• 23 Sep 22

Sep 23 - “St. Padre Pio” © artwork by Brenda Nippert. Happy Feast Day St. Pio!

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We all know the wimpy kid on the block, the last one to be picked because no one wants him on their team. Francesco Forgione was that kid. Born in Pietrelcina Italy, Francesco was always a sickly child who wanted to become a priest. He was too sick to attend seminary but was allowed to study with the local priest while living at home, taking the name Padre Pio when he was ordained. Not a real exciting story so far, but it gets better. God is amazing, and sometimes sees in us a side that no one else does, sometimes He picks the wimpy kid to be on His team, and makes them the All-Star. Incredible events started to happen in Padre Pio's life. He received the stigmata (the wounds of Christ) and the ability to be in two places at one time (bi-location). He sat in the confessional 12 hours a day, looked into the hearts of the penitents, told them what they had done, how to fix their lives, and grow closer to God. He saw the need for a hospital, supervised its construction, the recruitment of a staff and all the fund raising, while still keeping up his priestly duties.

WWII bomber pilots reported seeing a monk standing in the clouds telling them not to bomb there (no bombs ever fell near his monastery.) He sounds like a superhero from a comic book, but he was a real man who only did one thing, he believed in God. These events were not Padre Pio's doing, but God's manifestations working in his life. There is no record of the number of people converted, how many lives he changed in the confessional, nor who lived because of his hospital. Life is not about how many records you break or the points you score – it is about the lives you change, the love you give and how you answer God's call. You don't have to be somebody special to be on God's team, God will pick you, and you will shine.

His feast day is September 23.