Vatican City, Mar 14, 2018 / 18:00 pm
On Saturday, Pope Francis will make a short trip to the Italian towns of Pietrelcina and San Giovanni Rotondo, the places where St. Padre Pio was born and lived his life, and where his work continues today in the form of the hospital he founded.
Pope Francis' brief March 17 visit marks the year of the 50th anniversary of St. Padre Pio's death, and the 100th year of the appearance of the saint's visible stigmata.
Two highlights of the Pope's visit will be his stops to pray at the tomb of Padre Pio and to see the young patients of the pediatric oncology ward of Padre Pio's hospital, the Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza in San Giovanni Rotondo.
Giulio Siena, who is the communications director of the hospital and a member of the planning committee for Francis' visit, told CNA that meeting with the children at the hospital was the Pope's main request.