Plan to exhume Italian saint draws protest

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A plan to exhume the remains of Italy's favorite saint to commemorate the 40th anniversary of his death has sparked a protest by followers who threaten to go to court to make sure he rests in peace.

The exhumation would give millions of Italians another chance to pay tribute to Padre Pio, a 20th century mystic monk said to have suffered from stigmata -- bleeding wounds in the hands and feet similar to those of Christ.

Archbishop Domenico D'Ambrosio announced at the weekend his intention to lift the saint from his crypt in southern Italy and put it on full view for several months starting in April.

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