Mangaluru: Grand centenary of St Padre Pio stigmata, 50 years death anniversary to be held on Sep 23

Media Release

Mangaluru, Sep 14: Marking 50 years since St Padre Pio went to Heaven and the centenary year of the Stigmata of St Padre Pio a grand scale celebration will be held on September 23.

Flag hoisting to inaugurate the festal celebrations and Novena will be held on Friday September 14 by Fr Wilson D’Souza, parish priest of Bejai, at 4.30 pm at St Ann’s Friary.

The solemn festal mass will be on September 23 at 6.00 pm presided over by Bishop of Mangaluru, Dr Peter Paul Saldanha.

On that day masses will be held at 6.30 am (Konkani), 9.00 am (Kannada), 11.00 am (Malayalam) presided over by Bishop of Beltangady diocese, Dr Lawrence Mukkuzhy. Special prayers, healing prayers and mass for the sick and the aged will be on September 22, at 10.00 am. Relics of St Padre Pio and offerings will be taken in solemn procession at 4.30 pm from Bejai parish grounds.

About Padre Pio

Padre Pio, a capuchin saint was born on May 25, 1887 and died on September 23, 1968 at Pietrelcina in Italy. He was baptized as Francesco and as a youth he experienced heavenly visions and ecstasies.

At a very young age of 10, Francesco was said to have been drawn to the life of a friar after listening to a young Capuchin friar. During his seminary, at the age of 17, he fell suddenly ill, complaining of loss of appetite, insomnia, exhaustion, fainting spells and terrible migraines. However, he completed his seminary studies with much difficulty and was ordained priest in 1910. On September 20, 1918 on hearing confessions, Padre Pio had his first occurrence of the stigmata: bodily marks, pain and bleeding in locations corresponding to the crucified wounds of Jesus Christ. This phenomenon continued for fifty years, until the end of his life. Though Padre Pio said he would have preferred to suffer in secret, by early 1919, news about the stigmatic friar began to spread in the secular world. Padre Pio’s wounds are
said to have been examined by many doctors and physicians locally and internationally. The observations were unexplainable and the wounds never became infected. At the time of Padre Pio's death on September 23, 1968, his wounds disappeared totally. 20th century has seen the beatification of Padre Pio, the holy Capuchin friar who God sent as a sign for our age.

Most of the biographers of St Padre Pio refer to the incredible sufferings which he endured from his earliest childhood. As he suffered, he could understand the sufferings of others. He started a hospital for the poor sick and he was spiritual director for millions around the globe through his letters and a greater healer of souls through his prayer and confessions. He also started many prayer groups around the world which are active even today. Pope John Paul II beatified him in 1999 and canonized him in 2002. Devotion to St Padre Pio began in 2003 at St Anne’s Friary, Mangaluru. As the number of people drawing towards the saint increased, there began a Novena to the saint which continues even today with increasing number of devotees.

For further details contact: 9632139046

Fr Darick D’Souza, Fr Maxim D’Silva, Bro Victor Crasta, Mr Elias Fernandes and Juliet Lasrado were present.