Saint Padre Pio was born Francesco Forgione in Pietrelcina, Italy, in 1887. His family and the people of his town were very religious. When a Capuchin friar visited his town to ask for donations for the friars’ ministry, Francesco knew that he wanted to become a Capuchin. He entered the friary when he was 15. He took the name “Pio” in honor of the patron saint of his town, St. Pius V. Padre Pio received a great blessing during prayer. He had a vision of Jesus. When the vision ended, he had the stigmata (his body bore the marks of Christ’s crucifixion on his hands, feet, and side.) People from everywhere came to see him. Perhaps because of the physical suffering he experienced, Padre Pio had a special compassion for the sick and suffering people of the world. He asked that a hospital be built near the friary in 1948. Money was raised and in time, the “House for the Relief of the Suffering” was completed. He was canonized a saint in 2002.
“Pray, hope, and don’t worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer.” Padre Pio