The story of Padre Pio is full of charm and spirituality, capable of enchanting the faithful from all over the world. He is considered the spiritual heir of St. Francis of Assisi. And was the first priest to bear the signs of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on his body.
The story of Padre Pio is known for the Lord giving him particular charisms. But also, thanks to these specific virtues, he worked with all his strength for the salvation of souls. There are numerous direct testimonies on the sanctity of the Friar, which have come down to our days united by intense feelings of gratitude. For many, his intercessions between the faithful and God were the cause of healing from physical ailments. And a reason for rebirth in the spirit. Let’s find out its history together!
Padre Pio and his story of bliss
Francesco Forgione, better known as Padre Pio, was born in Pietrelcina on May 25, 1887. A small town in the Benevento area. He was born into a poor, rather large family, from his father, Grazio Forgione, and his mother, Maria Giuseppa Di Nunzio. From an early age, Francis desired to dedicate his life totally to God, and this necessity distinguished him from his peers.
This diversity was not long in becoming evident among his relatives and friends. Mother Peppa said: “she did not commit any lack, did not throw tantrums. She always obeyed her father and me; every morning and evening, she went to church to visit Jesus and the Madonna. During the day, she never went out with her companions. Sometimes I would say to him: “Francì, go out and play for a while. He refused to say: “I don’t want to go because they blaspheme.”
Finally, at the age of sixteen, on January 6, 1903, he managed to realize his remarkable dream. To consecrate his life to the Lord. He began his career as a cleric in the Capuchin Order. And on 10 August 1910, he ordained a priest in the Cathedral of Benevento. Thus began his priestly life, which will first occur in various convents in the Benevento area due to his precarious health conditions.
Representation of Padre Pio
The life of Padre Pio
During this long period, from 1903 to 1968, when there were no events of particular importance that would modify the conventual quiet. Padre Pio used to start the day by waking up early, before dawn, and beginning with prayer in preparation for the Holy Mass.
The event that marked him most of all and that changed his life was when, on the morning of September 20, 1918, during his recollection in prayer in front of the crucifix in the choir of the old church, he received the gift of the stigmata. These were visible and remained open, fresh, and bleeding for about half a century. This extraordinary phenomenon generated particular attention towards the saint. Doctors, scholars, journalists but above all, ordinary people felt they wanted to reach the holy friar in San Giovanni Rotondo.
The letter to Father Benedetto
In a letter written to Father Benedetto and dated 22 October 1918, Padre Pio himself tells of his “crucifixion”:
“What can you tell you about what you ask me about how my crucifixion took place? My God, what confusion and humiliation I feel in having to manifest what You have done in this wretched creature of yours! It was the morning of the 20th of last month (September) in the choir, after the celebration of the Holy Mass, when I was surprised by the rest, similar to sweet sleep.
All the internal and external senses. Not that the very faculties of the soul found themselves in indescribable stillness. In all this, there was total silence around me and within me; it was immediately replaced by great peace and abandonment to complete deprivation of everything and a pose in the same ruin; all this happened in a flash.
The sight of him terrifies me; I would not be able to tell you what I felt in that instant. I thought I was d have died if the Lord had not intervened to support his heart, which I felt leap from my chest.
For years the faithful from all over the world went to this stigmatized priest to obtain his powerful intercession with God, receive grace, and find healing of body and mind.
The stigmata of Padre Pio
Padre Pio lived over fifty years of his life in prayer and humility. Suffering and sacrifice to put his love into practice. The saint carried out two significant initiatives, one towards God. With the establishment of prayer groups and the other towards the brothers. With the construction of a modern hospital, or the Casa Sollievo Della Sofferenza.
In September 1968, thousands of devotees and spiritual children of the Father reached San Giovanni Rotondo to commemorate together the 50th anniversary of the stigmata. And celebrate the fourth international meeting of the Prayer Groups, something happened that no one could imagine. At 2.30 am on 23 September 1968, Padre Pio of Pietrelcina ended his earthly life and ascended to heaven.
The friar of the stigmata begins to speak of himself as the “son of obedience” and endures pain with infinite patience. After his death, he was declared venerable in 1997 and beatified in 1999. He was canonized in 2002 by John Paul II.
At the end of his life, his spiritual testament was: “Love Our Lady and make her loved. Always say the Rosary ”. Scholars who have had the opportunity to tell about Padre Pio describe him as a manifesto of holiness, a concrete testimony of the Gospel rooted in his soul. It is no coincidence that for him, the stigmata.
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