Saint Padre Pio was born to peasant farmers in Southern Italy in 1887. He knew at the young age of five that he would dedicate his life to God. Ordained a priest in 1910, Padre Pio began celebrating daily Mass, teaching children, and counseling people; he gave his entire life in the service of God’s mercy. In addition to his many works of spiritual mercy, Padre Pio lived out a major corporal work of mercy when he opened the Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza (House for the Relief of Suffering), a place that served both the sick and poor. Padre Pio wanted his hospital to do more than provide medical services. He wished to build a home where people would experience compassion. Padre Pio was regarded as saint as much for his charity, generosity and tenderness as for the extraordinary mystical phenomena attributed to him. He reportedly experienced numerous mystical events and thousands of miracles. Because of his experiences, Padre Pio became a powerful intercessor for spiritual healings occurring all over the world. Many believe God sent Padre Pio to us as a light to challenge the darkness of the mid-twentieth century, a time when the world was plagued by depression and war. He is an example of God’s inexhaustible love for all and His determination to rescue us at all costs.