Chance for devotees to venerate Padre Pio’s heart relic
Devotees of St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina will have a chance to view and venerate his incorrupt heart relic from Oct. 5 to 26, when it makes the round of several churches in the country.
“This will be a time of grace for Filipinos, especially the devotees of Padre Pio, who are now wallowing in near hopelessness during these uncertain times of our nation’s history,” said Fr. Joselin “Jojo” Gonda, rector of the National Shrine of St. Padre Pio in Sto. Tomas, Batangas.
Sept. 23 this year marks the 50th death anniversary of the saint, an Italian priest known for his piety and charity, and for the quality of his preaching.
This year is also the centennial of the appearance of the stigmata — the five wounds of Jesus — on the saint’s hands and feet that were deemed miraculous by the Catholic Church.
“The visit of the heart relic is a fitting epilogue to these two important events in the life of St. Padre Pio,” Gonda said.
The Philippines will be the fourth country visited by the heart relic, after the United States, Paraguay and Argentina, he added.
A contingent of devotees from the National Shrine will fly to Italy to fetch and accompany the precious relic to the Philippines.
“We will be accompanied by two Capuchin friars to ensure the safety and orderliness of the visit of the heart relic to different places in the country,” said Gonda.
The Luzon leg of the visit from Oct. 8 to 10 will be hosted by the Archdiocese of Manila; the Visayas leg, from Oct. 11 to 13, by the Archdiocese of Cebu; and the Mindanao leg, from Oct. 14 to 16, by the Archdiocese of Davao.
On the morning of Oct. 17, the heart relic will be brought back to Batangas province where a concelebrated Mass will be held at the San Sebastian Cathedral in Lipa City.
After the Mass, the relic will be taken to the Capuchin Monastery at Barangay San Sebastian in the city for the Capuchin friars’ exclusive veneration.
Padre Pio belongs to the Capuchin branch of the Franciscan Order.
From Oct. 18, the relic stays at the National Shrine in Sto. Tomas town, where a round-the-clock veneration will take place until its departure on Oct. 26, after a farewell Mass at 9 in the morning.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.