The history of the Catholic Church is filled with extraordinary personalities who were raised to the altar for their heroic virtues. One of the most fascinating personalities in recent church history is, without a doubt, Padre Pio of Pietrelcina. This year marks the 40th anniversary of his death and it is a good time to reflect on his life and impact.
A Capuchin Franciscan, Padre Pio spent most of his life living in a Monastery in southern Italy. Sounds rather unremarkable. However, his reputation for sanctity, his role as a gifted confessor who could read penitents' souls, and the fact that he bore the stigmata, the five wounds of Christ, on his body made him an international sensation.
In this Thursday's edition of Catholic Focus I delve into the remarkable legacy of this great saint and miracle worker. Tune in and learn about Padre Pio's mystical connection to Pope John Paul II, his unique and sometimes controversial style in the confessional, his astounding and well documented bi-location, and how he handled the burden of bearing the wounds of Christ.
Today, more than 6 million pilgrims each year travel to San Giovanni Rotondo, the small village in the Gargano Mountains that Padre Pio called home. They come from all four corners of the globe to experience a renewal of their faith and to pray for the intercession of Padre Pio. At the end of his life Padre Pio was quoted as saying "When I am dead, I shall do so much more." The ongoing miracles attest to the truth of that statement.
I hope you will watch Catholic Focus this Thursday and open your heart to a simple priest who, 40 years after his death, still has the potential to impact your life.Catholic Focus: Padre Pio airs Thursday, February 21st, and Sunday, February 24th, at 7pm and 11pm ET.