History

History of the Shrine in Landisville, NJ

history1  The Padre Pio shrine was the inspiration of Marie D’Andrea, who with her husband Pete, visited Italy in 1997 to check out the chestnut growing areas for their produce business. According to Marie, she went on a side trip to Padre Pio’s area and came home inspired. She and two friends recited the Rosary in a field at the corner of US Route 40 and Central Ave., Landisville, New Jersey, on a small corner of the farm owned by her husband Pete.

Landisville, NJ is a small farming town located in the heart of New Jersey’s farmland. The town of Landisville consisted of predominantly Italian decedents who were mainly engaged in farming. It seems only fitting, that Italy’s beloved modern day Saint, who was born and raised on a farm in a small town of Pietrelcina, Italy, would have a Shrine dedicated to him in a similar small farming town. The D’Andrea family have been in the farming and in the produce business for more than three generations. Coincidence or not, one of Padre Pio’s favorite foods was squash and the location of the Shrine is on a former squash field, plus Padre Pio’s grandmother’s maiden name was D’Andrea.

Marie and her friends prayed the Rosary in the field with a small statue of Padre Pio placed on a piece of plywood. The group grew rapidly and the D’Andrea’s decided to build a monument to Padre Pio. The D’Andrea’s idea of a monument was a big marble block with a statue of Padre Pio.

history2They went to see a prominent local architect, Ron Angelo, about the design. Ron made some notes on a sheet of paper and while talking to Marie & Pete he fiddled around with the paper and it became in shape of a triangle, and this is where Ron got the idea to design the monument in the shape of a large triangle.

With the Grace of God and the generosity of contractors, large and small, who donated their material and time, plus individual donations and individuals who volunteered their services, there is now a four story monument constructed of a steel frame covered with stucco, inside the huge arc is a life size bronze statue of St. Padre Pio which was imported from Italy. The statue of St. Padre Pio is flanked on his right by a life size white stone statue of The Blessed Mother placed on a three foot pedestal. On the left is a similar sized white stone statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

The high monument casts shade to the dozens of park benches, which are placed on skillfully laid interlocking decorative bricks and surrounded by delicate landscaping. This beautiful monument appears to be the tallest of all current St. Padre Pio monuments as of today, and has been built entirely by donations.

history3This rapidly growing Shrine attracts numerous visitors from all cities and towns on the east coast and in the seasons of good weather, the Wednesday night Rosary attracts overflowing crowds of 300 plus worshipers.

Padre Pio’s work on earth included an astonishing amount of miracles and his promise that he will be able to work harder while in Heaven than on earth. This is evident by the many physical and spiritual healing that have occurred to people who have visited the Shrine and prayed on St. Padre Pio relics (His Glove, Blood and Oils). They are available at certain times. See the page “Hours & Events” of times and schedules.

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