Friday, 21st September
This morning we will depart from Dublin to Bari. Upon arrival in Bari we will be met by our tour escort and transfer to San Giovanni Rotondo where we will stay for four nights (light refreshments on arrival).
In the afternoon we will have a tour of the Church of St. Pio of Pietrelcina. We will see the impressive frescoes in the Chapel of Adoration and the mosaics of Fr. Marco Ivan Rupnik before arriving in the crypt where we will have time for private prayer before the mortal remains of the saint. We will celebrate the opening Mass of our pilgrimage and return to our hotel for evening meal.
Saturday, 22nd September
This morning we will travel to Monte Sant’ Angelo, home to the oldest shrine in Western Europe dedicated to the Archangel Michael. We will celebrate Mass at the sacred cave and afterwards have time at leisure for sightseeing. On our return to San Giovanni Rotondo we will visit the cemetery where the parents of Padre Pio and Mary Pyle are buried before returning to our hotel for lunch.
We will have time at leisure this afternoon as we prepare for the Vigil ceremony, marking the 50th anniversary of the death of St. Pio of Pietrelcina.
Sunday, 23rd September Feast Day of St. Pio of Pietrelcina
We will celebrate morning Mass in San Giovanni Rotondo on this feast day and afterwards visit the capuchin friary and see the cell where the humble friar lived and died.
In the afternoon we will visit the English Office where we will learn of the incredible life of Padre Pio and receive a blessing with the glove and crucifix of the saint. This day will end with a procession through the town of San Giovanni Rotondo, home to St. Pio for over fifty years.
Monday, 24th September
We will celebrate morning Mass in the hospital, ‘Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza.’ and afterwards have a tour of what is considered to have been Padre Pio’s greatest creation.
In the afternoon we will visit the house of Mary Pyle whose 50th anniversary occurs this year. ‘L’Americana’, as she was popularly known by the locals of San Giovanni Rotondo, gave up her wealthy lifestyle to dedicate her life to Padre Pio. She built a house close to the friary and welcomed into her home the many pilgrims arriving to San Giovanni Rotondo to attend Mass and confess to Padre Pio. Afterwards we will walk the Way of the Cross and have time for private sightseeing.
Tuesday, 25th September
After breakfast we will depart San Giovanni Rotondo and travel to Lanciano, site of the first Eucharistic Miracle of the Catholic Church. We will celebrate Mass and afterwards have free time for lunch.
In the afternoon we will travel to the town of Tolentino where we will visit the Basilica of St. Nicholas, one of the most important sanctuaries in central Italy.
St. Nicholas of Tolentino was an Augustinian friar, miracle worker and great preacher. He reached high notoriety during his life, for his extraordinary miracle working powers and was canonized a short time after his death. St. Nicholas today is venerated as the patron saint of the souls in purgatory and the protector of mothers and those with childhood difficulties. We will take a tour of the basilica and afterwards continue onto Assisi where we will stay for the following two nights.
Wednesday, 26th September
This morning we will celebrate Mass in the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli and afterwards visit the chapel of the Porziuncola – chapel of St. Francis first community. We will have time at leisure and afterwards transfer to the town of Assisi.
In the afternoon we will have a walking tour of the medieval town of Assisi which will include a visit to the Basilica of St. Francis where we will have time for prayer at the tomb of St. Francis and the Basilica of St. Clare, founder of the Order of the Poor Clares. We will have time for personal sightseeing before returning to our hotel for our evening meal.
Thursday, 27th September
After morning Mass we will depart Assisi and travel to the town of the town of Orvieto.
Sitting majestically above fields dotted with vines, and olive trees, Orvieto is visually stunning from the first. We will have a guided tour of the town which will include a visit to the Duomo with its mesmerizing display of rainbow frescoes, jewel-like mosaics and bas-reliefs.
After time at leisure to stroll through the cobbled lanes of this medieval town we will depart for Rome and our return flight to Dublin.
*It is our intention to follow the itinerary as outlined above, however due to many factors like local holidays, traffic or weather conditions it may be necessary to make changes to the order of events or even the cancelation of certain events.