As a young lad, Padre Pio was imparted the wisdom of “amending” the affront done by profanity by his dear mother.
Growing up, Padre Pio was not a stranger to coarse language; a fair number of his mates would often be heard uttering oaths or curses.
His initial response was usually to take flight.
Esteemed author C. Bernard Ruffin shares an intriguing anecdote in his book, “Padre Pio: The True Story”.
Whenever a companion of Padre Pio’s would utter a curse or an oath, young Franci would take to his heels. Luigi Orlando, who once described Padre Pio as “a lad like any other,” recollected an instance when they were engaged in a wrestling match. In the heat of the moment, Luigi let slip a potent expletive. Upon hearing this, Franci, who at the moment had Luigi pinned to the ground, swiftly arose and dashed away.
Padre Pio’s mother held a firm belief that her offspring should not fraternise with children who were known to use coarse language. Padre Pio took this counsel to heart, distancing himself from anyone he heard swearing or cursing.
Simultaneously, his mother schooled him in the art of “amending” the harm done.
Padre Pio’s mother, Beppa, sternly instructed her children to avoid the company of those who used crude or blasphemous language. In fact, whenever she overheard anyone uttering a curse, she would promptly “amend” it with the phrase, “Blessed be God!” – a custom she endeavoured to inculcate in all her offspring.
As Padre Pio blossomed into adulthood, he ceased running from those who swore, but likely endeavoured to do his utmost to “amend” the affront of coarse language.
It is plausible that he himself might have been tempted to employ coarse language, as is the case with many of us who are tested on a daily basis. After all, he was merely human, just like the rest of us.
Regardless of what transpired in his later years, there is a valuable lesson for us all in the approach taken by Padre Pio’s mother – a lesson in responding affirmatively when faced with language that offends the Almighty.