Padre Pio enlisted to cheer gloomy Brits

Yesterday, which researchers have billed as the worst day of the year for those afflicted by winter in the northern hemisphere, was declared "Don't Worry Be Happy Day", with St Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio) its unofficial patron.

catholicireland.net reports that one of the organisers, Clare Ward said: "Many of us suffer in January because we've over indulged at Christmas and feel that there is little to look forward to during the long winter nights. The life and words of St Pio of Pietrelcina have already inspired millions to fight the New Year Blues. Through the first national 'Don't Worry Be Happy Day' we hope that many more will be helped to do the same."

Helping people to beat the blues, is a special web portal (www.life4seekers.co.uk) with helpful pick me ups and lifestyle tips - including the stories of a variety of people who bear witness to how faith has brought their lives to life.

According to Director of the Catholic Enquiry Office, Mgr Keith Barltrop, Catholic life is holistic and involves a way of life that is in itself life giving but also fun. "We very much hold to the premise of caring for your body, mind and spirit."

The saint designated to help people "be happy" is Padre Pio, famed for his catchphrase, "Pray, hope and don't worry" .

"Don't worry about tomorrow because the very same Heavenly Father who takes care of you today will have the same thought tomorrow and always," wrote the saint. "What does a child in the arms of such a Father have to fear? Be as children, who hardly ever think about their future as they have someone to think for them. They are sufficiently strong just by being with their father."

On the new web site visitors can read more about him, view a St Pio photo album and read stories from people who say they've been helped by him. The portal also includes antidotes for worry, self-help exercises, a meditation, articles and books, links and a competition.

"Pray, hope and don't worry" - saint reminds people on "Don't worry - be happy" day (catholicireland.net 23/1/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)

'New Special Saint' Declared to Fight the January Blues - January 23rd (Catholic Church in England and Wales 19/1/06)

24 Jan 2006