Thursday, 06 September 2018 04:05

Heart Relic of Padre Pio to visit Philippines in October


The incorrupt image of Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina will be in the Philippines from October 6-26, 2018.

The heart relic will arrive on the evening of October 5, 2018, at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).  It will be followed by a motorcade to the National Shrine of Padre Pio in Sto. Tomas, Batangas where the welcome Mass will be held between 1-2 a.m. on October 6, 2018.

During a press conference held on Wednesday, September 5, 2018, Fr. Joselin Gonda, Rector of the National Shrine of St. Padre Pio in Batangas, said that the heart relic will be brought to the three major islands of the country, Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.


Photo by Eric Paul Guanlao

Padre Pio’s heart relic will visit Luzon on October 8-10 and will be hosted by the Archdiocese of Manila while the visit in the Visayas will take place on October 11-13 and will be hosted by the Archdiocese of Cebu. The Mindanao visit is scheduled on October 14-16 and will be hosted by the Archdiocese of Davao.

On October 17, the heart relic will go back to Batangas where a concelebrated Mass will be held at the San Sebastian Cathedral in Lipa City. After the Mass, it will proceed to the Capuchin Monastery at Brgy. San Sebastian in the city for the exclusive veneration of the Capuchins of the Philippines.  The Saint belongs to the Capuchin branch of the Franciscan Order.

On October 18, the relic stays at the National Shrine, and a round the clock veneration takes place until its departure on October 26, after, a farewell Mass at 9:00 in the morning.

In a press release, Fr. Gonda noted that this year will mark two milestones in the life of Padre Pio.

“First, on September 20, we will commemorate the Centennial (100 years) of Padre Pio’s receiving the stigmata (the five wounds of Jesus).  Second, we will celebrate his golden death anniversary (50 years) on September 23,” explained Fr. Jojo Gonda when asked why he thought of inviting the heart relic to the National Shrine. 

“The visit of the heart relic is a fitting epilogue to these two important events in the life of St. Padre Pio. Besides, it is the Year of the Clergy and the Consecrated Persons. Padre Pio,  given as a role model for them, can be an inspiration and challenge to us to have a heart like his, close to the Eucharistic and forgiving heart like the Lord,” he added.

The Philippines is the fourth country that this heart relic will visit. It has already visited the United States, Paraguay, and Argentina. 

The historic visit is made possible through the collaboration of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Episcopal Commission on the Clergy headed by Bishop Buenaventura Famadico, Archdiocese of Lipa, headed by Archbishop Gilbert Garcera, and Fr. Joselin Gonda, Rector of the National Shrine of St. Padre Pio in Sto. Tomas Batangas.

Saint Padre Pio was born on May 25, 1887, and died in 1968 at San Giovanni Rotondo in Foggia, Italy where he spent his entire life as a Capuchin Friar. 

The Parish of St. Padre Pio in San Pedro, Sto. Tomas, Batangas was initially established at the chapel of Barangay San Pedro on June 28, 2003, by His Eminence, Gaudencio Cardinal B. Rosales, D.D. (Archbishop Emeritus of Manila), then Archbishop of Lipa. 

On July 11, 2015, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) voted unanimously to declare this Shrine as National Shrine of St. Padre Pio. This is the first shrine to be declared as a national shrine in the Archdiocese of Lipa, in the whole province of Batangas. The Solemn Declaration was held on September 14, 2015. (Jheng Manalang Prado/RCAM-AOC)

 

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