Friday, 2nd October
This afternoon we will depart from Dublin to Naples with Ryanair. Upon arrival in Naples we will meet our guide and drive to the four-star Bel Sito Hotel le Due Torri where we will spend the first night of our pilgrimage.
Saturday, 3rd October
This morning we will catch our first glimpse of the picturesque countryside as we drive to the hilltop town of Pietrelcina, birthplace of St. Pio.
As we walk through the quaint town of Pietrelcina we will learn of the early years of Francesco Forgione and how he overcame many difficulties in order to fulfil his dream of becoming “a monk with a beard.” We will celebrate Mass and afterwards visit the Forgione family home where baby Francesco was born and the Church of Sant ‘Anna where he was baptised. As we walk through the town we will see the church where Padre Pio celebrated his first Mass and afterwards have time to visit the museum that has still preserved items associated with the years St. Pio spent as a child and a newly ordained priest in his native Pietrelcina.
After lunch in a local restaurant, we will drive to nearby Piana Romana where we will see the farmhouse of the Forgione family. We will visit the Chapel of St. Francis and see the tree beneath which Padre Pio received the first signs of the stigmata. We will continue our drive to our destination of San Giovanni Rotondo, home to Padre Pio for over fifty years. After dinner we will have the opportunity to partake in the Marian Torchlight Procession as we honour the Madonna, for whom Padre Pio had great devotion.
Sunday, 4th October - Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi
This morning we will begin to learn of the life of Padre Pio during his years in San Giovanni Rotondo. We will celebrate Mass in the ancient Church of Our Lady of Grace where he spent many hours each day hearing confessions and afterwards in the English Office will receive a blessing with the glove and crucifix used by the humble friar.
In the afternoon we will continue in the footsteps of Padre Pio with a guided tour of the friary where we will visit the cell where Padre Pio lived and died and have time for prayer before the crucifix of the stigmata. Our day will culminate with a visit to the Church of St. Pio of Pietrelcina where we will have time for private prayer before the mortal remains of the great saint of our time.
This evening we will have the opportunity to join the Capuchin community as we walk in procession through the town, celebrating the life of St. Francis of Assisi, founder of the Franciscan Order and who, just like St. Pio, received the gift of the stigmata.
Monday, 5th October
After breakfast we will drive to the town of Monte Sant’Angelo, home to the Shrine of St. Michael the Archangel. We will celebrate Mass in the sacred cave - a true place of pardon and prayer, and afterwards have time to wander the cobbled streets of the unique town with its quaint white-washed houses. We will have the afternoon at leisure with the opportunity to return to the crypt for private prayer.
Tuesday, 6th October
This morning we will check out of our hotel and drive to Naples airport for our return flight to Dublin returning 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.