On June 16, 2002, Pope John Paul II canonized in Rome Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, one of the greatest saints of all times. There are saints who have been known for healing; there are saints who could "read" souls; there are saints who were known for levitation; there were saints who bore the stigmata, or were seen in apparition, or who had the “odor of sanctity.” There are saints who could understand languages they didn't know. But Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, who died on September 23, 1968, had all these charisms, and more. In fact, not since St. Francis of Assisi has there been such a miracle-worker.
Born-May 25, 1887
Died-September 23, 1968 (aged 81)
San Giovanni Rotondo
Venerated in-Roman Catholic Church
Beatified-May 2, 1999, Rome, Italy by Pope John Paul II
Canonized-June 16, 2002, Rome, Italy by Pope John Paul II
Major shrine-San Giovanni Rotondo (where he lived and is now buried)
Feast-September 23Patronage-civil defense volunteers, Catholic adolescents And as a matter of fact, Padre Pio was the first priest to bear the stigmata — the holy wounds of Christ — just like St. Francis of Assisi. Saint Pio is a man who healed literally thousands — while he was still alive; who could read souls — knowing in case after case exactly what a person in Confession had done; who was seen in dozens of cases in bilocation (appearing far from where he actually was). There were accounts that defy the belief of even the most ardent believer: a sighting of him at the Vatican, even though he never left the San Giovanni monastery; the transfiguration of his face into that of Jesus' during the Consecration; a worker named Giovanni Savino who lost an eye that later materialized under the bandages after Pio visited him in bilocation.
Like the Apostle Paul, Padre Pio of Pietrelcina placed at the centre of his life and apostolic work the Cross of his Lord as his strength, his wisdom and his glory. Inflamed by love of Jesus Christ, he became like Him in the sacrifice of himself for the salvation of the world.
This worthy follower of Saint Francis of Assisi was born on May 25, 1887, at Pietrelcina, in the Archdiocese of Benevento, Italy, the son of Grazio Forgione and Maria Giuseppa De Nunzio. He was baptized the next day and given the name Francesco. At the age of twelve, he received the Sacrament of Confirmation and made his First Holy Communion.Read more
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