Wednesday, May 6, 2009

San Giovanni Rotondo

Our next stop was the Shrine of St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina which is located in the Gargano Mountains of Southern Italy in the town of San Giovanni Rotondo. This is the second most visited shrine in the world.

St. Padre Pio was a humble Capuchin (Franciscan) Friar whose reputation for holiness brought him great and unwanted attention during his lifetime (1887 - 1968). In the usual process of canonization for sainthood in the Catholic Church, the body of the candidate for canonization is exhumed and examined for various reasons. As occasionally happens, his body was found miraculously preserved and only slightly decomposed. In 2008, the holy relic was placed on display for veneration by the Faithful.

The incorrupt body of St. Padre Pio.

The original chapel at Our Lady of Grace Monastery where St. Padre Pio celebrated Mass and heard confessions.

The new Basilica built next to the monastery to accomodate the thousands of pilgrims who visit San Giovanni Rotondo.

The interior of the new Basilica.