Il Santo Padre Pio da Pietrelcina

Francesco Forgione was born in Pietrelcina (Benevento) on 25th May 1887, in the house of Vico Storto Valle from dad Grazio and mom Maria Giuseppa.

Baptized in the pretty little church of St. Anne by Don Nicolantonio Orlando on 26th May 1887, Francesco Forgione receives confession and first communion. Grew up in a very religious family, he feels immediately the voice of God.

On 27th September 1899 he receives the confirmation, in the church of St. Anne by Monsignor Donato Maria Dell'Olio, archbishop of Benevento.

In 1901, in Piana Romana, Francesco declares parents the desire to consecrate themselves to God. Grazio Forgione is very happy for his son's choice, but in order to keep the studies, he emigrated to America.

On 6th January 1903, Francesco Forgione enters the novitiate in the Convent of the Capuchins in Morcone. The mother, with a broken heart, says to him: "Francesco, at this time do not think about the pain of your mother. ... I feel pierce the heart, but St. Francis calls you and you have to go".

The 22th January 1904 Francesco, dress gown cappuccino, emits the profession of simple vows, and three days after leaving the convent of Morcone to go to the convent of St. Elias in Pianisi to begin his secondary studies and of philosophy.

In October of 1905, Padre Pio meets Padre Benedetto of San Marco in Lamis, his spiritual director.

On 27th January 1907, the young Pio pronounce final vows of poverty, chastity and obedience as a son of St. Francis belonged to the Order of the Capuchins, and in October of the same year he moved to the convent of Serracapriola for the study of moral theology, under teachings of Augustine from San Marco in Lamis, friend, confessor and Pio’s guide for lifetime.

In November 1908, Padre Pio went to the new headquarters of Montefusco to continue his studies but, because of illness, his superiors decided to send him home (Pietrelcina) for treatment. A month later, despite the poor state of health, Pio receives in the Cathedral of Benevento Minor Orders and two days after the subdiaconate.

Il Santo Padre Pio da Pietrelcina

In January 1909 Padre Pio is conducted in Pietrelcina because of his poor state of health. The doctor Andrea Cardone says "He was emaciated; I took care of him, he scrambled to his health and returned to the convent".

Obedient to the Provincial Father Benedetto of San Marco in Lamis, Padre Pio returns to the convent for the start a new school year; but in early May he backs in Pietrelcina with a special permission from Father Agostino from San Marco in Lamis, to continue there his finals studies in theology.

The 18th July 1909 Pio was ordained deacon in Morcone, while a year later, on 10th August 1910, in the Cathedral of Benevento Padre Pio was ordained a priest by Archbishop Paolo Schinosi; Padre Pio celebrated his first Mass in the Cathedral Church of Pietrelcina on 14th August.

On 7th September 1910, under the elm tree of Piana Romana, receives his first stigmata.

In October of 1911, Padre Pio, sent in the Convent of Venafro, is bedridden by illness. The extraordinary phenomena continue; on 7th December 1911 he backs in Pietrelcina.

On 25th February 1915, for health reasons, he obtained permission to stay out of the convent, preserving the Capuchin habit.

On 6th November 1915 he is called to arms; a month later he is assigned to the 10th Corps of Sanità in Naples.

On 16th December the same year a group of doctors looking him, and grant him a year of convalescence for a lung infection.

On 17th February 1916, after a period of convalescence in Pietrelcina, Padre Pio entered in the religious community of St. Anna in Foggia. The ordinate community had to learn to live with the demonic forces that continued to haunt Pio in his cell during the night. Father Superior orders to Padre Pio, for the love of the brothers of the community, to pray Christ to prevent these devilish events.

On 4th September 1916 Padre Pio is in San Giovanni Rotondo.

On 16th March 1918, after a series of licenses, he is unfit for military service, and two days later he returned permanently to the convent of San Giovanni Rotondo.

Il Santo Padre Pio da Pietrelcina

On 20th September 1918, after meditating on the Passion and death of Jesus in the sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary, in front of the crucifix of the choir of the church of the convent of San Giovanni Rotondo, Padre Pio received the stigmata in the hands, feet and bend, the signs of the passion of Christ already announced in the days between the 5th and 6th August with the wonder of Transverberation. These extraordinary gifts, united to the charisms that abounded in Padre Pio, from healing to conversions, to endless pray, the uninterrupted activity of confessor, drew crowds of faithful growing and curious, but also brought a long period of persecution and controversy .

Padre Pio accepted sufferings, restrictions and painful loneliness always comforted by the intimacy with God, by prayer, by obedience and by conduct of exemplary Franciscan life.

He strongly wanted a work that was a sign of love for the poor and the suffering, and in 1947 his desire began to take shape with the construction of the " Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza " which became operational in May 1956. A grand and qualified hospital realized with the contribution of the faithful. Behind his desire were created, more and more, the "Prayer Groups" which spread around the world, as the fame of holiness of the " priest of the stigmata."

On 22th September 1968 Padre Pio celebrated his last Mass, at five in the morning, and the next night he died at 2:30AM, to be reunited with God fifty years later from the day he received the stigmata, disappeared completely from his body at the time death.

On 20th March 1983 began the diocesan process for his canonization, ended on 21th January 1990. Padre Pio is appointed  Venerable in 1998 and Blessed in 1999, with a memorable celebration, presided over by Pope John Paul II, in St. Peter's Square - Rome.

On 16th June 2002, in St. Peter's Square, Pope John Paul II proclaimed Saint the Blessed Pio of Pietrelcina, and announced that "him liturgical memorial will be inserted in the Roman Calendar on 23th September, the day of his birth in Heaven".

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