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St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, Stigmatist - Watercolor Painting Dimensions - 12.5" X 16"

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The beloved Padre Pio was born Francesco Forgione on May 25, 1887 in the little town of Pietrelcina, Italy. The boy who was later to become a priest, mystic, saint and stigmatic, was a pious youth who experienced heavenly visions and ecstasies, and became known for his deep reverence to St. Francis of Assisi and the Blessed Mother. In 1903 he entered the Capuchin order at Morcone, and in 1910 was ordained a priest. He was later transferred to San Giovanni Rotondo at Gargano, where he remained until he died.

On the morning of Sept. 20, 1918, while praying before the Crucifix, he received the divine gift of Stigmata in his hands, feet and side; these wounds remained fresh and bleeding for the rest of his life, for nearly half a century. The wounds exuded an odor of flowers always, and though they gave him much pain, he always considered them a great gift. Padre Pio then began to experience many graces from God, including the ability to read souls during confession, bi-location, levitation and healings. People would come to the Rotondo from all over the world, to have him hear their confessions and receive special healings. Father Karol Wojtyla met with him for the first time in 1947, discussing doctrine, and asking him to pray for a friend with cancer; two incidents of note ~ the friend was cured immediately, and Padre Pio, upon hearing Fr. Karol’s confession, told him that one day, the young Polish priest would be Pope.

Padre Pio dedicated his life to the fulfillment of his priestly ministry, founded many prayer groups as well as a modern hospital for the Poor. As a man filled with love for God and for his fellow man, he strived daily to bring all that came in contact with him, to a closer relationship to their Creator. He considered the moments when he celebrated Mass to be the pinnacle of his sacramental life, and many people witnessed his intense Joy, his face transfigured with the Light of Christ, during the Consecration ~ once seen, a Mass of Padre Pio’s was never forgotten. Through many investigations of the Church, his miracles came through true and clear, verified over & over again.

He died on Sept. 23, 1968, whispering the name, “Maria”. One hundred thousand people attended his funeral and mourned his passing. Pope John Paul II canonized him February 28, 2002.






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