Hundreds gathered Wednesday night at the roadside shrine to St. Padre Pio, as they do every week.
A brother in a long beard and a brown robe spoke about faith over the roar of passing motorcycles. Attendees bowed their heads, some rubbing rosary beads. Others waited in line to touch the glove relic.
Marie D’Andrea, who founded the shrine, travels to local hospitals with the relic, which she claims brings miracles. She received the glove, which she said was worn by the Italian monk, from a priest during a trip to Italy.
“He said, ‘This glove is worth more than your life. You need to really take care of it.’ So I’m on top of it,” she said. “I’m never going to get another one like it. And we’ve had so many healings from it.”
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The woman keeps a log of all the “healings”. She hopes to raise a million dollars and build a church on the site. The relic was taken to a man in the hospital, he did better, and they attributed that to the Pio relic. Pathetically weak evidence. But it’s not about evidence, it’s about belief.
Padre Pio is WELL known. But were his miracles impressive? Well, let’s just say the claims were impressive. Here is a piece about his history.
Not only was Padre Pio accused of inducing his stigmata with acid, he was also alleged to have misused funds and to have had sex with female parishioners—in the confessional. The founder of the Catholic university hospital in Rome branded Pio “an ignorant and self-mutilating psychopath who exploited people’s credulity”
He was not universally beloved.