Arrival in Rome, the Body of Saint Pio is Brought to the Vatican

The embalmed body of the revered Roman Catholic monk, Saint Pio was brought to the Vatican to be blessed by the Pope in St Peter’s Basilica. Saint Pio died in 1968 and the Capuchin monk was declared a saint in 2002.

Pio of Pietrelcina, known as Padre Pio, was born in 1887 to deeply religious farmers in the small agricultural town of Pietrelcina, in Campania, Italy. By the age of five he knew he wanted to dedicate his life to serving God and claimed to have inner battles with demons and moments of religious out of body experiences. As an adult, he achieved fame for what he considered a spiritual closeness with God and his stigmata – a religious phenomenon that sees sufferers struck with pains mimicking those suffered by Jesus when he was crucified. His condition was reported to have been visible, though the wounds never became infected and healed once, but then reappeared. After news of his stigmata spread and pilgrims flocked to witness the phenomenon, he was credited with miracles and was said to be able to perform superhuman feats such as levitation.

In later years, he specialized in taking confessions, which many adherents claiming he was able to accurately predict what they were confessing before they had done so. Since his death and burial in 1968 at his church in San Giovanni Rotondo, his popularity has grown and he is considered one of the Church’s most popular saints.

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