An Post will issue stamp to mark event


IRELAND/ITALY: An Post is to issue a stamp on Monday to mark the canonisation tomorrow of Padre Pio in Rome. Up to half a million of the special 41c stamps have been printed and An Post expects strong demand, both at home and abroad, from those devoted to him.

Padre Pio, or Francesco Forgione, was born in Pietrelcina near Benevento, on May 25th, 1887. He was of poor health but had a very strong will. His family struggled to educate him at home until he entered the Capuchin Order on January 6th, 1903. He was ordained on August 10th, 1910, in the Cathedral of Benevento.

On Friday, September 20th, 1918, while praying, he received the gift of the stigmata, which remained in his body, fresh and bleeding, for half a century. During his life, which was dedicated entirely to the fulfilment of his priestly ministry, he founded the prayer groups and a hospital to which he gave the name "The Home for the Relief of Suffering".