"Pray, hope and don't worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayers." This is perhaps St. Pio's most well-known saying – encouraging us to trust in God at all times. Trust in God is what guided Padre Pio through his earthly journey bearing the painful stigmata one century ago.
From September 18 to 19, the relics of St. Pio will be coming to the Archdiocese of Toronto for the first time. Some of the relics on display at St. Philip Neri Parish in Toronto will include St. Pio's mantle – the brown cloak worn by Capuchin friars – as well as one of the gloves he wore to cover his wounds and a lock of his hair.
St. Pio's glove, pictured above, is one of the many relics coming to the Archdiocese of Toronto from September 18 to 19. The revered saint wore these protective gloves to conceal his stigmata wounds. (Photo courtesy of the Saint Pio Foundation)
Capuchin Franciscan Brother Joseph S. Lourdusamy, pastor of St. Philip Neri, calls St. Pio a great confessor – as he was well-known for hearing confessions for hours on end every day – and healer.
"More than ever, today's world is wounded, and needs people like Padre Pio who – through the stigmata – experienced not only the pain of the Saviour, but the pain of the world, too."
Fifty years after his death, the message of St. Pio's "Pray, hope and don't worry" mantra is still relevant, he adds.
"It is a challenge to live out this message. To become aware of one's woundedness is the first step towards healing. Everyone is called to be a wounded healer."
A relatively new saint, St. Pio was canonized by St. John Paul II in 2002, and there are still many people alive today who have met him personally.
"Most of us who have not seen, can recall and relive the holy life lived by Padre Pio when we visit and venerate these relics. A visit to the relics can confirm and invigorate faith in God and in the saints."
Public veneration of the relics will take place at St. Philip Neri Parish (2100 Jane St., near Wilson) on Tuesday, September 18 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., followed by a Mass at 7:30 p.m. celebrated by Bishop John A. Boissonneau, and will continue on Wednesday, September 19 from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.