Saint Padre Pio

Saint Padre Pio Feast day Sept 23
The Forgione family lived in the poorest section of Pietrelcina. Francesco was poor, but by his own testimony, he never lacked for anything. Values were much different in those days. A child considered himself well off if he had the basics in life. Francesco came from a good family. His father, Grazio, and his mother Maria Guiseppa, were hard working farmers. Their children’s well being was number one in their priorities. They were able to provide for their family’s needs, but not much more. There were no frills. Francesco grew up a very sensitive, very spiritual boy. It was as if he knew from earliest childhood, the road the Lord had for him to follow. He would always follow that road.His mother, Guiseppa, claimed that Francesco was a good boy, who never gave her any trouble. Naturally, she’d say that. She was a mother. Padre Pio, on the other hand, had a few comments to make about little Francesco Forgione. While he admitted that he was never spanked, he recalled his mother running after him, calling out, “Come here, you shameless boy!” When asked why she did this, the famous grin, and little twinkle came into his eye. “Little incidents with my sister.” That one sentence affirms that, while he was specially chosen, he was a normal boy!His world was the little church of Our Lady of the Angels. It might as well have been his home. All the important events in his early life, took place in that church. In addition to being baptized there, receiving his First Holy Communion, and Confirmation there, he went into ecstasy in that church, and had an apparition of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at age five, there. “Our Lord Jesus appeared to Francesco, and beckoned him to come to the main altar.” He placed His hand on Francesco’s head. The course of his life, and his vocation were sealed. He offered himself as victim at that early age.Age five was an important time for Francesco, a turning point, so to speak. He began to have apparitions of Our Lady, which continued all his life. It was also then that demons began to torture him. There’s an elm tree on the Piana Romana (Roman Plain), which has been picked clean by over-enthusiastic pilgrims since Padre Pio lived there. Francesco used to sit under that tree to take advantage
“Padre Pio began to receive what he termed “red patches, about the size of a cent, and accompanied by acute pain.” This is from a letter he sent Padre Benedetto on the Birthday of Mary, September 8, 1911. He went on to say, “The pain was much more acute in the left hand and it still persists. I also feel some pain in the soles of my feet.” He told his superior that this had been happening, on and off, for almost a year. So from the time of Padre Pio’s ordination, at twenty three years old, he began to feel in his body, the wounds of the Passion of Christ. The physical signs disappeared, but the pain continued….”
Taken from “Saints and Other Powerful Men in the Church.”

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