Spiritual heir of St. Francis of Assisi, Padre Pio of Pietrelcina was the first priest who bore the marks of crucifixion embedded in the flesh. Already known to the world as "brother stigmatized" Padre Pio special charisms which the Lord had given him, strove with all his powers for the salvation of souls. Many direct testimonies of "holiness" Brother, get up today, accompanied by feelings of gratitude. God's providential intercession was for many people question the healing of the body and rebirth in the Spirit.Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, named Francis Forgione before entering the monastery, was born in Pietrelcina on May 25, 1887. He was born in the house of the father of poor people, Grazio Forgione, and mother, Maria Giuseppa di Nunzio, had already received other children. Since early experience itself Francis willingness to devote completely to God and this desire is different from other children his age. This "difference" was seen by his parents and his friends. Mom Story, Peppa, - "made no mistake, was not moody, always listen to me and his father every morning and every evening he went to church to visit them Jesus and the Blessed Virgin. During the day never went companions. Sometimes telling: France, leave less to play. He refused saying I do not want to go because they swear. "
Father Augustine log da San Marco in Lamis, who was one of the spiritual directors of Father Pio Padre Pio find that since 1892, when he was just five years already lived his own charismatic experiences. Ecstasies and appearances were so frequent that they consider absolutely normal child.
With the passage of time could do what Francis dreamed most: to devote their life to the Lord. On 6 January 1903, at sixteen, he became chaplain the Capuchins and was ordained a priest in the Cathedral Bnevento on 10 august 1910. Thus began his priestly life that, due to poor health, will perform first in different convent in Benevento, where Brother Pio was sent by his superiors to promote healing. Then, from September 4, 1916, in the convent of San Giovanni Rotondo, on the Gargano, where, except for few and brief interruptions remained until September 23, 1968, for heaven's birthday.
In this long period, when events of great importance not change quiet convent, Padre Pio began his day waking up very early, long before dawn, from prayer to prepare for Divine Liturgy. Then down to the church for the celebration of the Eucharist which he would squat long thanksgiving and prayer before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Finally, many hours of confessions.
One of the events that Fr life upside was that of September 20, 1918 morning when praying before the Crucifix of old churches choir, received the gift of the stigmata, visible, which remained open, fresh and bleeding for half century. This extraordinary phenomenon of Father Pio catalyzed the attention of physicians, researchers, journalists, and especially ordinary people, over the past few decades in San Giovanni Rotondo to meet the "holy" brother.
In a letter to Father Benedict, dated October 22, 1918, Padre Pio tells himself "crucifixion" of:"... What to say about what happened ask me how my crucifixion? My God, what confusion and humiliation feel that should show what you've done in this petty creature yours! It was the morning of the 20th of last month (September) in the choir, after celebrating Holy Mass, I was surprised at rest, like a sweet sleep. All internal and external senses and faculties of the soul were in indescribable silence. In this state there was complete silence around me and in me immediately went great peace and total abandonment of all blanket. And while they were all I saw before me a mysterious, like the one I saw on the evening of August 5, which differed from that just because he had his hands and feet and side of the blood came out. His vision frightened me, what I felt at that moment I could not tell you. I felt that I would die and have died if the Lord had not intervened to support my heart that I felt out of my chest. Order character disappeared and I found that hands, feet and side were pierced and blood came out of them. Imagine tearing I experienced then you continue to experience almost every day. The wound in your heart let out blood assiduously, especially from Thursday evening until Saturday. My father die of pain due to tearing and confusion it causes in the depths of my soul. I'm afraid I'll die of blood loss as if the Lord does not hear my poor heart moans and I do not withdraw this operation ... ".
For many years, therefore, from all parts of the world believers went to the stigmatized priest to get his powerful intercession to God. Fifty years spent in prayer, humility, suffering and sacrifice in which to implement his love, Padre Pio made two initiatives in two directions: one vertical, to God, through the establishment of "prayer groups" other horizontal to the brethren, by building a modern hospital, "House of the Relief of Suffering".
In September 1968 thousands of devotees and spiritual children of Fr gathered in San Giovanni Rotodno together to commemorate the 50th anniversary of stigma and celebrate the Fourth International Meeting of Prayer Groups. Nobody would have imagined that at 2.30 pm on September 23, 1968 ends the earthly life of Father Pio of Pietrelcina.
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