MANILA—The heart of St. Pio of Pietrelcina, also known as Padre Pio, arrived on the Philippine soil last October 5, 2018. Pilgrims and devotees from different parts of the country flocked at the National Shrine of St. Padre Pio in Sto. Tomas, Batangas to have a glimpse and whisper their prayers on the uncorrupted heart of the saint.
More Filipinos will be given a chance to see Padre Pio’s heart as it will be brought to other Metropolitan Cathedrals in the Philippines in the next few days. From October 6-7, 2018, the relic is scheduled to be venerated at St. Padre Pio National Shrine in Sto. Tomas, Batangas. It will be brought to Manila where the faithful may venerate it from October 7-10; then to Cebu on October 11-13; then the next leg of the visit will be in Davao from October 14-16; and it will be brought to Lipa on October 17; and back to the National Shrine on October 18-26 before it will be brought to Ninoy Aquino International Airport on October 26, 2018 for its departure from the Philippines.
2018: Year of the Clergy and Consecrated Persons
As the Catholic Church in the Philippines celebrates the Year of the Clergy and Consecrated Persons, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines chose St. Padre Pio as the model for priests and religious. Padre Pio professed his vows as a Capuchin Friar and he was also an ordained priest.
During the visit of the heart of St. Padre Pio in Manila, a conference for the priests and religious was held at the University of Sto. Tomas. The clergy from different dioceses in Manila and other Provinces and the religious brothers and sisters from different religious congregations gathered together at the Parish of the Most Holy Rosary located within UST campus.
Rev. Fr. Joselin Gonda, Rector of the National Shrine of St. Padre Pio in Sto. Tomas, Batangas, gave a talk on the Person, Priesthood, and Spirituality of St. Padre Pio. He told the clergy and religious present that St. Padre Pio is a saint of the modern times. And yet his love for the Holy Eucharist, his enthusiasm in the celebration of the Sacraments, and his ardent love for his flock made him a servant of God.
After the conference, the Penitential Liturgy and celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation followed. Rev. Fr. Genaro Diwa, Chairman of the Commission on Liturgy of the Archdiocese of Manila, presided the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Holy Hour. Priests were also available to hear confessions.
The clergy and religious present were blessed to be given a change to hold and kiss the heart of St. Padre Pio during the veneration of the heart that followed after the Holy Hour. Three Augustinian Recollect friars were able to touch, kiss, and venerate the relic, namely, Fray Jonathan Caballero, Fray Keneth Pahamutang, and Fray Robin Ross Plata. In the afternoon, the heart of St. Padre Pio was brought to UST grounds for the celebration of the Holy Eucharist presided by Bishop Pablo David, DD, of the Diocese of Caloocan, and for public veneration that lasted until the next day before it was brought to Manila Cathedral.