Padre Pio

Padre PioFeast Day – September 23

Padre Pio was born in Italy in 1887 as Francesco Forgione, named after St. Francis of Assisi, and lived a simple, but devout, life as a shepherd.  As a child, he talked to Jesus, Mary and his guardian angel and he assumed that everyone did the same.  At 16, he entered the Capuchin Franciscan Friars and was ordained only 4 years later.  He was blessed with the wounds of the stigmata while praying before a crucifix and no natural cause of the wounds could be determined.  Stories of his pious spirit spread throughout Italy and people began to flock to see him, especially American soldiers coming home from World War II.

Due to his pious nature, he was attacked repeatedly by the Devil both physically and spiritually.  His attacks were documented by the Vatican and he was especially attacked before he heard confessions of grave sinners.  He heard confessions for ten to twelve hours a day and was also blessed with the ability to discern consciences, bilocate and heal the sick with his touch.  He met a young priest named Karol Wojtyła and was given a vision that the young priest would someday become pope (Pope John Paul II).

He died at the age of 81 and was canonized by the very pope he foretold, Pope John Paul II, in 2002.  Upon his death, the wounds of the stigmata healed with no visible scars.

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