Catholic mystic’s body

Padre Pio’s body will be displayed in Italy.

Among the stories that surround the monk, who was born Francesco Forgione and died at the age of 81, is one that he wrestled with the devil one night in his monastery cell.

Some believers also say Padre Pio was able to predict future events, was seen in two places at once and could tell people their sins before they confessed them to him.

Pope John Paul II made him a saint in 2002 at a ceremony attended by one of the biggest crowds ever in the Vatican after the Church said it had found evidence that the miraculous cure of a sick woman was the result of intercession by the dead monk.

However, he was dogged during his life and after his death by accusations that he was a fraud.

A new book last year suggested he was a self-harming man who might have used carbolic acid to cause wounds in his hands mimicking those of Jesus when he was nailed to the cross.

Church officials have denied that he was a fake. (Faithful await display of Catholic mystic’s body)

It’s odd how people so want to see the earthly remains of those regarded as saints, from Lenin to Pio.

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