(Vatican Radio) The Vatican announced on Monday that the remains of St. Pio of Pietrelcina, better known as Padre Pio, will be exposed for veneration in St. Peter's Basilica during the Jubilee of Mercy from 8-14 February 2016.
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Archbishop Rino Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, wrote in a letter to the Archdiocese of Manfredonia-Vieste-San Giovanni Rotondo it was Pope Francis who desired that Padre Pio's reliquary be present in the Vatican for Ash Wednesday of the Jubilee of Mercy.
"The Holy Father has expressed his strong desire that the remains of St. Pio of Pietrelcina be exposed in St. Peter's Basilica for Ash Wednesday of the upcoming Extraordinary Holy Year, the day in which he will send 'Missionaries of Mercy' throughout the world, giving them a special mandate to preach and confess so that they may be a living sign of how the Father welcomes all who seek his pardon," Archbishop Fisichella wrote.
Continuing, he writes, "The presence of St. Pio's remains will be a precious sign for all missionaries and priests, who will find strength and support for their own mission in his admirable example of a untiring confessor, welcoming and patient, an authentic witness of the Mercy of the Father."