Friday, 7 September 2018

St Padre Pio - Saint of our times.

Padre Pio - born Francesco Forgione, 25.5.1887, in Pietrelcina, Beneventu, Italy.
  Died 23.9.1968 in San Giovanni Rotondo, Foggia, Italy.
  Beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1999.

Canonised by Pope John Paul II in 2002.

Feast Day -  23 September

Padre Pio - Roberto Dughetti/Lucia Dughetti  (1966) (Wikipedia)

I have recently finished reading ‘Padre Pio, Man of Hope’ by Renzo Allegri, published by Servant Books, St Anthony Messenger Press, Ohio, which I thoroughly enjoyed and strongly recommend.

My knowledge of St Padre Pio and his life was minimal,  limited to the facts that he was an Italian Franciscan priest, renowned for his holiness,  who bore the Stigmata throughout his religious life.

Having read this book I now know much more, particularly with regard  to Padre Pio’s great  love of God and his love of people, and his  holy acceptance of suffering,  physical and moral.  As well as the pain experienced from the Stigmata, Padre Pio suffered  from generally poor health throughout his life. Additionally he was the innocent victim of malicious rumours spread by certain secular clergy, resulting in the Holy Office imposing humiliating restrictions on his priestly freedom, restrictions which lasted for many years.  Padre Pio was finally and completely exonerated from any wrong-doing, and his accusers shamed.

Padre Pio first received the Stigmata when he was 23 years old, shortly after his ordination to the priesthood. This remained with him until his death in 1968, aged 81 years. When preparing his body for burial no trace of the stigmata was found. Perhaps this was not so surprising, for when he first received the Stigmata , he prayed in his humility, that it be hidden from view of others, without any lessening of the pain endured by him. At the end his prayer was answered.

In his life, Padre Pio always looked to the future in a spirit of optimism, faith and love, with  incredible, some would say miraculous, results. An example of this was the planning and overseeing, with others, of  the construction of the 'House for the Relief of Suffering’, a hospital for everyone rich and poor, which today is one of the largest, most well-equipped and efficient hospitals in the south of Italy.


 'House for the Relief of Suffering', San Giovanni Rotondo. (Mazaki)  (Wikileaks)

Of Padre Pio’s spiritual stature, Cardinal Siri had this to say; “With the Stigmata which he bore throughout his life and with the other physical and moral sufferings he endured, Padre Pio calls our attention to the body of Christ as a means of salvation. Jesus died on the cross for us, and the entire theology of redemption rests on this truth, one of the principal tenets of our faith. This truth is so important … and men have forgotten it…. and God has sent us this man with the task of calling us back to the truth.” (ack. ‘Padre Pio, Man of Hope’)

Bilocation, levitation, mind-reading, premonition, and clairvoyance, are some of the phenomena known to have been associated with Padre Pio during his life, as were numerous miracles.

In his monastic cell, on many occasions he suffered violent physical assaults by devils, also continual  spiritual torments.

 I have only touched the tip of the iceberg as far as Padre Pio’s life is concerned. For a fuller introduction you need to read this book or any of the many books written about this humble Saint.

Even the little I have learnt has truly been a revelation, and I intend to try to deepen my faith by learning more of Padre Pio’s life, and praying for his intercession to Our Lord and His Blessed Mother, for myself and all those dear to me.

This post is just a brief introduction to Padre Pio, but I include at the end a video recording events, people, and places, during and after his life, which is fascinating and occasionally very moving.   I urge you to make time to watch it, or at least some of it, if you possibly can. You will not regret it.


Saint Padre Pio, pray for us.

Posted by umblepie at 17:57

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Veronica Copeland said...

I watched the fascinating video of the life of St Padre Pio and found it very moving. Now I shall try to get hold of the book you recommend. I really want to know more about this exceptionally holy saint.

I visited San Giovanni Retondo forvthe first time on a pilgrimage earlier this month and received many graces there. The old Church is lovely, and so are the Stations of the Cross mentioned in the video, but I was very disappointed by the large new modern Church at the bottom of the esplanade and the Modernist Eucharistic chapel beside it. I don’t think Padre Pio would approve either.

umblepie said...

Thank you for your interesting comment.
I too found the video very moving.
Of course Padre Pio would have died before the new Church and chapel were built, a time when 'traditional' Church architecture was out of favour. I suspect as you say, that he might not have been over-impressed! Brian C.