LOWELL, MA -- The heart of St. Padre Pio will be on display in Massachusetts this week, marking the first time the religious relic has ever left its home in Italy.
The Sun reports that the heart will be first made available for viewing Wednesday at the Immaculate Conception Church in Lowell.
The Rev. Paul Soper says honoring the relics of saints is ancient practice in the Roman Catholic faith.
St. Padre Pio was a Capuchin friar best known for possessing the Stigmata, or wounds of Jesus Christ.
He died in Foggia, Italy, in 1968 and was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2002. The body of St. Padre Pio is believed to be partially incorrupt.
The heart can also be seen at locations in Boston and Braintree this week.
Saint's heart on display in US, 1st time outside Italy