Padre Pio: Man of God.

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He was ordained a priest and part of the Capuchin monk's association at age of 15. He was the first priest in Catholic church history to ever receive the stigmata; the wounds in which Jesus Christ bore for his 3 days of suffering. He lost nearly a pint of blood every day for over 50 years due to the effects of the stigmata. The satanic demons interrogated this person to bring his soul to hell then to the way of the Lord. He is most revered for his incredible perseverance and will to live even while challenging God to give him a glimpse of what His son went through. Generosity served as an understatement when speaking about this man. "If one of my Spiritual Children ever goes astray, I shall leave my flock and seek him out" (http://www.padrepio.com) Who is this idolized "Man of God?" He is Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina and he still dazzles Catholics around the world even over 30 years after his death, his legacy and story lives on.

Padre Pio was born May 25, 1887, as Francesco Forgione in Pietrelcina, Benevento, a province in Italy. Padre was welcomed in the home of father Grazio and mother Maria and by 3 elder brothers and sisters, 3 more would soon follow after Francesco's birth. Francesco was baptized on May 26, 1887 at St. Anne's Church at 6:00pm. In an interesting observation by his mother, she noticed one day when Francesco was 9 years old, that he was beating himself with and iron chain while restraining himself to his bed. When asked why he was putting himself through that, Francesco replied, "I have to beat myself like the Roman soldiers beat Jesus and made his shoulders bleed."(Allegri, Renzo 13) One day in 1896, Grazio decided to take Francesco on a pilgrimage to the shrine of St. Pellegrino just outside their hometown of Pietrelcino. It was then that Francesco decided he wanted to take up life as a monk and a priest after seeing a weeping woman holding her deformed child where Francesco wept and prayed with her. It was then on January 22, 1903, Francesco took the Habit of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin at age 15, entering as a novitiate and taking the name Pio. He was taken in as a Capuchin instead of a Franciscan due to the fact that Capucins are known for their generosity and hospitality. On August 10, 1910, Padre was ordained to the priesthood in the chapel of the Archbishop of Benevento. In 1916 Brother Pio, as he was known, fell deeply ill and nobody had any medical proof at the time of what could cause such pain and anguish suffered by Pio. There is one particular instance where Brother Pio, could not sleep one night due to hot and humidness of the night air. He heard footsteps in the cell next to him, thinking that his neighbour could not fall asleep as well. When Pio went to his window to talk to him for a while, he saw nobody until a black dog lunged itself at Pio, mauling him until coming to a stop. Brother Pio lay dying on the cell floor and it wasn't until the next day when he was informed that nobody had inhabited the cell next door for the past 2 months and no animals were allowed in the cells. Brother Pio came to the conclusion that it was the devil's gruesome attacks that put him in the state of affliction. During the summer of 1916, Brother Pio was assigned to be a medical corp in the army. Pio knew this is not what God intended him to do for a portion of his life and soon came down with mass migraines and was unable to fulfill his duty in the army anymore. It was then that Brother Pio was sent back to the monastery to resume his duties as a priest. When Padre Pio's army days came to an end, he was sent permanently to be the spiritual director of the minor seminary that was annexed to the monastery. It was then in the monastery that one of the greatest mystical events of our time took place: Jesus' wounds were inscribed on the hands and feet on Padre Pio. The Catholic understanding of the stigmata is the phenomenon in which the 5 wounds of Christ are imprinted either on whole or in some...
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