loving you above all things and loving others with your love.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God forever and ever. Amen.