Saint Padre Pio
By Debbie Thompson

Padre Pio, the man, the priest, the mystic and the saint. He touched so many lives in so many ways. He cured the blind, was able to be in two places at the same time, was devoted to Jesus and Mary and had a constant relationship with his guardian angel.

Padre Pio is an extraordinary saint who was born in Pietrelcina, Italy on May 25, 1887. Religion was the center of life for his family which laid the foundation of his faith. At age five he solemnly consecrated himself to Jesus, and at age 10 he began speaking of his desire to become a priest. Padre Pio would soon join the nearest Friary once he completed additional education. In 1904 he knelt before the altar to make his profession of the Evangelical Counsels of Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience. A few years later Padre Pio took his final vows.

As an adult, Padre Pio commented about his younger years when he had conversed with Jesus, Mary, his guardian Angel, and suffered attacks by the devil. Padre Pio had a great devotion to the blessed Mother. He constantly prayed the rosary and referring to her he said “love the Madonna and pray the rosary, for her rosary is the weapon against the evils of the world today.”

In 1910 he was ordained a priest and shortly there after he was praying and Jesus and Mary appeared to him and gave him the wounds of Christ, the Stigmata. He later asked Jesus and Mary if the wounds could be taken away because he wanted to suffer in secret. The wounds went away and the supernatural life remained a secret for awhile. One year later a supernatural phenomenon came to the attention of his supervisors when he was observed in ecstasy. It has been noted that Padre Pio was observed by another friar in his cell to be hearing a confession of a man dying high in the snowy mountains.  Padre Pio sometimes would hear confessions as long as 18 hours a day. He has also said that he met many on the road that leads to the friary who had come from purgatory.

In 1918 Padre Pio received the visible stigmata which would last until his death.

St. Padre Pio was a good priest who prayed constantly and suffered greatly. In 1968 he died at the age of 81. Later, he was canonized one of the 20th Century’s most popular Roman Catholic figures. Padre Pio has said “I shall be able to do much more for you when I’m in heaven then I can now while I am on earth.”

Padre Pio’s  prayer:

O Jesus, full of grace and charity, victim for sinners, so impelled by love for us that you willed to die on the cross, I humbly beseech you to glorify in heaven and on earth the Servant of God, Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, who generously participated in your sufferings, who loved you so much and labored so faithfully for the glory of your heavenly Father and for the good of souls. With confidence I beseech you to grant me, through his intercession, the grace of ......... which I ardently desire. Glory be to the Father.....(three times).

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