Padre Pio had great devotion to Our Lady. He held the rosary in his hand, night and day, and filled his free moments with the recital of the Rosary. In many photographs, he is shown with his right hand hidden within the pocket where he always kept his Rosary beads. He earnestly recommend the Rosary to everyone as a means of salvation. Concerning the Rosary, Our Lady herself said to Padre Pio: “With this weapon you will win.”
One day, a penitent said to him: “Padre, today they say the Rosary is out of date, that it is no longer in fashion. It is no longer said in many churches.” Padre Pio replied: “Let us do what our fathers did and all will be well with us.”
“But Satan rules the world. Because they make him rule; can a spirit rule by itself if it is not united to the human will? We could not have been born in a more depraved world. The one who prays a lot saves himself. The one who prays little is in danger. The one who does not pray loses his soul.”
Another time, Padre Pio said, “Love Our Lady, make others love her. Always say your Rosary and say it well. Satan always tries to destroy this prayer, but he will never succeed. It is the prayer of her who triumphs over everything and everyone.”
Padre Pio instructed his spiritual children: “In all the free time you have, once you have finished your duties of state, you should kneel down and pray the Rosary. Pray the Rosary before the Blessed Sacrament or before a crucifix.”
He said, “Mary has taught us the rosary just as Jesus taught us the Our Father”.
“Mary has recommended the Rosary at Lourdes and Fatima because of it’s exceptional value for us and our times.”
In 1959, a statue of Our Lady that had come specially from Fatima was traveling all over Italy by helicopter. Padre Pio was sick with pleurisy. However, he led the faithful to prepare for the coming of Our Lady. On August 6, Padre Pio sat in front of the statue of Our Lady, gave her a gold rosary, and kissed her.
In the afternoon, the helicopter carrying the statue of our Lady rose from the terrace of the Home for Relief of Suffering headed for Sicily. From a window Padre Pio watched the helicopter fly away with eyes filled with tears. He prayed: “My Lady, my Mother, you came to Italy and I got sick, now you are going away and you leave me still ill.”
At that instant, the helicopter with Our Lady’s statue suddenly circled the building three times. The pilot would later say that he could not explain why. At the same time, Padre Pio felt a shudder in all his person. He cried out, “I am healed! Our Lady has healed me!” Later he would often said, “In that very instant I felt a sort of shudder in my bones which cured me immediately.”
Padre Pio said many times: “I wish I had a voice loud enough to tell all the sinners of the world to love Mary. She is the ocean across which one must travel in order to reach Jesus.” He also said: “The Madonna is the shortcut to get to God.” “Abandon yourself in the hands of Mary. She will take care of you.”
Two days before his death, Padre Pio said: “Love Our Lady and make her loved. Recite the Rosary and recite it always. And recite it as much as you can.”