Saturday, July 23, 2011

Pray, Hope and Don't Worry

Padre Pio was born to Grazio Mario Forgione (1860 - 1946) and Maria Guiseppa de Nunzio (1859 - 1929) on May 25, 1887 in Pietrelcina Southern Italy. He was baptized day after he was born in the nearby Castle Church with the name of his brother who died in early infancy, Francesco.  He has an older brother named, Michele and three younger sisters: Felicita, Pellegrina and Gracia. Two other children died as infants.

Religion was the center of life for the family and Pietrelcina. Attended the daily mass, prayed the rosary every night and would fast three days a week from meat in Honor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Deep piety was evident in early childhood. At the age of five, he consecrated himself to Jesus. He also commented that in his younger years he had conversed with Jesus, the Madonna and his guardian angels. His parents learned of his desire to become priest in 1897.

He was tutored privately until his entry into the Capuchin Friars at the age of fifteen. He took the habit of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin on January 22, 1903.  On the day of his investiture, he took the name of Pio in honor of St. Pius V, the patron saint of Pietrelcina. He was called fra (for brother) until ordination of priesthood.  On January 22, 1904,  Fra Pio knelt the altar and made his first profession of the Evangelical Counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience.  He took his final vows in 1907 and at the age of 23 and by grace completed his studies and was ordained priest in 1910 by Archbishop Paolo Schinosi at the Cathedral of Benevento. His first celebration of the Mass was done four days later at the Parish Church of Our Lady of the Angels. Within the month of ordination, Padre Pio was praying in the Piana Romano on September 7, 1910 when Jesus and Mary appeared to him and gave him the wounds of Christ, the Stigmata. He asked Jesus to make it invisible, "I do want to suffer, even to die of suffering, but all in secret." The wounds went away and supernatural life remained a secret for awhile.

From the end of 1911 - 1916 Padre Pio was separted from his religious community due to on going health issues. He returned to his community life on September 4, 1916 and was assigned to San Giovanni Rotondo.  There were only 3 friars left at Our Lady of Grace on the outbreak of the war. His responsibility included teaching at the seminary and spiritual director of the students. He later on became in charge of the college when another friar was drafted into war. Padre Pio was also inducted into the service in August 1917 and was assigned to the 4th Platoon of the 100th Company of the Italian Medical Corps. He became a spiritual director on return to San Giovanni after he was dismissed in March 1918. He had observed five rules for spiritual growth: weekly confession, daily communion, spiritual reading, meditation and examination of conscience. Padre Pio's motto, "Pray, Hope and Don't Worry" is the synopsis of his application of Theology into his daily life.

Betwen August 5 - 7, Padre Pio had a vision of Christ. As a result, Pade Pio experienced a "transverbaration" or piercing of the heart indicating the union of love with God.

As his spiritual influence increased, so did his detractors. Accusations against him led to restricting public access to Padre Pio. His celebration of mass was varied each day without any announcement to diminish the crowds. Despite though of these restrictions and controversies, his ministry continued to flourish. Various statements were made to deny supernaturality of Padre Pio's phenomena. He was also ordered to desist all activities except the celebration of the mass which was to be made private. It was only Pope Pius XI who reversed its ban on public celebration of mass on early 1933.

The health of Padre Pio deteriorated in the mid-1960s, however, he continued his daily mass and hear 50 confessions daily. He was almost bedridden by July of 1968. On the 50th anniversary of the stigmata, he celebrated mass, attended public recitation of the Rosary and benediction. In the early morning hours of September 23, Padre Pio called his superiors to make his confession. He renewed his vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Padre Pio died in his cell at 2:30 AM. He lived sick but died healthy with the stigmata healed, as he foretold.


The most remarkable gift attributed to him was the phenomenon of Bilocation which enables a person to be present in two places at the same time. Bilocation must not be confused with omnipresence - being present everywhere at the same time belongs only to God.

Click the link  The Bilocation for testimonies on this topic.


The prayer of his profound desire to identify with Christ crucified not only by participation in the priestly apostolate but in some mysterious way in that supreme immolation of Our Lord on Calvary (cf. Le Stimmate di P. Pio, G. Cruchon, SJ, Colana "Spiritualità", No. 1, p. 102). "I am dying of pain because of the wound and because of the resulting embarrassment which I feel deep within my soul. . . Will Jesus who is so good grant me this grace ? Will he at least relieve me of the embarrassment which these outward signs cause me" (Ep., V. 1, p. 1904).

Click the link  The Stigmata.


Millions of souls climbed to Mt. Gargano to the Capuchin Friary of Our Lady of Grace seeking for his intercession with God. Majority of these souls though were not of the living but that of the poor souls of the dead confined  to Purgatory for the expiation of the temporal punshiment due to their forgiven sins.

Click the link  The Poor Souls.


God granted him the vision of his guardian angels and also of others. It was through the guardian angel of a person that their need was brought  to Padre Pio's attention, who then prayed for this person. Padre Pio never abandons his spiritual child . Even if he did not visit them personally, they would receive help through his guardian angels no matter what danger they were in.

Click the link Guardian Angels.

Resource:  Thanks to EWTN.COM.

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