St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina (1887–1968) was born to peasant farmers in southern Italy. By the time he was 5 years old he practiced a life of penance and made the decision to give himself completely to God. He grew up working in the fields, and at the age of 19 joined the Capuchin Franciscan friars. His Franciscan spirituality was characterized by a life of poverty, love of nature, and charity to those in need, especially to those who were his “spiritual children.”
St. Padre Pio had many spiritual gifts and was a great miracle-worker. These were well-documented from multiple reliable sources and included bilocation, levitation, reading souls, and physical healing by touch. Word of his holiness spread and people both pious and curious flocked to see him, especially to have him hear their confession. He is the first priest known to have received the stigmata, for which he suffered suspicion and investigation.
Because of the unusual supernatural phenomena surrounding his life, he is considered one of the great visionaries and mystics of the Church. Padre Pio died in 1968 at the age of 81. He was canonized by Pope St. John Paul II in 2002.
He is commonly invoked as a healing saint for various ailments. His feast day is September 23rd.