He was a Capuchin Franciscan monk and had a fascinating life as a priest, healer, mystic and spiritual guide. I think that his great popularity is due to his life story being one that aligns with the great saints of the early years yet he lived in the times of the people now. Over 100,000 people attended his funeral in 1968.
He was beatified in 1999 by Pope John Paul II and canonised in 2002. As a result he is now known as Saint Padre Pio or San Pio da Pietrelcina.
His feast day is 23rd September and Italians have remembered and celebrated the life of their favourite saint today.
He famously advised ' Pray, hope and don't worry', and as a result is known as the patron saint of stress relief.