On September 20, 1918, Padre Pio received the Five Wounds of Christ. Years prior, he
was praying that Jesus would allow him to be a victim for sinners. What Padre Pio
would have preferred was to have only the pain of the wounds, not the visible sign of
it. But Christ had different plans for him, and Padre Pio became the first priest to
receive the visible five wounds of Christ.
Padre Pio endured these wounds for fifty years. It started to heal shortly before he
died. Often enough he would bleed, and it would happen more often during
Mass. Throughout the day, the wounds on his hands would be covered by his gloves.
He would only remove the gloves at Mass to offer his wounds to Christ on the altar.
Apart from the stigmata (the five wounds of Christ) that Padre Pio received, he had a
very difficult and hard life. He was often sick with high fevers, difficulty breathing and
migraines. In the midst of all that, he fasted, barely slept, and lived a life of joyful
penance. With all of his penances and sufferings, he still had the joy of Christ.
Sadly, the Church removed his faculties to offer Mass publicly and hear confessions for
several years. With great holiness, he never spoke ill of the Church nor of his bishop.
He is a great witness of bearing the Cross of Jesus Christ with great peace and trust. If
there is a cross that you are bearing that is becoming immensely difficult, seek his
intercession. How easy it is to give up, yet Padre Pio and so many other saints did
not. They saw their crosses as opportunities to be drawn closer to Heart of Jesus. As
St. Paul, I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ
lives in me; and life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who
loved me and gave himself up for me.
In Jesus and Mary,
Fr. Jeff Yildirmaz