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Thieves Attempt to Steal Relics of Padre Pio

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS Staff Journalist Authorities in the southern Italian town of Pietrelcina say thieves broke into the chapel at San Giovanni Rotondo this past weekend and attempted to steal a gold reliquary containing relics of the famed Capuchin mystic, St. Pio. The Italian newspaper, La Repubblica, is reporting that the would-be thieves gained entry into the chapel through an open window and damaged the display case in which the reliquary was housed. It contains some of St. Pio's hair, a pair of his gloves, and fabric used to tend the wounds of the stigmata which he bore for nearly 50 years. Apparently, the theft was foiled by the thickness of the glass of the display case, which was embedded in the altar of a chapel in San Giovanni Rotondo cemetery. Teleradio Padre Pio director Stefano Campanella told Italy's TGCOM that the thieves were probably not interested in the relics but were after the golden reliquary.  He ruled out sacrilege, saying that "if they had wished to act in this sense they would have been able to hit the tombs of St. Pio's parents, brother or spiritual director, that have a stronger symbolic value" and are found in the same cemetery. The Capuchin monks have taken the relics into their residence for safe-keeping. Meanwhile, local police spent Monday scouring the chapel for clues, but have declined to give any further details about the case. © All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly®/Women of Grace®  http://www.womenofgrace.com

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