From a letter sent by Padre Pio on September 12, 1968 to Pope Paul VI:
"I offer to you my prayers and my daily suffering, so that the Lord may comfort you with his grace,
to continue defending the eternal truth that never changes with the times change.
I thank you for the clear words in the "Humanae Vitae" (The encyclical letter 'Of human life')
and confirm my faiths and my unconditional obedience." - Source
I am convinced Padre Pio is one of the most important saints for our time.
Years ago I had a vivid dream of Padre Pio - which means more to me now than it did then. Otherwise, I didn't have a very intense devotion to him, even though I visited San Giovanni Rotondo as a pilgrim and asked his intercession many times in novenas and aspirations. Now that I'm older, his life makes more sense to me. "He participated daily in the physical sufferings of the wounded Christ" - since the end of WWI - for 50 years. With persecution, "humiliation and rejection" besides.
I remember how several priests I encountered in my life used to speak of Padre Pio in a condescending manner, frequently distancing themselves from devotees, regarding them as naive and 'overly pious'. He didn't fit in with contemporary theology. So I remained pretty much a secret admirer throughout the '70's and '80's. My attraction and love for Padre Pio was based upon my conviction that he was a refuge for sinners more than a living crucifix or wonder-worker. He was so devoted to the conversion and reconciliation of sinners. No matter how gruff he appeared, or severe his counsels sounded to me, I sensed his seraphic love for souls. So simple - so great. He said he would do more after his death than he did in life and I trust that promise. In the fullness of charity, not one sinner could he ever reject - why? Because no servant is greater than his master - who is Mercy Himself.
Anyway. May he pray for all of us... may he obtain for us the grace of deep conversion, the forgiveness of sins and perseverance in grace.
On September 22, 1968 Padre Pio celebrated his last Mass. The wounds disappeared.
The wounds had disappeared on September 20, 1968 on the fiftieth anniversary of their appearance."
After last Mass, looking at the crowds in church: "oh my children! My dear children."
In thanksgiving for the graces given to St. Pio and the edifying example of his life, as well as the many graces obtained through his intercession.