Saint Padre Pio (1887-1968 AD)
Feast Day: September 23
Padre Pio, also known as Saint Pio of Pietrelcina (25 May 1887 – 23 September 1968), was an Italian friar, priest, stigmatist and mystic, now venerated as a saint in the Catholic Church. Padre Pio was born Francesco Forgione in Pietrelcina, a small town in southern Italy.
On the morning of Friday, September 20, 1918, when he was praying in the small chapel, he received the grace of the five sacred wounds; these wounds would open up and bleed for half a century. Throughout his life, Padre Pio devoted himself to performing his duties as a priest. He established several prayer groups and opened a modern hospital named ” La Casa sollievo della sofferenza” (The Home for the Relief of the Suffering).
Padre Pio is widely known for bearing the stigmata for most of his life since 1918, thereby generating much interest and controversy. He entered the Franciscan Order of Capuchins on January 22, 1903, and named him “Pio”. Padre Pio died in San Giovanni Rotondo on September 23, 1968, at the age of 81. On June 16, 2002, he was canonized a saint by Pope John Paul II.