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Heart of Padre Pio to be displayed in America

A man reaches for the box containing the mortal remains of Padre Pio (AP)

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 Lowell Sun reports that the heart will be first made available for viewing on Wednesday at the Immaculate Conception Church in Lowell.

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 canonised by St John Paul II in 2002.

The heart can also be seen at locations in Boston and Braintree this week.