Foundation reveals unpublished photos of St. Padre Pio

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Ten authentic, never-before-seen photographs of St. Padre Pio have been published to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his beatification. The images show the saint in prayer, writing letters and with a smile across his face.

These snapshots were taken by a special person: Elia Stelluto, who documented the saint's most intimate moments.

ELIA STELLUTO
Padre Pio Photographer

He was like a father to me. I was a seven year old boy. My dad emigrated to Argentina, I was alone, my dad was not there. He played the role of mom and dad, Padre Pio, so I trusted him like a parent. I had the pleasure of being able to hug him.

The St. Pio Foundation is dedicated to promoting devotion to the saint and thus decided to release these photographs. Throughout the year, they organize initiatives, such as taking relics of the saint on pilgrimages to various dioceses in the United States. They also sponsor trips for pilgrims to the Italian city where Padre Pio died.

The president of the foundation explains why he decided to undertake this project.

LUCIANO LAMONARCA
St. Pio Foundation

My wish was to be able to thank St. Pio and let him know that I was asking for his intercession to somehow receive the grace to become a father. We were told, in the years after we had suffered some losses, that we could not have children. Knowing myself, I thought, “I can't do something for St. Pio after I receive the miracle, I have to do something first to be worthy of at least asking for it.”

Luciano was born in southern Italy and from an early age, his mother instilled in him a devotion to the saint. When he and his wife faced the news that they might not be able to become parents, he turned to his roots.

The couple decided to visit the shrine of Padre Pio in 2011 to pray for this intention. The visit solidified the idea behind the foundation. In September 2015, their son Sebastian was born.

PA
TR: AT

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