Saint Pius of Pietreclina (Padre Pio)

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Today’s readings

At the age of 15, Francesco Forgione joined the Capuchins and took the name of Pio. He was ordained in 1910 and was drafted during World War I. After he was discovered to have tuberculosis, he was discharged. In 1917 he was assigned to the friary in San Giovanni Rotondo.

On September 20, 1918, as he was making his thanksgiving after Mass, Padre Pio had a vision of Jesus. When the vision ended, he had the stigmata in his hands, feet and side. Padre Pio rarely left the friary after he received the stigmata, but busloads of people soon began coming to see him.  He would hear confessions for as much as ten hours a day; penitents had to take a number so that the situation could be heard. Many of them have said that Padre Pio knew details of their lives that they had never mentioned.

Padre Pio died on September 23, 1968, and was canonized in 2002.  He left behind a legacy of miracles based on his relationship with Jesus; that relationship helped him to bring so many souls to Jesus.  Our relationship with the Lord may pale in comparison, but still we are called on to let our faith in Jesus bear fruit.  So the question Herod had in our Gospel this morning – although he had that question for all the wrong reasons – is a good one.  Who is Jesus?  Who is he for us?  How does our relationship with him bring others to Jesus?