Vatican City, Jan 6, 2016 / 00:03 am
The body of Padre Pio will be on display for veneration at next month's Ash Wednesday Mass in the Vatican, where a group of priests will be sent out as "Missionaries of Mercy" for the Jubilee Year.
Pope Francis "has expressed his keen desire" for the relics of the Capuchin saint to be exposed during the Feb. 10 Mass in St. Peter's Basilica, said Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization.
In a letter Archbishop Michele Castoro of Manfredonia-Vieste-San Giovanni Rotondo, Archbishop Fisichella explained that this year's Ash Wednesday is the day on which the Pope "will send the Missionaries of Mercy throughout the world, conferring on them the special mandate of preaching and hearing confessions, as a living sign of how the Father welcomes all those who seek his forgiveness."
"The presence of St. Pio's remains," he said, "will be a precious sign for all missionaries and priests, who will find strength for their own mission in the wondrous example of this untiring, welcoming and patient confessor, an authentic witness of the Father's mercy."