We recognize saints’ feast days as a way to honor and emulate their example, and to draw close to them, as we would to a trusted friend or pastor, to share with them our prayers to God.
For those who follow Franciscan spirituality, Catholic priest Padre Pio is one of the most precious of saints — perhaps after only the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Francis and St. Clare.
Saints’ stories are attended by accounts of miracles, and Padre Pio is known for more than many other saints. But, as we reflect on Padre Pio, and the many miracles attributed to God working through him, perhaps the greatest miracle on which we should focus is not so obvious.
For fifty years Padre Pio bore the stigmata. The Franciscan priest bore the same wounds as Christ did in his hands, feet, and side. From 1918 until just before his death in 1968, he experienced the stigmata.
Despite being examined multiple times, there was no adequate explanation for the wounds. “The stigmata were not like normal wounds or lesions: they would not heal.
This was not due to any medical condition, for he had undergone surgery twice (once for a hernia repair and once to remove a cyst from his neck)
St. Padre Pio’s faith and confidence in God’s healing power was unparalleled. He shows us all that the power of prayer can yield beautiful, miraculous results.
He died in 1968 and got acclaimed for showing blemish for the vast majority of his life, accordingly producing a lot of interest and discussion. He was both exalted (1999) and consecrated (2002) by Pope John Paul II.
The Sanctuary of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina is situated in San Giovanni Rotondo, Province of Foggia, Italy.