My boyfriend Joe became addicted to methamphetamine. After endless attempts to get help for him, I told him that the relationship was over unless he agreed to get into a rehabilitation facility. He entered a rehabilitation program on Thursday, February 9, 2006. The next day he decided that he didn’t need help and left the facility. I felt that the next time that I would see him would probably be at his funeral. After crying most of the night, the next morning I looked at my mail and saw an envelope from the Capuchin Franciscan Friars. I usually toss them in the trash, but instead I opened it and inside was a prayer card and a picture of St. Pio of Pietrelcina. The words of St. Pio said, “Pray, hope, and don’t worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer. Prayer is the best weapon we possess. It is the key that opens the heart of God.” I had never seen a picture of St. Pio before. I knew that I needed to pray for his intercession. I called Joe and told him that I was very disappointed that he gave up so easily and left the rehab facility but that I was going to help him in a way that I hadn’t tried before. I hung up the phone and I prayed. Later that evening Joe called me. He told me that he had not given the rehab facility a chance and that he had called the counselor at the facility (on Saturday) and asked if he could reenter the program. He was told that he would have to wait for a vacant room.
On Monday, Joe called me to say that he spoke to the program director who said that he had never had a patient leave and then call and beg for another chance. The director said that they would have an empty bed on Wednesday and that if Joe wanted it, he needed to be there by 9:30 a.m. or it would be given to someone else. I was skeptical because Joe was not a morning person and was never on time for anything. Joe was able to reenter the facility on Wednesday. He called me on Sunday. Joe, the man that I had never seen cry, sobbed uncontrollably. He said that he had gone to Mass that day. He told me he was so sorry that he always gave me such a hard time when I would beg him to go to church with me. He said that he realized now that his addiction was something that he couldn’t fix by himself and he now knew how critical it was that he get help. Joe finished the program and was discharged. He has faithfully followed up with outpatient care and attends Narcotics Anonymous meetings weekly. He has not missed Sunday Mass or Holy Day Mass since. I pray daily to St. Pio to continue to heal Joe and to keep him strong in his recovery. Recently, we took a weekend trip to the beach with my family. While sitting in the back of the church at Sunday Mass, Joe leaned over and whispered, “St. Pio is watching us.” I looked up to find an enormous picture of St. Pio on the wall directly beside us. Thank you St. Pio for giving Joe his life back.
– Karen Merritt