The esteemed actor, musician, and comedian gave his acceptance speech from his home.
The St. Pio Foundation has named Joe Piscopo to the role of honorary advocate of their charitable oragnization, which exists to promote the spiritual charism of St. Pio of Pietrelcina, better known as Padre Pio.
Piscopo, who hosted a benefit concert for the St. Pio Foundation last December, seemed thrilled with the accolade, which he accepted in a brief video recorded in isolation at his own home. In his speech, the former SNL star spoke of his own familial devotion to Padre Pio, which he explained began when his father made a special trip up to Pietrelcina to meet the saint while he was stationed in Italy during World War II. He said:
“I have the fondest memories of Padre Pio. When my father was stationed in Italy, fighting in the United States Army Air Corps, he made a trip up to Pietrelcina to visit Padre Pio and I found out from reading letters that dad wrote to his mother, my grandma, that he got to meet Padre Pio. So I started looking into this man, Pio, a magnificent saint and on earth a beautiful person. Always helping people in need.”
Joe then brought his camera over to his mantel where he has a picture of his father, Captain Joseph P. Piscopo, which is set next to a beautiful portrait of Padre Pio, which he noted was painted by Father Paul Belecki.
In a press release, the president of the St. Pio Foundation, Luciano Lamonarca, said of Piscopo:
“I am very grateful that Joe Piscopo has accepted our invitation to become an Honorary Advocate of the Saint Pio Foundation. Undoubtedly, his own family’s experience in having met Padre Pio and his personal affection for him will inspire many who seek a deeper meaning in life.“
The St. Pio Foundation is an international organization of institutions and individuals who share the same vision to serve “those in need of relief of suffering.” It carries on the heart of Padre Pio’s work and encourages devotion to the 20th-century saint. In their mission statement, they explain:
Funds raised by the Saint Pio Foundation are used to provide grants and other support to healthcare, educational, social, religious, and cultural partner organizations. As partners, they use their facilities and influence to advance the public’s knowledge of the legacy and importance of Saint Pio.