Padre Pio

I’ve been watching the response which has been stirred by the placing of the body of Padre Pio on display.  The protestant in me finds it all a bit difficult.  But it gets better if you step sideways and ponder the power of that kind of spirituality – the stigmata which are or are not and people’s appetite for the holy.  I suppose some of the power is in its directness and touchability – not bound up in inaccessible ideas and words.  I used to love poking around in the recesses of North Italian village churches.  They all had relics with ill-translated and ill-typed explanations of how the statue of the Virgin broke out in an aqueous sweat in 1453 – and here is the very identical handkerchief.

Ireland is probably second only to Italy for this kind of piety – if you are unaware of the Moving Statues of Ballinspittle, you should take a look.

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