.- In the most discrete manner possible, the body of St. Padre Pio was exhumed at 12:30 a.m. Monday morning by a group of medical experts, while Church representatives observed.
Padre Pio was buried September 27, 1968 at the San Giovanni Rotondo shrine, just four days after he died.
"The body is well preserved" said Bishop Domenico D'Ambrosio of San Giovanni Rotondo-Manfredonia-Vieste, who observed the removal of the saint’s remains.
“From the very beginning (of the exhumation) you could clearly see his beard. The upper part of his skull is visible, but his chin is perfect and the rest of the body is well preserved. You can clearly see his knees, his hands, his mittens and his fingernails,” Bishop D’Ambrosio recalled.
The Italian bishop commented on the state of Padre Pio’s body by saying, "If Fr. Pio allows me to say, it is as if he was manicured.”
The Bishop also said that besides the upper skull, which shows some signs of the process of mummification, the rest of his remains are in surprisingly good condition, including his joints -which are all attached, and his feet.
D'Ambrosio confirmed that neither his feet nor hands showed any trace of the stigmata, since "as we know, they disappeared at the moment of his death."