Padre Pio had a great devotion to his own Guardian Angel. He said, “Little companion of my infancy, angiolino, angioletto, my secretary, inseparable companion, celestial person, celestial messenger, brother, friend, prevents danger, one of the family, translates for me the letters in other languages, I send him to console people suffering, prevents from stumbling, never leaves us alone for an instant, from the cradle to the grave, even when we are sinning.”
Padre Pio also had a special devotion to St. Michael the Archangel and had experienced the protection of the Archangel many times. Each year, he would fast in order to prepare himself for the Feast day of St. Michael on September 29. When hearing confessions, Padre Pio frequently asked individuals to recite prayers in honor of St. Michael as their penance. He often urged people to visit the nearby Monte Sant’ Angelo, the ancient shrine dedicated to St. Michael.
People often sent their angels to Padre Pio to ask for prayer. The angels, for their part, like true friends were happy to perform this little service. Father Dominic, who handled the American mail for Padre Pio, asked him: “Padre . . . a woman wants to know if she sends her Guardian Angel to you, does he come?” Padre Pio replied, “Tell her that her Angel is not like she is. Her Angel is very obedient, and when she sends him, he comes!”
Father Alessio was the personal assistant of Padre Pio from 1965 to 1968. At night, Padre Pio would always recite the Rosary. Frequently, Father Alessio heard Padre Pio interrupt the Rosary by saying such things as, “Tell her that I will ask Jesus.” “Tell her that I will pray deeply about it.” “Tell him that I will remember him at my Mass.” It was only later that Father Alessio realized that Padre Pio was carrying on a conversation with the guardian angels of some of his spiritual children.
One day, Father Alessio had finished purifying a ciborium when he saw, from his right side, a host float down from mid-air into the ciborium. He told Padre Pio about the incident. Padre Pio advised him to be more attentive and not to rush when he was distributing Holy Communion. Padre Pio explained that an angel had put the consecrated host in Father Alessio’s ciborium so as to keep it from falling on the floor.
Father Alessio was not able to get sufficient sleep because Padre Pio was often sick and needed help in the night hours. Each morning, Father Alessio helped Padre Pio get ready for Mass and then he would rush to his room in order to take a short nap. Many times Father Alessio was sleeping so deeply that he would not hear his alarm go off. At that point, he would hear someone knocking loudly at his door. When he answered the door, there was no one there.
Each day, when it was time for Padre Pio to hear confessions, Father Alessio would take Padre Pio’s arm and walk with him to the confessional. Once Padre Pio was situated in the confessional, Father Alessio would rush to his room to take a quick nap. Each time his alarm clock failed to wake him up, he would hear a distinct voice saying to him, “Alessio, it is time to go to the church!”
One day, Father Alessio told Padre Pio that he could not understand why his alarm clock failed to wake him up. Padre Pio said, “You must buy yourself another alarm clock, I am not going to continue to send my guardian angel to you each day to wake you up!”
When Padre Pio died on September 23, 1968, several pilgrims reported that they saw angels in the night sky. At the time of the sun’s rising, the angels disappeared.