Rome Newsroom, Jun 16, 2022 / 09:36 am
On this day 20 years ago, more than 300,000 people crowded into St. Peter’s Square as Pope John Paul II canonized St. Pio of Pietrelcina, calling his life a witness to the “glory of the cross.”
John Paul II said that the life and mission of the Capuchin friar — more commonly known simply as Padre Pio — “proves that difficulties and sorrows, if accepted out of love, can be transformed into a privileged way of holiness, which opens onto the horizons of a greater good, known only to the Lord.”
“Is it not, precisely, the ‘glory of the cross’ that shines above all in Padre Pio? How timely is the spirituality of the cross lived by the humble Capuchin of Pietrelcina. Our time needs to rediscover the value of the cross in order to open the heart to hope,” the Polish pope said.
On June 16 this year, Catholics marked the 20th anniversary of the canonization in the small southern Italian town of San Giovanni Rotondo, where an average of 7 million people come on pilgrimage to pray at Padre Pio’s tomb each year.