By Christina Hermoso
A series of feast masses will be celebrated Monday, September 23, at the St. Pio of Pietrelcina Chapel of the Philippine Center for St. Pio on E. Rodrigues Jr. Avenue, Quezon City, in solemn observance of the feast of the popular Saint Padre Pio, the great apostle of the confessional.
Devotees are invited to attend the feast masses which will be celebrated at 8 a.m., 10 a.m., 12:15 p.m., 5 p.m., and at 7 p.m.
Crowds of devotees are also expected to attend the commemorative masses at the National Shrine of St. Padre Pio in Sto. Tomas, Batangas.
Last year, the incorrupt heart relic of the miraculous healer was brought to the country on a pilgrim tour.
Across the world, thousands of devotees will offer special prayers to mark the 51st death anniversary of the well-loved Italian priest.
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, he 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.