Called to Holiness, Following the Saints

Saint Padre Pio

Feast: September 23
Born: May 25, 1887 at Pietrelcina, Benevento, Italy
Died: September 23, 1968
Canonized: June 16, 2002 at Rome, Italy
Founded: A Hospital called the House for the Relief of Suffering in 1956

My Personal and Spiritual encounters to a special kind with Padre Pio

Francesco was one of eight brothers and sisters. His parents were poor farmers. From the time he was a little boy he wanted to become a Priest. One day he said to his parents, "God is calling me, and I would rather die than fail to respond to my call." His father said, "If that's what you want, I will go to America to find work so we can pay for your studies." At 15 years of age, he entered the Monastery of the Capuchin Friars in Morcone. There he lived a life of silence, prayer, and study. With simplicity he obeyed his Superiors and practiced charity towards his neighbours. After 7 years of study, he was ordained a Priest at the age of 22. He prayed the Rosary constantly. When people asked him why he prayed the rosary so much, he would say, "Our Lady has attached the greatest graces for our times to the Rosary. If Our Lady has always recommended it wherever she appeared, don't you think that there must be a special reason?" When asked how many Rosaries he prayed daily, he answered: "Thirty. five complete Rosaries." When asked how could he say that many Rosaries in one day, he responded, "How can you not pray that much?" In 1952, Pope Pius XII, urged people to respond to Our Lady of Fatima's call by forming prayer groups. When Father Pio heard about this, he immediately encouraged his followers to do as the Holy Father requested. These prayer groups soon came to be known as "Padre Pio Prayer Groups" and have spread throughout the world. He would tell people, "The Rosary is a summary of our faith, the strength of our hope, the explosion of our charity. The Rosary is a powerful weapon to make the devil flee, to overcome temptations, to win the heart of God, to obtain graces from Mary." He said, "As my testament I tell you: "Love Our Lady. Make her loved. Always recite the Rosary!" "Always carry the Rosary in your pocket and in difficult moments squeeze it in your hands."

While praying before a cross, he received the stigmata on September 20, 1918 (the wounds of Jesus on his body.) He would hear many confessions; people said if they held back sins he would tell them what sins to confess. He was able to bilocate (to be in 2 places at the same time) he was seen levitating (lifted above the ground when praying), and was able to heal by touch.

Novena to St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina

Dear God, You have generously blessed Your servant, St. Pio of Pietrelcina, with the gifts of the Spirit. You have marked his body with the five wounds of Christ Crucified, as a powerful witness to the saving Passion and Death of Your Son. Endowed with the gift of discernment, St. Pio laboured endlessly in the Confessional for the salvation of souls. With reverence and intense devotion in the celebration of Mass, he invited countless men and women to a greater union with Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. Through the intercession of St. Pio of Pietrelcina, I confidently ask You to grant me the grace of (mention your intentions here). Amen.

Pray 3 Glory Be to the Father.