*FAITH, Down Memory Lane, The World (TRAVEL)

San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy: St. Padre Pio’s Sanctuary

September 23 is the day the Catholic Church celebrates the feast of St. Pio of Pietrelcina. It was also on this day in 1968 when he joined our Creator and became a more powerful intercessor. 🙂

He’s known more as Padre Pio (and personally, I prefer to call him St. Padre Pio! Hehe!). Two years ago, I had the privilege to visit his resting place in San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy (which was four hours away from Rome by land travel – train-walk- and bus), where his incorruptible body also rests.

I wasn’t able to write about that experience in detail (with the exception of my photo blog – check out “Euro Trip 2018 Highlights: Italy and the Vatican”), but for some special reason, I’ve been called this year to finally recall the details.

As you read on my previous blog entry, I’m currently pregnant and I had a hard time during my first trimester due to nausea/vomiting, etc. It was an excruciating and frustrating time; I even lost around 6 lbs. then because I couldn’t eat and drink properly. During one of those days while I was in bed, I scrolled through the photos on my phone. Then, I saw this:

my “prayer letter” to St. Pio in 2018, written while inside his former tomb

I totally forgot about this “prayer letter” I left in San Giovanni Rotondo when I visited St. Pio‘s place! In 2018, two years before I got married and pregnant (my husband Ish and I weren’t even engaged then), I was already claiming and praying for our “future godly family” and my “healthy and safe future pregnancies and child birth” — like woah! It was like the Holy Spirit gave me a wake-up call and reminded me that everything was, is, and will be fine. As St. Pio used to say, “pray, hope, and don’t worry.” Of course I asked and continues to ask for his intercession, and I’m a witness to how powerful his prayers are.

In James 5:16, it is said, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The fervent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful.” Read the last line again, and I can say it very much applies to St. Pio! No wonder he’s a favorite among fellow Catholics! 😉

If you happen to be in Italy, I highly suggest you also pay his place a visit. Here’s how to get there:

“Approximate price” is in Philippine pesos (PHP)

  1. From Rome, go to the Roma Termini train station.
  2. Buy a train ticket going to Foggia (this will be a 3-hour train ride).
  3. Once in Foggia, travel by foot to the Foggia bus station (this will take around 10 minutes).
  4. Buy a bus ticket going to San Giovanni Rotondo.
  5. When you’re on the San Giovanni Rotondo-bound bus, relax for 30 minutes because in no time, you’ll finally arrive at St. Padre Pio‘s sanctuary!

Upon stepping down the bus, you’ll be welcomed by these awesome sites:

the church-shrine of Padre Pio in San Giovanni Rotondo, Foggia, Italy

I went with my two ates! And yes, I miss traveling with them!

the church altar where St. Pio said his last Holy Mass

St. Pio’s confessional box, where he usually already knew the confessor’s sins even before they were spoken

As a bonus, there are also two other important relics inside the church-shrine:

relic of St. Teresa of Calcutta inside St. Pio’s church-shrine

relic of St. John Paul the Great inside St. Pio’s church-shrine

As a devout Filipino Roman Catholic, I remember that whenever a Saint’s relic would be toured in the Philippines, people always flock the place where it’s displayed — even queueing for hours! But in St. Pio‘s church-shrine, there were no long lines! The place was really quiet and sacred, that’s why I really suggest that if you’re already in Italy, take the opportunity to travel to San Giovanni Rotondo. Sure, it may take a whole day in your travel itinerary, but I can assure you that it’s definitely worth it!!! 🙂

St. Pio, pray for us!

St. Pio of Pietrelcina, PRAY FOR US!

TO GOD BE THE GLORY ALWAYS AND FOREVER!

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2 thoughts on “San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy: St. Padre Pio’s Sanctuary

  1. Pingback: FIAT & FAITH: Nour’s HeartBREAKTHROUGH Story | MIKAtolika

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