St. Pio’s remains relocated to new, larger, nearby church

SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO, Italy, APRIL 20, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The body of St. Pio of Pietrelcina was moved from its 42-year resting spot in the shrine of San Giovanni Rotondo to a new church inaugurated by Benedict XVI when he visited the spot last year.

The remains of St. Pio of Pietrelcina (1887-1968), commonly known as Padre Pio, were moved Monday. His religious order chose the date to coincide with the fifth anniversary of Benedict XVI’s election as Pope and the opening of their 126th provincial chapter.

The new Church of St. Pio of Pietrelcina offers more space for pilgrims and easier access to the disabled. Padre Pio’s tomb is the third most visited Catholic site in the world, after the Vatican and the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.

Padre Pio and the Angels

St. Padre Pio was especially careful for the well-being, spiritual and material, of those whom he had accepted as his spiritual son or daughter. He would look after them from a distance, with the help of their guardian angel. The following story is related in Send Me Your Guardian Angel, a book on Padre Pio’s relations with the angels by Fr. Alessio Parente, OFM Cap.. Fr, Alessio had the privilege of taking care of Padre Pio in the later years of his life.

Once a person was accepted as Padre Pio’s spiritual child, he would never abandon them, no matter what danger they were in. Even if he did not visit them personally, they would receive his help through his Guardian Angel.

Cecil Humphrey-Smith, a well known gentleman from England, is Padre Pio’s spiritual child. Whilst in Italy, during the time Padre Pio was alive, Cecil had a car crash and was very seriously injured. A friend of his, seeing him in such a bad condition afterwards, went to the Post Office and sent a telegram to Padre Pio requesting his prayers for the injured Cecil. When he presented the telegram at the desk, the man gave him back a telegram from Padre Pio assuring his prayers for Cecil Humphrey-Smith’s recovery.

It was some months before Cecil was in good enough shape to travel again, but immediately he had recovered he made tracks for San Giovanni Rotondo. On this occasion, both Cecil and his friend met Padre Pio and they thanked him for his prayers. At the same time, they were curious to know how he came to know about the accident and how a telegram had arrived in such a short space of time. In response to their demand, Padre Pio, in his humoristic way said: “Do you think the Angels go as slowly as the planes?”

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Complete report on St. Pio from EWTN

Pope to visit town of St. Padre Pio

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Vatican City, Jun 16, 2009 / 01:43 pm (CNA).- The Vatican announced today the details of Pope Benedict XVI’s pastoral visit to San Giovanni Rotondo, the town in the Italian Region of Puglia where St. Padre Pio lived.

The Holy Father is scheduled to arrive at the “Antonio Massa” sports ground at 9:15 a.m. on June 21. He will proceed to venerate the tomb of St. Padre Pio at the shrine of Our Lady of Grace, where he will pray and light two candles, symbolizing his apostolic visit and that of Pope John Paul II.

Afterwards, the Pope will preside at a Mass in the Plaza of the Church of St. Pio of Pietrelcina, where he will also pray the midday Angelus.

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