Legendary Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli has spoken of his personal devotion to St Padre Pio, saying he always feels his protection.
The devout Catholic musician, who celebrated his 61st birthday on 22nd September in San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy, also revealed that he entrusted his father to the saintly Italian friar prior to his death.
“In 2000 I came here and entrusted my father to Padre Pio; he died the following day,” Bocelli told Italian news outlet Foggia Today.
“Since then a strong bond has remained, I have always felt the protection of St Pius.”
Bocelli’s comments came as he attended celebrations commemorating the death and feast day of St Padre Pio during a visit to the Shrine of St Padre Pio in San Giovanni Rotondo.
The world-renowned opera singer sang during Mass on the occasion of the celebrations and venerated St Padre Pio’s partially incorrupt body.
He later shared photos of his visit, credited to Lorenzo Montanelli, on his Instagram account.
In the caption to the photos he wrote: ‘There are special places, places that are doors thrown wide open to the wonder of the heavens. Sites that augment love and spirituality, which are shaped by the people who blessed them with their holiness.
‘San Giovanni Rotondo is one of these places – of prayer and care. Being able to experience the regenerating power of the Shrine yesterday alongside the Brothers of St Pius of Pietralcina and fellow worshipers, was the best possible way to spend my birthday. I could not have wished for a greater gift. If we truly think about it, that gift belongs to us all. We receive it every day: life. The miracle that conveys the grace of our Creator.’
Picture: Andrea Bocelli’s Instagram account.