Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Reasons why it's great being a Catholic saint...

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# 3643 in an occasional series: They dig up your body and put it on public display.

That's right – the body of the mystic monk Padre Pio, who died in 1968, has been exhumed so it can be displayed to his devotees for a few months in the southern Italian town of San Giovanni Rotondo.

Plain old Pio became Saint Pio of Pietrelcina after Pope John Paul II had him canonised in 2002. He attracts more prayers than any other saint.

According to Reuters it is said that Pio had the stigmata, "wrestled with the devil in his monastery cell ... predicted future events, [was] seen in two places at once, and [was] able to tell people their sins before they confessed them to him."

Quite a feat, I'm sure you'll admit. And he's doing pretty well in death too, apparently. A statement from the Catholic Church said his corpse is in "fair condition", especially his hands which "looked like they had just undergone a manicure".