That is how the Italian news media is reporting the upcoming events planned from February 3 through February 10 in Rome, during this Extraordinary Holy Year of Mercy, involving the Reliquaries containing the remains of two remarkable Capuchin Franciscan Saints, St. Pio of Pietrelcina and St. Leopold Mandic. And, the National Centre for Padre Pio and the members of our Prayer Group have been blessed to be invited to participate!
The remains of the two Saints will leave their Churches: St. Pio from San Giovanni Rotondo and St. Leopold from Padua and meet at the Basilica of St. Lorenzo al Verano where they will remain under the care of their confreres until February 4th when they will be transferred to the Jubilee Church of San Salvatore in Lauro.
The Centre's Group departs the USA on February 4 and will arrive in Rome on the following day, in time to participate in the historic Grand Procession. After a Solemn Mass officiated by His Excellency, Most Reverend Michele Castoro, Archbishop of Manfredonia-Vieste-San Giovanni Rotondo, the procession will form wherein the Relics of the two Saints will be accompanied by the Faithful from the area around the Piazza Navona to Saint Peter's Basilica...the thoroughfares will be closed to motor traffic all those accompanying the Saints will pass...attendance is expected to be in the tens of thousands...And we will be there! Look for us in the crowd, carrying our banner from the "Home of Padre Pio in the USA" Barto, PA! Truly an unforgettable once-in-a-lifetime experience...
The following day, our group will participate in the special audience with Pope Francis along with the Padre Pio Prayer Groups from around the world and the staff from the Hospital founded by Padre Pio, the Home for the Relief of Suffering. Following the audience, with the other Spiritual Children of Padre Pio, we pass through the Holy Doors in St. Peter's Basilica to obtain the indulgence...
Our group must leave Rome on Monday to continue our Pilgrimage. On Ash Wednesday, when the Holy Father will send 1,000 Missionaries of Mercy throughout the world, giving them a special mandate to preach and confess, our group will be attending solemn Mass, offered by our accompanying Chaplain from the Congregation of the Fathers of Mercy, in Auburn, KY, Father Thomas Sullivan, CPM, in the Grotto of St. Michael the Archangel, acclaimed as one of the holiest places on Earth, located high atop the Gargano Mountains, as we begin our Lent imploring the protection of the Holy Archangel upon ourselves and our loved ones.
Thursday the 11th we visit Pietrelcina and have our Mass at the Piana Romana where Padre Pio began to suffer the Passion of Christ shortly after his Priestly Ordination. Later that afternoon, we welcome Padre Pio as he returns to his beloved birthplace, which he left precisely 100 years before! He will spend several days in the Friary Church in Pietrelcina again in the care of his Capuchin Franciscan confreres before returning to San Giovanni Rotondo on the 14th of February.
Our Holy Father Pope Francis chose St. Pio of Pietrelcina and St. Leopold Mandic to be present in Rome during the particular events during this Extraordinary Holy Year of Mercy; both were renowned confessors and wise spiritual fathers who untiringly demonstrated God's Mercy not only in their daily lives of sacrifice, but in the countless hours they spent in the confessional where the Mercy of God is freely and bounteously dispensed to all humble and contrite souls!
We pray that you will join our Pilgrimage in spirit! Go to your local designated Jubilee Church, pass through the Holy Doors and avail yourself of the indulgence...the requirements are simple: Confession and Mass with reception of Holy Communion and prayers for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff, within several days of visiting the Jubilee Church. Remember you may only obtain the indulgence once a day and the indulgence can be applied to yourself or a deceased soul. Jesus we Trust in You!