MANILA, Philippines – The incorrupt heart relic of Saint Padre Pio was brought to the iconic University of Santo Tomas (UST) on Monday, October 8, for overnight vigil before it is brought to the Manila Cathedral the next day.
The overnight public veneration of Padre Pio’s heart relic is set at the Santísimo Rosario Parish of UST, a pontifical university, also the oldest existing university in Asia.
The public veneration begins Monday evening. (READ: Bishop hits killings as Padre Pio heart relic visits UST)
UST is the second stop of the heart relic after it was first brought to the National Shrine of Saint Padre Pio in Santo Tomas, Batangas. It is also set to visit Cebu and Davao, and return to Batangas before the relic leaves the Philippines on October 26.
Photo by Eric Paul Guanlao/Archdiocese of Manila Office of Communications
Immediately after UST, the relic is scheduled to stay at the Manila Cathedral from the morning of Tuesday, October 9, until the morning of Thursday, October 11. The iconic church will be open 24 hours during the relic’s visit.
The Vatican's ambassador to the Philippines, Archbishop Gabriele Giordano Caccia, said Padre Pio's example should reassure devotees.
Caccia said at the Padre Pio shrine in Batangas on Saturday, October 6: "I see many sick people here with us. Let Padre Pio's loving heart assure you that you are not alone in your suffering. You are united with the sufferings of Christ, which always lead to the Resurrection, our greatest hope and consolation."
Born on May 25, 1887, Padre Pio is one of the most popular saints in the Catholic Church. In life, he carried the stigmata, the wounds of Christ that miraculously appeared on the saint's body. He is also remembered for having performed bilocation, or appearing in different places at one time.
He died on September 23, 1968, and devotion to the saint is now believed to have caused many miracles. His incorrupt body is on display at San Giovanni Rotondo in Italy. – Rappler.com
Paterno R. Esmaquel II is a senior reporter leading Rappler’s coverage of religion and foreign affairs. He finished MA Journalism in Ateneo and MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at email@example.com.