Monday, 15th April
We will depart in the afternoon from Dublin to Naples. Upon arrival, we will meet our tour escort and transfer to the four-star Bel Sito Hotel le Due Torri where we will spend the first night of our pilgrimage. After checking into our rooms, we will enjoy our evening meal.
Tuesday, 16th April
After breakfast we will check out of our hotel and drive to the hill-top town of Pietrelcina, birthplace of St. Pio. After the celebration of Mass, we will have a walking tour of the quaint town visiting the home of the Forgione family where Padre Pio was born, the Church of Sant’Anna where he was baptised and the church where he celebrated his first Mass.
After time at leisure for lunch we will travel to nearby Piana Romana where we will see the humble farmhouse of the Forgione family and have time for prayer before the tree beneath which Padre Pio received the invisible stigmata. We will have a scenic drive through the countryside, enjoying the contrasting landscapes before arriving at our destination of San Giovanni Rotondo where we will stay for the following three nights.
Wednesday, 17th April
After breakfast we will celebrate Mass in the ancient church of Our Lady of Grace where St. Pio celebrated Mass, heard confessions and received the gift of the stigmata. Afterwards we will meet with one of the capuchin friars where we will hear more of the life of St. Pio and receive a blessing with the glove and crucifix of the humble friar.
In the afternoon we will follow in the footsteps of the humble friar during his time in San Giovanni Rotondo. Despite experiencing great suffering in his own life, through his ministries and great work which saw the realisation of the hospital in San Giovanni Rotondo, he helped relieve the sick and troubled from their own individual sufferings. After visiting the capuchin friary and seeing the cell occupied by the capuchin friar, we will visit the Church of St. Pio of Pietrelcina and have time for private prayer before the mortal remains of this great saint of our time.
Thursday, 18th April
After breakfast we will travel to the town of Monte Sant’Angelo and celebrate Mass at the Shrine of St. Michael the Archangel, the oldest shrine in Western Europe dedicated to the Archangel Michael. We will have time at leisure for personal sightseeing in this quaint town decorated with unique whitewashed houses. In the afternoon we will visit St. Matthew’s monastery where we will have the blessing with the relic of St. Matthew and Holy Oils. We will return to San Giovanni Rotondo and this evening attend the Chrism Mass in the Church of Our Lady of Grace.
Friday, 19th April
This morning we will travel to the town of Lanciano, site of the first Eucharistic Miracle of the Catholic Church. We will venerate the relics of the Eucharistic Miracle and have time for prayer. This afternoon we will enjoy the wonderful landscapes as we drive towards the ‘Eternal City’. Upon arrival in Rome we will check into the Casa Ravasco San Pietro where we will stay for three nights on a bed and breakfast basis. This evening we will make our way to the world-famous Colosseum and join Pope Francis as we walk the Way of the Cross, which allow us, as Christians, to pause and enter reflectively into those last moments of Jesus’s journey of love. We walk behind the cross with its burning torches lighting the sky of Rome and the night ending with a blessing from the Holy Father.
Saturday, 20th April
This morning we will enjoy a guided tour of St. Peter’s Basilica where we will see Michelangelo’s delicate Pietá statue, the canopy altar where the Pope celebrates Mass and the crypt of the Popes. In the afternoon we will have time at leisure for lunch in the elegant Piazza Navona before visiting the famous Pantheon and stopping at Trevi fountain to throw a coin, ensuring our return to the Eternal City! We will return to our hotel and have the evening at leisure.
Sunday, 21st April
After Easter Sunday Mass in St. Peter’s Square we will have free time for lunch. In the afternoon we will visit the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, founded by the Roman Emperor Constantine I over the burial place of St. Paul.
We will enjoy a panoramic tour, as we drive by the historical Baths of Caracalla, the most famous of all the ancient Roman baths, and the ancient Circus Maximus which hosted the famous chariot races. This evening we will have the opportunity to enjoy an evening meal in a typical Roman restaurant (payable locally).
Monday 22nd April
This morning we will check out of our hotel and travel to the Irish College where we will celebrate Mass. We will visit the nearby Basilica of St. John Lateran, the oldest of the four Papal Basilicas and afterwards see the Holy Stairs.
In the afternoon we will have time for private sightseeing and afterwards transfer to the airport for our return flight to Dublin.
Please note that entrance to the ceremonies at St. Peter's Basilica is subject to availability and not guaranteed.
*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.