Pietrelcina, The Church of Saint Ann
Pietrelcina, The Church of Saint Anna
The church has two naves and behind the main altar one can admire a canvas painting of the 1600’s representing the Madonna of Loreto; in the smaller nave there are small niches with statues of the 1600’s representing the Assumption, the Crowning of the Virgin and Saint Rose. Always in the smaller nave there is an altar dedicated to Saint Ann and there is kept the relic of Saint Pio martyr, taken from the catacombs of Priscilla and donated to Pietrelcina by the feudatory Carafa in 1801. At Pietrelcina there is strong devotion to this saint and just because of this, the name of this saint was chosen by Francesco Forgione for his religious life.
To the left of the church when entering there is a fresco representing the Baptism of Christ, there also is the baptismal fountain made of stone with a wood ciborium. This is where on the 26th of May 1887, Francesco was baptized by Don (Father) Nicolantonio Orlando. Here Padre Pio made his First Communion and on the 27th of September 1899, when he was twelve years old, he was confirmed by the secretary to the archbishop of Benevento Monsignor Donato Maria Dell’Olio.
This small church was testimony to his mystical experiences: the apparitions of Mary and his Guardian Angel, his intimate moments with Jesus in the Holy Sacrament, to whom he opened his heart with the most tender confidences and expressions of love. In his epistolary letters, we can read how much love he had in his soul for Jesus: “The beating of my heart is so strong when I find myself in front of the Holy Tabernacle that I feel some times that my heart is going to jump out of my breast. At the altar I sometimes feel such a lightening in all of my body that I cannot describe it, and my face, especially, feels to go on fire”.
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We have all been called to be witnesses of the ” Life of Christ”, confort the sick people, support who falters thrusting and console who is loosing hope by following the teachings of Jesus and Saint Pio from Pietrelcina.