Anniversary of the death of Padre Pio

Today is 50th anniversary of the death of Padre Pio. Padre Pio received the Stigmata — the Stigmata is the appearance of the wound marks of our crucified Lord on a person's body (such as the hands, wrists, and feet).

On the 10th of August, 1910, Padre Pio — then known as Fr. Forgione — was ordained August 10, 1910 in the Cathedral of Benevento. His first Mass the next day in Pietrelcina in his home parish. He had received many graces from God.

O the happy death of a soul in the state of grace, the holy death of a Saint!

It was Friday, September 20, 1968, the 50th anniversary of Padre Pio's receiving the Stigmata. He was very weak, confined to a wheelchair, but still said Holy Mass. And he heard Confessions until ordered by his superior to cease for rest. It as if the people knew for they began coming in great numbers, praying for their beloved Padre. On Sunday he said his last Mass, heard his last Confessions and gave the crowds his final blessing.

On Monday, the 23rd, very early in the morning — it was just past midnight — he asked his confreres to come; he made his last Confession. He received Extreme Unction — as I have said — one of the favored few, that is, dying before the complete disorientation, in this case, the introduction of the rite of the Sacrament of the Sick which is not the equivalent of Extreme Unction. Now the Church has the power and authority to make changes in this Sacrament because Christ did not give the Apostles the form directly, like he did with the Consecration of the Blessed Sacrament and Baptism. But all the Saints warn us against the rejection of Tradition, to which the Sacrament of Extreme Unction belongs as do all the Sacraments. Changes where permitted in the sacred rites are to be of necessity. Nothing whatsoever mandated the change here.

O the happy death of a Catholic who has the Sacrament of Extreme Unction, or last anointing in full!

At 2 AM he exclaimed that he could see his two mothers, his earthly mother and Our Lady. Even now his hands were still bleeding as he held his Rosary, unable now to say a Hail Mary. With his dying breath he uttered Gesu, Maria, Gesu, Maria, Gesu, Maria. And he passed into eternity with these words.

After he died his wounds were miraculously healed and most wondrous of all! There was no blood left in his body, as if he had bled his last drop to suffer for Christ, as Christ suffered.

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