Perhaps once in a generation, the Holy Trinity gifts the world with an incredible soul whose extraordinary holiness far surpasses many other human beings during that soul’s time on earth. One such soul was the great St. Padre Pio. He was a Capuchin monk who was ordained a priest in 1910. He died in 1968, was beatified by St. John Paul II in 1999, and canonized in 2002.
Here are a few amazing facts about the life of Padre Pio that make him worthy of emulation and praise.
In 1920, Padre Pio received the stigmata of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is a truly rare charism that were only given to just a handful of saints in the entire history of Christianity. Padre Pio bore the wounds of Christ. He bore Jesus’ nail marks in his hands and feet, and the wound in the side from the spear. Many doctors tried to treat Padre Pio’s wounds, but the condition nor the pain never improved. Padre Pio also bore the other marks of the Passion, such as the crown of thorns, scourging, as well as a shoulder wound.
Padre Pio narrated his stigmata experience to his confessor, Fr. Benedetto: “My Father, I am dying from suffering, through the pain and the confusion I feel in my inmost soul.” Padre Pio shared the Passion of Jesus with incredible intensity.
Extraordinary Battles with the Devil
Padre Pio was a man of truly extraordinary spiritual and mystical experiences. From his childhood, Padre Pio enjoyed incredible celestial visions. However, as a young child, he also experienced the terrible attacks of the devil.
That battle with the evil persisted all throughout his entire life. The devil’s attacks on Padre Pio were not just spiritual in nature - he was often physically attacked by the demons! The devil constantly attacked Padre Pio. They scourged him with heavy chains, leaving him bleeding. Sometimes they appeared as gruesome animals.
On December 20, 1910, Padre Pio wrote: “I am in the hands of the devil who is trying to snatch me from the arms of Jesus. Dear God! What a war he is waging against me! There are moments in which I am on the point of losing my reason through the continual violence I must do myself. How many tears and groans, dear Father, I send up to heaven in order to be set free. But no matter, I will never tire of praying to Jesus.”
This is the reason why Padre Pio is such a powerful intercessor in our daily battle with the evil one! Whenever you feel the presence of the devil attack you or your family, call on the great St. Padre Pio. He will immediately help you win your war with the devil!
The most important facet of Padre Pio’s life, however, is his very deep devotion to the Holy Mass and Eucharist devotion. The Holy Mass, after all, is the source and summit of our Christian Life. It is the highest form of prayer! Padre Pio exemplified what a true “Eucharistic life” meant.
His offering of the Mass often lasted hours, due to a few reasons. He said that his Mass often lasted long because he was in a state of ecstasy. He once said that oftentimes, during Consecration, he is so absorbed in God that he actually saw everyone who had asked his prayers.
The pain of his stigmata also prolonged his Mass. During Mass, Padre Pio would struggle to move, in visible agony.
Despite his difficulties in saying Mass, however, due to the pain of the stigmata, Padre Pio profusely wrote about the importance of the Mass. He said: “It would be easier for the world to survive without the sun than to do without the holy Mass.”
St. Padre Pio, pray for us!