A worshipper venerates the relics of St. Padre Pio at St. Francis Borgia Church in Chicago last year. St. Pio's relics are in Seattle May 5 on the 50th anniversary of his death. (CNS photo/Karen Callaway, Chicago Catholic)
A worshipper venerates the relics of St. Padre Pio at St. Francis Borgia Church in Chicago last year. St. Pio's relics are in Seattle May 5 on the 50th anniversary of his death. (CNS photo/Karen Callaway, Chicago Catholic)

SEATTLE — Several relics of St. Pio of Pietrelcina will come to the Archdiocese of Seattle for public veneration on Saturday, May 5, at St. James Cathedral in Seattle. Archbishop J. Peter Sartain will celebrate Mass in honor of the saint at 9 a.m. with veneration of his relics from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The relics were in Portland last summer.

The relics will visit Seattle as part of a national tour on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of St. Pio’s death, Sept. 23, 1968. Affectionately known by people throughout the world as Padre Pio, the saint was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2002.

During his lifetime, Padre Pio was known as a mystic with miraculous powers of healing and knowledge, who bore the stigmata, wounds that correspond to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus.

One aspect of Padre Pio’s healing work was to spend hours at the service of people who made pilgrimages from all over the world to have the Capuchin friar hear their confessions. He also was instrumental in the planning and construction of Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza (the Home for the Relief of Suffering), one of the largest and most modern hospitals in Italy built a short distance from the friary where he lived all his life.

St. Pio was born on May 25, 1887 in Pietrelcina, Italy, and baptized Francesco Forgione. The future saint first expressed a desire for priesthood at age 10. He took the name Pio, Italian for Pius after his namesake Pope Pius XII, when he entered the Capuchin seminary.