The heart of Saint Padre Pio was presented in Boston’s North End on Wednesday night, under heavy security, as thousands waited in line for a glimpse of the major relic at St. Leonard Church.

This is the first time a relic of St. Pio of Pietrelcina has left Italy where the body of St. Pio is permanently exposed for veneration by millions of devotees who visit the Shrine of San Giovanni Rotondo.


The faithful were invited to pray before the heart relic which was held by Fr. Antonio Nardoianni and other priests for the rare five hour evening gathering at the North End church.

“We know that many people throughout our country have a great devotion to Padre Pio, so the friars have made this possible especially for those who are not able to travel to San Giovanni Rotondo in Italy to venerate his relics and pray for his intercession,” Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley said in a statement.

Close to midnight, the line to see the heart relic continued. This week, St. Leonard Church was also made a Jubilee of Mercy Church, a privilege ordinarily granted to cathedrals.

Saint Padre Pio has a strong following in Boston’s North End where an annual procession takes place each June in honor of the relatively new saint.

St. Padre Pio was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2002. Pius of Pietrelcina (1887-1968) was a Capuchin Catholic priest from Italy, born as Francesco Forgione and given the name Pius (Italian: Pio) when he joined the Capuchins, thus known popularly as Padre Pio. He was also famous for bearing the stigmata.

Photos by Matt Conti

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

10 COMMENTS

  1. Perhaps the most moving service I have ever attended. Hearing Italian spoken from the altar and sung by the choir was especially meaningful. Thank you to St. Leonard’s for opening your doors to thousands on this special night.

  2. I will never forget this night never expected to be so close to and touch such a wonderful saint! my youngest daughter and I had just left a wedding reherarsal for another daughter who will be married on Friday.such a busy time for all of us but when I heard he would be so close I knew I had to go and she said come on mom! We got there a little after 11 pm and church was still pretty full got to stay until he left we followed the Priest’s out side . So peaceful so glad we had this opportunity so thankful to God for his Grace in my life always calling me back to him !!! Thank you Jesus!

      • It is so wonderful to know that St. Padre’s Pio’s Heart is so near to us here in Boston. I adore you dear St. Pio. Thank you for your gifts of Faith and Love. Thank you Jesus for this Blessing.

  3. Amen what a humble special moment the most exciting moment in my life nothing this will ever happen to me in the rest of my life I’m truly blessed to meet the Pope and pray to father Pico soul and have met three presidents wow I had a great life. B. Amen. Bless everyone

  4. please come to Croatia…and heal the many inner and outer wounds still so present after the war!! Also visit Bosnia
    where the Dayton Accord is being wrecked….

Comments are closed.