Saint Pius of Pietrelcina

Today I would like to take a brief moment to share with you the life and legacy of a remarkable saint, Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, commonly known as Padre Pio. His life was a testament to the boundless mercy and love of our God, and his example continues to inspire us today. He was born Francesco Forgione on May 25, 1887, in the small Italian town of Pietrelcina. From a young age, he exhibited a deep devotion to God and a wholehearted desire to serve Him. At the age of 15, he entered the Capuchin Friars and took the name Pio. Little did anyone know that this humble friar would one day become one of the most beloved and revered saints of the 20th century.

One of the most striking aspects of Padre Pio’s life was his close and mystical relationship with our Lord, which was exemplified by the stigmata—the wounds of Christ—that he bore on his hands, feet, and side. For over 50 years, he carried these wounds, sharing in the physical sufferings of Christ. It was not only the physical wounds that made Padre Pio a true follower of Christ; it was his unwavering faith, his deep prayer life, and his commitment to the Sacraments that set him apart. Padre Pio once said, “Prayer is the best weapon we have; it is the key to God’s heart. You must speak to Jesus not only with your lips but with your heart. In fact, on certain occasions, you should only speak to Him with your heart.” He lived this truth daily, spending long hours in prayer and offering himself as a living sacrifice to God. His life was a constant reminder to us that prayer is our lifeline to the divine, a means of drawing closer to God and seeking His will in our lives.

Along with his life of prayer, Padre Pio has a gift of discernment and ability to read souls. People from all walks of life came to him seeking spiritual guidance and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. He would spend hours in the confessional, serving as a conduit of forgiveness and healing for countless souls. His compassionate heart and his deep understanding of human weakness allowed him to be a channel of God’s mercy.

Saint Pius of Pietrelcina’s love for the Eucharist was another hallmark of his spirituality. He often said, “It is easier for the earth to exist without the sun than without the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.” He recognised the immense grace and power contained in the celebration of the Mass, and he urged us all to approach it with the utmost reverence and devotion.

Countless people have been inspired by his unwavering faith, his deep love for God, and his commitment to prayer and the Sacraments. May each of us strive to follow his example in seeking a deeper relationship with Christ, in offering ourselves in prayer, and in extending God’s mercy and forgiveness to others. Saint Pius of Pietrelcina teaches us that holiness is attainable for all who earnestly seek God and trust in His boundless love.

May God bless you +
Fr. Charles