Growing up in Pietrelcina, St. Padre Pio was of course steeped in the local devotion to Our Lady of Liberty.
However, it seems he also had a very personal devotion to her. One old resident related to us personally that Padre Pio had been seen talking to Our Lady at the foot of the altar. This, of course, is hearsay, but it does reflect the local knowledge that the devotion of the saint to Our Lady was very real. To demonstrate this, they commissioned a bronze statue of him kneeling and looking as though he is gazing up at ‘Madona Della Libera’ above the altar.
The life-size statue of the kneeling saint, is situated half way down the left side of the church, and although it may seem at first that the Madona’s gaze meets that of the saint, if you take a closer look, you will see that he is looking high above her at the beautiful fresco of the Last Supper, high above the altar. Somehow, even in his statuesque form, he demonstrates that love of Mary leads us straight to the Heart of her son, Jesus.