Thousands flock to venerate Padre Pio
San Giovanni Rotondo, Apr. 24, 2008 (CWNews.com) - An estimated 15,000 people attended Mass in San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy, as the remains of St. Pio of Pietrelcina were exposed for public veneration.
Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, presided at the Mass in the church that Padre Pio made famous. The body of the Capuchin friar, who died in 1968, was then placed on display in a glass coffin.
Padre Pio gained worldwide fame during his lifetime as a confessor and a stigmatist. Thousands of pilgrims flocked to San Giovanni Rotondo to meet him and ask favors, recognizing his reputation as a miracle worker. He remains one of the most popular saints of the 20th century; about 300,000 people attended his canonization in June 2002.
His body was exhumed on March 3, and discovered to be in excellent condition. Embalmers have since prepared the remains for public viewing. Already 750,000 people have made reservations to venerate St. Pio's remains through the remainder of this year.
From The Scotsman online:
His face was reconstructed with a lifelike silicon mask of the type used in wax museums, because it was too decomposed when the body was exhumed.
William M. Carrigan, a witness and friend of Padre Pio, wrote the following:
Mystic, Confessor, StigmaticThe above comes from PadrePio.net, where you will find other interesting resources. Other info and articles from around the net:
For 50 years he suffered the five
wounds of the crucifixion.
A true victim with Christ.
A credible sign to our time.
A channel of grace.
His Sanctity attracted souls
and moved them toward Christ.
His Spiritual Family is open
to all -- "They will know and
I will know," he said to me."
May the Church honor him
for his sanctity and wisdom --
and officially grant us a
- Italian Saint Stirs Up a Mix of Faith and Commerce
- Padre Pio Devotions website
- Padre Pio Internet Guide (lots of links)
- More news results via google
Note: Some secular resources are talking about a book that came out last year in which it was alleged that Padre Pio bought carbolic acid and used it to create the wounds. The Vatican dismissed the "witness" and her account. Also, the canonization is infallible. The processs is very detailed and lengthy. Many cures and miracles have been attributed to St. Padre Pio, and have been verified.
A rather interesting note is that AlJazeera (perhaps a least likely news source for such a thing) has a video clip, in English.
Here is more video on YouTube, this time of Padre Pio celebrating Holy Mass. I could have done without the guitar music, but it's good to see the saint during Mass.