Challenge Grant: Our Boosters will match donations up to $45,000. We have $38,368 to go. Please donate!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Catholic World News News Feature

Padre Pio's body to be exhumed, venerated January 07, 2008

The body of Padre Pio will be exhumed and exposed for public veneration during the coming year, the local archbishop has announced.

The plan to exhume the body of the beloved Capuchin saint has already encountered stiff resistance from some of Padre Pio's living relatives, who denounced the plan as "uncivilized."

Archbishop Domenico D'Ambrosio said that the body of Padre Pio would be available for public veneration in 2008, for the 40th anniversary of his death. Each year close to 1 million pilgrims travel to the shrine of the saint at San Giovanni Rotondo.

The timing of the public veneration has not yet been established. Church officials are apparently waiting for expert advice on the exhumation of the saint's remains and the preservation of his body.

But Pia Forgione, a niece of Padre Pio, has initiated legal action to stop the exhumation. In an appeal to an Italian court she argued that the archbishop does not have proper authority to put the saint's remains on public display.

Archbishop D'Ambrosio said that his plan has the approval of the Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints. He explained that he saw a "duty to allow future generations the chance to venerate the mortal remains of St. Pio of Pietrelcina." Part of the reason for the exhumation, he said, is to ensure proper preservation of those remains. Padre Pio, who lived from 1887 to 1968, gained an international reputation for holiness during his lifetime. Thousands of people reported miracles after meeting with the famous monk, who apparently enjoyed extraordinary spiritual gifts including the stigmata and discernment of souls. The reports of miracles attributed to his intercession multiplied after his death, and devotion to Padre Pio continued to spread.

Padre Pio was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2002, with an estimated 2 million people attending the Vatican ceremony.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Ignatius Press into the Breach: Trumping the Kasper Proposal 9 hours ago
Has the Vatican finally discovered how to avoid inaccurate English translations? 13 hours ago
The Synod: It's a Wrap! October 21
A chaotic synod? Not in its results October 21
Cardinal Kasper's unsubtle threat October 21

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6