Padre Pio relics to stop in the diocese on April 13

Relics of St. Pio of Pietrelcina will visit the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, April 13.
They are on tour through the Unites States, Canada, and Mexico as part of a 50th anniversary of Padre Pio’s death.
The relics available for veneration include Saint Pio’s glove; crusts of his wounds; cotton-gauze with Saint Pio’s blood stains; a lock of his hair; his mantle; and Saint Pio’s handkerchief soaked with his sweat hours before he died.
Bishop Carl A. Kemme will celebrate a Mass in honor of Saint Pio at 7 p.m.
The Saint Pio Foundation, which is sponsoring the tour, will sell books and items related to Padre Pio in the entryway of the Cathedral.
St. Pio was born on May 25, 1887, in Pietrelcina, Italy, and baptized Francesco Forgione. He first expressed his desire for priesthood at age 10. In order to pay for the preparatory education, his father, Grazio Forgione, emigrated in the United States on 1899, where he worked for several years.
The future saint entered the Capuchin order at age 15, taking the name Pio. He was ordained a priest in 1910 at the age of 23. Padre Pio was known as a mystic with miraculous powers of healing and knowledge who bore the stigmata. Stigmata is the term the church uses to speak about the wounds an individual receives that correspond to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus Christ. They can appear on the forehead, hands, wrists, and feet.
His stigmata emerged during World War I, after Pope Benedict XV asked Christians to pray for an end to the war. Padre Pio had a vision in which Christ pierced his side. A few weeks later, on Sept. 20, 1918, Jesus again appeared to him, and he received the full stigmata. It remained with him until his death on Sept. 23, 1968. Pope John Paul II canonized him in 2002.

Details about the visit
• The relics will arrive at the Cathedral at 7 a.m. April 13 and may be venerated at any time, except during Mass.
• Three Masses in honor of St. Pio will be celebrated: at 8 a.m., noon, and by Bishop Carl A. Kemme at 7 p.m.
• Confessions will be heard from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., including during the noon Mass.
• The event ends at 11 p.m. when the relics will be removed.