Big crowd expected for Pio glove blessings

St Padre Pio has a prayer group in his honour in Killarney

A DISTINCTIVE glove worn by Padre Pio will be available for public blessings at a ceremony in Killarney next Monday night, February 17.

The glove will be on display in the Church of the Resurrection from 7.30pm, courtesy of the Killarney St Pio Prayer which meets in the Church on the third Monday of every month, and everybody is welcome to attend the blessing.

Killarney man Michael Clifford, who is organising the visit, said there has always been great devotion in Kerry to St Pio of Pietrelcina, which is a village in southern Italy.

Sheila Clifford from Killarney who organised the first pilgrimage to San Giovanni 45 years ago

Michael’s late mother, Sheila Clifford, from Emmet’s Terrace in Killarney, had a lifelong devotion to Padre Pio and initiated the first pilgrimage and many more from Kerry to San Giovani 45 years ago.

Since his mother passed away in 2012, Michael, a retired teacher, has carried on that tradition and, since 1993, he had been on pilgrimage every year to San Giovanni and other parts of Italy.

Padre Pio was revered during his lifetime (1887-1968) and his popularity continued to grow since his death.

Beatified in 1999 and declared a saint by Pope John Paul II in 2002, St Pio is the only stigmatised priest in the history of the Church and he bore the bodily signs of Christ’s passion which for the last 40 years of his life. Padre Pio died in 1968, at the age of 81.

Just last month over 1,000 people attended Mass in the Church of Saints Stephen and John in Castieisland to be blessed with one of the gloves worn by Saint Padre Pio.

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