Move over, Lourdes. Padre Pio’s shrine in southern Italy is now the world’s second-largest religious tourist destination, reports the ANSA news agency. About 9 million tourists will visit the saint’s body, a million more than the French site and second only to the Vatican.
Followers believe Pio, made a saint in 2002, bore the wounds of Christ on his hands for at least a half-century. His glass-sided coffin will be on display until September 2009, netting the Padre Pio shrine about $160 million a year.