In the season for lost gloves, one mitt found a lot of love.
The faithful got to touch one of the gloves Padre Pio used to cover his stigmata during a special mass at St. Finbar Roman Catholic Church in Bath Beach on Feb. 23.
Stigmata are marks resembling the wounds of Christ’s crucifixion said to appear on particularly holy people.
The holy relic got a warm welcome at the church, because the neighborhood’s Italian-American population is hand-in-glove with the revered Italian saint, a parishioner said.
“I’m an Italian-American of Sicilian descent, and basically, Padre Pio is the man — we’re fascinated with the fact that he suffered and that he did such good things while he was suffering,” said Anthony Tulone, who attended mass with his mother, Nina. “Padre Pio is a big figure in the household, and to touch his glove, c’mon. I thought it was incredible.”
Born Francesco Forgione in the Italian town of Pietrelcina in 1887, Pio joined the Capuchin friary a the age of 15. He received the stigmata while hearing confessions in 1918, and the five wounds — on his hands, feet, and side, corresponding to the wounds of Christ — persisted for fifty years until his death in 1968. Pope John Paul II canonized Pio on June 16, 2002.
Tulone said housing the glove at St. Finbar let him cross an item off his bucket list.
“That’s the closest you’re going to get to Padre Pio’s glove besides going to his actual hometown,” Tulone said. “It’s a must-see.”