“A New Book” by Diane Allen
They Walked with God:
St. Bernadette Soubirous
St. John Vianney
St. Damien of Molokai
St. Andre Bessette
Bl. Solanus Casey
Diane Allen, author of the popular books: Pray, Hope, and Don’t Worry: True Stories of Padre Pio Book 1 and Book 2 spent four years researching the material for her latest book – They Walked with God: St Bernadette Soubirous, St. John Vianney, St. Damien of Molokai, St. Andre Bessette, Bl. Solanus Casey. Read the inspirational stories of five remarkable individuals who devoted their lives to a high ideal and showed what it means to be selfless, courageous and faithful. They truly walked with God. Published by Padre Pio Press, and containing 359 pages, the book is available on amazon.com and at your local bookstore:
Bernadette Soubirous was born in Lourdes, France in 1844, the eldest child of a poor miller and his wife. Between February 11 and July 16, 1858, the Virgin Mary appeared to Bernadette at the grotto of Massabielle eighteen times. Bernadette was 14 years old. In one of the apparitions, the Virgin told Bernadette to drink of the water in the spring and wash in it. However, there was no spring of water at the grotto. Later that day, a spring appeared in the spot where Bernadette had conversed with the Virgin Mary. Many who drank of the water received remarkable physical healings. When Bernadette was twenty-two years old, she entered the Sisters of Charity Religious Order in Nevers, France. She passed her remaining years in prayer and seclusion despite almost constant sickness and pain. Pope Pius XI authenticated her visions and the veneration of the Virgin Mary as Our Lady of Lourdes. To this day, Lourdes remains one of the greatest healing centers in the world.
Father John Marie Vianney had not been a parish priest long when the tiny parish of Ars became vacant and needed a pastor. It was the poorest and most remote parish in the diocese of Lyons, France. The bishop assigned Father John Marie to the parish of Ars and said to him, “There is hardly any love in that parish. It will be up to you to bring love there.”
Paradoxically, the parish of Ars, so small and so poor, through the efforts of Father John Marie Vianney, became the focal center of spirituality for all of France. The mayor of Ars described it correctly when he said, “We have a poor church but a holy priest” and a visitor to Ars was so impressed by Father John Marie that he said of him, “I have seen God in a man.” During the last year of his life,100,000 people traveled to the tiny village to make their confession to Father John Marie Vianney and to receive his blessing. Pope Benedict XVI stated, “St. John Marie Vianney’s greatest work was his life. His existence was a living sermon.”
Father Damien de Veuster was born in Tremelo, Belgium on January 3, 1840. After his ordination to the priesthood, Father Damien served as a missionary in the Hawaiian Islands. The Hawaiian government had a leper colony on the island of Molokai, where people suffering from Hansen’s disease lived in isolation. The bishop of Honolulu did not feel he could ask any priest in his diocese to serve at Molokai as exposure to the disease would be a potential death sentence. Father Damien volunteered to serve at the leper settlement and received the permission.
At Molokai, Father Damien bandaged the sores of the lepers, built shelters for them, constructed an orphanage, set up a school, built a reservoir to supply clean water, and grew crops to insure an adequate food supply. To the lepers, Father Damien became their doctor, their nurse, their advocate, their counselor, their father and their friend. He brought order and peace to an Island where there had been no law and no hope. Like the Good Samaritan, Father Damien is an example for all who wish to be involved in the struggle for a more just, a more humane world. Father Damien died of leprosy at the age of 49 after serving 16 years among the lepers of Molokai and a total of 25 years in all, in the Hawaiian missions.
St. André Bessette, who was born in Quebec, Canada, served as a lay brother in the Congregation of the Holy Cross. During his lifetime he was known as a wonderworker and thousands of miraculous healings were attributed to his prayerful intercession. He became commonly known as the “miracle man of Montreal.” He had the gift of prophecy, reading of hearts and more. Through his great love for St. Joseph, he founded St. Joseph’s Oratory in 1904. For the rest of his life, he daily received long lines of sick people who flocked to the Oratory to ask him for his prayers. Later in his life, he needed four secretaries to handle the 80,000 letters he received each year. When he passed away on January 6, 1937, over a million people attended his funeral.
Father Solanus Casey (1870-1957) a Capuchin Franciscan priest, possessed extraordinary faith, hope, and love which overflowed into every aspect of his life. At the Capuchin monastery in Detroit, Michigan, where he served for many years, he was given the job of doorkeeper and it was as doorkeeper that his amazing spiritual gifts came to be known and recognized. People of all ages, creeds, and economic backgrounds found themselves drawn to him and they sought him out. He was known for his remarkable abilities as a spiritual counselor, as well as for his great attention to the sick, to whom he directed his attention and his prayers. He manifested great love and compassion which extended to the animal kingdom as well. Countless people were healed by his touch.
“We should foster a social consciousness which will help us to meet the needs of our neighbors, and to discern and seek to remove the sources of injustice in society. . .No human anxiety or sorrow should leave the disciples of Jesus Christ indifferent. But the world needs more than just social reformers. It needs saints. Holiness is not the privilege of a few but a gift offered to all.” – St..John Paul II
About the author: Diane Allen’s writings have appeared in the North American Voice of Fatima magazine, the Voice of Padre Pio magazine, Canticle magazine, Padre Pio Foundation of America publication, and Station of the Cross publication. She began writing the quarterly Padre Pio newsletter in 1999. She has been a guest on EWTN’s Global Catholic Radio program as well as on Radio Veritas worldwide Catholic Radio and Radio Maria U.S. She is the author of Pray, Hope, and Don’t Worry: True Stories of Padre Pio Book I, Pray, Hope, and Don’t Worry: True Stories of Padre Pio Book II, Daily Reflection: 365 Reflections from the Saints and Other Holy Men and Women of God and They Walked with God: St. Bernadette Soubirous, St. John Vianney, St. Damien of Molokai, St. Andre Bessette, Bl. Solanus Casey. Visit her Facebook page and her Instagram page
Pray, Hope, and Don’t Worry: True Stories of Padre Pio Book I
Pray, Hope, and Don’t Worry: True Stories of Padre Pio Book I, written by Diane Allen and published by Padre Pio Press was revised and expanded in October 2013 with 8 additional chapters and 60 pages added to the original publication. Pray, Hope, and Don’t Worry: Book I which now features 55 chapters and 460 pages is a glimpse into the life and spirituality of St. Pio of Pietrelcina, who has often been called “The greatest mystic of the 20th Century.”
Forty individuals, all who either met Padre Pio personally or attended his Mass, were interviewed for this book. The author and her husband, Deacon Ron Allen, have traveled to many parts of the United States in order to record the personal testimonies of Padre Pio’s friends from near and far.
Other chapters in the book which examine Padre Pio’s unique spirituality are titled, The Transverberation, The Extraordinary Perfume of Padre Pio, Padre Pio’s Way of the Cross, Padre Pio’s Love for the Virgin Mary, Answered Prayers, Padre Pio’s Holy Death, and more.
You will find this book at the following online book stores:
Pray, Hope, and Don’t Worry: True Stories of Padre Pio, Book II
Pray, Hope, and Don’t Worry: True Stories of Padre Pio, Book II, written by Diane Allen and published by Padre Pio Press, contains 40 chapters and 480 pages. The author continued her research and study of the life and spirituality of Padre Pio for her second book on the saint who has often been referred to as “the greatest mystic of the 20th Century.” She has also continued to travel to different parts of the U.S. with her husband, Deacon Ron Allen, in order to interview those who met Padre Pio and had a testimony to share. The introduction to the book is written by Reverend Edward Steriti, O.C.S.O. of St. Joseph’s Trappist Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts.
Recorded in Pray, Hope, and Don’t Worry: True Stories of Padre Pio Book II, is the testimony of Father Louis Solcia, spiritual director of the Padre Pio Prayer Group in San Diego for more than 20 years. Also included is the story of Alex Quinn, popular song writer and recording artist of Belfast, Northern Ireland and the miracle his family received through the intercession of Padre Pio. Be sure to read the testimony of the cloistered Carmelite nun, Sister Pia of Jesus Crucified, who found her vocation to religious life on her first visit to San Giovanni Rotondo and made her confession to Padre Pio on many occasions. Mario Bruschi, organizer for the last 33 years of the annual Padre Pio Mass and Celebration at Our Lady of Fatima Shrine in Washington, New Jersey, was also interviewed. Mario reluctantly agreed to accompany his mother to the monastery of Our Lady of Grace in San Giovanni Rotondo in 1957. His meeting with Padre Pio proved to be a life-changing experience. Father Vic Robles, founder of the National Shrine of Divine Mercy in the Philippines and rector of the Shrine for fifteen years, also shares his story of the graces he received through the intercession of Padre Pio.
Additional chapters include: Padre Pio – An Extraordinary Confessor, Padre Pio’s Love for the Holy Angels, The Clergy Remembers Padre Pio, Padre Pio’s Gift of Bilocation, Padre Pio’s Prophetic Spirit, More Stories from the War Years, Padre Pio – A True Spiritual Father, Padre Pio and the Children, Dreams of Padre Pio, Padre Pio’s Hospital:The Home for the Relief of Suffering, Padre Pio’s Healing Touch, Padre Pio’s Seraphic Father: St. Francis of Assisi and much more. Padre Pio’s prayers are also included.
You will find this book at the following online bookstores:
I wish to thank the Lord for having given us dear Padre Pio, for having given him to our generation in this very tormented century. In his love for God and for his brothers and sisters, he is a sign of great hope.
– Pope John Paul II
Daily Reflection: 365 Reflections from the Saints and Other Holy Men and Women of God
Daily Reflection: 365 Reflections from the Saints and Other Holy Men and Women of God, published by Padre Pio Press, contains a spiritual reflection for each day of the year taken from the writings of the saints and other holy men and women of God. All of the reflections were selected by Diane Allen.
The short meditations are taken from the popular Today’s Reflection page at the Padre Pio Devotions website – www.saintpio.org. The healing thoughts and prayers in this volume have been carefully selected and are presented as daily encouragement in order to enlighten, inspire, and uplift the soul.
The book contains excerpts from the writings of St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Maximilian Kolbe, St. Pio of Pietrelcina, St. Augustine, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, St. Francis de Sales, St. Faustina Kowalska, Pope John Paul II, St. John Vianney, Blessed Charles de Foucauld, St. Vincent de Paul, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, St. John of the Cross, St. Bernadette, Pope Benedict XVI, St. Teresa of Avila and many more.
You will find Daily Reflection: 365 Reflections from the Saints and Other Holy Men and Women of God at:
Several selections from the Daily Reflection follow:
I will live in the present moment and fill it with love. A straight line is made of millions of little points, one united with the other. My life, too, is made of millions of seconds and minutes united one with the other. If I arrange every single point perfectly, the line will be straight. If I live every minute perfectly, my life will be holy. The road of hope is paved with little steps of hope. The life of hope is made of brief minutes of hope…Every minute I want to sing with the whole Church – “Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.”
– Father Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan.
Let us imagine that we are a brush in the hand of an infinitely perfect artist. What must a brush do to make the painting turn out most beautiful? It must allow itself to be guided as perfectly as possible…When Eternal Wisdom, God, uses us as an instrument, then we shall act most fruitfully…when we permit ourselves to be directed most perfectly and entirely.
– St. Maximilian Kolbe
Jesus, Friend of a lonely heart. You are my haven, You are my peace. You are my salvation, You are my serenity in moments of struggle and amidst an ocean of doubts. You are the bright ray that lights up the path of my life. You are everything to a lonely soul…You know our weaknesses, and like a good physician, You comfort and heal, sparing us sufferings…
– St. Faustina Kowalska
Our present life is given only to gain the eternal one and if we don’t think about it, we build our affections on what belongs to this world, where our life is transitory. When we have to leave it we are afraid and become agitated. Believe me, to live happily in this pilgrimage, we have to aim at the hope of arriving at our Homeland, where we will stay eternally. Meanwhile we have to believe firmly that God calls us to Himself and follows us along the path towards Him. He will never permit anything to happen to us that is not for our greater good. He knows who we are and He will hold out His paternal hand to us during difficulties, so that nothing prevents us from running to Him swiftly. But to enjoy this grace we must have complete trust in Him.
– St. Pio of Pietrelcina
Whatever the work with which you have been entrusted – as a religious, as a layperson – it is a means for you to put your love for God in a living action…Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing…So if I want to know how much I love Christ, if I want to know if I am really in love with God, then I have only to look at how I do the work He has entrusted to me – how much love I put into the doing of that work. You see, it is not the work in itself that is our vocation – our vocation is to belong totally to Jesus…What you are doing I may not be able to do…What I am doing, you may not be able to do…but all of us together are doing something beautiful for God.
– Mother Teresa of Calcutta
It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness; he is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you; he is the beauty to which you are so attracted; it is he who provokes you with that thirst for fulfillment that will not let you settle for compromise; it is he who urges you to shed the masks of a false life…It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives, the will to follow an ideal, the refusal to allow yourselves to be ground down by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving yourselves and society, making the world more human and more fraternal.
– Pope John Paul II