Wednesday, September 23, 2015

September 23: Saint Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio)

Statue of Saint Pio, St Barbara Church,
Saarfels, Germany. Photo by Lokilech

History

Saint Pio’s parents, who were poor farmers, named him Francesco after Saint Francis of Assissi. People always noticed there was something special about little Francesco. He was called to the priesthood when he was a young boy, and he was always very devout. He became a Capuchin brother, and when he was made a priest, he took the name Pio. On September 20, 1918 – 96 years ago – Padre Pio was kneeling in front of a crucifix in prayer when he received marks on his hands and feet and side, just like Jesus suffered during the Crucifixion. A doctor examined his wounds and could not determine what caused them. Sometimes, the wounds bled, but the blood smelled like flowers. Padre Pio heard confessions for ten or twelve hours every day, and the Holy Spirit always told him exactly what to say so he could help Christians return to God. When he died 60 years after receiving the wounds of Christ, his stigmata disappeared, and there was not even scars left behind.

Activity

Saint Pio took to wearing very long sleeves and fingerless cloves to cover up the stigmata on his hands. Why do you think he did that? Here is a coloring page with his image to complete. Don’t forget to ask Saint Pio to pray for you and your whole family today.  

Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, pray for us!


More reading for parents:

EWTN