The Church of Padre Pio in San Giovanni Rotondo – Where is Padre Pio Pilgrimage Church? San Giovanni Rotondo, in southern Italy, is where the Church of Padre Pio is found and where one can visit the Convent of Saint Pio
The Church and the Convent of St Padre Pio in San Giovanni Rotondo (Italy)
Santa Maria delle Grazie, in San Giovanni Rotondo (Italy), consists of the ancient monastery, the ancient church from the 16th century, and the church which was built during Padre Pio’s life. These are the places where Padre Pio carried out his priesthood ministry, hearing confession, praying incessantly, suffering for the good of all, and earning early on the title of Saint, many years before the Church recognized him as such.
The Convent and the Church of San Giovanni Rotondo – The ancient church was built around 1550 and was dedicated to “Holy Mary of Grace.” It has a simple facade with a small rose window and a central bell tower. On the door at the main entrance, in the half-moon archway over the door, is a representation of the Madonna with the Christ Child, Saint Francis, and Saint Michael the Archangel. There is an altar inside the ancient church, dedicated to Saint Francis, that Padre Pio used to celebrate Mass. There is also the confessional that he used to perform his ministry of reconciliation, and the image of the Madonna of Grace to which Padre Pio was particularly devoted. On the upper floor is the cross that Padre Pio was in front of when he received the stigmata. The ancient church is connected to the convent in which Padre Pio lived from July 28th, 1916 until his death. Today, in addition to the ancient church, one can also visit the Convent of Padre Pio. There is the little room where Padre Pio lived, his bed, a desk, and the other simple objects he owned.
The church that Padre Pio desired – The church, “Santa Maria delle Grazie,” was built exactly as Padre Pio desired. It was designed to receive the growing number of pilgrims that came to San Giovanni Rotondo to hear Mass and go to confession. The large church is located next to the ancient church and the convent. Construction began on July 2nd, 1956, and it was opened for services on July 1st, 1959. Padre Pio’s grand church was laid out with three naves. In the central nave, one can admire a large mosaic representing the Madonna of Grace among the glory of angels. In the side naves one finds a wooden statue of the Madonna of Grace and two mosaics representing Saint John Paul II and the Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, with their respective relics.