St Padre Pio of Pietrelcina is also known as Francesco Forgione.
He was a Franciscan Capuchin, friar, and priest born on May 25 1887 in Pietrelcina, Benevento, Italy.
He died on September 23 1968 at the age of 81 in San Giovanni Rotondo, Foggia Italy.
We celebrate his feast day on September 23 every year in the Catholic Church.
|Padre Pio – Saint Pio of Pietrelcina Biography
|Date of Birth
|May 25 1887
|Place of Birth
|Pietrelcina, Benevento, Italy
|Franciscan friar, priest, stigmatist, and mystic
|Place of Work
|San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy
|Date of Death
|September 23, 1968 (aged 81)
|Place of Death
|San Giovanni Rotondo, Foggia, Italy
|Padre Pio Feast Day
|By Pope John Paul II on May 2 1999 at Saint Peter’s Square, Vatican City
|By Pope John Paul II on June 16 2002 at Saint Peter’s Square, Vatican City
|Patron Saint of
|1. Civil defense volunteers
Padre Pio – Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, Priest Life History
Padre Pio was named Francesco Forgione at birth. His peasant parents were Grazio Mario Forgione and Maria Giuseppa Di Nunzio.
They lived in Pietrelcina town, Benevento province, Campania region, Italy. He had one older brother and three younger sisters.
Padre Pio’s family was very religious. They celebrated almost all feast days in the year, attended mass every day, prayed Rosary every night, and narrated Bible stories frequently.
When he was five years old, he had already decided to dedicate his life to God and he mostly spent his time tending to the family’s small flock of sheep.
Padre Pio started experiencing ecstasies and heavenly visions when he was a youth. In 1897, he encountered a Capuchin friar preaching while on a funds drive in the countryside.
He wanted so much to become a friar and his parents assisted him to join the Capuchin community at Morcone where he got privately educated.
On September 27 1899, Padre Pio received the sacrament of Confirmation and on January 6 1903, he finally entered the novitiate of the Capuchin friars at the age of 15.
He took the Franciscan habit and the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience on January 22 1899 and the name Pio as well.
Friar Pio studied for the priesthood at the Friary of St Francis of Assisi in Umbria for seven years. During his stay there, he fell ill and survived on milk and cheese.
He started experiencing strange phenomena like being in a stupor and absent during prayers and being in ecstasy.
Padre Pio’s health went from bad to worse. His superiors retreated him to the mountain convent hoping his health would improve but that did not help.
He finally retired at home but his health still remained frail, nonetheless, he was ordained as a priest in 1910 by Archbishop Paolo Schinosi at the Cathedral of Benevento.
After ordination, he remained with his family until 1916 hoping his health would improve. After this time, Padre Pio went back to Capuchin community life at Our Lady of Grace Capuchin Friary, located in the Gargano Mountains in San Giovanni Rotondo in the Province of Foggia, Italy. He lived there until his death in 1968.
Padre Pio was teaching at the seminary in 1915 when he joined the Italian army for World War I. Due to his poor health, he was in and out of military service.
The military officials finally declared him unfit for service and after a total of 182 days in the army, he was discharged completely.
After world war I ended, many people came to know Padre Pio very well. They started seeing Padre Pio as a symbol of hope. He started exhibiting spiritual gifts like
- The gift of tongues,
- The ability to read hearts,
- Gifts of healing,
- Miracle works,
- The gift of conversions,
- Pleasant-smelling wounds
In some of Padre Pio’s masses, he received visions and experienced sufferings and the mass would last for hours.
He would always say that a person who meditates and turns his mind to God, the mirror of his soul, would seek to know his faults, correct them, moderate his impulses, and put his conscience in order.
At one time when Padre Pio was hearing confessions, he felt pain in his hands and feet. He noticed that bleeding wounds had formed on his hands and feet.
These were the wounds of Christ, known as the stigmata and they smelled sweet like roses. The strange thing was that as the wounds continued to weep, they never became infected and maintained their perfectly round shape.
He compared weekly confessions to the weekly dusting of your room and encouraged self-examination and meditation twice daily. He inspired people to pray, hope, and don’t worry.
His popularity drew the concern of the Vatican and his activities started to be restricted. His stigmata issue was investigated by the Church and was deemed legitimate and in 1934, he was allowed again to perform public duties.
Padre Pio’s mother died in 1928 and in 1938 his father and elder brother came to live near him in a settlement near the friary. His father died in 1946.
In 1948, Padre Pio heard the Confession of Fr. Karol Wojtyla who later became Pope John Paul II in 1978.
Padre Pio committed himself to relieving the pain and suffering of many families, mainly through the foundation of the Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza (House for the Relief of Suffering), which opened on May 5 1956.
Padre Pio Death
Padre Pio died on the night of September 23 1968 at the age of 81 after his health continued to deteriorate.
Two days before his death he felt much fatigued and the following day he celebrated his last mass with a lot of difficulties.
On the morning of September 23 1968, he confessed his sins and renewed his Franciscan vows. At night he died in his cell in San Giovanni Rotondo saying “Maria”.
Padre Pio was declared a Servant of God in 1990 and venerable in 1997. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II on May 2 1999 at Saint Peter’s Square, Vatican City.
Padre Pio was canonized by Pope John Paul II on June 16 2002 at Saint Peter’s Square, Vatican City
Padre Pio Feast Day
We celebrate St Pio of Pietrelcina’s feast day on September 23 every year in the Catholic Church.
Padre Pio is the Patron Saint of
- Civil defense volunteers
Padre Pio Feast Day Quote:
“The person who meditates and turns his mind to God, who is the mirror of his soul, seeks to know his faults, tries to correct them, moderates his impulses, and puts his conscience in order.”
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