The feast day of St. Padre Pio is celebrated on September 23. He is the first priest to receive the stigmata (wounds of Christ).
The name of Padre Pio at birth was Francesco Forgione. He was born on May 25, 1887 in Pietrelc
ina, Italy. He showed signs of a religious calling at a very early age, dedicating his life to God at the age of 5. Francesco was able to communicate with Jesus, Mary and his Guardian Angel. He assumed this was common.
At the age of 15, he joined the Capuchin Order of the friars Minor in Morcone, Italy. He was known for being a very contemplative priest. When he celebrated Mass they lasted several hours due to the long, silent moments of contemplative prayer. When he was asked if he could shorten the Mass he replied:
“God knows that I want to say Mass just like any other priest, but I cannot do it.”
He gained a reputation of being a good counselor and people traveled many hours to speak with him. Padre Pio was known as a man of prayer. He encouraged praying the rosary and praying for the deceased souls in Purgatory.
On September 20, 1918, just a month after his ordination, he received the stigmata while praying before a crucifix at the age of 31. For 50 years he suffered with the wounds of Christ. He was given the gifts of healing, prophecy, miracles and the gift of tongues. He was also given the gift of “odor of sanctity”. Quite often the scent of roses or lilies was present while people were with him.
Although given many spiritual gifts he always remained humble and in service to God. He became sought out as a confessor, spending an average of 19 hours a day in the confessional. People came from all corners of the earth to confess their sins to him. He heard the confession of Pope John Paul II when he was a young priest.
Padre Pio founded a hospital called The Home for the Relief of Suffering.
“Bring God to all those who are sick. This will help them more than any other remedy.”
At the age of 81 Padre Pio died while praying the rosary.
“After my death I will do more. My real mission will begin after my death”
Over 100, 000 people attended the funeral of St. Padre Pio to celebrate his life.
Padre Pio was canonized by Pope John Paul II on June 16, 2002.
“Your tears were collected by the angels and were placed in a gold chalice and you will find them when you present yourself before God.”
Quote of St. Padre Pio
September is the Month of Our Lady of Sorrows