Child´s Cure Attests to Padre Pio´s Sanctity

Capuchin Friar to Be Canonized

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 20, 2001 ( John Paul II today approved the canonical decree of recognition of a miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed Pio da Pietrelcina (1887-1968).

The miracle happened to Matteo Pio Colella, 7, son of a doctor who works in the House for Relief of Suffering, the hospital in San Giovanni Rotondo founded by the Capuchin friar.

On the night of June 20, 2000, Matteo Colella was admitted to the intensive care unit of the hospital with galloping meningitis. By the next morning, doctors had lost all hope for him. Additional surgery seemed pointless since nine of the boy´s vital organs had ceased to give signs of life.

Then, that night, during a prayer vigil attended by Matteo´s mother and some Capuchin friars of Padre Pio´s monastery, the child´s condition improved suddenly, startling the doctors.

When he awoke from the coma, Matteo said that he had seen an elderly man with a white beard and a long, brown habit, who said to him: «Don´t worry, you will soon be cured.»

Francesco Forgione (Padre Pio´s baptismal name) was born in Pietrelcina, Italy, on May 25, 1887. He took his perpetual vows as a Capuchin friar in 1907, and was ordained a priest in 1910. In 1918, he received the stigmata of Christ´s passion. He died at 81, on Sept. 23, 1968.

John Paul II beatified the Capuchin on May 2, 1999. The Pope will decide on the canonization date.

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