Padre Pio was known for his powers of healing and for being adorned with the stigmata. Stigmata is terminology the Catholic Church uses to describe the five wounds that appeared on Jesus Christ’s body during the passion, appearing on the forehead, hands, wrists and feet. Around the time of the first World War, Padre Pio had a vision where Christ pierced his side. A short time later, on September 20, 1918, Jesus appeared to him again and Padre Pio received his full stigmata. Padre Pio is the first priest in the Catholic Church to be stigmatized, which remained with him until his death in 1968. Pope John Paul II canonized Padre Pio in 2002.
The relics of Saint Pio on display for public veneration at Champion Shrine will be:
- Saint Pio’s glove
- Saint Pio’s crusts of the wounds
- Cotton-gauze with Saint Pio’s blood stains
- A lock of Saint Pio’s hair
- Saint Pio’s mantle
- Saint Pio’s handkerchief soaked with his sweat hours before he died
In the Catholic Church, relics are physical objects associated with a saint or candidate for sainthood, including a part of a person’s body or something the person was in contact with. Relics are not worshiped, however, touching or praying in the presence of relics helps individuals focus on a saint’s life and virtues, drawing the individual closer to the saint and to God.
Due to the large crowds Padre Pio’s relics usually draw, please understand that the waiting line may be long and individuals will be limited to 10 minutes. The 2018 tour of Padre Pio’s relics, sponsored by The Saint Pio Foundation, is in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of his passing. In 2017, the tour drew more than 250,000 faithful across the United States.
The National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help is located at 4047 Chapel Drive in Champion, centrally located between Green Bay, Sturgeon Bay and Algoma. It is open 365 days a year, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, visit www.ShrineOfOurLadyOfGoodHelp.com.