St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral in lower Manhattan will host a week of events with the Saint Pio Foundation to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the entrance of St. Pio of Pietrelcina, O.F.M. Cap., into eternal life.
St. Pio, who was more commonly known as Padre Pio, was canonized by St. Pope John Paul II in 2002. The Capuchin Franciscan priest was known as a confessor and a mystic. He died in his native Italy on Sept. 23, 1968, at age 81.
Msgr. Donald Sakano, pastor of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral, said the Saint Pio Foundation reached out to the parish, and planning for the week began several months ago. “We’re very excited,” said Msgr. Sakano of hosting the event.
The week begins on Sunday, Sept. 16, at 1:45 p.m. on Mulberry Street with the blessing of the “St. Padre Pio – I Absolve You” statue sculpted by Canadian artist Timothy Schmalz. Msgr. Sakano, who will conduct the blessing, said the statue will remain with the parish for five years.
“It’s a very moving and interactive statue,” Msgr. Sakano said. “It invites you to sit next to him.”
A photo exhibit, video documentaries on his life and much more will be open to visitors from Monday, Sept. 17, to Friday, Sept. 21, from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. each day.
On Saturday, Sept. 22, St. Pio’s relics on tour in the United States will be available for veneration from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Following veneration, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, apostolic nuncio of the Holy See to the United Nations, will celebrate Mass in honor of St. Pio at 7 p.m. Individuals can attend the Mass inside the church or watch it on video screens on Mulberry Street.
After Mass, a moment of prayer will take place at 8:30 p.m. to mark the anniversary of St. Pio entering eternal life.
A reception honoring St. Pio will follow at 8:45 p.m., with Archbishop Auza as special guest. Tickets to the reception are $100 per person. Reception information: (203) 416-1471 or firstname.lastname@example.org