Pope to Visit Padre Pio's Tomb in '09
Cardinal Bertone Says Trip Is Prepared
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Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone affirmed this today in San Giovanni Rotondo during a Mass that marked the 40th anniversary of the saint's death, as well as his liturgical feast day.
"Benedict XVI asked me to announce that everything is prepared. The Pope will come to San Giovanni Rotondo in 2009," said the cardinal to the thousands of faithful gathered for the celebration.
During the homily, Cardinal Bertone recalled the figure of Padre Pio, describing him as "a disciple of Christ who sought no other glory than to love and suffer for him. He was a priest who wanted nothing other than to be consumed in love for God and his brethren."
"He was a sincere son of the Church, and preferred not to defend himself, even on the most painful occasions, dying to himself in the docile silence of difficult but fruitful obedience," he added.
Forty years after his death, "Saint Pio is like a channel of water that gushes richly, and at whose source all can drink the fresh water of truth and love that the Lord offers in abundance to all," added the cardinal.
St. Pio of Pietrelcina is one of the most venerated saints of Italy. A Capuchin friar, he received the stigmata in 1918 and died in 1968. Pope John Paul II canonized him on June 16, 2002.