29. St. Pio church. Exhumation and transfer of St. Pio
Summary: San Pio church 2004, Exhumation 2008, Exposition 2009, Pope Benedict 2009,
silver casket 2009, transfer to crypt 2010
The original Church and convent of St. Mary of the Graces; the only building in the area when Padre Pio moved to San Giovanni Rotondo.
Today the little convent is surrounded by many buildings
In the lower left quadrant is the San Pio church, in the center are the churches and convent, in the upper right quadrant is the hospital "Casa Sollievo"
"Casa sollievo" seen from above. The entrance is at the bottom of the picture
The churches, convent, and the Hospital. On top center is the Monumental Via Crucis.
The San Pio church
Detail of the roof of San Pio church.
The church of Saint Padre Pio
The construction of the church of Saint Pio, commissioned to architect Enzo Piano,
started in 1994 and was dedicated on July 1, 2004.
The 120' feet tapering cross and the horizontal bell tower dominate the immense outside space
gently sloping towards the grandiose window.
A colonnade flanked by multiple halls for pilgrims, serves as support of the construction above it.
The inside is dominated by 21 arches of different size, stemming from a central pillar containing,
at its base in the crypt, the casket od Padre Pio.
The stained glass window and the skylights create a special combination of light and shade.
The materials used are mostly local, including the Apricena stone.
Every detail in the church is magnificent work of art, from the pulpit to the organ to the altar,
and many renowned artists have contributed such as Renzo Piano, Domenico Palladino, Giuliano Vangi,
Arnoldo Pomodoro and many others.
The organ Pinchi opus 415 has 5814 pipes.
The pulpit by Giuliano Vangi, the altar by Arnoldo Pomodoro, the bells by Marinelli foundry.
The outdoor area
The Cross and the horizontal bell tower
Exhumations February 28, 2008
On February 28, 2008 the monolithic block of green marble was removed:
On March 2, 2008 archbishop Mons. D'Ambrosio controlled the integrity of the seals
put on September 26, 1968, and broke and removed them.
Than the triple casket (metal, wood and zinc) was opened. Saint Pio was exhumed 40 years after his death.
The casket has been preserved
The body was placed in a glass urn, and on April 24, 2008 was put on display
at the Shrine of Holy Mary of Grace.
Millions of piligrims visited
Pope Benedict visited June 21, 2009
Lina De Martino and Matteo Pio Colella at the ceremony
On September 24, 2009 Padre Pio's body was put in a silver urn.
On April 19, 2010 the the was transferred
from the church of St. Mary of the Graces to the new church of Saint Pio
On April 19, 2010 Padre Pio's casket was transferred
to its final destination in the San Pio church.