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Italian community prepares for visit of Padre Pio relics


Members of the local Italian Catholic community will be out in force this month to venerate the relics of their much loved saint, Padre Pio.

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Also known as Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, he was a Capuchin friar, priest and mystic who became famous for exhibiting stigmata for most of his life. Padre Pio was canonised by Pope John Paul II in 2002 and the sanctuary of the saint is located in San Giovanni Rotondo in Foggia, Italy.

The visit of the relics to the Archdiocese from September 13 to 19 will have special significance as it coincides with the 100th anniversary since the stigmata – the five wounds of Jesus – first appeared on September 20 1918 and also the 50th anniversary of his death on September 23 1968.

The Adelaide Archdiocese has two prayer groups which meet regularly for prayer and Mass to honour St Pio.

Lino Cardone from the Newton group said St Pio had a special place in the hearts of many Italian Catholics now living in Adelaide, with some having met him in Italy or even had their confessions heard by him.

“All prayer group members and people who have met Padre Pio or attended one of his Masses comment on how much they were positively moved by the experience,” he said.

“We’re expecting a large number of people to venerate the relics based on the number of enquiries we’ve received regarding the visit, as well as the interest shown the last time the relics came to Australia in 2016.”

Giuseppina Masone from the Mater Christi prayer group added that this year’s program included a special visit to the Bene (Italian village) nursing home where many Italian migrants now resided.

“This will allow many of those who are unable to travel to also venerate the relics,” she said.

“San Pio has meant so much in their lives and ours – he was the priest and saint who lived amongst them.”

The first class relics of Padre Pio include cotton gauze with bloodstains, crusts of his wounds, a pair of his gloves, a lock of his hair, his mantle and a handkerchief soaked with his sweat hours before he died.

A special Mass will be held at 10.30am on Sunday September 23 at St Francis of Assisi Church, Newton to celebrate the 50th anniversary of St Pio of Pietrelcina’s death and the 100th year since the stigmata first appeared.



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