Researcher makes spectacular claim that St. Padre Pio was in possession of the Holy Grail!

Did Padre Pio have the Holy Grail in his Possession?

Mysterious Greek cup was bequeathed by Padre Pio shortly before his death to another friar

A previously unpublished letter written by Padre Pio states that the cup was passed down from St. Peter.

The following is a summary report of a news article that had appeared on the web site of a highly respected Italian newspaper.   See for disclaimer.

Important Update!  The actual cup that belonged to Padre Pio will be on tour of the USA in 2014, along with a collection of 1000 other Padre Pio relics and memorabilia.  Web site for the tour is here.

The southern Italian newspaper "La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno" carried an amazing story on their web edition on November 26, 2003,  stating that Padre Pio may have had in his possession the Holy Grail.  The Grail is the cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper to consecrate wine into his blood, and also, according to legend, was used at the Crucifixion to collect some of the Lord's shed blood.  The unsigned article was headlined:

"Padre Pio possessed the Grail"...the Friars are skeptical.

According to the article, this incredible claim is being made by Alberto Festa, the great-nephew of Dr. Giorgio Festa, who was sent by the Vatican to examine the stigmata of Padre Pio in 1919.  Alberto Festa bases his assertion on an unpublished letter written by Padre Pio shortly before his death. In the letter Padre Pio makes his intentions known about who should receive certain items in his possession upon his passing.  One of the items is a small Greek vase (vasetto) or cup.  The letter reads in part: "To Padre Cristoforo da Vico del Gargano, I entrust the remaining humble secrets given to me by the Christian faithful...I leave you the small Greek vase belonging to the Apostle Peter, kept a secret by me because it was a gift from God to my father and a witness of the great light, guard it for the poor faithful".  The "father" according to Father Florio Tessari, who was the Postulator for the canonization of Padre Pio,  refers to Pio's spiritual father, Saint Francis of Assisi. The letter also refers to two other objects, a bowl and an oil lamp, that Padre Pio bequeathed to other persons.  Currently these other two items are in the possession of their new owners, one living in America and the other in Japan.

Alberto Festa's conclusions about the Greek cup are based on the words in Padre Pio's letter.  He states that he knows of no other item that could be the "witness of the great light," and that also was handed down from Saint Peter, through St. Francis, to Padre Pio.  Festa has spent years researching the work of his uncle Dr. Giorgio Festa, who became a close friend and confidante of Padre Pio.

The letter itself has been authenticated as being in Padre Pio's handwriting by graphology expert Antonio Bravo. The Postulator Fr. Tessari says that the objects referred to in the letter have been authenticated, but their significance is not physical or material, but rather as spiritual symbols. The newspaper article does not specify what it is about these items that has been 'authenticated". However, Fr. Tessari does not believe that the cup or vase is the Grail.  He says the vase did originate from the time of Jesus and St. Peter might have come in contact with it. It was probably dug up in an excavation in the Holy Land, and given as a gift to Padre Pio by the Christian faithful. But it is essentially just a small vase, and must not become a fetish, according to Fr. Tessari. 

The article does not mention where the cup is currently located.

The link to the Italian web site is:
[Update Nov. 2004: the above link appears to have expired.]
[Update Apr. 2014, a copy of the original article is here:



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Packed with other interesting Padre Pio articles and stories, the above book is available in print or Kindle format.


Frank Rega is the author of:  Padre Pio and America,
St. Francis of Assisi and the Conversion of the Muslims,

The Greatest Catholic President: Garcia Moreno of Ecuador
  Life of the Mystic Luisa Piccarreta - Journeys in the Divine Will 
vols. 1 and 2
Life of the Mystic Luisa Piccarreta - volume 3 in preparation
 The Truth about Padre Pio's Stigmata and Other Wonders of the Saint
Vatican II, Evolution, and Medjugorje: Hubris, Heresy, and Mystery