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ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images

Pope Francis visited a small Italian village to pay his respects to a saint on the 50th anniversary of his death.

Padre Pio had a reputation for battling the Devil.

The village in the southern Italian city of San Giovanni Rotondo holds the body of Padre Pio, a monk who is said to have wrestled with the devil. The beaded Capuchin monk, who died in 1968 is said to have had the ‘stigmata’ – the bleeding wounds of Jesus on his hands and feet.

According to Reuters, Pio knew what people were going to confess before they said anything.

The pope visited Pietrelcina, where the monk was born in 1887 and which receives approximately a million pilgrams every year, and talked about the monk’s experience with the Devil.

Pope Francis said:

His soul was greatly tormented. He felt assailed by the Devil.

According to other monks, the last time Pio fought the devil was in 1964, where they found him on the floor with his forehead split open. He told them the Devil had “tried to scratch out [his] eyes”.

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