SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO, Italy – Thieves attempted, but failed, to steal a few relics of St. Padre Pio from the Capuchin cemetery in San Giovanni Rotondo, the town where the friar lived and ministered.
Italian police said thieves entered the cemetery chapel the night of Aug. 8 by breaking a window. St. Pio is not buried with his Capuchin confreres in the cemetery but rests in a shrine dedicated to him nearby.
Police said the would-be thieves used a sharp object to try to break the glass case of a reliquary containing some of St. Pio’s hair, a gauze bandage that had been wrapped around his ribs and a pair of his gloves.
The bandage and gloves are stained with blood from the stigmata that marked the saint’s body. For more than a half century, Padre Pio bore bloody wounds on his hands, feet and side, like those that marked Christ’s crucified body.
The glass on the reliquary was scratched but not broken, police said.