Friday, 21st September
We will depart in the afternoon from Belfast to Naples. Upon arrival in Naples we will be met by our tour escort and transfer to the Grand Hotel Italiano in Benevento where we will stay for one night on a half board basis (light refreshments on arrival).
Saturday, 22nd September
This morning we will celebrate the opening Mass of our pilgrimage in Piana Romana. We will visit the farmhouse of the Forgione family and see the tree beneath which Padre Pio received the invisible stigmata. We will continue onto Pietrelcina, birthplace of St. Pio and have a walking tour of the quaint town visiting the home of the Forgione family where Padre Pio was born and the Church of Sant’Anna where he was baptised.
In the afternoon we will travel to San Giovanni Rotondo where we will stay in the Centro di Spiritualitá Padre Pio. This evening, after dinner we will make our way to the sanctuary for the vigil ceremony as we celebrate the life of St. Pio of Pietrelcina.
Sunday, 23rd September Feast Day of St. Pio of Pietrelcina
After breakfast we will celebrate Mass in the sanctuary and afterwards visit the English office where we will hear more of the life of St. Pio and receive a blessing with the glove and crucifix of the saint.
In the afternoon we will have a tour of the sanctuary visiting the capuchin friary where the humble friar lived and died and see the crucifix before which Padre Pio received the gift of the stigmata, over 100 years ago.
After a visit to the upper Church of St. Pio of Pietrelcina and a walk down the mosaic-lined corridor depicting scenes from the lives of St. Francis of Assisi and St. Pio of Pietrelcina, we will arrive at the crypt of St.Pio and have time for private prayer before the mortal remains of the saint on this the 50th anniversary of his death.
Monday, 24th September
We will celebrate Mass this morning in the hospital, ‘Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza’, and afterwards have a tour of what is considered Padre Pio’s greatest creation.
In the afternoon we will walk the Way of the Cross and have time for private prayer.
Tuesday, 25th September
This morning we will travel to the town of 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 Manopello to visit the Basilica of the Holy Face. Here we will venerate the mysterious cloth believed to display the true image of Our Lord's Face imprinted on the Veil of Veronica. After time for private prayer we will return to San Giovanni Rotondo.
Wednesday, 26th September
After breakfast we will travel to the nearby town of San Marco in Lamis which owes its origins to the Monastery of St. Matthew. We will visit the monastery and receive a blessing with the relic of St. Matthew and holy oils.
In the afternoon we will celebrate Mass at the Shrine of St. Michael the Archangel and afterwards have time for shopping and personal sightseeing. Upon our return to San Giovanni Rotondo we will visit the cemetery where the parents of Padre Pio and Mary Pyle are entombed.
Thursday, 27th September
This morning we will celebrate Mass at the old tomb where the remains of Padre Pio rested for over 40 years. We will visit the house of Mary Pyle, the American lady who gave up her wealthy lifestyle to move to San Giovanni Rotondo. We will have the afternoon at leisure for personal sightseeing.
Friday, 28th September
This morning we will depart San Giovanni Rotondo and travel to the Shrine of Our Lady of Incoronata. Tradition has it that, in April 1001, Our Lady appeared on an oak tree in the forest of Cervaro to the Count of Ariano Irpino and asked that a church be built on the site. We will celebrate Mass and afterwards receive a blessing with the holy oils.
After our picnic lunch we will travel to the nearby capuchin friary of Sant’Anna in Foggia where we will see the cell of Padre Pio and have time for prayer in the adjoining church.
In the afternoon we will make our way to the Shrine of St. Philomena. St. Philomena was martyred in the 4th century when she was no more than 14 years old. Her remains were discovered in the Catacombs of St. Priscilla in Rome and brought to the town of Mugnano del Cardinale. Many miracles were reported and pilgrims still visit the shrine today.
After our visit to the Shrine of St. Philomena we will transfer to Naples airport for our return flight to Belfast, arriving 23:20 hrs.
*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.