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Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, Pray for Us

The earthly existence of Padre Pio was abundantly full of mysterious phenomena and events. However, the most important of the various charisms in his life was the stigmata, the wounds on his feet, hands, and side that he bore on his body for fifty years and recalled the “signs” of the passion and death of Jesus. For believers, these wounds demonstrated, and continue to remind us, that Padre Pio was a special person chosen by God to call the world’s attention to the great mystery in history: the redemption by Jesus through the most terrible suffering, a death on a cross. Padre Pio is the only stigmatized priest in history and has come to be called an “Alter Christus,” another Christ. Pope Paul VI defined him as “a stamped representative of the stigmata of Our Lord.” The stigmata is the feature that identifies and characterizes the life, message, mission, and holiness of Padre Pio of Pietrelcina.


—from the book Saint Padre Pio: Man of Hope by Renzo Allegri

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Obedient Suffering

Padre Pio was perfectly aware of the day when he would die. When Padre Pio received the stigmata, Jesus told him something that he never recorded in his letters but which he confided to some of his spiritual children. Realizing that his hands, feet, and side were bleeding, he turned to Jesus and begged him to take away the physical signs: “Let me suffer and let me die from suffering,” he prayed. “But take away these signs that cause me so much embarrassment.” Jesus told him: “You will bear them for fifty years, and then you will see me.” Exactly fifty years later, the wounds disappeared and Padre Pio died.

—from the book Saint Padre Pio: Man of Hope by Renzo Allegri

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Padre Pio's Passion

Today, Padre Pio is one of the most famous saints. His popularity in the Catholic world is enormous and is always growing. Popes, cardinals, bishops, priests, religious, and all believers venerate and love Padre Pio. He is also esteemed, revered, and respected by Protestants, the Orthodox, the Jews, and even in some Muslim circles. But people still continue to ignore the “passion” that Padre Pio lived through for his whole earthly life. To ignore the persecution as if it never existed is unjust and mistaken because the very persecution he endured—at times weeping with sorrow because of it but without ever complaining—demonstrates how great Padre Pio’s holiness was. Whenever he would hear one of his friends rail against ecclesiastical authority, he would become angry and say, “Kneel and ask for forgiveness: the Church is our mother even when she strikes us.”

—from the book Saint Padre Pio: Man of Hope by Renzo Allegri

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