Pietrelcina, The way of the Rosary

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The ” Way of the Rosary” is a small street that parts from the “castle ” district, near the door of the Small Madonna, and in a few minutes crosses the fields and leads to Piana Romana. Here there is a group of houses, one near the other, among these the farmhouse of the Forgione family. Padre Pio, as a child, a student and a priest crossed this solitary way, saying the Hail Mary while his fingers were running through the rosary beads. His thoughts were turned towards the created world, to the surrounding nature, to the fresh shadows of the foliage of the trees and to the sun that warmed the world.

“All the peasants were scattered through the countryside and even the shepherds going out with their herds. Even the nightingales piously entered the bushes chirping. Here you could hear the bleating of the sheep, and one could see the jumping of the small lambs”.

(Padre Pio, School Compositions)

The “Way of the Rosary ” is a country path that inspires sentiments of gratefulness and love to God the All Providing. Along the small paths, the small bridge over the stream “Quadrielli” was a place where often strange and fearful encounters occurred with the “Cosacks“ (devils). Padre Pio saw their shadows in the reflection of water under the bridge. These beings tried to terrorize him, but he would continue his walk up to Piana Romana. Along the path there are fresh water wells, where Padre Pio would stop to drink and exchange a few words with some of the farmers and where he would rest for a while under the shadow of a fig tree. The street was flanked by hedges, trees, well cultivated fields, wine groves and gardens.

One day, Mamma Peppa, while passing by one of these fields of green vegetables said to Francesco “how I would like to eat them”, “It’s a sin” said Francesco. After a while he saw a beautiful fig tree, and without thinking twice, went under the tree and started to eat the figs. “but I don’t know” protested his mother “If I want to eat the vegetables it’s a sin but if you want to eat the figs, it is not?”.Along the way there is a small wooden bridge that permits one to crossover the brook “Quadrielli”, on which, happened two episodes in the life of Francesco. Here on this bridge they waited for him “ugly faces”, those devils that frightened him by screaming and mocking him. “Now is passing a Saint! Now is passing a Saint!” and he defend himself by saying the rosary and what is more, it also happened to him to become inebriated when he wished to smoke a “toscano” cigar.

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