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Padre Pio

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Padre Pio, whose real name was Francesco Forgione was born on May 25, 1887 in Pietralcina, a small town in southern Italy. Every since he was a child he has always showed love towards the religious life. It is said that at the age of 5 Padre Pio had already dedicated his life to God. He had an extreme love for prayer. At the age of sixteen he entered the 'Capuchin Friars' which are a religious order in memory of St. Francis of Assisi. From the first time Padre Pio had entered into the Friary he was already recognized by his teachers as someone special. "There was something which distinguished him from the other students, whenever I saw him he was always humble and silent", one of his peers had said. What struck them most was Padre Pio's love for prayer. In the year 1910 at the age of 23 Padre Pio had been ordained a priest.

Besides the Mystery of God taught by Padre Pio, he had his own mysteries. After celebrating a Mass on September 20, 1918, he had received the "Stigmata". His hands, side and feet were scarred with the same wounds of Christ; he was the first priest ever to have received the gift of Stigmata along with other gifts which later declared him a Saint. The news of this spread all over the world and people flocked to witness this miracle. Scientists had examined the wounds over and over but could never come up with an explanation. He had performed many miracles which included curing a blind little girl without pupils in her eyes to see again, and she is still alive today to tell her story. Padre Pio was also rewarded by God with other magnificent gifts such as bilocation which was Padre Pio's ability to visit and needy in far places from where he was without ever leaving, also the gift of perfume which was the beautiful odor of roses that marked Padre Pio's presence, and the gift of conversion which was his ability to make remarkable conversions of peoples choices or views.

Throughout the life of Padre Pio, God was no mystery to him because it seemed as if he already knew the mystery of God. He once said "the pivot of perfection is love, he who lives in love lives in God, because God is love, as taught by the apostles", which simply those who do not love cannot be completely connected to God. Padre Pio believed that a person who desired perfection needs to take internal and external actions. In order to achieve this eternal perfection we must love and practice the virtue of charity. He also taught that those who choose to love their money and other possessions or positions do not always contain what they love, but those who choose to love God possess Him at once. Padre Pio encouraged people to practice externally to be humble, kind, courteous, and agreeable, and when those who do not respond to these acts we must be patient with, because patience maintains the order in ones life. When these acts are acted upon one another it helps people to imitate what is happening, in which he thought could eventually make this world a better place.

To Padre Pio charity was the queen of all virtues, he once said "As the pearls are held together by a thread, thus the virtues are held together by charity; as tge pearls fall when the thread breaks, thus virtues are lost if charity diminishes." Padre Pio's provision to help or relieve the poor was most important to obtain the rest of the virtues. He used charity as a foundation to begin to keep things in order. When he mentioned charity he didn't always mean relieving the poor but



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