St. Padre Pio’s 5 Point Rule of Life

August 21, 2014

When we think of great mystics and wonder-working saints, we often think of those who lived centuries ago. Yet, St. Pio of Pietrelcina was both a mystic and a performer of many miracles—and he died in 1968, only 46 years ago.

In many ways, this saint was and is a contradiction to our scientific, rational age, and despite their eagerness to prove him a fraud, skeptics remain consistently unable to explain the many miracles that accompanied St. Pio’s life.

But while St. Pio is remembered as a miracle worker, he was perhaps best known in his day as a spiritual father to countless souls. He gave wise and holy counsel to those dealing with the struggles of living a holy life in the world, and through his advice, he guided many souls to heaven.

Here are five habits St. Padre Pio believed all Catholics should practice, based on advice he gave to his spiritual children.

I. Weekly Confession

“Confession is the soul’s bath. You must go at least once a week. I do not want souls to stay away from confession more than a week. Even a clean and unoccupied room gathers dust; return after a week and you will see that it needs dusting again!”

II. Daily Communion

“It is quite true, we are not worthy of such a gift. However, to approach the Blessed Sacrament in a state of mortal sin is one thing, and to be unworthy is quite another. All of us are unworthy, but it is He who invites us. It is He who desires it. Let us humble ourselves and receive Him with a heart contrite and full of love.”

III. Examination of Conscience Every Evening

Someone once told Padre Pio that he thought a nightly examination of conscience was pointless because he knew what was sin as it was committed. To this, Padre Pio replied, “That is true enough. But every experienced merchant in this world not only keeps track throughout the day of whether he has lost or gained on each sale. In the evening, he does the bookkeeping for the day to determine what he should do on the morrow. It follows that it is indispensable to make a rigorous examination of conscience, brief but lucid, every night.”

IV. Daily Spiritual Reading

“The harm that comes to souls from the lack of reading holy books makes me shudder…. What power spiritual reading has to lead to a change of course, and to make even worldly people enter into the way of perfection.”

V. Mental Prayer Twice Daily

“If you do not succeed in meditating well, do not give up doing your duty. If the distractions are numerous, do not be discouraged; do the meditation of patience, and you will still profit. Decide upon the length of your meditation, and do not leave your place before finishing, even if you have to be crucified. Why do you worry so much because you do not know how to meditate as you would like? Meditation is a means to attaining God, but it is not a goal in itself. Meditation aims at the love of God and neighbor. Love God with all your soul without reserve, and love your neighbor as yourself, and you will have accomplished half of your meditation.”

The following 5 point rule was taken from the article, Saint Padre Pio, by Rev. Father Jean, OFM., Cap.

Sam Guzman


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Reader Interactions


  1. Mags says

    Oh the simplicity of this is breathtaking – yet on closer inspection is profound! That’s St Pio for you! I just wish all the Bishops throughout the world would really make a huge drive to “re-institute” the Sacrament of Reconciliation which was so dear to St Pio’s heart (and St John Vianney’s), because I’ve never heard the priests in my locale really REALLY invite us to come to confession – and we only have 1 half hour a week allocated to this wonderful Sacrament. Whereas, when I was a child, we went as a family every 2 weeks – something I tried to do with my children but – I wasn’t greatly successful, – and coming to confess venial sins was actively discouraged and so very many people stopped going. So sad!

  2. laywomansterms says

    I greatly appreciated this straightforward advice on how to enrich my own soul. I have tried applying the Divine Office to my daily life and have failed on a number of occasions because it just didn’t fit where I am in life very well. I greatly appreciate these 5 points, most especially confession and examination of conscience. Some of the others won’t come as easily to me, but that likely means they are an important place to focus. Thank you for this post!

    • LausTibiChristi says

      Laywomansterms: I, too, have struggled with my prayer life in regards to the Divine Office – Do I pray just Morning/Evening, or all Hours? Do I pray the LOTH or the 1962 Divine Office? (I go to OF Masses sometimes during the week but I am an EF Parish member.) If I pray the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is that liturgical prayer? Is the Office what God wants me to pray or what I want me to pray? AAAAARGH!

      I am going to write these points down and see how well I can follow this Rule of Life. This Advent, simplicity seems to be the message God is sending me, so I’m going to do my best to listen to it.

  3. Stevenn says

    I was discouraged by a priest to make weekly confession. In fact, he became mad at me when I told him that I had my confession a week ago, he never let me explain that I was struggling with a sin. I wish he could read this to make him understand that even saints encourage it.

    • Tony says

      That’s a shame, maybe if you talk to him he will listen, but at the same time, we don’t have enough priests to go around, Priest are very very busy, at least the good ones are, doing Mass, baptisms, wakes, funerals, pastoral counsleing, spiritual direction, trying to keep parish running. It is a shame we don’t have more priest, so people could go more often! Maybe try another priest, if you feel he is not listening, sometimes you have to shop around for a good priest that gets it. Good Luck, with that, and I hope you find a solution

  4. Tim says

    Very similar to Stevenn, my priest told me that once a month should be enough, and I respect him because he has been a wonderful spiritual guide.

    Keep with it, though, and pray for our priests! They need our prayers. The devil hates them and will do everything in his power to derail them from their mission.

  5. Donna Pioli says

    This is a very interesting,site in the sense that it is written by a layman. I like that very much.
    I love St.Pio, which seems strange for me to address him that way because I had followed him
    When he was known as Padre Pio. I am very happy and blessed that you have begun it.
    I, too, and even my children when young, were told not to go to confession so often. And, to
    Find a time when a priest is available is even harder, but maybe the more we begin to show
    Up, they will too!

  6. Teresa Murray says

    My prayers to St Padre Pio have always been answered.
    I really appreciate this 5 point rule of life. Frequent prayer and examination of conscience keeps one’s spiritual life in check. Thank – you.

  7. sha Jenkins says

    THANKYOU THANKYOU THANKYOU !! I do take practice in the confession & communion but needed the strong reminder & enrichment regarding meditation TWICE a day or more( as well as its meaning!!)…

  8. Fr. Chris OFM says

    Padre Pio was born May 25, 1887. He was 81 when he died. You were probably confusing his age at death with that of St. Francis, who was 46. Peace and good.


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