SAINT PADRE PIO

FEAST DAY:  SEPTEMBER 23RD

FIRST STIGMATIZED PRIEST IN THE HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

     SAINT PADRE PIO (Francesco Forgione) was born on May 25, 1887 in Pietrelcina, Italy.  As a child, he showed extraordinary signs of devotion to God.  At five years of age, he dedicated himself to God.  He was able to see his guardian angel and had visits from Jesus and the Virgin Mary as a young boy.

     At the age of sixteen he was admitted into the Franciscan Capuchins as a novitiate.  His fellow brothers recognized in him his great love of prayer and his great love for God.  On August 10, 1910, at the age of twenty-three, he was ordained a priest.  His parishioners were very impressed by his holiness and sought his counsel often.  After two years of being a priest, he offered himself as a victim soul for the poor souls in purgatory and God sent him many physical ailments and suffering which Padre Pio offered up for the release of the poor souls in purgatory.  He suffered throughout his entire life from temptations, attacks from demons and from physical illnesses.

     At the age of thirty-one,  in 1918, he received the stigmata (the wounds of Christ) from God, after celebrating morning Mass, while praying before the crucifix. He became the first Catholic priest in the history of the church to receive them. He had five wounds, in his hands, in his feet and in his side. God gave him many spiritual gifts including the gift of healing, bilocation (being in two different places at the same time), prophecy, miracles, the ability to speak in several languages, the ability to read hearts and a heavenly fragrance which emanated from his stigmatized wounds.  He never sought out these gifts and did not know why God gave them to him.

     Every morning he woke up at 2:30 a.m. and began to pray the rosary and made preparations for the upcoming daily Mass.  He ate very little food each day, barely enough to survive on. He heard many confessions throughout each day. Sometimes he would hear confessions 16 hours a day.  People would wait two weeks to go to confession to him.

     He spent most of his time in the monastery and  completely avoided listening to the radio, reading the newspaper and watching television.  He warned people against watching television.  In the monastery he lived a life a complete poverty and avoided attachment to possessions and other comforts.

     News about his holiness spread throughout the world and millions of people sought him out, many attending his Masses.  He brought about the conversion of thousands of souls, he freed thousands of souls from purgatory and he healed many sick people.  On September 23, 1968 at the age of eighty-one, he died.   With millions of onlookers, Pope John Paul II canonized Padre Pio,   making him a saint on June 16, 2002.

INTERCESSORY PRAYER:  Are you ill or is a friend or relative of yours ill?  Today ask Saint Padre Pio to ask God for  healing for the sick.  Saint Padre Pio, please pray for (state your prayer request).

Saint Padre Pio, pray for us!  Pray for the United States!  Pray for the end of abortion!  Pray for our sick!

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Prayer of St. Pio of Pietrelcina after Holy Communion

Stay with me, Lord


Stay with me, Lord, for it is necessary to have You present so that I do not forget You.

You know how easily I abandon You.

Stay with me, Lord, because I am weak and I need Your strength, that I may not fall so often.

Stay with me, Lord, for You are my life, and without You, I am without fervor.

Stay with me, Lord, for You are my light, and without You, I am in darkness.

Stay with me, Lord, to show me Your will.

Stay with me, Lord, so that I hear Your voice and follow You.

Stay with me, Lord, for I desire to love You very much, and always be in Your company.

Stay with me, Lord, if You wish me to be faithful to You.

Stay with me, Lord, for as poor as my soul is, I want it to be a place of consolation for You, a nest of love.

Stay with me, Jesus, for it is getting late and the day is coming to a close, and life passes; death, judgment, eternity approaches. It is necessary to renew my strength, so that I will not stop along the way and for that, I need You. It is getting late and death approaches, I fear the darkness, the temptations, the dryness, the cross, the sorrows. O how I need You, my Jesus, in this night of exile!

Stay with me tonight, Jesus, in life with all itís dangers. I need You.

Let me recognize You as Your disciples did at the breaking of the bread, so that the Eucharistic Communion be the Light which disperses the darkness, the force which sustains me, the unique joy of my heart.

Stay with me, Lord, because at the hour of my death, I want to remain united to You, if not by communion, at least by grace and love.

Stay with me, Jesus, I do not ask for divine consolation, because I do not merit it, but the gift of Your Presence, oh yes, I ask this of You!

Stay with me, Lord, for it is You alone I look for, Your Love, Your Grace, Your Will, Your Heart, Your Spirit because I love You and ask no other reward but to love You more and more.

With a firm love, I will love You with all my heart while on earth and continue to love You perfectly during all eternity. Amen

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 MORE ON SAINT PADRE PIO AT: http://members.aol.com/goodyburk/padrepio.html  and  http://www.padrepiodevotions.org