September 12, 2018
RELICS OF ST. PIO OF PIETRELCINA TO VISIT DIOCESE OF ST. CLOUD
The relics of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina will be on display from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25, at St. Mary’s Cathedral, 25 Eighth Ave., South, in St. Cloud. The event is part of a historic U.S. tour commemorating the 50th anniversary of his death. Better known as Padre Pio, the saint died in 1968 and was canonized by Pope
John Paul II in 2002.
Bishop Donald Kettler will celebrate a Mass in honor of St. Pio at 7 p.m. Daily Mass also will be celebrated in the Cathedral’s lower church at 12:05 p.m.
The relics available for public veneration will be St. Pio’s glove, crusts of his wounds, cotton gauze with his blood stains, a lock of his hair, his mantle, and a handkerchief soaked with his sweat hours before he died.
The Saint Pio Foundation, which is sponsoring the tour, will sell books and items related to Padre Pio in the entryway of the Cathedral.
St. Pio was born on May 25, 1887, in Pietrelcina, Italy, and baptized Francesco Forgione. He first expressed his desire for priesthood at age 10. In order to pay for the preparatory education, his father, Grazio Forgione, immigrated in 1899 to the United States, where he worked for several years.
The future saint entered the Capuchin order at age 15, taking the name Pio. He was ordained a priest in 1910 at the age of 23. During his lifetime, Padre Pio was known as a mystic and healer who bore the stigmata. “Stigmata” is the term the Catholic Church uses to speak about the wounds an individual receives that correspond to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus Christ. They can appear on the forehead, hands, wrists and feet.
His stigmata emerged during World War I, after Pope Benedict XV asked Christians to pray for an end to the conflict. Padre Pio had a vision in which Christ pierced his side. A few weeks later, on September 20, 1918, Jesus again appeared to him, and he received the full stigmata. It remained with him until his death on September 23, 1968.
ABOUT THE RELICS
In the Catholic Church, relics are physical objects associated with a saint or candidate for sainthood — part of the person’s body or something with which he or she was in contact. Relics are not worshiped, but treated with religious respect. Touching or praying in the presence of such an object helps an individual focus on the saint’s life and virtues so that, through the saint’s prayer or intercession before God, the individual will be drawn closer to God.
ABOUT THE SAINT PIO FOUNDATION
The Saint Pio Foundation is a national charitable organization that promotes awareness of St. Pio and his mission by working with institutions and individuals who share the same vision to serve “those in need of relief of suffering.” Funds raised by the Saint Pio Foundation are used to provide grants to American Catholic health care, educational, social, religious and cultural partner organizations.
More information about Saint Pio Foundation can be found at http://www.saintpiofoundation.org. For more information about the relic visit to St. Cloud, go to https://www.stcdio.org or call 320-251-1840.