It is the end of World War I and the young Italian soldiers are making their way back to San Giovanni Rotondo, a land of poverty, with a tradition of violence and submission to the iron-clad rule of the church and its wealthy landowners. Families are desperate, the men are broken, but victorious. Padre Pio also arrives, at a remote Capuchin monastery, to begin his ministry, evoking an aura of charisma, saintliness and epic visions of Jesus, Mary and the Devil himself. The eve of the first free elections in Italy sets the stage for a massacre with a metaphorical dimension: an apocalyptic event that changes the course of history.
This is not a film of miracles, but of a man, born Francesco Forgione in Pietralcina, a farming village outside Napoli, a visionary from childhood, a troubled questioning youth struggling to find his true calling and place in the eyes of his Lord. His arrival in San Giovanni Rotondo, in the mountains of Gargano, a world of poverty, sickness, political turmoil, and godlessness. In ministering to the there after the devastation of the first industrial war, he finds his true calling of service, love, and empathy, in the holy sacraments, the hearing of confession, in the giving of the mass, all offering a resolve from the demonic forces in that autumn of 1920.