No Rest for the ... Faithful? Italy's Padre Pio On Display
700K already signed up to view exhumed Italian saint
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 24, 2008 7:35 PM CDT
A silicon hand-painted bearded mask of the face of Padre Pio, an Italian saint, is seen on his body laying in repose inside a crystal casket.   (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
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(Newser) – Beloved saint Padre Pio, exhumed in March after 40 years, is now on display in southern Italy, where 700,000 faithful have signed up to view his remains, BBC reports. The archbishop who ran the exhumation marveled at the body: “The knees, hands, mittens, and nails are clearly visible.”

What appears to be missing, though, are his reported stigmata—wounds on the hands and feet in the pattern of those inflicted upon Jesus Christ. The Capuchin friar, canonized in 2002, is credited with scores of miraculous cures. Some still question his credibility, and even the Church once banned him from saying Mass; now, at least, they’ve made him a lifelike, hand-painted silicon mask.