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Thousands expected to visit Elma, as Saint Padre Pio relics come to town

Thousands are expected to flock to Elma Saturday, April 21, as relics of Saint Padre Pio come to town. The relics will be on display to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his death. 

There are six relics coming to Elma: a glove, a handkerchief used to mop his sweat as Padre Pio died, a lock of his hair, his cloak, Saint Pio's crusts of the wounds, and cotton gauze with his blood stains. 

Mike Pratt was asked to coordinate the event, and tells News 4, he has a special connection to the saint. He said about 20 years ago, his wife was pregnant and received some terrible news: the baby had multiple cysts in the brain. He said that's when he started to pray. And then, one night he was awoken by the scent of Padre Pio. 

"Many of the ways that Padre Pio manifests himself is through the gift of fragrances. His stigmatas had a very distinct gift of flowers, or perfume, and I was awoken from a deep sleep in the middle of the night," he said. "It was very distinct (and) real, and was just awoken by it, and at the next appointment, the baby was fine."

Pratt said his baby was born healthy, and is now 19 years old and attending Canisius College. 

If you would like to see the relics, you can do so Saturday April 21 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Bishop Malone will be there to celebrate mass at 8 a.m. that day. Pratt said he expects between 6,000 and 10,000 people to come and see the relics. 

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