FALMOUTH  ̶  St. Joseph, Guardian of the Holy Family Parish in Falmouth will welcome the relics of St. Padre Pio (in photo at left) over two days this month with a prayer service, a special Mass and time for veneration by the faithful.

The relics will be present in St. Patrick Church, located at 511 Main Street in Falmouth, and all related events will take place there.

On Friday, August 25, there will be a reception of the relics and prayer service with the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick beginning at 3 p.m., to be followed by veneration until 8 p.m.

On Saturday, August 26, the church will be open for veneration from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. At 4 p.m., a Mass in honor of St. Pio of Pietrelcina will be celebrated by Rev. Msgr. Stephen J. Avila, who is pastor of St. Joseph, Guardian of the Holy Family Parish.

Canonized in 2002 as St. Pio of Pietrelcina (Italy), Padre Pio (1887-1968) is among the most venerated contemporary saints of the Catholic Church. He was an Italian priest who was known for his piety and charity, as well as the gift of the stigmata, which has never been explained.  Throughout his ministry, countless people from places around the world both in person and through correspondence sought his prayers for healing along with his counsel and spiritual guidance.

At the conclusion of Saturday’s Mass, Luciano Lamonarca, the founder and CEO of the New York-based Saint Padre Pio Foundation, will speak on the work of the foundation and the inspiring legacy of St. Pio.

“It is my hope that many people will take the opportunity to visit and experience, in their own way, the grace and power of the presence of St. Padre Pio’s relics,” Msgr. Avila said in a recent interview in The Anchor.

The word relic is derived from the Latin word reliquiae -meaning “remains.”

From the earliest years of the Church, Christians have revered the physical remains and personal possessions of saints who lived exemplary lives of holiness or suffering and dying for their faith. Over time, the Church categorized relics: first-class: a part of the saint’s body; second-class: something personally used/owned by the saint; third-class: an item touched to a first- or second-class relic.

Msgr. Avila is “very excited that visitors to St. Patrick Church will have the opportunity to be in the presence of first- and second-class relics of St. Padre Pio.” People are encouraged to bring religious medals and holy cards that may touch the relics. “Their items that touch the relics will become third class relics,” he explained.

Relics serve the faithful as vivid reminders of the holiness of the saint and of his or her cooperation with God’s plan. They are a source of inspiration of faith and of reported miraculous healing.

Catholics are invited to venerate relics of saints as a means of asking their intercession before the Lord. To venerate a relic, one may simply spend a few moments in prayer or in quite devotion, standing or kneeling, honoring the relic.

Visit the St. Joseph, Guardian of the Holy Family Parish website for more information.

For more information on the St. Pio Foundation and St. Padre Pio, visit saintpiofoundation.org/

View flyer on the visit of the relics of St. Padre Pio to St. Patrick Church, Falmouth.

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