Religion: Bleeding-Hands Man Gets Star Treatment

Bleeding-Hands Man Gets Star Treatment

On the road to sainthood, it pays to have connections. A mystic with blood on his hands was scheduled to move a step closer to becoming a saint this week with Pope John Paul II's beatification of the Capuchin friar known as PADRE PIO. The cleric, who died in 1968, is a favorite of the Pontiff's and a cultlike figure to many other Catholics. Last year 7 million pilgrims--more than went to Lourdes--trekked to the remote hillside village of Italy's San Giovanni Rotondo, where he's buried; the village bustles with the construction of hotels and a church that will seat 7,500.

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