St Padre Pio (1887 – 1968) was born into a peasant farming family at Pietrelcina, Italy. It is said that by the age of five he had already decided to give his life to God and had started to do penances. He worked on his family farm, herding the small family flock until he was 10 years old.
The devout Catholic family attended daily Mass, abstained from meat three times per week and said a nightly rosary. St Padre Pio’s father worked in the US to pay for his education so that he could enter the Franciscan friars. In 1903, he took the Franciscan vows of poverty, chastity and obedience and in 1910, despite poor health, was ordained a Priest. St Padre Pio was drafted into the military during World War 1 but was quickly discharged, declared unfit.
St Padre Pio believed that suffering was inseparable from loving God. He had many visions and received the painful stigmata of our Lord’s wounds from his crucifixion on his hands, feet and side. They caused him great embarrassment, scorn and questioning; he prayed only that the visible marks be removed but not the pain. Despite his subjection to numerous Church investigations, St Padre Pio maintained his vows and continued to administer to his flock, spending countless hours in the confessional.
Following St Padre Pio’s death, at the age of 81, numerous miracles were reported and they continue today. His Feast Day is the 23rd September. He is the Patron Saint of Pietrelcina.
St Padre Pio of Pietrelcina:
We pray O Lord,
for a boundless confidence
and trust in Your divine mercy,
and the courage to accept
the crosses and sufferings
which bring immense goodness
to our souls and that of Your Church.
(Extract from a prayer by St Padre Pio)
Glory be to the…