Who is St. Padre Pio?
St. Padre Pio (Francesco Forgione) O.F.M. Cap., (May 25, 1887 – September 23, 1968) was born to Grazio Mario Forgione and Maria Giuseppa Di Nunzio Forgione in Pietrelcina, a farming town in Southern Italy. He was ordained a priest on August 10, 1910 and received the gift of stigmata (the five wounds of Christ) on September 20, 1918. He stayed at Our Lady of Grace Capuchin Friary in San Giovanni, Rotondo in Foggia and stayed there until his death, bearing the stigmata for fifty years.
Aside from stigmata, God endowed Padre Pio with many extraordinary spiritual gifts and charisms namely: gift of healing; bilocation; prophecy; miracles; discernment of spirits; ability to abstain beyond man’s natural capacity from both sleep and nourishment; ability to read hearts; gift of tongues (the ability to speak and understand languages that he had never studied); gift of conversions; the grace to see angelic beings in form; and, the fragrance which emanated from his wounds and which frequently announced his invisible presence.
St. Padre Pio’s advice on the practical application of theology he often summed up in his now famous quote, "Pray. Hope. Don’t worry." He directed Christians to recognize God in all things and to desire above all things to do His will. He was beatified in 1999 and was canonized on June 16, 2002 both by Pope John Paul II who is now also a saint.