Francesco Forgione might be a name lost to history, but over the course of his life, he became one of Catholicism's most well-known figures during the 20th century as Padre Pio. It was a remarkable path for a man who was legendarily afflicted by a series of illnesses and most famously bore the stigmata, very noticeably bearing what appeared to be the crucifixion wounds Jesus's hands suffered. Padre Pio was also known for his eccentricities, including unique forms of deep meditation and experiencing visions.
In the secular world in which we live, it is rare that one finds someone so integrally characterized by holiness. Such a man lived just a century removed from our present age, in a small Italian town hidden among mountains and by the walls of a friary. But he became a giant not by the power he wielded, the money he earned or spent, the goods that he owned, or the notoriety of his name. St. Padre Pio became a giant by his humility and his faith. He lived in a century plagued by political arrogance, violence, and consumerism, but he lived a quiet and humble life, in peace, and in poverty.
The story of Padre Pio is one that should not only encompass his earthly life, but also his life as a saint; for it is by his holiness that he became a recognized saint of the Catholic Church, and it is by his sainthood that he has interceded for so many. During his life, Padre Pio prayed, worked, studied, suffered, and ministered not for his own personal gain but he did all these things because of a deep and immovable love of God, and because of an insatiable desire to lead souls to Christ and to salvation. As a saint, he does the same by his prayers and intercessions.