From time to time i share blog posts across two of my blogs. I try to keep both original but some posts are worth sharing between them. St Padre Pio is one of them.
Padre Pio was born Francis Forgione on May 25, 1887. His parents, Orazio and Giuseppa Forgione, were poor country people. They brought eight children into the world, three of whom died in infancy and two of whom became religious. The Forgiones lived in the little farming village of Pietrelcina, in the Province of Benevento, not many miles from Naples. In 1903, he began his novitiate with the Capuchins in Morcone, received the habit and was given the religious name of Pio (Pius, in English). After seven years of studies, he was ordained on August 10, 1910 at the age of 23. Because of delicate health, he was permitted to practice his ministry for several years in his parochial church of Pietrelcina. In 1912, he received intermittently the invisible stigmata. Christ's sacred wounds were invisibly imprinted on his hands, feet and side. The wounds could not be seen, but the pain and swelling of them were there. In 1916, his superiors sent him to the friary in San Giovanni Rotondo. He lived there until he died. On September 20,1918, at 31 years of age, a piercing cry escaped his lips during his thanksgiving after Mass. He was pierced and bleeding from five deep wounds in his hands, feet and side. The stigmata had become visible and was to remain with him until shortly before he died. He was the first priest to be so honored! There have been about 300 stigmatisms in the history of the Church. His day consisted of constant prayer, usually the rosary, Holy Mass at 5 AM, confessions all day long and through his secretaries responses to the 500 to 600 pieces of mail each day. Most of the letters were requests for prayers, cures or advice. He never took breakfast or supper. Dinner at noon consisted of nibbling at his food, but never more than 500 calories a day. He died a holy death on September 23,1968 at 2:30 AM with the words "Jesus and Mary" on his lips and his rosary in his hands. His beatification occurred in May 1999 and in Rome on June 16, 2002, Pope John Paul II canonized (Padre) Pio of Pietrelcina, OFM Cap. a saint of the Church with over 500,000 people in attendance. Please visit the site to read the full biography as well as other information re Padre Pio. HIGHLY recommend: http://www.padrepio.us/Life_of_the_Blessed_Padre.php">http://www.padrepio.us/Life_of_the_Blessed_Padre.php