The earthly existence of Padre Pio was abundantly full of mysterious phenomena and events. However, the most important of the various charisms in his life was the stigmata, the wounds on his feet, hands, and side that he bore on his body for fifty years and recalled the “signs” of the passion and death of Jesus. For believers, these wounds demonstrated, and continue to remind us, that Padre Pio was a special person chosen by God to call the world’s attention to the great mystery in history: the redemption by Jesus through the most terrible suffering, a death on a cross. Padre Pio is the only stigmatized priest in history and has come to be called an “Alter Christus,” another Christ. Pope Paul VI defined him as “a stamped representative of the stigmata of Our Lord.” The stigmata is the feature that identifies and characterizes the life, message, mission, and holiness of Padre Pio of Pietrelcina.
—from the book Saint Padre Pio: Man of Hope
by Renzo Allegri