Jul 13, 2023 - News

Padre Pio relics attract thousands to Naperville

people stand in line

A line stretches around the block in front of the Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Naperville while ominous clouds loom overhead. Photo: Justin Kaufmann/Axios

Thousands of people dodged Tuesday's thunderstorms to view Padre Pio relics on display at the west suburban Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church.

Why it matters: The Naperville church was the only place in the state to secure the five-relic display that includes a blood-stained cotton gauze and a handkerchief.

Context: Padre Pio was the first priest in the Catholic Church to be stigmatized, which means he had unexplained wounds on his hands resembling those of Jesus Christ's crucifixion.

  • This happened in 1918.
  • The relics were on loan from The Sanctuary of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, located in Foggia, Italy.

What they're saying: "I came to be blessed by the presence of a saint," Pam S. from Downers Grove tells Axios.

  • "It's impressive that his relics could be anywhere in the world, but they were right here in Naperville."
  • Jaimie W. from Plainfield brought her kids to see the relics. "I came here and said a prayer for our family. I felt a real holiness, like the spirit's with you. It was a beautiful experience, full of peace."
church and people
Photo: Justin Kaufmann/Axios

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