Francesco Forgione, who would come to be known as Padre Pio, was born in Pietrelcina, Italy 25 May 1887. He was invested with the Capuchin Franciscan habit in January 1903 and was ordained a priest in August 1910. In the course of his apostolic life he was often plagued with ill-health but did not let it hinder his ministry. He overcame persistent opposition and gained a significant following, being known for his simplicity and devotion. Huge crowds, from diverse backgrounds, traveled to hear his message of hope, preached in spite of the suffering and trials of daily life. On 23 September 1968 he went home to his Lord. On 2 May 1999 he was recognized as a saint by Pope John Paul II.