Pope Benedict XVI yesterday traveled to San Giovanni Rotondo to pray at the tomb of St. Pio of Pietrelcina.

He was joined in the pilgrimage to Padre Pio’s home by a crowd of “hundreds of thousands,” according to this post by the Catholic news service AsiaNews.

Said the Pope in his remarks at the Church of San Pio de Pietrelcina in San Giovanni Rotondo, “Here in San Giovanni Rotondo, everything speaks of the sanctity of a humble friar and a zealous priest, who this evening also invites us to open our hearts to the mercy of God; he exhorts us to be holy, that is, sincere and true friends of Jesus.”