Saint Pio of Pietrelcina: the complete story
OFM PRIEST CHAP. (1887-1968)
Many rivers of ink have flowed around his figure. An incalculable number of articles and many books: it is estimated that there are approximately more than 200 biographies dedicated to him only in Italian. “I'll make more noise dead than alive”, he had predicted with his usual wit.
Father Pio, born Francesco Forgione, was born on May 25, 1887 in Pietrelcina, a small town on the outskirts of Benevento; he was baptized the next day in the church of Sant'Anna. He was given the name Francesco by desire of his mother, devoted to St. Francis of Assisi. The father Grazio Maria, born in 1860, and his mother Maria Giuseppa De Nunzio, born in 1859, were poor farmers who had been married for six years and had already had three sons, of which two already dead, at the birth of Francesco.
On 27 September 1899 he received Communion and Confirmation from the then archbishop of Benevento Donato Maria dell'Olio.
The desire to become a priest manifested itself very early and was prompted by the acquaintance of a friar of the convent of Morcone, fra Camillo da S. Elia a Pianisi, who periodically passed through Pietrelcina to collect donations. The procedures for entry into the convent were begun in the spring of 1902, when Francesco was 14 years old, but his first application was unsuccessful. Only in the autumn of 1902 did the assent arrive.
Francis told of having had a vision, on January 1, 1903 after Communion, which confirmed and clarified his vocation to continue fighting against Satan. On the night of January 5, the last night he spent with his family, he said he had another vision in which God and Maria encouraged him and assured him of their preference.
The novitiate and the vows
On the morning of January 6, after having attended mass in the church parish church of Pietrelcina, accompanied by his teacher Angelo Caccavo and the priest Don Nicola Caruso, Francesco was received at the novitiate of the Capuchins of the religious province of Foggia, in Morcone (Benevento). On 22 January of the same year, at the age of 15, Francesco assumed the probationary role of the Capuchin novice and became Fra Pio.
At the end of the year of the novitiate, Fra Pio made his profession of simple vows (poverty, chastity and obedience) on 22 January 1904. Three days later he went to S. Elia a Pianisi to undertake his secondary school studies. On 27 January 1907 he made his profession of solemn vows. He followed classical and philosophy studies and in November 1908 he reached Montefusco, where he continued his theological studies. On July 18, 1909, he received the order of the diaconate, in the novitiate of Morcone.
He was ordained a priest on 10 August 1910, in the Cathedral of Benevento, by Msgr. Paolo Schinosi; in the souvenir image of his first mass he had written "Jesus, my sigh and my life, today that I anxiously raise you in a mystery oflove, with You I may be Way, Truth and Life for the world and for You a holy priest, perfect victim".
The first years of his priesthood were compromised and made bitter by his poor health conditions, so much so that his superiors sent him several times to Pietrelcina, to his father's house, where the climate was more congenial to him. Father Pio is very seriously ill with his lungs. The doctors give him little to live on. As if that weren't enough, to his illness are added the terrible harassments to which the devil subjects him, which never leave the poor friar in peace, tortured in his body and spirit.
The arrival in San Giovanni Rotondo
In 1916 the superiors thought of transferring it to S. Giovanni Rotondo, on the Gargano, and here, in the convent of S. Maria delle Grazie, the Father Pio an extraordinary adventure as a miracle worker and apostle of the confessional. An incalculable number of men and women, from the Gargano and from other parts of Italy, begin to flock to his confessional, where he also spends fourteen to sixteen hours a day, to wash away sins and lead souls back to God.
On 20 September 1918 he received thestigmataof the Passion of Christ which will remain open, painful and bleeding, for a good fifty years. Father Pio is visited by a large number of doctors, suffering misunderstandings and slander for which he has to submit to infamous canonical inspections; he declares himselfson of obedience” and bears everything with seraphic patience. Finally, he is also suspended a divinis and only after several years, acquitted of the slanderous accusations, can he be reinstated in his priestly ministry.
Home for the Relief of Suffering
His cell, number 5, had a sign hung on the door with a famous phrase from St. Bernard: "Maria is all the reason for my hope”. Mary is the secret of the greatness of Father Pio, the secret of his holiness. To her, in May 1956, he dedicated theHome for the Relief of Suffering, one of the most qualified healthcare facilities today at a national and international level, with more than 70,000 hospitalizations a year, ultra-modern equipment and connections with the main research institutes in the world.
In the 1940s, to fight the terrible reality of the Second World War with the weapon of prayer, Father Pio started the Prayer Groups, one of the most widespread ecclesial realities in the world today, with over two hundred thousand devotees scattered throughout the earth. With theHome for the Relief of Sufferingthey constitute his spiritual heritage, the sign of a life entirely dedicated to prayer and marked by an ardent devotion to the Virgin.
By her the friar felt protected in his daily struggle with the devil, the "cossack” as she called him, and the Virgin miraculously heals him twice, in 1911 and in 1959. In the latter case the doctors had given him up for a goner when, after the arrival of the pilgrim Madonna of Fatima in San Giovanni Rotondo , on August 6, 1959, Father Pio was suddenly healed, to the amazement and joy of his devotees.
“Is there a shortcut to Heaven?” he was once asked. “Yup",he replied, "And Our Lady". "It -said the friar of Pietrelcina– is the sea through which the shores of eternal splendours are reached".He always exhorted his own sons spiritual to pray the Rosary and to imitate Our Lady in her daily virtues such as humility, patience, silence, purity, charity.
"I wish I had such a strong voice– he said – to invite sinners from all over the world to love Our Lady".
He himself always had the rosary in hand; she recited it incessantly, in full, especially at night. “This prayer-he said Father Pious– it is our faith, the support of our hope, the explosion of our charity".
His spiritual testament, at the end of his life, was: “Love Our Lady and make her loved. Always recite the Rosary".
Among the miraculous signs of the holy friar there are, in addition tostigmata, the gift of bilocation and the ability to read people's hearts and minds.
Death and canonization
Father Pio died at the age of 81 on 23 September 1968; more than 100,000 people from all over Italy attended his funeral.
On March 20, 1983, the diocesan process for her canonization began.
January 21, 1990 Father Pio was proclaimed venerable; he was beatified on May 2, 1999 and canonized, on June 16, 2002, by Saint John Paul II (Karol Józef Wojtyla, 1978-2005).
Your servant, who prepared this hagiographic composition, has known Father Pious(on the occasion of a visit made to San Giovanni Rotondo with the Archbishop's Seminary of Naples) and put out of the sacristy, by the same Father Pio, together with another seminarian who later became a priest (Don Luigi Graziuso), for having secretly taken two photos (the film, strangely, turned out to be black).
In church of the aforementioned friend, at the end of 1998, the effigy of Father Pio, still visible.
For the record: the marble in question was taken and seized by the Curia, and returned after several months of careful checks to verify, as was the case, that there were no artifices. (gpm)
Preghiera a San Pio da Pietrelcina del Santo Padre Giovanni Paolo II
Insegna anche a noi, ti preghiamo, l’umiltà del cuore per essere annoverati tra i piccoli del Vangelo ai quali il Father ha promesso di rivelare il misteri del suo Regno.
Ottienici uno sguardo di fede capace di riconoscere prontamente nei poveri e nei sofferenti Il volto stesso di Jesus.
Sostienici nell’ora del combattimento e della prova e, se cadiamo, fa che sperimentiamo la gioia del sacramento del perdono.
Trasmettici la tenera devozione Verso Maria, madre di Jesus e nostra.
Accompagnaci nel pellegrinaggio terreno Verso la Patria beata, dove speriamo di giungere anche noi per contemplare in eterno la Gloria del Father, Of the Son e dello Spirito Santo. Amen.
Joannes Paulus II
For further information: Pio of Pietrelcina
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Ultimo aggiornamento: 24 Maggio 2023 19:09 by Remigio Ruberto