The supernatural comes very early in the life of the future saint: as a child he received frequent visits of Jesus and Mary, he saw demons and angels, but because he thought that everyone had these faculties he did not tell anyone.
On 22 January 1903, at the age of sixteen, he entered the convent of Capuchin Franciscans taking the name of Brother Pio of Pietrelcina. He became a priest seven years later on August 10, 1910. He wanted to leave as a missionary to distant lands, but his health was too weak for that.
The first years of priesthood were made more difficult by his poor state of health, so that his superiors sent him back several times to Pietrelcina, in the family home, where the climate was more congenial to him. Padre Pio had very bad lungs, and doctors didn't give him long to live. The disease was added to the terrible oppression of the devil, that according to the friar never left him in peace, torturing him in body and spirit.
In 1916 the superiors moved Padre Pio to San Giovanni Rotondo, in the Gargano, a place that he never left. Here, in the convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, an extraordinary adventure begins for Padre Pio as a miracle worker and an apostle of faith.
Countless numbers of men and women, from the Gargano and other parts of Italy, crowded to his confessional, where he spent up to 16 hours a day to lead souls back to God, drawing his strength from prayer, and not without great physical and moral sufferings.
On 20 September 1918, Padre Pio received the stigmata of the Passion of Christ, which will remain open, painful and bleeding for over fifty years. He was visited by a large number of doctors, suffered misunderstandings and slanders, was submitted to canonical defamatory inspections, that the friar of the stigmata, as a "son of obedience" accepted with seraphic patience. He was also suspended "a divinis" and only after several years was acquitted and reinstated in his priestly ministry.
In the 1940s, to fight with the weapon of prayer the terrible reality of World War II, Padre Pio gave start to the Prayer Groups, among the most popular in the church today, with over two hundred thousand devotees scattered throughout the continents.
With the "House for the Relief of Suffering" they are his spiritual heritage, the sign of a life dedicated to prayer and marked by a fervent devotion to the Virgin, by whom the friar felt protected in his daily struggle with the devil, the "cosaccio", and twice the Virgin miraculously healed him, in 1911 and 1959. In the latter case the doctors had given up on him just when, after the arrival of the statue of Pilgrim Virgin of Fatima in San Giovanni Rotondo, August 6, 1959, Padre Pio was suddenly healed, to the amazement and joy of his devotees.
On 22 September 1968 there was a great celebration of the faithfuls for the 50th anniversary of his stigmata. Padre Pio had been very ill for some days already, but he wanted to celebrate Mass, which he did sitting, with a special dispensation. He recited the Pater Noster in Latin, as usual, and collapsed after saying "libera nos a malo...". The event was filmed, and clearly shows his hands were completely healed. That night, at 2 am, assisted by doctors and fellow friars, the very moment after receiving the sacred oil, he exhaled his last breath on this earth.