Monday, 20th July
We will depart in the morning from Dublin to Naples with Aer lingus. Upon arrival we will transfer to Pompeii where we will stay in the four-star Hotel Maiuri for the first night of our pilgrimage.
After free time for lunch we will celebrate the opening Mass of our pilgrimage in the Basilica of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary and afterwards enjoy a tour of the basilica, learning more of its history and the Blessed Bartolo Longo.
Tuesday, 21st July
This morning we will depart Pompeii and enjoy our first glimpse of the picturesque Italian countryside as we drive to the town of Pietrelcina, birthplace of Padre Pio. We will celebrate Mass in the Church of the Holy Family and afterwards enjoy a walking tour of the town, learning how the young Francesco Forgione, despite many obstacles, succeeded in fulfilling his dream of becoming a “monk with a beard”.
After free time for lunch we will drive to nearby Piana Romana and after visiting the farmhouse of the Forgione family will have time for prayer before the tree beneath which Padre Pio received the first signs of the stigmata. Afterwards we will continue out drive to our destination of San Giovanni Rotondo, home to Padre Pio for over fifty years.
Wednesday, 22nd July
This morning we will celebrate Mass in the old Church of Our Lady of Grace where Padre Pio celebrated Mass, heard confessions and received the gift of the stigmata. Afterwards in the English Office we will meet with one of the capuchin friars and receive a blessing with the glove and crucifix used by St. Pio.
In the afternoon we will follow in the footsteps of the humble friar during his time in San Giovanni Rotondo with a guided tour of the capuchin friary. We will see the cell where Padre Pio lived and died and the choir loft of the old Church of Our Lady of Grace where Padre Pio received the gift of the stigmata. Our day will end with a visit to the Church of St. Pio of Pietrelcina where we will have time for prayer before the mortal remains of the great saint of our time.
Thursday, 23rd July
This morning we will travel to the Shrine of St. Michael the Archangel and celebrate Mass in the sacred cave. Afterwards we will have time at leisure to explore the surrounding town of Monte Sant’Angelo with its white-washed houses and quaint cobbled streets. We will return to San Giovanni Rotondo and after lunch 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.
Friday, 24th July
After breakfast we will check out of our hotel and enjoy wonderful views of the Adriatic Coast as we drive to Lanciano. We will celebrate Mass in the Church of St. Francis and afterwards venerate the relics of the first Eucharistic Miracle of the catholic church. After free time for lunch we will continue our drive towards Loreto where we will stay for one night on a half board basis.
Saturday, 25th July
This morning we will celebrate Mass in the Basilica of the Holy House of Loreto and afterwards enjoy a tour of the basilica. After time for lunch and private sightseeing we will drive through the countryside to the “Green Heart of Italy” and the town of Assisi, birthplace of St. Francis and St. Clare.
Sunday, 26th July
This morning we will celebrate Masss in the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli and afterwards visit the chapel of the Porziuncola and famous Rose Garden. After time for private prayer we will drive to the medieval town of Assisi and have free time for lunch.
In the afternoon we will have a guided tour of Assisi as we learn more of the life of St. Francis and St. Clare. We will have time for prayer before the San Damiano Cross in the Basilica of St. Clare and will have a leisurely stroll through the town before arriving at the Basilica of St. Francis where, after time for prayer at the tomb of St. Francis, will admire the wonderful works of the great artists Giotto, Cimabue and Simone Martini.
Monday, 27th July
After breakfast we will check out of our hotel and visit the nearby town of Spoleto - the charming medieval town nestled amongst the woods. We will celebrate Mass in the Duomo of Spoleto, famous for the presence within its walls of a letter written by St. Francis of Assisi and afterwards have time to explore the town with its archways, stairways, balconies, and flower boxes that decorate the alleyways.
After free time for lunch we will drive to Rome and visit the Abbey of Tre Fontane, built on what is believed to be the site of the martyrdom of St. Paul. We will enjoy some time in this quiet oasis before driving to Fiumicino airport for our return flight as we return to our homes with a sense of tranquillity, gratitude 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.