SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO – The relic, a glove that belonged to San Pio of Pietrelcina, was stolen five years ago, in 2018. And since that day nothing has been heard of that sacred object stolen from a case kept inside the institute of the nuns of Santa Chiara in San Giovanni Rotondo, a building that stands in the green promontory next to the real miracle performed by the saint of Gargano, the hospital for the relief of suffering, on the hill overlooking the ancient convent with the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie (but also the new church designed by Renzo Piano).
But now interest has returned to the discovery of that glove that belonged to the friar with the stigmata due to a reward set at five thousand euros and guaranteed by Joseph Saldutto, former president of the Pro Padre Pio association – the Man of Suffering of Turin, who asked to return Padre Pio’s glove to the nuns of Santa Chiara against the payment of 5 thousand euros in case the person who stole the relic reports himself to the judicial authority. A path that appears quite difficult.
It should be added that the sacrilegious theft – as also specified by the religious province of Sant’Angelo and San Pio di Foggia – was regularly reported to the Carabinieri but in all these years no new element has been collected by the investigators and communicated to the nuns of Santa Chiara. The monastery of San Giovanni Rotondo is a very popular place due to the miraculous water that flows from a room in the convent of the nuns who, about thirty years ago, and in any case before the sacrilegious theft, witnessed a supernatural fact: a glass broken under the eyes of a few people – including six nuns plus a layman – it was recomposed in a great flash. The case was investigated by Father Gerardo Saldutto, former treasurer of the religious province of Sant’Angelo and San Pio, who ordered the scientific analysis of the glass on behalf of Padre Pio’s Capuchins. Well, after the analysis the answer was very surprising: the glass was in fact recomposed with a material unknown to modern science.
After that episode considered miraculous, thousands of people visiting the tomb of Padre Pio go there to ask for the graces and intercessions of the holy friar. A similar case, namely the theft of relics belonging to Padre Pio, was also attempted in San Giovanni Rotondo 21 years ago when unknown persons entered the cemetery chapel where many Capuchin friars are buried. The objective of the thieves was to force open a case in which some relics that belonged to Padre Pio were kept. In a box contained in a transparent case – and arranged in 2001 when the chapel was consecrated – there were in fact kept a patch that the friar used to plug the wounds on his side and a lock of hair. However, the thieves failed to take away the materials from the case inside the cemetery.