To this very day thousands of pilgrims still flock to experience the miracle and message of the Holy Spirit in the life and works of Padre Pio.
St. Padre Pio was an Italian priest who was known for his piety, and his mysterious gift of the stigmata. Until his death, the Catholic Church was unable to explain the mystery behind the presence of the stigmata in St. Padre Pio’s hands.
St. Padre Pio was born in Franceso Forgione, on May 25, 1887, in Pietrelcina, Italy. His parents were farmers, and as a child he was already described as Spiritual. At a young age of 5, he has already expressed in countless of ways the eagerness to dedicate his life to the Lord. His parents, sensing that it was the right thing to do, supported his Spiritual path, and allowed him to be brought up in the Catholic faith. They attended daily mass and he served as an altar boy at his local parish.
When he was still young, St. Padre Pio already spoke of seeing guardian angels, he also prayed regularly and spoke to Jesus Christ and the Mother Mary. This was not in any way taught to him by the priests around him, it was natural to him talking and building a personal relationship with the Lord this way. He made a decision, when he was old enough to join the Capuchin friars at Morcone, he then took on the name of “Pio” in honor of Pope Pius, whose relic he often saw at their local chapel.
In one occasion, while praying fervently, a fellow monk was astonished and could not believe his eyes, he reported that he saw Saint Padre Pio float on air, he levitated due to an episode of Spiritual connection with the Divine. He later on served together with the military as a Parish Priest, and on the date of September 20th, Padre Pio was said to feel an unusual pain in his hands and feet. He noticed a stigmata forming, the stigmata is called the wounds of Christ. The same wounds that Jesus Christ has experienced appeared on his hands and feet. The stigmata felt extremely painful and was bleeding, but the wounds smelled of roses, and although the would continued to bleed, it never got infected. The doctors who examined the wounds, could not explain how the wound started and why it was perfectly round shaped.
The phenomenon lasted until 50 years until his death, the blood flowing from the stigmata has caused a lot of people to visit St. Padre Pio. Although he never wanted others to know this phenomena, the word still spread and thousands of visitors came to visit him including physicians who wanted to observe the wound to find scientific explanation.
Padre Pio then began to manifest spiritual gifts he was said to have healing powers, he could also prophesy and according to those who have known him, it was said that Padre Pio can exist for 20 days without sleep and even without food for a long time. His wounds were examined by chief physicians like Dr. Giorgio Festa, of the City Hospital of Barletta for about a year, including other private practitioners and professors. All of them observed the wounds but were unable to identify what it was.
While I was hearing the boys’ confessions on the evening of the 5th [August] I was suddenly terrorized by the sight of a celestial person who presented himself to my mind’s eye. He had in his hand a sort of weapon like a very long sharp-pointed steel blade which seemed to emit fire. At the very instant that I saw all this, I saw that person hurl the weapon into my soul with all his might. I cried out with difficulty and felt I was dying. I asked the boy to leave because I felt ill and no longer had the strength to continue. This agony lasted uninterruptedly until the morning of the 7th. I cannot tell you how much I suffered during this period of anguish. Even my entrails were torn and ruptured by the weapon, and nothing was spared. From that day on I have been mortally wounded. I feel in the depths of my soul a wound that is always open and which causes me continual agony.
By 1919, word began to spread about Padre Pio’s stigmata and people came from far away to examine him.
Padre Pio became popular with the people he encountered and soon began to attribute supernatural occurrences to him. For example, he was said to levitate, and able to perform miracles.
Photo: The actual room of Saint Padre Pio
Scripted in Heaven
The life of Padre Pio, has inspired the creation of the book ” Scripted In Heaven” by Author Lourdes Duque Baron.
Scripted in Heaven follows the journey of Dr. Robinson V. Baron and his physical and metaphysical healing.
As a stubborn surgeon, he ignores a cryptic warning from an old lady about a supposedly imminent complication with his health. The struggles that follow take him to a journey of spiritual renewal, which leads him to rediscover his true faith and his true love.
He seeks for the divine guidance of Padre Pio da Pietrelcina while trials and tribulations test him and his family. His devotion grew, even causing him to embark on a punishing pilgrimage to San Giovanni Rotondo in Italy, despite his fragile health.
His mystical metamorphosis is a story of courage, sacrifice, and triumph. It inspires the reader to reflect on his own weaknesses and makes him long for purpose and Truth in this mortal life.
About the Author:
I came to realize how little I knew of my faith and it became clear to me that I have not only been keeping Jesus at a distance, but that I have been offending my Lord for the past 64 years of my life.