By Leslie Ann Aquino
The most awaited day of devotees of Saint Padre Pio is finally here.
The relic of the “incorrupt heart” of the saint will arrive in the country tomorrow, October 5.
According to the Archdiocese of Lipa, the first diocese to be visited by the relic, Padre Pio’s relic will arrive at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 at 10:15 p.m.
The relic will be accompanied by retired Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles; Father Joselin Gonda, the rector of the National Shrine of St. Padre Pio, in Batangas; and some Franciscan priests.
There will be a motorcade at 11 p.m. from the airport to the National Shrine of St. Padre Pio in Batangas where a welcome Mass will be held at 9 a.m. to be presided by Papal Nuncio to the Philippines Archbishop Gabriele Giordano Caccia.
On October 8, the sacred relic will be at the Archdiocese of Manila, particularly the University of Santo Tomas at 10 a.m.
The next day it will be transferred to the Manila Cathedral in Intramuros, Manila, where it will stay for three days.
To give more devotees a chance to venerate the relic, the cathedral will be open for 24 hours during the visit.
Those in Visayas will have a chance to venerate the heart relic from October 11-13 while those in Mindanao will get their chance from October 14-16. The Visayas leg will be hosted by the Archdiocese of Cebu while the Mindanao leg will be hosted by the Archdiocese of Davao.
It will go back to Batangas on October 17, where a concelebrated Mass will be held at the San Sebastian Cathedral in Lipa City.
After the Mass, it will proceed to the Capuchin Monastery at Brgy. San Sebastian in the city for the exclusive veneration of the Capuchins of the Philippines.
Then from October 18, the relic stays at the National Shrine, and around the clock venerations will take place until its departure on October 26, after a farewell Mass at 9 am.