"Today let the inhabitants of Heaven and of earth be united, let the joy of Angels and men be one, let every tongue exult and sing Hail to the Mother of God."
------From the LITURGICAL YEAR, The Feast of the Assumption
The very idea of writing on Padre Pio without mentioning his dear Mother, Our Blessed Lady, is quite out of the question. And, undoubtedly, the fact that the Angels helped Padre Pio a great deal in his priestly ministry, must be due, to a great extent, to the Madonna. He himself said: "Oh, Mary, sweetest Mother of priests, mediatrix and administratrix of all graces, I pray to you from the depths of my heart . . . " From these words, we can see, that even though the Angels carried out many orders given to them, to obtain many graces for people, they could not do this at all without the consent of the "Queen of Angels", who holds authority over them. Padre Pio also said: "Our Lady never refuses me a grace through the recitation of the Rosary." But the most important observation here, is that although these Angels worked so marvelously well for Padre Pio, they were under the authority of their "Queen", without whose permission they could do nothing at all.
It would be superfluous to say, that Padre Pio's filial devotion and love for Our Blessed Lady knew no bounds. He was never seen without Her Rosary in his hands, as he said: "Prayer is the key which opens up the heart of God", so it was through his prayer and his particular devotion to Our Blessed Mother that he received, for others, so many graces. In order to carry out these blessings, he was helped by the Angels.
In sum total, behind all these marvelous gifts of Padre Pio, his extraordinary guidance of souls, his gift of bilocation and his camaraderie with the Angels, was Our Lady, who cherished him as a mother would a child, even to the point that, after he had been beaten by the devils one night in his room, She came and put a cushion under his head, in order to relieve his suffering somewhat. Let us now quote from the series of books: "City Of God" (The Coronation), and see just what Mary's position is amongst these celestial spirits. It begins with the visit of the Archangel Gabriel to her, informing her of her forthcoming departure from earthly life: "The holy prince (Archangel Gabriel) descended with the rest to the Cenacle in Jerusalem and entered the oratory of the great Lady, where they found Her prostrate on the ground in the form of a cross, asking mercy for sinners. But, hearing the sound of their music and perceiving them present, She rose to her knees in order to hear the message and show respect for the ambassador of Heaven and his companions, who in white and refulgent garments surrounded Her with wonderful delight and reverence. All of them had come with crowns and palms in their hands, each one with a different one; but all of them represented the diverse premiums and rewards of inestimable beauty and value to be conferred upon their great Queen and Lady. Gabriel saluted Her with the Ave Maria, and added thereto: 'Our Empress and Lady, the Omnipotent and the Holy of the holy sends us from His heavenly court to announce to Thee in His name the most happy end of thy pilgrimage and banishment upon earth in mortal life. Soon, O Lady, is that day and hour approaching, in which, according to thy longing desires, Thou shalt pass through natural death to the possession of the eternal and immortal life, which awaits Thee in glory and at the right hand of thy Divine Son, our God. Exactly three years from today Thou shalt be taken up and received into the everlasting joy of the Lord, where all its inhabitants await Thee, longing for thy presence.'
"The most holy Mary heard this message with ineffable jubilee of her purest and most loving spirit, and, prostrating Herself again upon the earth, She answered in the same words as at the incarnation of the Word: 'Ecce ancilla Domini, fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum.' ------'Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done according to thy word.' Then She asked the holy Angels and the ministers of the Most High to help Her give thanks for this welcome and joyful news. The blessed Mother alternately with the Seraphim and the other Angels, sang the responses of a canticle that lasted for two hours. Although by their nature and supernatural gifts the angelic spirits are so subtle, wise and excellent, they were nevertheless excelled in all this by their Queen and Lady, as vassals are by their sovereign; for in Her, grace and wisdom abounded as in a Teacher, in them, only as in disciples.
Having finished this canticle, humiliating Herself anew, She charged the supernatural creatures to beseech the Lord to prepare Her for her passage from mortal to eternal life, and to ask all the other Angels and Saints in Heaven to pray for the same favour. They offered to obey Her in all things, and therewith Saint Gabriel took leave and returned with all his company to the Empyrean heaven.
". . . After placing the most blessed Mary on this exalted and supereminent throne, the Lord declared to the courtiers of Heaven all the privileges She should enjoy in virtue of this participation in His majesty. The Person of the eternal Father, as the First principle of all things, speaking to the Angels and Saints, said to them: 'Our Daughter Mary, was chosen according to Our pleasure from amongst all creatures, the first one to delight Us, and who never fell from the title and position of true Daughter, such as We had given Her in our Divine mind; She has a claim on our dominion, which we shall recognize by crowning Her as the legitimate and peerless Lady and Sovereign'. The incarnate Word said: 'To my true and natural Mother belong all the creatures which created and redeemed by Me and of all things over which I am King. She too shall be the legitimate and supreme Queen.' The Holy Ghost said: 'Since She is called My beloved and chosen Spouse, She deserves to be crowned as Queen for all eternity.'
"Having thus spoken, the three Divine Persons placed upon the head of the most blessed Mary, a crown of such new splendour and value, the like has been seen neither before nor after by any mere creature. At the same time a voice sounded from the throne saying: 'My Beloved, chosen among the creatures, our kingdom is Thine; Thou shalt be the Lady and the Sovereign of the seraphim, of all the ministering spirits, the Angels and of the entire universe of creatures . . .'
Altogether festive was this day and it produced new accidental glory in the heavens. Those that partook more especially therein were her most fortunate spouse Saint Joseph, Saint Joachim and Anne and all the other relatives of the Queen, together with the thousand Angels of Her Guard . . . "
Let us conclude this tribute to our Blessed Mother, with the words of our dear Padre Pio when, speaking on Our Lady, he said: "May Mary fill your heart with the flowers and fragrance of ever fresh virtues, and place Her maternal hand on your head. Always keep close to your Heavenly Mother, because she is the sea that must be crossed, in order to reach the shores of eternal splendor in the kingdom of Dawn."