Born Francesco Forgione in Italy, 1887, St. Padre Pio is one of the most beloved and well-known saints of modern time. He is best known for his gift of the stigmata, which he had for much of his life and was never explained. His most famous quote, "Pray, hope and don't worry," is a simple reminder to have faith in our Lord and to trust in His will. He is also said to have had many visions of Jesus, as well as the ability to levitate, bilocate, make prophesies, and perform miracles. Read more about him here.
Lessons from the life of Padre Pio
As a young man, he expressed his desire to become a friar, and though his family was very poor, they supported him wholeheartedly and worked incredibly hard to help him along on this vocational path. "His parents traveled to a nearby community of monks and asked is Francesco could join them. He was evaluated, despite his young age and was told that he needed more education before he could join. In order to prepare Francesco, his parents decided to hire a private tutor. To pay the cost of the tutor, Francesco's father traveled to America to find work, and sent the money home," (Catholic Online, Padre Pio)
As parents, may we always encourage and support the vocations of our children - even when great sacrifice is required.
As the world was fascinated with Padre Pio's stigmata, he soon became internationally famous. He used his influence to lead many to Christ as well as open up a hospital in San Giovanni Rotondo. Though he was uncomfortable with his fame, he was intentional about his influence and used it for the good of God's Kingdom.
May we bring the light and love of Christ to all those within our sphere of influence, choosing humility and charity as St. Padre Pio did. May we always seek to help people, especially the sick and poor.
One of the greatest lessons we can learn from St. Padre Pio is that God can use great suffering for great good. “When we suffer, Jesus is closer to us,” (Padre Pio, 4/2/1912). His life was marked with suffering in so many ways - he suffered through various sicknesses from adolescence and throughout this life, the painful wounds of his stigmata, as well as spiritual attacks. He lived in humility and self-denial, eating very small portions and sleeping only a few hours each night. But despite his physical and spiritual sufferings (or perhaps, because of them), he remained steadfast in his faith and God worked countless miracles through him. He was granted special graces throughout this life and worked tirelessly for the love of God and all people.
May we accept the sufferings of life with a serene and peaceful heart - may we take courage and remain strong in the face of evil, offering up our suffering for the sake of His Divine Will.