St. Mary Parish, Barnegat, will host a presentation on St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina June 11 immediately following the 8 a.m. Mass in the church at 747 West Bay Ave., Barnegat.
Speaker Cindy Russo, leader of a Padre Pio prayer group in Cleveland, Ohio, will talk about her experience visiting the New Jersey St. Padre Pio shrine in Landisville, and her several subsequent return trips to the New Jersey shrine. As she did in a 2014 visit to St. Mary’s, Russo will bring with her a chalice of which she is custodian, and is believed to have belonged to St. Pio.
Also speaking will be Joe Trapani, volunteer at the Vineland shrine and author of the book “Touched by a Living Saint of Pietrelcina: Padre Pio.”
St. Padre Pio, born in Pietrelcina, Italy, fulfilled his priestly ministry in San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy. He bore two of the five wounds of Christ, the stigmata of the hands. Countless miraculous cures have been attributed to his intercesson. He died in 1968 and was canonized a saint in 2002 by St. John Paul II.
The chalice St. Pio used in his ministry traveled from Italy, where an American couple first purchased it at an auction and later – after the wife overcame cancer – passed it on to Russo. Following the talks, all those who wish to will have an opportunity to pray with the chalice.
Russo believes that the saint has interceded for her and those of her acquaintance for many years. She considers it her mission to share the relic with as many people as possible.
Msgr. Kenard Tuzeneu, pastor of St. Mary Parish, is pleased that Russo will return to his parish then remarked on the special devotion the prayer group have for St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina. Then to join in a Mass in which his chalice is being used “is a special blessing,” Msgr. Tuzeneu said.
For more information about the Landisville St. Pio Shrine or to order Trapani’s book, visit http://www.stpadrepioshrinenj.org/. The shrine address is U.S. Route 40 and N. Central Ave., Landisville, NJ. To learn more about Russo’s prayer group, visit http://www.padrepiocleveland.org/about-us.html