Rome, Italy, Aug 9, 2010 / 07:49 am
A gold reliquary containing Padre Pio relics was the apparent object of thieves' interest on Sunday evening. Sacrilege has been ruled out by a Capuchin spokesperson, as the attempt was likely for the gold, not the relics themselves.
Embedded in the altar of a chapel in the San Giovanni Rotondo cemetery in Italy is a glass and gold reliquary that contains some hair, wrappings that would have covered the saint's pierced side, and a pair of gloves, reported Italy's La Repubblica newspaper.
St. Pio bore the wounds of Christ in the stigmata for 50 years, the same wounds that also afflicted the likes of St. Francis of Assisi and St. Catherine of Siena.
According to Italian news reports, the only thing stopping the thieves from making off with the relics was the strength of the reinforced glass in which they are encased.