DAY 1 - Wednesday, 24th June
This morning we will depart Dublin airport to Bari with Ryanair. Upon arrival we will meet our tour guide and get our first glimpse of the beauty of the region of Puglia, with its century-old olive trees, as we drive to the Hotel Colonne where we will stay for the following four nights.
We will check into the San Giovanni Rotondo Palace Hotel and after lunch will celebrate the opening Mass of our pilgrimage in the ancient Church of Our Lady of Grace, the heart of the sanctuary, where Padre Pio celebrated Mass, heard confessions and received the gift of the stigmata and afterwards in the English Office will receive have a blessing with the glove and crucifix used by the humble friar.
This evening we will walk in procession to the sanctuary as we join the local people of San Giovanni Rotondo to celebrate the Feast Day of St. John the Baptist, patron saint of the town. The evening will end with a wonderful firework display at the Church of St. Pio of Pietrelcina.
DAY 2 – Thursday, 25th June
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 forty years and afterwards enjoy a tour of the capuchin friary where we will see the cell once occupied by the humble and venerate the crucifix of the stigmata.
In the afternoon we will visit the Church of St. Pio of Pietrelcina where we can admire the wonderful mosaics depicting the lives of St. Pio of Pietrelcina and St. Francis of Assisi before we arrive at the crypt where we will venerate the remains of this great saint of our time.
DAY 3 – Friday, 26th June
This morning we will drive to the seaside town of Manfredonia. We will visit the famous cathedral dedicated to St. Lorenzo Majorano and have the morning at leisure to take a leisurely stroll along the picturesque promenade enjoying views of the Adriatic Coast, walk to the port to see the fishing boats as they set out for the day or simply relax and soak up the atmosphere of this attractive seaside town.
In the afternoon we will drive to Monte Sant’Angelo and after free time for lunch will celebrate Mass at the oldest shrine in Western Europe dedicated to the Archangel Michael. Afterwards we will have time to stroll through the quaint cobbled streets of this magical town with its white-washed houses.
DAY 4 – Saturday, 27th June
This morning we will celebrate Mass at the hospital, “Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza”. We will learn of how Padre Pio, despite himself enduring great pain and suffering, through the realisation of this impressive hospital, helped relieve the sick and troubled from their own individual sufferings. After Mass 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 the afternoon at leisure with the opportunity to receive the sacrament of reconciliation and after dinner we will participate in the Marian Torchlight Procession as we honour the Madonna, for whom Padre Pio had a great devotion.
DAY 5 – Sunday, 28th June
After breakfast we will depart San Giovanni Rotondo and drive along the Adriatic Coast to the town of Lanciano, site of the first Eucharistic Miracle of the catholic church. We will celebrate Mass in the Church of St. Francis and afterwards venerate the relics of the eucharistic miracle.
After free time for lunch we will enjoy views of the picturesque countryside as we travel to the “Green Heart of Italy “and the town of Assisi, birthplace of St. Francis and St. Clare.
DAY 6 – Monday, 29th June
This morning we will celebrate Mass at the tomb of St. Francis of Assisi and have time for private prayer. Afterwards we will enjoy a tour of the basilica where we will see the wonderful frescoes and works of the artists Cimabue, Giotto and Simone Martini.
We will walk through the medieval town and learn more of the early life of St. Francis. Our tour will finish at the Basilica of St. Clare where we will venerate the San Damiano cross and later visit the crypt.
After time at leisure for lunch and private sightseeing, we will visit the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli and afterwards have time for private prayer in the Chapel of the Porziuncola where the Franciscan Order was born.
DAY 7 – Tuesday, 30th June
This morning we will depart Assisi and travel to the town of Orvieto which sits majestically overlooking the Umbrian plains. We will celebrate Mass in the cathedral, the town’s most famous landmark and afterwards see the linen bearing the spots of blood which date back to the Eucharistic Miracle that took place in Bolsena in 1263. We will have free time for lunch in the quaint town before driving to Ciampino airport for our return flight to Dublin, returning to our homes filled with a sense of tranquility 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.