St. Paul the Apostle Church
Hancock, New York
Brings the Relic-Glove of  Saint Padre Pio to Hancock

       The glove which protected the hand of the holy man who bore the stigma of Christ for 50 years will be coming to St. Paul's, Friday, March 24.  The man, Saint Padre Pio of San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy, died in 1968 and was canonized in 2002.
        A Mass dedicated to Padre Pio will be led by Father Stephen Morris, Dean of Students and Spiritual Advisor to The Family School, at 6:30 pm. A meditation before the relic-glove will follow. People who wish to will be blessed with oil from the tomb of Padre Pio at the conclusion of the night. All who wish to come to the Mass and meditate are invited.
        The reason the relic-glove is so highly venerated is that Padre Pio is one of the few to have suffered and endured the stigmata. The stigmata usually consist of the nail holes through both hands/wrists, both feet, and a lance-like cut under the heart.
         Other stigmata include the cuts around the head caused by the crown of thorns, a cut in the shape of the cross over the heart, and the scourging or whip marks across the back that Jesus endured at the pillar before he was crucified. Padre Pio had the stigmata of the hands, feet, and side and the lashings. He wore the brown woolen glove to cover the wound on his hand. The glove absorbed the blood that seeped from the wound.
         Padre Pio entered San Giovanni Rotondo as a Franciscan at the age of 15. While in the monastery, he ate little and prayed at all possible times. He experienced visions of Jesus and Mary while he was praying. While he was still in San Giovanni, Padre Pio began to feel pain in both his feet, hands, and his side. He went to doctors, who told him that there were no signs of any injury or illness. Then, red blotches appeared on his hands and feet. That was when he knew he had the stigmata. He asked the Lord to take the wounds away. However, Padre Pio went into a trance-like state and saw a vision of a man who was dripping blood from his hands, feet, and side. After he came out of the trance he had the wounds and the stigmata of the scourging.
         Father Stephen was able to obtain the glove for one evening after visiting the National Shrine of Padre Pio in Barto, Pennsylvania. The shrine has other relics of Padre Pio, including a towel used by him, a shirt he wore, the brown woolen groves, and even the confessional in which the saint heard countless people ask for forgiveness. Father Stephen went to the Shrine where he prayed the rosary and was asked to hold the glove while others venerated it. Father Stephen wondered if he could bring the relic-glove to Hancock. He talked with Julia Calandra, director of the shrine. Her sister was cured by Padre Pio when she was little.) Father Stephen asked her how he could get the relic-glove for veneration in Hancock. She responded, "Talk with me." And the two of them made the arrangements.
        When asked how it felt, Father Stephen responded that he was "excited that we have the honor of hosting the relic here. Saints are heroes in the life of holiness. We have things they used and touched to inspire us."