St. Padre Pio, one of the most beloved saints in the Catholic Church, is frequently quoted as saying that the Rosary was his “weapon.”
Was St. Padre Pio advocating for violence against other human beings?
In the biography Padre Pio: The True Story by C. Bernard Ruffin, the author explains that, “the Rosary was his ‘habitual prayer’ and his ‘weapon’ against the powers of hell.”
Padre Pio prayed the Rosary every day and did so out of a love for the Blessed Mother. He also loved every human person and desired that they all would reach the eternal shores of Heaven.
However, he also firmly believed in the words of St. Paul to the Ephesians.
Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens.Ephesians 6:11-12
His fight was not against political opponents or anti-Catholic individuals. Padre Pio clearly prayed the Rosary as a “weapon” against the “evil spirits” in the world, who are “prowling around like a roaring lion looking for [someone] to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)
Padre Pio was not advocating for a physical crusade, where the Rosary beads would be used as a weapon, nor was he desiring the death of his opponents.
He simply believed that there is a spiritual war going on in the world that is invisible to the eye and the Rosary is one of the most effective weapons against the demonic forces.