This week in Christian history: Padre Pio, Papal infallibility disputed, first black Episcopal priest ordained

Padre Pio's stigmata begins – Sept. 20, 1918

Padre Pio (1887-1968), a Catholic priest and saint widely believed to have experienced stigmata for most of his adult life. | Wikimedia Commons

This week marks the anniversary of when Italian Catholic priest Padre Pio, also known as Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, began experiencing the stigmata that he became famous for.

In 1921, Padre Pio recounted his experiences to Bishop Raffaele Rossi of Volterra, who published the priest’s account in a report investigating the validity of the miracle.

“I was in the choir of the church after celebrating Mass, making the thanksgiving when I was suddenly overtaken by powerful trembling and then there came calm and I saw Our Lord in his crucified form,” Padre Pio recalled.

“He invited me to let his pains enter into me and to meditate on them and at the same time concern myself with the salvation of others. Following this, I felt full of compassion for the Lord's pains and I asked him what I could do.”

Padre Pio went on to explain that he had “heard this voice: 'I will unite you with my Passion.'”

“And after this the vision disappeared, I came back to myself, my reason returned and I saw these signs here from which blood flowed. Before this I did not have these,” he said.

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