Third annual Padre Pio LaSalette Festival draws faithful


This year’s festival was a big success with groups traveling in on buses from Connecticut and Massachusetts.

The day began with the Padre Pio Garden being blessed by Farther Flavio. This garden was built last year with the help of Spirit of Hope of Johnston. The garden is circular, about 30-feet diameter, with a custom steal sculpture of Padre Pio. There is also a kneeler and relics on-site.

The movie, "We’ll Rise at Dawn," was shown. It is about two young boys in search of the life of Padre Pio, a concert featuring tenor Austin Burns, veneration of a Padre Pio relic, confession, lunch and a Mass to close. Funding was raised by a raffle and Padre Pio items being sold.

We did have groups of people from Johnston, participate in this event. Many of these people have a deep connection to Padre Pio and can tell you stores of his miracles.

The big seller was a book written by Pompilio “Lello” Petrillo of Massachusetts, who was married by Padre Pio and who was the police chief in Pietrelcina, Italy. He now lives in Malden, with a studio for those who need special blessings. We have sent people there with medical issues and have been cured from his blessings and prayers using many of the first class relics he has of Padre Pio.

Special thanks should be given to the chair of the event Teddy deCaro, and her volunteer committee for the many weeks they spent organizing the event.

On another special note “Spirit of Hope” is asking businesses in the area to support their organization and they already have about eight local companies. The big new announcement is that they are building a banner to be part of the Christmas time at La Salette and your sponsor name will appear. There is no place visited more at Christmas than La Salette; roughly 400,000-500,000 people visit each year during the Christmas season.

Plans are in the works for a special event at La Salette for a movie and buffet through Spirit of Hope in the future.

Just visit La Salette and feel the spirit of prayer and silence sitting on the benches and walking the area. You may feel the Holy Spirit.

Editor’s Note: Louis J. Spremulli regularly submits stories and photos to the Johnston Sun Rise. Spremulli serves as President of the Johnston-based nonprofit group Spirit of Hope. You can contact him by emailing


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