St Padre Pio was born as Francesco Forgione to Grazio Mario Forgione and Maria Giuseppa Di Nunzio on May 25, 1887, in Pietrelcina a town in the province of Benevento, in Southern Italy. His parents were peasant farmers. Francesco had one older brother and 3 younger sisters. When Francesco was young, he was affected by many illnesses and saw many heavenly visions. In 1897, after completing 3 years of public school, Francesco became very interested in joining the seminary after listening to a Capuchin seeking donations. When Francesco told his parents, they decided to take him to Morcone, a town 13 miles from Pietrelcina to see if he could enter. Once they reached, The friars said that they were interested in him, but he needed more education. Francesco’s father went to the U.S trying to find private tutoring for him. On September 27, 1899, he received the sacrament of Confirmation and later finished his tutoring. On January 6, 1903, at age 15, he entered the Capuchin friar’s novitiate. When he was ordained, he took the name Pio after Pope Pius I. He was a very prayerful man and was devoted to rosary meditations. In 1911, Pio woke up to feel pain in his palms and feet. When he looked at it it looked like the wounds of the crucifixion of Jesus or the Stigmata. Many doctors tried examining it, but couldn’t find an answer. It was also reported that he was levitating during Holy Mass. Padre Pio died in 1986 at age 81 and was canonized on June 16 2002 by Pope John Paul II. Many Miracles have been seen in his name.
O St. Pio, help us to pray well like you did while you were sick. Help us not to give up on faith in God even during these tough times. We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.