This life-sized statue of Padre Pio of Pietrelcina is located near the castle in Conversano. Padre Pio was a Capuchin friar, a mystic and is well on his way to becoming a saint (which is a process involving many stages over a relatively long period of time). He bore the stigmata, which are Christ's five wounds from the crucifixion. He is beloved in the region of Apulia, particularly, because he created a large hospital and a sanctuary at San Giovanni Rotondo.
If you look closely at the photo you will see that he is covered with rosaries. These are offerings that the faithful leave when they take a vow, which is a sort of deal that you make with the saint (almost-saint, in this case). You make an offering and ask for the saint's intervention: in the area of health, love, fertility, quitting smoking...whatever your problem may be.
For more information on this interesting friar click here.
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