Hundreds of people attended mass in Co Kerry to be blessed with one of the fingerless gloves worn by Saint Padre Pio.  

The glove was worn by Padre Pio to cover stigmata which, devotees believe, corresponded with Christ's crucifixion wounds.

More than 1,000 people went to the Church of Saints Stephen and John in Castleisland to be blessed.

Padre Pio glove

Fr Bryan Shortall is based at the Capuchin Friary in Church Street in Dublin and is the National Director for the Padre Pio Apostolate.

He travels the country to blessing people with Saint Pio's glove. 

"We all have favourite sports stars," Fr Bryan explained.

"We all like the Roy Keane jersey, or the Christy Ring jersey or the Cristiano Ronaldo jersey or Larry Mullen’s drumsticks. So, in a religious sense, the Padre Pio mitten is one such way of people connecting to Christ, primarily through the intercession of a saint."

Padre Pio

Padre Pio was revered during his lifetime (1887-1968) and his popularity continued to grow since his death.

People arriving at the church said they came for a variety of reasons, including a devotion to Padre Pio, the possibility of an intercession, and hope.

Eileen Walsh from nearby Cordal said she came because of her great devotion to Padre Pio.

"Well, I’m hoping I’ll get a bit of peace, and good health and happiness," she said.

Read more: Padre Pio - the people's saint

Her friend, Mary B O'Sullivan from Farranfore, said she is part of the Padre Pio Prayer Group in Killarney and for her the attraction is Padre Pio’s life story.

"It will make my faith stronger," she said of tonight’s blessing.

Devotion to Padre Pio in Castleisland is being promoted by Fr Mossie Brick, who was recently appointed parish priest to the area.

"When I was a young boy at home, my mom and all the people at that time had a great devotion to Padre Pio. He suffered so much," Fr Brick said.

"I've been doing my best to transplant that love to different parishes."

Blessings with Padre Pio’s glove will also be available at the Capuchin Friary in Church Street in Dublin on 23 February.

Candles at Padre Pio mass