Image from Vatican Jubilee website
Father John De La Riva of the National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi
, was commissioned by the Pope as a Missionary of Mercy and brought back first degree relics from Rome of St. Padre Pio and St. Leopold Mandic, patrons of the Year of Mercy. The relics will be available for veneration for a month at a time at the following locations through the close of the Year of Mercy at the end of November 2016.
Padre Pio was a Capuchin Monk born in 1887 in Pietrelcina, Italy. Like St. Leopold, Padre Pio suffered physical maladies and was sickly throughout his life. In 1918 he had a vision of Jesus while offering the Mass and when it ended had the stigmata in his hands, feet, and side. Padre Pio became renowned during his lifetime for his abilities and people came from all over the world to have him hear their confessions. At his urging, the House for the Relief of Suffering, a 350 bed hospital was built. The relics of Padre Pio are on loan from the Shrine Monastery of St. Pio of Pietrelcina in San Giovanni Rotundo, Italy where they are available for veneration by the public.
St. Leopold Mandic was born in Croatia in 1866 but spent most of his life in Padua, Italy. He was plagued with disabilities and malformities in speech and stature that lead to the development of his immense spiritual strength. He became known as an Apostle of Unity and of Confession. He was a Capuchin like Padre Pio and also shared his devotion to Mary, whom St. Leopold called his “Holy boss.” He died in 1942 and is known, along with Padre Pio, as a saint of Mercy. The relics of St. Leopold are on loan from Church of the Configuration Shrine of St. Leopold Mandic in Padua, Italy where they are available for veneration by the public.
If you visit the National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi, make sure you take the time to explore the Shrine. Saint Francis Parish, which later became the National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi, was formally established in 1850 predating the the establishment of the city of San Francisco and the statehood of California. The current building was rebuilt and rededicated in 1919 after extensive damage to the previous church as a result of an earthquake and fire in 1906. There are extensive murals hand painted by Italian artists and stained glass windows throughout the Shrine. One of the highlights of the Shrines is La Porziuncola Nuova, a scaled replica of St. Francis’s Porziuncola in Assisi, Italy, the Benedictine Chapel he restored when God told him, “rebuild my church.” The National Shrine and Porziuncola was made a Holy Site by Pope Benedict XVI in 2008. Pilgrims can obtain a plenary indulgence
under the normal conditions for visits to the National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi on October 4 (the solemnity of St. Francis of Assisi, principal co-patron of the Archdiocese of San Francisco) and visits to the Shrine of the Porziuncola, Our Lady of the Angels on August 2nd each year (within the Porziuncola itself), and once a year on a day chosen by the Christian faithful and as often as they assist in a group pilgrimage visiting The National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi or the Shrine of Porziuncola.
To find other relics that are on tour and available for veneration visit the Relics & Events
Padre Pio and St. Leopold Mandic, pray for us!