Second largest church in the world dedicated to Saint Pio of Pietrelcina
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- The hundreds of pilgrims who each year visit the Italian village of San Giovanni Rotondo to pray to Padre Pio will now be able to do so in the second largest church in the world, which is dedicated to the Italian saint and was consecrated today.

With a Mass concelebrated by 10 Cardinals, 120 bishops and 500 priests, the new Church of St. Pio opened its doors for the first time to the vast number of visitors who travel to the small Italian village each year.

Surpassed in size only by St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, the new church that has knocked London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral into third place was designed by the famous architect Renzo Piano and can seat more than seven thousand people in its interior and more than 30,000 in the square outside.

Construction began 10 years ago in response to the need to welcome pilgrims who come each year to visit the tomb of the Italian saint.

An estimated 40,000 people were expected to attend today’s ceremony.

The church is built in the form of an oval, with 21 arches and a 1600 square-foot window, with currents made from a special fabric designed by NASA.

The interior was decorated by Italian artists Domenico Palladino, Giuliano Bangui and Arnaldo Pomodoro, who designed the bronze cross which hangs above the main altar.

More than 320 stone blocks and 332,000 square feet of concrete were used in the construction. The cross built outside the church reaches 131 feet, and more than 1,500 trees were planted in the area around the square. Inside, the organ is made up of more than 7,000 pipes.

Devotion to Padre Pio is widespread throughout Italy. The three Italians who were recently kidnapped and freed in Iraq traveled to San Giovanni Rotondo to express their gratitude to Padre Pio for their release.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 4:1-20


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 4:1-20