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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
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.

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     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

     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. 
     25 May 1887 @ Pietrelcina, Italy as Francesco 
     23 September 1968 
     18 December 1997 by Pope John Paul II 
     2 May 1999 by Pope John Paul II 
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? 
     Chaplet of Padre Pio 

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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

                     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
                     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.