5. Capuchin Monastery at Penn Station
Most of New York City’s monasteries retain a bucolic presence, even within urban or industrial zones. One exception is the Capuchin Monastery of the Church of St. John which sits on 31st Street just next to Penn Station and Madison Square Garden. In this ramshackle stretch of no man’s land you’ll find a loading dock to MSG, the forgotten power station of the original Pennsylvania Station, and an unabashed homeless presence.
Inside are the relics of Padrio Pio, a saint canonized by John Paul II. Padrio Pio is said to suffered stigmata throughout his life, a recreation of the bleeding of Christ on the cross. He was well-known among soldiers in Italy during World War II.
After Pio’s death in 1968, the Church of St. John acquired some of his relics including a dark red fingerless woolen glove and white linen sock, stained with his blood. These sit on the church side of the property, which is accessed on 30th Street, but devotees do live in the monastery on 31st Street.
The monastery may be at risk due to redevelopment plans for Penn Station by Amtrak, read more about it here.