Thousands of Cincinnatians lined up to see the relics of Saint Padre Pio, an Italian priest known for his charity and love. Wednesday's one-day display at Saint Peter in Chains is part of a nationwide tour that continues October 5 in Texas.
The relics include Pio's glove, a lock of his hair, a handkerchief and blood stains. Mercedes Obando arrived at St. Peter in Chains Wednesday morning and stayed a few hours because she said Pio's presence was warm and real. Growing up in Columbia, she says she followed his miracles all over the world.
"I prayed to him and I thought and I was convinced that everything that I ask him to and he would intercede for me in front of the eternal Father," she says.
Deb Hartman has a special devotion to St. Pio. She came to pray for her family and the church itself, given recent claims of sexual abuse by priests. "Our situation with the church, I thought it was very important to come and ask for his intercession."
Joan Ferris has a special connection to St. Pio. A relative knew him personally and had one of his gloves, she says. After she was diagnosed with an aneurysm, Ferris believes she experienced a miracle
"My aunt came over with the glove, laid the glove on my head and said prayers," she recalls. Her husband and kids were there, and the next day she had an angiogram. "And I said (to the doctor) 'How's it looking?' And he said, 'I don't know what to tell you, but you don't have an aneurysm.' "
CEO of the St. Padre Pio Foundation Maestro Luciano Lamonarca has a miracle of his own. He says for years he and his wife tried to have a child but were unsuccessful. After praying to St. Pio, they conceived and now have a 3-year-old child.
Here are pictures of the relics.
Following the veneration, Archbishop Dennis Schnurr on Wednesday evening held a mass to honor St. Padre Pio at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral.