For the first time, the relics of the St. Padre Pio, one of the most loved saints in modern times, will be exhibited for public veneration in St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican from 8th February 2016. Pope Francis has taken special interest to bring the relics of the ‘Saint with holy stigmata’ to Vatican during the Holy Year of Mercy. According to the information for the Convent Sanctuary of Padre Pio’s website, the body remnants will be exhibited during Ash Wednesday, February 10th. On the day there will be a ‘call to all’ to become the missionaries of mercy.
Padre Pio, an Italian Saint, was born in 1887, May 25 in Pietrelcina, in southern Italy to Grazio Mario Forgione and Maria. An extremely pious kid, Pio consecrated himself to Jesus at an age of five. Pio himself has testified that he used to converse with Jesus, Mary and his guardian angel during his younger age. On 22 January, 1903 at the age of 15, Pio took the habit of Friars Minor Capuchin. He had his final vows on 1907 and was ordained a priest on 10th August, 1910. With an ardent desire to unite himself with Jesus, he prayed God to let him take part in the sufferings of Jesus.
During the World War I, Pio, in obedience to the call of Pope Benedict XV to pray for the end of the War, offered himself as a victim for the end of war. During the period of 5-7 August that year, Pio had a vision of Jesus with his side pierced. It was followed by a physical wound in his own side, and a ‘transverberation’ of heart. On September 20th, Padre Pio received his ‘Visible Stigmata’ the five wounds of Christ, which stayed with him lifelong. The legendary saint passed away on 23rd September 1968.