Active since 2003, Padre Pio TV is a Catholic television channel carried by the Hot Bird satellite network. It spreads the Christian message each day, drawing on the life and teachings of Padre Pio of Pietrelcina. Through this free satellite channel – which broadcasts mainly in the Italian language and more rarely in English – viewers can participate from the comfort of their living rooms in the Rosary, aired seven days a week between 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m., as well as Sunday Mass from the Church of Santa Maria della Grazie in San Giovanni Rotondo where Padre Pio officiated. Bible readings relating to the spiritual teachings of Padre Pio and recordings of the sermons of this 20th century saint are also part of this widely available TV channel’s daily schedule.
For those unfamiliar with the holy friar’s life and work, Padre Pio (1887-1968) was born Francesco Forgione in the small southern Italian town of Pietrelcina. He took his vows in 1907, upon which time he assumed the name by which he is now universally known – a name which first became familiar to the general public n 1918, when he received the stigmata of Christ upon his body. Padre Pio devoted his entire life to the salvation of souls. Testimonies from people around the world describe the healing of physical or spiritual problems after they appealed for his intercession. He was canonized in 2002.