Wednesday, 25th November
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. We will check into our hotel and enjoy our evening meal.
Thursday, 26th November
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.
We will celebrate Mass in the Church of the Holy Family and afterwards 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.
During our guided tour of the quaint town we will learn of the early years of Francesco Forgione (the future Padre Pio) with visits to the Forgione family home where baby Francesco was born and the Church of Sant ‘Anna where he was baptised. After lunch in a local restaurant, we will drive to nearby Piana Romana where 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 have stunning views of the contrasting landscapes of the Italian countryside as we drive towards San Giovanni Rotondo, stopping for a short visit of the capuchin friary of Sant’ Anna in Foggia where we will see the cell once occupied by Padre Pio and have time for prayer in the choir loft where the capuchin would spend time each day in prayer. We will arrive at the Hotel Colonne, a favourite amongst our pilgrims, located just a five-minute walk from the sanctuary and the remains of St. Pio.
Friday, 27th November
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 Padre Pio 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 visit the old tomb in the Church of Our Lady of Grace where the remains of St. Pio rest during this period. After time for private prayer before the remains of the great saint we will walk 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 the crucifix before which he received the gift of the stigmata.
Saturday, 28th November
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.
Before returning to San Giovanni Rotondo for lunch, we will visit the nearby St. Matthew’s monastery where we will receive a blessing with the relic of St. Matthew and Holy Oil.
After lunch we will walk the Way of the Cross, which allows us as Christians, to pause and enter reflectively into those last moments of Jesus’s journey of love. We will have the remainder of the afternoon at leisure for the Sacrament of Reconciliation or to return to the tomb of St. Pio for private prayer.
Sunday, 29th of November
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.