Irene Gaeta

The extraordinary life of Padre Pio’s spiritual child

«Without faith, there is no hope, without hope there is no charity, a great virtue that opens the heart until it is transformed into a temple of the Holy Spirit»

The story of Irene Gaeta and Padre Pio is one that was born, developed and lived out according to the three theological virtues: Faith, Hope and Charity. But it is also a story of blind obedience, sustained by one unshakeable certainty: the belief in everything Padre Pio asked her to do for the good of the suffering and the needy. Began in 1946, the story is as alive and vibrant now as ever before and still continues to astonish today because in 2004, Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, who has entrusted Irene with many missions, asked her to carry out the most important one of all, the Cittadella di Padre Pio.

Born in Lanciano (Chieti) in 1937 to a family with deep Christian roots, Irene Gaeta has devoted her life to the poor and the suffering, driven by unconditional charity and by her undying love for Jesus. This devotion to the Lord has been the force behind her every deed, she who has been chosen to abide by God’s great plan and to carry out this huge life project.

Irene was just 9 years old when, on 18 June 1946, upon entering her bedroom, transformed into a small chapel, she saw for the first time a priest dressed in white and gold who, with the monstrance in his hand, blessed her and transformed the host into Flesh and the wine into Blood, as he said:

Pay attention to this moment! I am Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, a friar who prays and one day you will meet me. The Eternal Father has put you in my care since you were in your mother’s womb. I saved you and I will always save you

From that day, Irene Gaeta began an intense dialogue with Padre Pio, first for first 11 years in apparitions, and later in person, receiving teachings and sometimes some tasks which she always completed. Irene accepted this life mission and was a humble instrument for this divine plan, doing everything she could in defence of the most needy with intense prayer and direct actions in the field.

All this time she led her life as a fashion designer, wife and mother with the same joy and unshakeable faith through all the events that lay before her.
These were just the first steps towards the greatest mission of all those conferred by Padre Pio during the first years of the new millennium.

Key dates

Obtains citizenship from the Municipality of Drapia

The villa “Casa degli Angeli” is purchased as a vocational school for boys.

The association I Discepoli di Padre Pio purchases land in Drapia, Calabria.

The Diocese of Rome founds the Religion and Worship Association I “Discepoli di Padre Pio”.

Obtains the decree from His Eminence Cardinal Camillo Ruini to establish the Private Association of the Faithful.
Purchases Villa Maria Grazia to offer accommodation to single mothers and their children
Founds the charity association Casa Accoglienza di Padre Pio per l’uomo solo in Vitinia.

Unveils the first statue of Padre Pio in Rome, at the Church of  Gesù Agonizzante, in Vitinia.