Open God’s heart with prayer, pope tells Padre Pio Prayer Groups

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February 7, 2016

A child is lifted to come into contact with the glass case containing the body of St. Padre Pio in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican Feb. 6. The bodies of St. Padre Pio and St. Leopold Mandic were brought to Rome at the request of Pope Francis for the Year of Mercy. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) See POPE-PADRE-PIO-LEOPOLD Feb 6, 2016 and PADRE-PIO-LEOPOLD-MERCY Feb. 4, 2016.

A child is lifted to come into contact with the glass case containing the body of St. Padre Pio in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican Feb. 6. The bodies of St. Padre Pio and St. Leopold Mandic were brought to Rome at the request of Pope Francis for the Year of Mercy. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Praying is not like taking an aspirin, something one does just to feel a little better, Pope Francis told thousands of members of Padre Pio Prayer Groups from around the world.

Prayer is not a business negotiation with God, either, the pope told more than 60,000 people gathered in St. Peter’s Square Feb. 6. Prayer is a “work of spiritual mercy,” a time to entrust everything to the heart of God, he said.

The pilgrims were in Rome for the Year of Mercy and a week of special events that included veneration of the relics of St. Padre Pio and St. Leopold Mandic, both Capuchin friars who often spent more than 12 hours a day hearing confessions.

Read more in The Visitor…