Ref- http:// www.self-realization.com Padre Pio was declared "VENERABLE" by Pope Paul II on Thursday, December 18, 1997. (Send in by C.) (Venerable means that the Catholic Church recognizes the outstanding qualities of someone on his way to full sainthood.) Padre Pio was known to heal, levitate during mass (observed by large crowds of people), and - as a stigmatist - he bled for about 50 years daily the amount of a large cup of blood out of his hands. If you are interested in learning more about Padre Pio, then, do not miss to check out these great LINKS. Padre Pio, originally Francesco Forgione, was born 27 May, 1887 in Italy. He left his body on the 23 September, 1968 at the age of 81. He was a Catholic priest who studied to become a Capuchin who are part of the orders of the Franciscans. He was known as a Stigmatist and bled regularly out of his hands, feet, and side for 50 years. Padre Pio was blessed with the Holy Spirit. During mass, he would be observed bleeding from his hands or even levitating. He was also observed being at two places at the same time, which is known as bilocation. Many people hold him responsible for dramatic healings of various kinds and funds sent to him were used to build a hospital. Other abilities ascribed to him include prophecy and telepathy. His virtues were praised by all who knew him. The amount of food he would eat was said to fit in his hand. Apparently his decision to become a priest was already formed at the early age of 6. Ref - http://www.catholic-forum.com/saints/saintp27.htm PADRE PIO Profile Born to a southern Italian farm family. Shepherd. At age 15 he entered the noviciate of the Capuchin Friars in Morcone, and entered the order at age 19. Suffered several health problems, and at one point his family thought he had tuberculosis. Priest at age 22. While praying before a cross, he received the stigmata on 20 September 1918, 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. Reportedly able to bi-locate, levitate, and heal by touch. Born 25 May 1887 @ Pietrelcina, Italy as Francesco Died 23 September 1968 Venerable 18 December 1997 by Pope John Paul II Beatified 2 May 1999 by Pope John Paul II Canonized pending Additional Information Open Directory Project links to sites devoted to or with information about Blessed Padre Pio A Troublesome Saint, by Andrea Monda Padre Pio - Canonization in 2001? Prayers Chaplet of Padre Pio Ref - http://www.abol.it/padrepio/inglese/index.html Padre Pio was born in Pietrelcina, a little town situated few kilometres from Benevento (Southern Italy), on May 25, 1887. His father, Grazio Forgione, known as "Razio" or "Zý Razio", was a farmer who lived on his own work. His mother, Giuseppina Di Nunzio, was a woman of great mercy. They baptised him Francesco in Santa Maria degli Angeli, Our Lady of Angels, the ancient parish church, located in the upper part of Pietrelcina, called the 'Castle'. Since young he helped his parents with their work in the fields, but, above all, he was the shepherd of the flock. When he felt the calling to priestwood, his father willingly undertook all the expenses needed to let him study and emigrated to America. At the age of fifteen he entered the noviciate of the Capuchin Friars in Morcone, where on January 22, 1903 he worn the clothing of Saint Francis and was called Padre Pio. After finishing the year as a novice, on January 22, 1904, he took the simple vows and, consequently, he started his studies to become a priest in the various monasteries of the province. On January 27, 1907, he took the solemn vows, thus entering the Order for ever. Unfortunately, due to his bad health he was obliged to alternate monastic life and period of convalescence in his home town. They thought he suffered from tuberculosis so that they had some doubts that he could reach priesthood or, anyhow, live the severe rule of Saint Francis. However, thanks to his strong will he surpassed all difficulties and, on August 10, 1910 he took the Holy Orders in the Cathedral of Benevento. Neverthless his health was getting on uncertain and, therefore, except for short visits to the Convent, the spiritual advisor preferred him to stay in his home town where he could sometimes help the priest of the town in the holy ministery. Owing to the calling up to the army (November 1915), Padre Pio ended up his stay in Pietrelcina. He spent this period altering sick leaves, short stay in his town, and in various monasteries, like that in San Giovanni Rotondo, where he arrived on July 28, 1916 and lived till his death. On September 20, 1918 five wounds of Our Lord's Passion appeared on his body, making him the first stigmatized priest in the history of Church. This event, strengthened by the fame he had always had as a religious saint, had a great echo and people from all parts of the world arrived, arousing alarming worries in the world of Church and Science. Despite the great multitude of people around him, the disputes and criticism aroused, Padre Pio looked after his duties as a priest (particularly the holy mass and confession) with all humility, perseverance, and obedience. On January 9, 1940, he set up a magnificent work aimed to relieve the sufferance. This work was carried out with the help of disciples and the small spontaneous offerings of believers coming from all over the world. Thus, the House for Relief of Suffering open its doors to patients, on May 5, 1956, gaining the favour of peoples. An impressive number of believers affirmed to owe to Padre Pio a great change in their life. Countless were the favours, even material, received through the intercession of his prayers. He died on January 23, 1968, at the age of 81, but his teachings are still alive today. On the March 20, 1983, the process for Beatification has begun.