St. Padre Pio was born on May 25, 1887 in Pietrelcina, southern Italy. He was tutored privately until his entry to the novitiate of the Capuchin Friars at the age of 15. Of feeble health but strong will, with the help of grace, he completed the required studies and was ordained a priest in 1910.
On September 20th, 1918, the five wounds of our Lord’s passion appeared on his body, making him the first stigmatised priest in the history of the Catholic Church. Countless persons were attracted to his confessional and many more received his saintly counsel and spiritual guidance through correspondence.
His whole life was marked by long hours of prayer and continual austerity. His letters to his spiritual directors reveal the ineffable suffering, physical and spiritual, which accompanied him all through his life. They also reveal his deep union with God, his burning love for the Blessed Eucharist and Our Blessed Lady.
On January 9, 1940, Padre Pio announced his grandiose plans to develop a Home for the Relief of Suffering (the Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza), more commonly referred to as “The Casa”. The Casa opened its doors on May 5, 1956 as a 300-bed facility, built on the small, sincere, and spontaneous donations and prayers of his followers. He also developed an international network of prayer groups for the support of the Casa and its ministry that continues to live on and grow today.
Padre Pio considered the Casa Sollievo Della Sofferenza (Casa) his “Work”, inspired and blessed by God, to be a haven of relief from suffering for all of God’s children in pain in body or soul. It is a model community of Catholic Christian health delivery and has grown into a regional referral centre of international renown. Today,
with over 1,000 beds and services comparable to most academic research centres of excellence, the Casa is thriving by God’s graces in one of the most remote, desolate, and poorest areas of Italy…at the top of Mount Gargano, four hours from Rome.
Worn out by over half a century of intense suffering and constant apostolic activity in San Giovanni Rotondo, Padre Pio was called to his heavenly reward on September 23, 1968. After a public funeral, which attracted over 100,000 mourners, his body was entombed in the crypt of Our Lady of Grace Church. Increasing numbers flock to his tomb from all parts of the world and many testify to spiritual and temporal graces received.
On the 16th of February 1973, the Archbishop of Manfredonia, Msgr. Valentino Vailati, consigned the documentation to the Sacred Congregation of the Causes of Saints so as to obtain the “nihil obstat” for the beginning of the process of his Beatification. He was Beatified on 2 May 1999 by Pope John Paul II and on June 16, 2002, over 500,000 Padre Pio devotees gathered in Rome to witness Pope John Paul II proclaim Padre Pio, “Saint Pio of Pietrelcina”.
The Feast of Padre Pio is celebrated on 23rd September each year.
The National Centre for Padre Pio has a long and faith-filled history spanning decades of devotion, work, and divine intervention. From its humble beginning as a simple community/parish holy hour in 1968, the National Centre has grown into the premier destination devoted to Padre Pio in the Island of Ireland, and through new programmes and national and international pilgrimages, it continues to breathe new life into Padre Pio’s mission.
The goal of the National Centre for Padre Pio is to lead souls to God, through the example of Padre Pio, the first Priest in history to bear the stigmata; the wounds of Christ.
Based upon the precepts of Franciscan Spirituality as demonstrated by the Seraphic Father, Saint Francis of Assisi, Padre Pio’s own spirituality was a lifelong practice of love of God as manifested through love of neighbour. Through his mission on the Altar and in the Confessional, particularly as a spiritual teacher second to none, Padre Pio continued the work of redemption begun by Christ.
In thanksgiving to God for this unique gift of Padre Pio in our lives, we at the National Centre in Church Street humbly strive to continue the salvific mission of Padre Pio. We offer to all, regardless of race, creed, or colour, a place of refuge and revitalisation where the Sacraments are readily available in the Franciscan Spirit of love and
In this place of refuge, and through the medium of the numerous Padre Pio Prayer groups that traverse the Island of Ireland, we endeavour to enlighten and promote the teachings and spirituality of Padre Pio through prayer groups, talks and speeches, seminars, workshops, retreats and pilgrimages, at different times and in different venues throughout the year. The Centre here in Church Street is affiliated with the Shrine in San
Giovanni Rotondo, and publishes and distributes books, magazines, music and films about the life, work, and spirituality of Padre Pio both here in Ireland and throughout the world.
By the ministry of the Church and Shrine, the faithful will be strengthened in the imitation of Christ and in faithful service to that King whom “to serve is to reign”, as Padre Pio demonstrated throughout his earthly life. Our aim is to achieve this through:
- Carrying on the mission of evangelisation of the peoples.
- Imbuing all who gather at the Shrine with the spirit of Padre Pio, her “fiat” to God’s will, and his model of discipleship of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
- Sharing with the faithful the riches of the Church’s Sacred Liturgy.
- Leading the faithful to an increased devotion to the worship of the Holy Eucharist.
- Drawing Christians to be reconciled with God through the Sacrament of Penance.
- Soothing Christian souls with the imparting of a Blessing with the Sacred Relics of St. Pio.
- Serving as a spiritual centre for all who visit the Church and Shrine.
The Church of St. Mary of the Angels and the National Shrine of St. Pio is a place of pilgrimage and of prayer, to inspire in the faithful an ever-deeper devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and Mother of the Church, and to Padre Pio.
Reach out to us – we would love to hear from you!
Use the following details and contact form to get in touch with the National Centre for Padre Pio about any questions or inquiries.