Singapore Catholics welcome relics of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina
by Jeremy Lim
Relics arrived in the city-state yesterday and went on display overnight in Holy Spirit Catholic Church. Hundreds of people came to see them, bringing along loved ones who are ill.

Singapore (AsiaNews) – As soon as Padre Pio relics went on display last night, they drew hundreds of people to Singapore’s Holy Spirit Catholic Church. With ‘Towards holiness with St Pio’ as the guiding theme, they will remain in the church for the triduum planned to honour the saint between 21 and 23 September.

The relics brought to the city-state are a gold-plated cross containing the saint’s dried blood from the palm on which he received his stigmata. The second is a dark cloth framed up for protection—his bloodstained mitten.

Fr Ermelindo Di Capua, OFM Cap, an Italian priest from Our Lady of Grace friary in San Giovanni Rotondo, brought the precious items to Singapore.

Fr Di Capua was by St. Pio’s side for the last three years of his life, and is now travelling the world to promote the spirituality, life and teachings of the saint of Pietrelcina.

Padre Pio is very popular in the small Asian nation. Every month, the local Catholic community organises monthly prayer devotions at the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, the Church of the Holy Spirit and the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour.

News of the relics’ arrival brought out many of the faithful who came to the church to pay tribute to the saint and ask him to intercede on behalf of loved ones who are ill.

Therese Lee, from Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish Church, brought her husband Peter on a wheelchair.

“He was quite sick, and someone told him to pray to Padre Pio,” she said. “He recovered quite fast—it’s sort of a miracle. He had a brain stroke but now can walk for short distances.”

Margaret Lourdusany, 56, has been a devotee of Saint Pio for the past three years. “I’m drawn to him because of his humble and simple way of life,” she said. “Being blessed by the relic means that Padre Pio is touching us and praying for us to Jesus, so we can get closer to Him.”