By Christina Hermoso
Father Giovanni Delle Carri, Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, one of the two custodians of the incorrupt heart of Saint Padre Pio, was deeply touched and amazed by the deep faith displayed by Filipino devotees of the miraculous saint.
“It is a great experience…very beautiful. We are all emotional. I am emotional for the faith of this people of the Philippines and the first time Padre Pio went out of Italy, more than anything else, it is the Philippines, a Christian nation. We see the genuineness of the people, the faith, the great faith of this people that honors St. Pio, honors the Lord through the sanctity of Padre Pio,” Fra. Giovanni said over Church-run Radio Veritas.
The priest marveled at the desire of thousands of devotees, who braved the rains and the noonday heat, as they lined up for hours both at the Santissimo Rosario Parish at the UST and at the Manila Cathedral in Manila to see the sacred relic of the well loved saint.
Fra. Giovanni was also glad to see young people in the crowd of devotees.
“I have seen the people, the young, the future of the Philippine people with the desire to touch the mystery through this very humble brother, Padre Pio who is filled with Christ, filled with light. I am really emotional because having seen really young people desiring to touch, and I am sure that the heart of Padre Pio will also touch this generation, this new generation of the Filipino people and there will be fruits,” he said.
The heart relic of St. Pio is now in Cebu and will be brought to Davao where it will stay until October 16. It will be in Lipa, Batangas on Oct. 17, and back at the National Shrine of Padre Pio in Sto. Tomas, Batangas on Oct. 18 to 26.
The historic visit coincides with the 100th year of Padre Pio’s manifestation of the stigmata or the five wounds of Christ as well the 50th year of his death anniversary. (Christina I. Hermoso)