St. John the Baptist Church in Beloit receives first-class St. Pio relic

The first of five Saint Pio Chapels sponsored by the Saint Pio Foundation was established on Sunday, Feb. 11, in St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Beloit, Kansas. Beloit is in the Diocese of Salina.

The Saint Pio Foundation stated in a news release that it is working with five dioceses across the United States to permanently place first-class relics of Saint Pio in chapels in the north, south, east, west, and center of the United States, to represent the sign of the cross. The geographical center of the contiguous United States is near Lebanon, Kansas, in the Salina diocese, about 50 miles away from Beloit.

Each chapel will have a certified first-class relic of a fragment of gauze stained with blood from Saint Pio’s side. Saint Pio suffered the stigmata, wounds that correspond to those Jesus Christ received during his passion.

The Most Rev. Gerald Vincke, bishop of the Diocese of Salina, presided over a Mass on Sunday morning, Feb. 11, at St. John the Baptist Church. Afterward, the relic of Saint Pio was officially consigned and placed in the chapel located just beneath frescoes depicting the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper.

Diocese of Salina ‘thrilled’

Bishop Vincke said the diocese was honored and thrilled to be a part of the initiative. “We look forward to offering this veneration opportunity to the faithful to experience a prayerful, spiritual encounter and to ask for Saint Pio’s intercession,” he said.

Luciano Lamonarca, founder and CEO of the Saint Pio Foundation, said it was appropriate that the first of the five Padre Pio chapels is in the very center of America, at a parish known for its devotion to Eucharistic adoration and prayer for peace.

“Our goal is to replicate five Saint Pio Chapels within the United States so that the many faithful around the country could conveniently access the chapel closer to their home, and thus facilitate their pilgrimage and spiritual encounter with Saint Pio,” Lamonarca said.

“My hope is that the presence of this relic of Saint Pio will draw more attention to the life and legacy of the beloved saint. Most importantly, may all who make a pilgrimage to St. John’s to venerate this relic, grow in their faith as Saint Pio would have wished.”

Honoring his beatification

The placing of the relics in the United States is part of a series of initiatives planned for the 10th anniversary of the Saint Pio Foundation’s founding and for the 25th anniversary of the beatification of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina.

The Saint Pio Foundation is a non-profit, charitable organization that was founded in 2014 to promote the knowledge of and devotion to Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, known also as Padre Pio, a 20th-century Catholic priest from the Puglia region of Italy.

For more information about the foundation visit For more information about the Saint Pio Chapel in Beloit visit

The Most Rev. Gerald Vincke, bishop of the Diocese of Salina, blessed those attending a Mass Sunday, Feb. 11, with a first class relic of St. Padre Pio in St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Beloit, Kansas. (Photo by and courtesy of Shae Johnson)