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 we will celebrate the opening Mass of our pilgrimage and afterwards have 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 Santa Maria degli Angeli 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 leave Piana Romana and drive through the picturesque countryside arriving at our destination of San Giovanni Rotondo, home to Padre Pio for over fifty years. We will check into the elegant four-star Hotel Savoia where we will stay for the following four nights on a full board basis.
Day 2 – Wednesday, 10th 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.
This 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 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 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. After lunch we will have the opportunity to visit the house of Mary Pyle. L’Americana, as she was known by the locals gave up her wealthy lifestyle and moved to San Giovanni Rotondo where she built a home and welcomed the many pilgrims coming from the world over to attend Padre Pio’s Mass and cared for both parents of Padre Pio.
Day 5 - Saturday, 13th April
This morning we will celebrate the closing Mass of our pilgrimage in the old tomb of the Church of Our Lady of Grace where the remains of St. Pio rested for over 40 years. 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.