Saint Pio Pietrelcina Early Life
Saint Pio Pietrelcina visions began when he would carry on conversations with Jesus, the Blessed Virgin, and his guardian angel when he was just a boy. He also had visions and ecstasies when he was a youth. When Saint Pio was fifteen years old, he entered the Capuchin order as a novitiate. He took the name of Fra Pio when he made his vows.
Padre Pio Becomes a Priest
Saint Pio Pietrelcina became a priest after six years of study. He was ordained in 1910 at the Cathedral of Benevento. Saint Pio lived with his family until 1916 because he suffered from poor health.
Saint Pio Goes to War
In August of 1917, Padre Pio was called into military service. He was sent to the 4th Platoon of the 100th Company or the Italian Medical Corps. He became ill while he was there and hospitalized. Saint Pio Pietrelcina was not discharged until March of 1918.
After the war, Saint Pio served as a spiritual director. He urged his people to practice five rules for strengthening their faith:
- Weekly confession
- Daily Communion
- Spiritual reading
- Examination of conscience
Saint Pio Suffered Many Ailments
Saint Pio suffered from multiple illnesses from his childhood into adulthood:
- When he was 6 years old, he was stricken with gastroenteritis and was confined to bed.
- At 10 years old, he had typhoid fever.
- When Padre Pio was 17, he became ill, losing his appetite, suffered from insomnia, fainting, migraines, and exhaustion. Everything but milk made him vomit.
- Saint Pio also had asthamatic bronchitis throughout his life.
- Kidney stones and abdominal pain
- Chronic gastritis
- Inflammation of the eye, nose, ears, and throat
- In 1925, Padre Pio had surgery for an inguinal hernia
- Had a cyst removed from his neck
- Saint Pio had surgery to remove a malignant tumor from his ear and was given radiological treatments.
- He was confined to bed for four months due to exudative pleuritis.
Saint Pio Pietrelcina Revered
Saint Pio Pietrelcina is a twentieth century saint and is revered by many Catholics today. They wear a Saint Pio Pietrelcina medal or a Saint Pio Pietrelcina necklace in his honor, praying for his intercession in giving them the strength for self-sacrifice and strong faith in the mercy of Jesus.