Spirituality for Today – September 2010 – Volume 15, Issue 2

Saint of the Month
Saint Padre Pio, September 23

An image of Saint Padre PioSt. Padre Pio

Francesco Forgione was born on May 25, 1887 in the town of Pietrelcina. He was the fourth child of Grazio and Peppa De Nunnzio. He had a vocation for monastic life from early childhood. At the age of 16, he left home and entered the novitiate of the Capuchin friars where he took the name Pio. Soon he made solemn vows and he was ordained in 1910. During his schooling he experienced pain and illness but he did not show it. The longest period of his illness lasted from May 1909 until February 1916. He often returned home to strengthen his health. Apart from illness, he also suffered spiritually. In 1914, he was sent to the monastery in San Giovanni Rotondo. This was a time of particular spiritual growth for him.

During a thanksgiving after a holy mass on September 20, 1918, bleeding wounds appeared on his hands, feet and side. He had previously received the stigmata that appeared this time stayed with him until the end of his life. Padre Pio never sought or wanted the extraordinary phenomena God granted upon him.

Padre Pio gained fame as a great confessor and spiritual guide. Thanks to him many people were converted and took the holy communion. San Giovanni Rotondo had no hospital. It had been founded in 1925 in the former Poor Clares nunnery but destroyed by an earthquake in 1938. Padre Pio decided to build a large hospital named House for the Relief of Suffering . He put forward the idea in 1940 and the project's implementation started soon after.

Padre Pio died on September 23, 1968. He was beatified by John Paul II in 1999, and in 2002 he was canonized.

O Mother Mary,
You are gentleness and love for people incarnate.
Help me preserve those feelings at the moments
When anger, even if most justified, is born in my heart.
Let forgiveness always take place before anger,
and mercy before punishment.
Help me forgive those who have wronged me.

From Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives