By Christina Hermoso
Filipino devotees of miraculous healer Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina are eagerly awaiting the arrival of his heart relic in the country this October.
According to Rev. Fr. Leonido Dolor, vice rector of the St. Padre Pio Shrine in Santo Tomas, Batangas, the sacred relic will go on a pilgrim tour across the country.
“I am inviting the faithful to visit and pray before the heart relic of St. Padre Pio which will be in the country from October 6 to 26,” the priest said over Church-run Radio Veritas.
The pilgrim schedule of the heart relic is as follows: Oct. 6 to 7 – Padre Pio Shrine in Batangas; October 8 to 10 – Manila Cathedral in Intramuros, Manila; October 11 to 13 – Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral; October 16 – San Pedro Cathedral in Cebu; October 14 to 16 – Davao Cathedral; and October 17 –
“The relic will be brought back to the Padre Pio Shrine in Batangas on October 18 until its departure on October 26. Devotees may venerate and pray before the relic, the uncorrupted heart of Saint Padre Pio, 24/7,” Fr. Dolor said.
Padre Pio devoted his life to prayer and the Holy Eucharist at the monastery of San Giovanni Rotundo in Italy. He was a sought-after spiritual adviser, healer, and confessor. After he began to manifest the stigmata, the five bleeding wounds of Christ, making him the first stigmatized priest in Church history, he became a point of pilgrimage for the pious.
Born on May 25, 1887 in Pietrelcina, Italy, Padre Pio was ordained a Capuchin priest in 1910. He founded the House for the Relief of Suffering Hospital and started a prayer group, which today, has about 400,000 members all over the world.
He died in 1968 and was canonized by Saint John Paul II on June 16, 2002.
An estimated 8 million pilgrims and devotees visit the monastery of San Giovanni Rotundo every year where his incorrupt body lies.