St. Pio of Pietrelcina
Born to a southern Italian farm family, the son of Grazio, a shepherd. At age 15 he entered the novitiate of the Capuchin Friars in Morcone, and joined the order at age 19. He suffered several health problems, and at one point his family thought he had tuberculosis. He was ordained at age 22 on 10 August 1910.
While praying before a cross on September 20, 1918, Padre Pio received the stigmata. He is the first priest ever to be so blessed. As word spread, especially after American soldiers brought home stories of Padre Pio following WWII, the priest himself became a point of pilgrimage for both the pious and the curious. He would hear confessions by the hour, reportedly able to read the consciences of those who held back. He was reportedly able to bi-locate, levitate, and heal by touch.
In 1956 he founded the House for the Relief of Suffering, a hospital that serves 60,000 a year. Padre Pio died on September 23, 1968 at age 81.
Today there are over 400,000 members worldwide in prayer groups begun by Padre Pio in the 1920's.
Favorite famous quotes by Padre Pio:
“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.”
“The longer the trial to which God subjects you, the greater the goodness in comforting you during the time of the trial and in the exaltation after the combat.”
" Pray, hope, and don't worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer.”
“Have courage and do not fear the assaults of the Devil. Remember this forever; it is a healthy sign if the devil shouts and roars around your conscience, since this shows that he is not inside your will.”
I always marvel when God uses flowers in reaching people. I was reading Stories of Padre Pio and came across the story of Katharina asking Padre Pio's intercession to God for a sign of flowers, and then having an atheist lawyer, known for being very stingy with the beautiful flowers in his garden give her a beautiful bouquet!
Padre pio links on delicious