Day 1 – Tuesday, 9th April
We will depart in the morning from Belfast to Naples. Upon arrival, we will meet our tour escort and enjoy our scenic transfer to the town of Pietrelcina, birthplace of St. Pio.
After lunch in a local restaurant, we will celebrate the opening Mass of our pilgrimage and afterwards take a walking tour of the quaint and tranquil 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. 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 enjoy views of the picturesque countryside as we make our way to San Giovanni Rotondo, home to St. Pio for over fifty years. We will check into the elegant Hotel Colonne where we will stay for the following four nights.
Day 2 – Wednesday, 10th April
After breakfast we will celebrate Mass in the old tomb of the Church of Our Lady of Grace where the remains of Padre Pio rested for over 40 years.
Afterwards we will meet with one of the capuchin friars where we will learn more of the life of St. Pio and receive a blessing with the glove and crucifix of the humble friar.
This afternoon we will follow in the footsteps of Padre Pio 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 3 - Thursday, 11th April
This morning we will celebrate Mass at the hospital, ‘Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza’ considered Padre Pio’s greatest creation. Afterwards 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 return to the hotel for lunch and have the afternoon at leisure.
Day 4 - Friday 12th April
This morning we will visit the seaside town of Manfredonia, famous for its port and wonderful coastline. We will visit the impressive cathedral and afterwards have time to take a leisurely stroll along the promenade or some personal sightseeing.
After free time for 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 5 - Saturday, 13th April
This morning we will celebrate the closing Mass of our pilgrimage in the ancient Church of Our Lady of Grace where Padre Pio celebrated Mass, heard confessions and received the gift of the stigmata. We will have time to return to the crypt of St. Pio for private prayer and after lunch will transfer 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.