MANILA The incorrupt heart of St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina will arrive in the country on Friday for a three-week visit.
According to the Archdiocese of Lipa, the scheduled arrival of the relic is at 10:15 p.m. on October 5 at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 from Italy.
Retired Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles, Fr. Joselin Jojo Gonda, rector of the National Shrine of St. Padre Pio at Barangay San Pedro in Santo Tomas, Batangas, and some Franciscan priests fetched the relic from Italy. They left the country last September 24.
The St. Padre Pio's heart will be brought to Lipa by a motorcade from NAIA at 11 p.m.
On Saturday (October 6), Papal Nuncio to the Philippines Archbishop Giordano Caccia will lead the 9 a.m mass at the Shrine.
The relic will be in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao and will stay in the country from October 6 until October 26, 2018.
The Luzon leg, from October 8-10, will be hosted by the Archdiocese of Manila; the Visayas leg, from October 11-13, will be under the Archdiocese of Cebu; and the Mindanao leg, from October 14-16, will be handled by the Archdiocese of Davao.
In the morning of October 17, the relic will go back to Batangas until October 26.
The Philippines will only be the fourth country to be visited by the heart relic, aside from the United States, Paraguay and Argentina.
The incorrupt heart of St. Padre Pio seldom gets out of its home at San Giovanni Rotondo, the Capuchin monastery where the stigmatist spent his entire life.
The 21-day visit of the first class relic of the Saint is in collaboration with the Episcopal Commission on the Clergy of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), headed by Bishop Buenaventura Ben Famadico of San Pablo Diocese; the Archdiocese of Lipa, headed by Archbishop Gilbert Garcera; the National Shrine of St. Padre Pio, and local government units.
St. Pio died in 1968 at San Giovanni Rotondo in Foggia, Italy where he spent his entire life as a Capuchin friar.
The Shrine of St. Padre Pio was declared a National Shrine by the CBCP in 2015.
The Shrine has been attracting thousands of pilgrims ever since, especially during Holy Week and every 23rd of each month, declared as Special Day for Padre Pio when they have Masses and Healing Liturgy. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency