Pope Francis to visit Italian Padre Pio sites in March
A statement from the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Greg Burke, says the Holy Father is to visit the Italian towns of Pietrelcina and San Giovanni Rotondo on 17 March 2018.
The year marks the 100th anniversary of Padre Pio of Pietrelcina receiving the stigmata, as well as the 50th anniversary of his death.
St. Pio was born in Pietrelcina on 25 May 1887 and died on 23 September 1968 at his Capuchin monastery in San Giovanni Rotondo.
Jubilee Year with Padre Pio
During the Jubilee Year of Mercy, Pope Francis had requested that Padre Pio’s reliquary be present in St. Peter’s Basilica for Ash Wednesday.
St. Pio’s remains were exposed for veneration from 8-14 February 2016.
Pope Francis follows in the footsteps of Pope St. John Paul II, who visited San Giovanni Rotondo on 23 May 1987, and Pope emeritus Benedict XVI, who travelled there on 21 June 2009.