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Saint Padre Pio


I’ve always loved Padre Pio for his bold personality and his intense devotion to God in the midst of great suffering. As a girl who tends to speak before she thinks, I feel as though I’ve found a kindred spirit in this man who allowed God to work through his nature to refine him—and thus for God to do incredible things.

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Dimensions 8 × 10 in


Francesco was born into Italy in the year 1887. From a young age, conversing with Jesus, Mary, and his guardian angel was ordinary for him. When a travelling Capuchin friar passed through his village, Francesco’s desire to become a priest was born. He entered the friary at age fifteen, and Fra Pio was ordained to the priesthood in 1910. Soon after, while kneeling before a crucifix, his childhood friends appeared to him: Jesus and Mary. They gifted him with the Stigmata, the bleeding wounds of the suffering Christ. He begged them to take it away—not because he did not want to suffer, but because he did not want to suffer publicly. The wounds disappeared. He was, however, permitted to suffer illness. Always, Padre Pio immersed himself in prayer, bleeding a humility that drew people to himself. He became a father to many spiritual sons and daughters, telling them, “Pray, hope, and don’t worry.” As war persisted in the world outside his secluded friary, Padre Pio offered himself as a victim for sinners. Jesus responded by again gifting him with the Stigmata, which he serenely accepted. Word spread. Pilgrims flocked to see him, to receive guidance from him. Padre Pio renewed their hope, for he was a sign that God was among them. His every day was absorbed in saying Mass and hearing countless confessions. Not everyone loved him, though. When accusations challenging his authenticity reached Rome, Padre Pio was restricted to saying private daily Mass only. But the truth could not be kept hidden long. Following investigations, the ban on his public activity was lifted. Free again, Padre Pio began building The Home for the Relief of Suffering, a place where the sick may experience God’s love, the greatest remedy of all. Even as his health began to crumble, Padre Pio continued to give tirelessly, offering his suffering for souls. In 1968, he died a healthy man, the Stigmata healed.