Skip to comments.Thousands flock to exhumed body of saint Padre Pio (Catholic Caucus)
Posted on 04/25/2008 6:50:15 AM PDT by NYer
The exhumed body of Padre Pio, a saint considered a miracle worker by his devotees, attracted thousands of pilgrims on Thursday when it went on display 40 years after his death.
Padre Pio is one of the Catholic Church's most popular saints and during his lifetime the Italian monk was said to have had the stigmata, the bleeding wounds of Jesus' crucifixion on his hands and feet.
The economy of this southern town revolves around the cult of Padre Pio and heaving crowds waited to see his body, displayed in a crystal, marble and silver sepulcher in the crypt of the monastery where he spent most of his life.
His face was reconstructed with a lifelike silicone mask of the type used in wax museums because it was apparently too decomposed to show when the body was exhumed.
"He seems like he is sleeping. Even if they had to re-do the face, its better remembering him this way than looking at a slab of cold marble," said Domenico Masone, deputy mayor of Pietralcina, the town where Padre Pio was born.
Some 15,000 devotees attended a Mass said by Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, head of the Vatican department that oversees the Catholic Church's saint-making process, before the body went on display in the afternoon.
"He knows what I want from him," said Antonio Zimbaldi, 19, who attended Mass with his face, except for his lips, covered with white gauze.
"I have been devoted to him for as long as I can remember." Zimbaldi's entire body was burned in a fire caused by a gas explosion two years ago.
The body of the bearded Capuchin monk was exhumed from a crypt on March 3 and found to be in "fair condition" after 40 years. Since then a team of medical examiners and biochemists has worked to preserve and reconstruct the corpse.
In the sepulcher, he was dressed in a brown Capuchin habit and wore fingerless gloves he used to absorb blood from wounds on his hands. The mask was made by a London company which makes lifelike sculpted figures for museums.
ASKING FOR A MIRACLE
A poll in 2006 by Catholic magazine Famiglia Cristiana found that more Italian Catholics prayed to Padre Pio than to any other figure, including the Virgin Mary or Jesus. His picture is stuck to the dashboards of many taxis and cars throughout Italy.
Eighty-year-old Assunta Antico attended the Mass sitting in a wheelchair and was covered with a shawl in the same deep brown that Padre Pio wore. "I had a stroke two years ago. I'm paralyzed and I want to walk again."
This town is home to a large hospital founded by the monk and many hotels and restaurants cater to the pilgrim trade.
As of Friday, the first of 750,000 people who have made reservations to see the body between now and December will file past the glass coffin at a rate of about 7,200 a day.
There are about 3,000 "Padre Pio Prayer Groups" in the world, with a membership of 3 million. Pope John Paul made him a saint in 2002 before one of the biggest Vatican crowds.
Among the stories that surround the monk, who died at the age of 81, is one that he wrestled with the devil one night in his monastery cell and emerged bloodied and bruised.
However, he was dogged by accusations of fraud. A book last year suggested he was a self-harming man who might have used carbolic acid to cause his wounds. Church officials have denied he was a fake.
In the unlikely event of my canonization, I think I might prefer to remain entombed. Is there some sort of advanced directive?
...cult of Padre Pio...
Just because a group of people show respect and love for a saint that does not put them in a cult.
...the Catholic Church's saint-making process,...
Wrong again. A person becomes a saint through the grace of God, their faith and their love and devotion of the Lord. The Church simply recognizes their sainthood.
A silicon hand-painted bearded mask of the face of Padre Pio, an Italian saint, is seen on his body laying in repose inside a crystal casket in the crypt of the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie in San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy, Thursday, April 24, 2008. The body of Padre Pio, a hugely popular Italian saint, was put on public display Thursday, and thousands of people gathered to pray to the mystic monk who many Catholic faithful believe suffered wounds similar to those of Jesus' crucifixion.
Prayer for the Intercession of St. Pio of Pietrelcina
Dear God, You generously blessed Your servant,
St. Pio of Pietrelcina, with the gifts of the Spirit.
You marked his body with the five wounds
of Christ Crucified, as a powerful witness
to the saving Passion and Death of Your Son.
Endowed with the gift of discernment,
St. Pio labored endlessly in the confessional
for the salvation of souls.
With reverence and intense devotion
in the celebration of Mass,
he invited countless men and women
to a greater union with Jesus Christ
in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.
Through the intercession of St. Pio of Pietrelcina,
I confidently beseech You to grant me
the grace of (here state your petition). Amen.
Glory be to the Father... (three times).
Prayer of Pope John Paul II to St. Pio of Pietrelcina
Pope John Paul II recited this prayer
on the occasion of the canonization of Padre Pio, June 16, 2002
Teach us, we pray, humility of heart,
so that we may be counted
among the little ones of the Gospel
to whom the Father promised to reveal
the mysteries of His Kingdom.
Help us to pray without ceasing,
certain that God knows what we need
even before we ask Him.
Obtain for us the eyes of faith that will help us recognize
in the poor and suffering, the very face of Jesus.
Sustain us in the hour of trouble and trial and, if we fall,
let us experience the joy of the sacrament of forgiveness.
Grant us your tender devotion to Mary,
mother of Jesus and our Mother.
Accompany us on our earthly pilgrimage
toward the blessed Homeland,
where we too, hope to arrive to contemplate forever
the Glory of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Pope John Paul II visited Padre Pio's grave on May 27, 1987
Padre Pio Was Proclaimed Blessed on May 2, 1999. He was proclaimed a saint on June 16, 2002. The ceremonies were presided by the pope John Paul II, in Saint Peter's square. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims were present.
Pray for us, St. Pio of Pietrelcina.
Now that you have made a formal statement here on FR, I'll try to remember it when your name is submitted to the Cause for canonization. I promise.
Sorry, didn’t see that caucus thing
You want CULT, - look to MOHAMMAD you atheist s.o.b.s at Rueters.
“However, he was dogged by accusations of fraud. A book last year suggested he was a self-harming man who might have used carbolic acid to cause his wounds. Church officials have denied he was a fake.”
Probably brought to you by the same people who said Christ arranged his own crucifixion (The same people who were telling us a few generations ago he never even existed).
For the benefit of visitors to this thread, here is some of the history of Padre Pio.
"In order to attract us, the Lord grants us many graces that we believe can easily obtain Heaven for us. We do not know, however, that in order to grow, we need hard bread: the cross, humiliation, trials and denials." Padre Pio
I must admit I’m a bit perplexed by this situation. As a Catholic on a Caucus thread I feel it’s alright to raise this slight concern. Wasn’t there a report of a relative of St. Pio that expressed a desire to leave his remains undisturbed? I am loathe to question the Church’s decision on anything, but was this relative’s concerns addressed when this decision was made? I would hope that someone at least talked to him/her before this was done. IOW, in the case of Saints who have passed on centuries ago, and have no living relatives anymore, the public display of such remains wouldn’t be an issue, but if, say, a relative of mine was canonized, and the Church wanted to put his/her remains on display, I would hope that someone would consult me first, at least.
Does anyone know anything about this case? Were there such concerns raised by a “relative”? If so, was this person consulted and/or reassured in some way?
Yes relatives were opposed but the exhumation was approved by the Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
Thanks for the link. I hope and pray, with all due respect to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, his niece has some peace.
Cult is not a bad word.
1566 “It is in the Eucharistic cult or in the Eucharistic assembly of the faithful (synaxis) that they exercise in a supreme degree their sacred office; there, acting in the person of Christ and proclaiming his mystery, they unite the votive offerings of the faithful to the sacrifice of Christ their head, and in the sacrifice of the Mass they make present again and apply, until the coming of the Lord, the unique sacrifice of the New Testament, that namely of Christ offering himself once for all a spotless victim to the Father.” From this unique sacrifice their whole priestly ministry draws its strength.
1378 Worship of the Eucharist. In the liturgy of the Mass we express our faith in the real presence of Christ under the species of bread and wine by, among other ways, genuflecting or bowing deeply as a sign of adoration of the Lord. “The Catholic Church has always offered and still offers to the sacrament of the Eucharist the cult of adoration, not only during Mass, but also outside of it, reserving the consecrated hosts with the utmost care, exposing them to the solemn veneration of the faithful, and carrying them in procession.”
cult - noun
1. a particular system of religious worship, esp. with reference to its rites and ceremonies.
2. an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, esp. as manifested by a body of admirers: the physical fitness cult.
3. the object of such devotion.
4. a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc.
5. Sociology. a group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols.
Ping to Notwithstanding's post and explanation above.
All that book proved was that he likely tried to treat the wounds and used this common antiseptic, whilr trying to not advertise his condition. The Church requires that stigmatists treat the wounds and not display them until a supernatural cause becomes evident. Padre Pio did what the Church requires.
his body displays no signs of the stigmata anymore (at least according to reports I have heard).
if he personally wounded himself for 50 years, there would undoubtedly be marks on his body. apparently he does not have any scarring (50 years of self-mutilation would be visible on the corpse) so I doubt that he seared his hands with acid.
My pleasure .. ;)
You are so gracious.
FR Catholic Caucus is better than RCIA in some ways - here, we are consistently edified by the immediate input of our brethren.
Go back, re-read my post and think about what I said.
You are preaching to the choir.
Actually, within the Catholic Church, the word "cult" refers to those Catholics who have a devotion to a particular saint, Mary, the angels etc. It's not the best word to use when addressing a non-Catholic audience, for obvious reasons.
It doesn’t matter-—the SBC freepers already think Catholics are cult members. and they never tire of saying it.
I think the Vatican concluded that the antiseptics were used to clean needles during the 1918-1919 Spanish Flu epidemic
I am sorry if it sounded like I was calling you out.
When my life is over, I will not miss "the accuser of the Bretheren." And on the off chance they perish before I do, I will dance in the streets.
FR Catholic Caucus is better than RCIA in some ways - here, we are consistently edified by the immediate input of our brethren.
If anyone is gracious, it is you. At some point in time several years ago, it occured to me that many Catholics are ignorant about their faith, not that I am a theologian. However, in addressing attacks on our Church, I learned more about the Catholic faith and began to accrue an extensive list of bookmarked links to defend it. I now find myself 'educating' parishioners, visitors to our parish and the children. Perhaps that is why the pastor asked me to take charge of the RelEd program. Though small in number, it is a daunting task to select the proper materials and ensure these children are properly formed. In the process, I often find myself educating their parents at coffee socials. Sadly, most parents today entrust all religious education to the parish. Catholic education begins in the home. There is no way we can shoulder the burden of responsibility for raising children in the Catholic faith with only 15 days of classes per year. This needs to be bolstered at home in the family.
But thank you for the kind sentiments. They are most appreciated.
Thanks; you’re a good friend. Just remember to bundle up because it will probably be a cold day :)
Perhaps that’s what struck me as odd, that his life was relatively recent. Not a principled dispute; I’m just the kind of person who can’t stand medical shows or visits to the hospital and prefer to think of our departed in spirit.
I can’t complain about the Catholic education I received growing up (and will always be indebted to a couple Dominicans and Basilians), but did my best in college to forget everything I knew about anything. Later on, a work situation put me in the company of several recent converts - they really know their stuff, and the education renewed. I now find myself mostly in the company of protestants or secularists, and FR caucus threads are a saving grace some days(I read far more than I post).
Thank you, Saint Pio for your blessed intervention.
""Prayer is the best weapon we possess, the key that opens the heart of God." These are the words of Padre Pio (now known as Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina) and they adequately encapsulate his approach to faith as well as his overall spiritual practice".
Thanks NYer,beautiful thread.Padre Pio pray for us.
Litany of the Saints-Matt Mahr’s
Litany of the Saints From John Paul II’s Funeral