Pietrelcina, the small tower (torretta)
Pietrelcina: The small tower (torretta).
Not far from the birthplace of Padre Pio, on the summit of the remains of an ancient baronial castle one can find the “Small Tower”. A small room, constructed on a rock in which one enters by a steep staircase. This small room welcomed Padre Pio from 1909 to 1912, difficult years of sickness that kept him away from the convent and during which he was not permitted to stay at his parents home. In fact, during this epoch the rules of the Capuchin Monks were very strict and ordered the monks that were living out of the convent to take off the habit of Saint Francis.
In case they were forced to live long periods of time away from the cloister, in no case what so ever they were allowed to live with their parents or family. It was then that the parents of Padre Pio rented a small room on this small tower, where he passed the winter months and they also constructed a small hut in Piana Romana, near the elm tree which he was fond of, to welcome him during the hot summer months.
During these years there began a correspondence with his confessors Father Benedetto Nardella and Father Agostino Daniele, the extraordinary autobiography through which we can participate in his spiritual life, in his sufferings and with his fight with the demon. In this place, the letters tell us that Padre Pio was consoled by the maternal presence of the Madonna and comforted by the presence of Jesus, his Guardian Angel and Saint Francis.
In his home town, Padre Pio lived these years surrounded by the love of his family and of the affection of his fellow villagers and he passed moments of serenity, and peace made of simple genuine sentiments that remained always in the memory of Padre Pio. Here Our Lord prepared him for that great mission in the world.
“I don’t know how to thank our Dear Jesus, for the great courage and force that he gives to me to bear not only the many sicknesses that he sends to me but also the continuous temptations that he permits and that day by day are multiplied. These temptations make me shake from head to foot, thinking that I could offend God.”
(Padre Pio to Friar Agostino ( 1/10/1910 ).