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Remarkable Transformation: Padre Pio
BBCi ^ | J+M+J Sunday, 16 June, 2002, 10:22 GMT 11:22 UK | Peter Gould

Posted on 06/16/2002 5:20:50 PM PDT by Siobhan

Padre Pio's remarkable transformation

Poster of Padre Pio

A poster of Padre Pio in St Peter's Square

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By Peter Gould


BBC News Online

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Among Roman Catholics in Italy, he is said to be second in popularity only to Pope John Paul II.

For years, he has been regarded as "the people's saint" and the monastery where he prayed is a place of pilgrimage.

Yet the object of this devotion is a humble monk, who for much of his life was regarded with deep suspicion by the Vatican.

His name is Padre Pio, and on Sunday he officially joined the ranks of the saints.

The Pope, a long-time admirer, conducted the ceremony in St Peter's Square in front of hundreds of thousands of people.

Vision

The canonisation should finally settle decades of arguments about the mystic monk.

Padre Pio's life inspires Catholics all over the world

His real name was Francesco Forgione, and he was born in a small town near Naples in 1887.

As a teenager he had a vision, and joined the Capuchin order.

He took the name Pio, which means "pious" in Italian.

He might have spent the rest of his days there in obscurity, living the simple life of a monk.

But then he began to display the signs of the stigmata - the wounds inflicted on the hands, feet and side of Christ when he was nailed to the cross.

For the next 50 years, blood continued to seep from Padre Pio's palms. He was the first priest in centuries to bear the marks of the crucifixion, and it turned him into a living legend.

Doubts

The Vatican was not convinced, however, and for 10 years ordered the monk not to celebrate mass in public.

Padre Pio

Real name: Francesco Forgione

Born: 1887

Died: 1968

Known as:
"The living crucifix"

Throughout his life, Padre Pio had to face accusations of being a fraud. Some church leaders wondered if he used acid to make his hands and feet bleed.

Because of his popularity, he became the victim of a dirty tricks campaign. Rumours were circulated about alleged relationships with women.

Astonishingly, confessional boxes were bugged with hidden microphones in an attempt to gather evidence against him.

But his enemies could not discredit him, and stories about his miraculous healing powers spread his fame far beyond Italy.

Pilgrims

By the time of his death in 1968, he had millions of followers, not just in Italy but around the world.

Pope John Paul II

The Pope has prayed at Padre Pio's tomb

His funeral was attended by 100,000 mourners, and his monastery in San Giovanni Rotondo has become a place of pilgrimage that rivals Lourdes and Assisi.

The Pope has created many saints, but few have been canonised so quickly. As a young man, the Pope travelled to Italy to make his confession to Padre Pio.

Forio Tessari, a Capuchin priest who argued Padre Pio's cause at the Vatican, believes the Pope was impressed by the way the monk endured a life of pain without complaint.

"The Pope was struck above all by the spiritual figure of a man who had a strong experience of God, who prayed, suffered in silence, and obeyed his superiors with faith," he says.

Miracles

Today, millions of Catholics around the world invoke the name of Padre Pio in their prayers, and stories about his healing powers continue.

Bronze statue of Padre Pio

Images of the new saint are everywhere

In Scotland, Frank and Maureen O'Connor were in despair after being told their baby daughter Danielle had a fatal illness.

A stranger told them to pray to Padre Pio, and her condition improved. That was in 1993; their daughter is now 11 and still very much alive.

The Vatican asked for details of her case when it was looking for evidence of miracles, and deciding whether the monk should be made a saint.

It is a remarkable transformation for a man frowned on by previous popes.

To endure decades of speculation and rumours, and retain his faith, Padre Pio must truly have had the patience of a saint.

Now, in front of thousands of people, the Pope has made that designation official.



TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: canonization; catholiclist; johnpaulii; padrepio; saint; vatican
A joyful day for faithful Catholic Christians the world over!
1 posted on 06/16/2002 5:20:50 PM PDT by Siobhan
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To: Antoninus; sandyeggo; frogandtoad; saradippity; maryz; Jeff Chandler; ken5050; Slyfox; rose...
Index and ping!
2 posted on 06/16/2002 5:22:03 PM PDT by Siobhan
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To: Siobhan

3 posted on 06/16/2002 5:25:38 PM PDT by Siobhan
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To: Siobhan
the threads about St. Padre Pio are so exciting! Thank you for posting this.
4 posted on 06/16/2002 5:27:12 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: Siobhan
And from the Brits, too. So amazing that it was even covered by them. I wonder if any US media outlets covered the canonization.
5 posted on 06/16/2002 5:30:19 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: Siobhan
Padre Pio, pray for us!
6 posted on 06/16/2002 5:34:57 PM PDT by Diago
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To: Diago; Salvation
Padre Pio Santo!
Padre Pio Santo!
Padre Pio Santo!

7 posted on 06/16/2002 5:45:40 PM PDT by Siobhan
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To: Salvation; JMJ333; Diago; Domestic Church
Saint Padre Pio pages on EWTN website.
8 posted on 06/16/2002 5:48:35 PM PDT by Siobhan
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To: Siobhan
Thanks! Lovely graphics as usual!
9 posted on 06/16/2002 5:49:16 PM PDT by JMJ333
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To: Salvation
I wonder if any US media outlets covered the canonization.

It was on the Fox Report tonight. They had a very nice story, and I was thrilled that they would do one.

10 posted on 06/16/2002 5:53:31 PM PDT by BlessedBeGod
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To: history_matters

Padre Pio Santo

Happy Father's Day, Da!
We love you with all our hearts!

11 posted on 06/16/2002 5:53:31 PM PDT by Siobhan
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To: Siobhan
Half a million people showed up in St. Peter's Square !
12 posted on 06/16/2002 5:54:43 PM PDT by BlessedBeGod
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To: Siobhan

13 posted on 06/16/2002 5:54:56 PM PDT by JMJ333
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To: Siobhan
This is my favorite.

=)

14 posted on 06/16/2002 5:58:14 PM PDT by JMJ333
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To: Siobhan
Bump.
15 posted on 06/16/2002 6:01:36 PM PDT by patent
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To: Siobhan
St. Padre Pio bump! Pray for us

Gee, the news mentioned all the scandals, somehow they overlooked this event. Least I didn't see it. ;-)

Prayers for your 'Da'

16 posted on 06/16/2002 6:03:31 PM PDT by Cap'n Crunch
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To: Cap'n Crunch
Fr. Francis Mary, MFVA on EWTN just said there were 800,000 people at the canonization
17 posted on 06/16/2002 6:06:50 PM PDT by Siobhan
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To: Siobhan
Bump.
18 posted on 06/16/2002 6:23:02 PM PDT by Canticle_of_Deborah
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To: Siobhan
And it was a beautiful day in Rome (rather warm, but it was sunny) and Foggia.
19 posted on 06/16/2002 6:27:38 PM PDT by ELS
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To: Siobhan
BTTT for more of the real story.
20 posted on 06/16/2002 7:06:34 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: Siobhan
Padre Pio Wrestled with the Devil, Predicted Future

Reuters story

21 posted on 06/16/2002 7:09:05 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: Salvation
His Friends Remember Padre Pio
22 posted on 06/16/2002 7:11:46 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: Siobhan
BTTT! From now on September 23rd will be St. Padre Pio Day!
23 posted on 09/23/2002 8:02:20 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: Siobhan

BTTT on the Memorial of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, September 23, 2005!


24 posted on 09/23/2005 8:38:59 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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