Poor Pio. Sometimes his parents didn't have enough money to buy him shoes. But, that didn't bother Pio. He liked to wear his older brother's hand-me-downs with their scars. Pio did wish he could grow big and strong like others his age. His frail health made him wonder if he would live to see his next birthday. But he did live--for eighty-one years. And for the last fifty of them he bore Christ's five wounds called the Stigmata. In 1999, Pope John Paul 11 beatified Padre [Father] Pio. Beatification is the last step before canonization in which the Pope will declare Pio to be a Saint in Heaven. For children in the two-through-eight age group, Poor Pio leads them along the difficult-yet-joyful path Pio trod. Padre Pio wanted to serve God and God's people, and to show everyone that God loves each of them. Pio wanted them to have the same peace and joy God had given him. Through Poor Pio, the young reader can share in that peace and joy.
A Hard Shell Word Factory Release
1. Pio's Early Years
Little Francesco--who would later become poor big Pio. Sometimes his papa and mama did not have enough money to buy him shoes. But, that did not bother Francesco. He liked to wear his older brother's hand-me-downs with their patches and scars.
More than 100 years ago, Francesco lived in a village in the hills of Italy. A narrow street of stone wiggled its way to his stone house. There, Mama cared for her five children and cooked flat bread over an open fireplace. Papa worked hard to grow food for them on his tiny plot of rocky soil.
Francesco learned his prayers, just like you. His favorite one asked his guardian angel to watch over him. When coughs and fevers forced Francesco to stay in the house he knew his angel would keep him company