Padre Pio is due to be canonised in early 2002, the Italian weekly Famiglia Cristiana has confirmed. The Scientific Committee of doctors and theologians, currently investigating claims of miraculous healings attributed to Padre Pio, are said to be reaching the end of their work. A number of miracles have already been accepted by the committee. They are currently looking into the case of a young boy, Matteo Colella, who defied medical opinion and made a remarkable recovery from meningitis. The boy was in a coma and had suffered complete organ collapse, but after his family prayed at the Capucine's tomb, he revived and doctors pronounced him totally fit and well. Matteo is said the be the first boy in the hospital intensive care unit to play with a Playstation. He told doctors and parents he had seen an old man with a white beard in a long and brown robes who told him he would soon feel better. Padre Pio, died on 23 September, 1968 aged 81. More than six million visitors flock to his shrine in San Giovanni Rotondo each year. A new shell-shaped Basilica being built there is due to be completed soon.
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