No sign of stigmata as monk's body is exhumed after 40 years





The tomb was opened just after midnight, in the bitter cold. The Vatican did not want too many people around as it exhumed Padre Pio, a man whose millions of followers say he could foresee the future and be in two places at once. "As soon as we got inside we could clearly make out the beard," said Domenico D'Ambrosio, the archbishop who led the ceremony early on Monday morning. "The top part of the skull is partly skeletal, but the chin is perfect and the rest of the body is well preserved."

The feet were bare, as is the tradition for Capuchin monks. There was, however, a problem – a big one – for the clerics and medical experts peering at the body: no stigmata.

Neither his feet nor his hands showed any sign of the wounds expected of a man who the church says bled as Christ did on the cross – spontaneously and without cause, on and off for more than 50 years. Was this, as sceptics immediately claimed, proof that Padre Pio was a fake?


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