ST. PADRE PIO OF PIETRELCINA

St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina (1887–1968) was born to peasant farmers in southern Italy. By the time he was 5 years old he entered into a life of penance and made the decision to give himself completely to God. He grew up working in the fields, and at the age of 19 joined the Capuchin friars. His Franciscan spirituality was characterized by a life of poverty, love of nature, and charity to those in need, especially to those who were his “spiritual children.” St. Padre Pio was able to do many incredible and miraculous things which were well-documented from multiple reliable sources, including bilocation, levitation, reading souls, and physical healing by touch. Word spread of his holiness and people both pious and curious flocked to see him, especially to have him hear their confession. He is the first known priest to have received the stigmata, for which he suffered suspicion and investigation. Because of the unusual supernatural phenomena surrounding his life, he is known as one of the great visionaries and mystics of the Church. Padre Pio died in 1968 at the age of 81. He was canonized by Pope St. John Paul II in 2002. Because of the many miracles he performed during his life, he is commonly invoked as a healing saint for various ailments. His feast day is September 23rd.

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