|Posted by Ram Paul C. Malicad on May 21, 2013 at 10:50 PM|
AT least 10,000 people attended the blessing of the altar and the adoration chapel of the Shrine of St. Padre Pio in Barangay San Pedro in Sto. Tomas, Batangas, on Sept. 23, feast of the Franciscan stigmatist, said Fr. Jojo Gonda.
Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles blessed the shrine and officiated the Mass celebrated by seven other priests.
The shrine has grown from a small chapel to a shrine with the altar bearing a huge crucifix and below it a painting of San Padre Pio by Jun Torres.
Every 23rd of the month, a Healing Mass is celebrated by Father Gonda at 9 a.m.
Fr. Jojo reported: “The day began early at the Shrine. First Mass at 5 a.m. was said by Fr. Ericson Tio. It started with few people, but the Mass ended with over 5,000 people present.
“At the 7 a.m. Mass said by Fr. Russel Matuloy, all seats were taken. (We had prepared 6,500 chairs.) By the time the 8 a. m. Mass, led by Fr. Bert San Diego, OFM Cap., started, people were complaining about the traffic congestion and parking problems.
By the time Archbishop Arguelles celebrated the Mass, the congregation had grown to over 10,000, and traffic outside was at a standstill. “People were walking as far as 2 km from where they parked to go to the Shrine,” said Fr. Jojo.
Fr. Jayson Siapco said the Masses resumed at 3 p.m., in which 5, 000 people attended. “After the Mass, we had our procession in honor of Padre Pio,” said Fr. Siapco. “At 5 p. m, Msgr. Boy Oriondo led the celebration of the Holy Eucharist with six priests joining him. The Mass was probably attended by 8,000 people with no empty chairs and many people standing.”
“After the Mass, we had the healing rite, kissing of relics and anointing of people with special oil by the priests and nuns present. In the anointing of oil (not Chrism oil, but olive oil blessed by St. Padre Pio relics and Holy Water) were used. It was an amazing day filled with God’s miracles through St. Padre Pio’s intercessions. ”