Day 1 – Monday, 5 August
This morning we will depart from Dublin to Naples where, upon arrival, we will meet our tour escort and have lunch. In the afternoon we will celebrate the opening Mass of our pilgrimage at the Shrine of St. Philomena. St. Philomena was a Greek princess and virgin martyr who died at the age of 13 years. After her remains were discovered at the catacombs of St. Priscilla in Rome and three years later transferred to the Church of Our Lady of Grace, the town of Mugnano del Cardinale was transformed to a place of pilgrimage which attracts devotees from the world over who come to pray at the altar of St. Philomena. After our blessing with the relic of St. Philomena and time for private prayer, we will make
our way through the picturesque countryside to the town of Benevento where we will stay for two nights on a half board basis.
Day 2 – Tuesday, 06August
This morning we will visit the 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. In the afternoon 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. Later in the day we will enjoy a drive as we make our way to the capuchin friary in Morcone, where Francesco Forgione entered in January 1903 - his first steps as he began to realise his dream of becoming ‘a monk with a beard’. We will see the cell once occupied by the young novice and have
time for prayer in the adjoining church. Before returning to our hotel we will visit the nearby Duomo in Benevento where Padre Pio was ordained in August 1910.
Day 3 – Wednesday, 07August
This morning we will depart Benevento and travel to Materdomini, located in the mountains and home to the Shrine of St. Gerard Majella, patron saint of mothers and children. We will celebrate Mass and enjoy a tour of the sanctuary visiting the ‘Room of the bows’ surrounded by a collection of photos of young babies, evidence of St. Gerard Majella’s powerful intercession: overcoming infertility, receiving the gift of motherhood, getting through a difficult pregnancy, a safe delivery, a healthy baby, to name a few. After free time for lunch we will enjoy another drive through this
wonderful countryside as we make our way to San Giovanni Rotondo.
Day 4 – Thursday, 08 August
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.
Day 5 – Friday, 09 August
We will have the morning at leisure with the opportunity for the sacrament of reconciliation and private prayer. After lunch 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. As we make our way back to San Giovanni Rotondo we will visit St. Matthew’s monastery where we will have the blessing with the relic of St. Matthew and Holy Oils.
Day 6 – Saturday, 10 August
On this the anniversary of the ordination of St. Pio, we will celebrate Mass at the hospital, ‘Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza’ considered Padre Pio’s greatest creation. This morning we will 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 will have this afternoon at leisure for private prayer before joining together as we participate in the Marian Torchlight procession as we honour the Madonna, for whom St. Pio had a great devotion.
Day 7 – Sunday, 11 August
This morning we will depart San Giovanni Rotondo and make our way to Naples airport as we return to our homes, filled with a sense of tranquillity, rejuvenation and peace in our hearts.
*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.