Padre Pio – Italy’s holy thaumaturge

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March 15, 2012 – Padre Pio is arguably the most popular Saint of Italy. In occasion of his 125th anniversary the Coin Invest Trust issues a gold coin in two variations on behalf of the Principality of Andorra.

Statue of Padre Pio in front of St Stanislav, Rome. Photo: Croberto 68 / Wikipedia.

On 25th May it will be 125 years since Padre Pio was born. The Principality of Andorra commemorates this solemn event with an issue executed by the Coin Invest Trust. The coin is struck in two editions as one diner and two diners gold coin in proof quality limited (each) to 5,000 pieces.

Andorra, 2 diners, 2012, gold .9999, 1/25 oz., 13.92 mm, Mintage: 5,000.

The reverse shows a three-quarter portrait of Padre Pio turned right. Running around in a semicircle the motive of the issue is given in Catalan: “PARE PIO + 125è ANIVERSARI”.

Andorra, 1 diner, 2012, gold .9999, 0.5 g, 11.00 mm, Mintage: 5,000.

On the obverse we see Andorra’s coat of arms, in the exergue are indicated the face value in diner, the value of the Principality’s collector coins: “2 D.” respectively “1 D.”. Below is given the year of issue, “2012”. “PRINCIPAT D’ANDORRA”, as the name of the country, runs around.

Francesco Forgione was born on May 25, 1887 in Pietrelcina in southern Italy. Immediately after school he entered the Capuchin order assuming the name of Pio (the Pious). In 1910 Padre Pio was ordained a priest. Six years later he arrived at the Capuchin Friary in San Giovanni Rotondo in Apulia; he would never leave this place any more until his death in 1968.
Yet, in 1910 the young friar caused a sensation because of red marks on his hands remembering the crucifixion wounds of Jesus. Since then the humble friar was always to wear gloves to conceal these signs. At around 1940 news spread around that Padre Pio cured invalid people and predicted the future. More and more people assisted to his Mass looking to stay near to him. His superiors distrusted the popularity of Padre Pio. There was an investigation and for a certain period the friar was not even allowed to appear publically. Nevertheless Padre Pio was restlessly collecting donations and opened a very modern hospital in San Giovanni Rotondo.

Church of St Pio da Pietralcina in San Giovanni Rotondo. Photo: Marcello Castigliego / Wikipedia.

On account of the continuous affluxion of persons of faith the Capuchin friar wished to erect a bigger church. Indeed, in 1959 a new church was consecrated. Today Padre Pio’s remains are placed in this very church, which has become the destination of pilgrims from all over the world. Padre Pio is arguably one of Italy’s most popular saints. Pope Paul VI dismissed all accusations against the friar, Pope John Paul II declared him blessed in 1999. Only three years later Padre Pio was declared a saint already. Today San Giovanni Rotondo is one of the three most visited places of pilgrimage of the world.

The classical portrait of Padre Pio on the Andorran commemorative coin captures perfectly benignity and inner peace of Padre Pio. The coin made of pure gold is a worthy commemoration of a personality who contributed significantly to the history of the church of the 20th century. The Mayer Mint strucks the commemorative coin that is available from selected coin dealers.

Here is MayerMint’s website.

To browse through the Coin Invest Trust website, please click here.

Some links to give you an idea of the worldwide popularity of this saint:

There is a “Padre Pio Foundation of America”.

A site dedicated to the Franciscan friar.