Wednesday, 30th December
We will depart in the afternoon from Dublin to Naples where, upon arrival, we will drive to the four- star Bel Sito Hotel le Due Torri where we will spend the first night of our pilgrimage. We will check into our hotel and afterwards enjoy our evening meal.
Thursday, 31st December
This morning we will enjoy views of the picturesque countryside as we drive to the town of Pietrelcina, birthplace of Padre Pio. We will celebrate the opening Mass of our pilgrimage and afterwards enjoy a walking tour of the quaint town as we learn about the early years of Francesco Forgione (the future Padre Pio) and how he fulfilled his dream of becoming “a monk with a beard.” We will have time for private sightseeing in this quaint town and after free time for lunch will continue our drive to our destination of San Giovanni Rotondo where we will stay for three nights in the four-star San Giovanni Rotondo Palace Hotel.
This evening we will come together for our gala dinner. We will welcome in the New Year in the refined and elegant surroundings of the Bistro Reale restaurant as we enjoy a feast of tasty unique dishes, with typical genuine flavours of the traditional Gargano.
Friday, 1st January
After breakfast we will celebrate Mass in the ancient Church of Our Lady of Grace, the beating heart of the sanctuary in San Giovanni Rotondo, where Padre Pio celebrated Mass, heard confessions and received the gift of the stigmata. In the English Office we will hear of the life of Padre Pio and receive a blessing with the glove and crucifix used by the humble friar. We will return to our hotel for a typical New Year’s Day lunch and in the afternoon enjoy a guided tour of the sanctuary.
We will visit the old tomb of the Church of Our Lady of Grace where the remains of Padre Pio rested for over forty years and where each winter the remains of St. Pio are on display for veneration. After time for private prayer before the mortal remains of the saint, we will walk through the capuchin friary and see the cell where Padre Pio lived and died. We will end our day with rosary in the Church of Our Lady of Grace.
Saturday, 2nd January
After breakfast we will drive to the town of Monte Sant’Angelo. Home to the oldest shrine in Western Europe dedicated to the Archangel Michael, this morning we will celebrate Mass in the sacred cave – a true place of pardon and prayer. Afterwards we will have time at leisure to explore this quaint town with its cobbled streets and white-washed houses.
Today we will have lunch in Masseria Calderoso and afterwards learn about the process of production of the olive oil with a visit to the farm, donated to Padre Pio during the 1950s. We will return to San Giovanni Rotondo and have the remainder of the afternoon at leisure.
Sunday, 3rd January
This morning we will check out of our hotel and drive to Naples airport for our return flight to Dublin, as we return to our homes filled with a sense of tranquillity, peace and joy 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.