Relics of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina – better known as Padre Pio – will be visiting the El Paso area on Saturday and Sunday.
The first stop will be St. Patrick’s Cathedral of the Diocese of El Paso, on Saturday, November 16, 2019 from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. A mass will be celebrated by The Most Reverend Bishop Mark J. Seitz at 5:00pm.
The relics will also be at Christ the King/Cristo Rey Monastery at 145 North Cotton, on Sunday, November 17, 2019 from 10 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
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, emigrated in the United States on 1899, 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 with miraculous powers of healing and knowledge, 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.
Pope John Paul II canonized him in 2002.
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 a faithful 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.
The relics of Saint Pio available for public veneration will be the following:
Saint Pio’s glove
Saint Pio’s crusts of the wounds
Cotton-gauze with Saint Pio’s blood stains
A lock of Saint Pio’s hair
Saint Pio’s mantle
Saint Pio’s handkerchief soaked with his sweat hours before he died.
The Saint Pio Foundation is a premier national charitable organization that promotes awareness of Saint 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 healthcare, educational, social, religious, and
cultural partner organizations. More information about Saint Pio Foundation can be found online