Tuesday, 27th July
We will depart this morning from Dublin to Naples with Aer Lingus. Upon arrival we will meet our tour escort and enjoy our first glimpse of the Italian countryside as we travel to the town of Benevento where we will spend the first night of our pilgrimage.
After lunch we will drive to Pietrelcina, birthplace of Padre Pio. We will celebrate the opening Mass of our pilgrimage in the Church of the Holy Family and afterwards enjoy a walking tour of the quaint town, learning more of the early years of Francesco Forgione and how he overcame many obstacles in order to fulfil his dream of becoming “a monk with a beard.” Our first day will end in nearby Piana Romana where we will see the farmhouse of the Forgione family and in the Chapel of St. Francis have time for prayer before the tree beneath which Padre Pio received the first signs of the stigmata.
Wednesday, 28th July
This morning we will depart Benevento and enjoy the contrasting landscapes as we travel to the town of Foggia. We will celebrate Mass in the Church of Sant’ Anna and later visit the cell occupied by Padre Pio during his time based in the monastery in Foggia. Afterwards we will continue our drive to the town of San Giovanni Rotondo, home to Padre Pio for over fifty years.
In the afternoon we will visit the English Office where we will hear more of the life of St. Pio and receive a blessing with the glove and crucifix used by the humble friar. Afterwards we will visit the church dedicated to St. Pio of Pietrelcina and have time for prayer before the mortal remains of this great saint of our time.
Thursday, 29th July
After morning Mass in the ancient Church of Our Lady of Grace where Padre Pio celebrated Mass, heard confessions and received the gift of the stigmata, we will continue in the footsteps of the humble friar with a visit to the capuchin friary where Padre Pio lived for over fifty years where we will see the cell occupied by Padre Pio and the crucifix before which Padre Pio received the gift of the stigmata.
In the afternoon 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.
Friday, 30th July
This morning we will have time at leisure to browse the local markets, to enjoy a visit to the historical centre of the town of San Giovanni Rotondo with its century-old churches or take time to relax in its beautiful gardens, soaking up its unique and magical atmosphere.
In the afternoon we will drive to the Shrine of St. Michael the Archangel where we will celebrate Mass in the sacred cave and afterwards have time at leisure to explore the town of Monte Sant’Angelo with its white-washed houses and quaint cobbled streets. Before returning to San Giovanni Rotondo we will visit St. Matthew’s monastery where we will receive a blessing with the relic of St. Matthew and holy oils.
Saturday, 31st July
This morning we will depart San Giovanni Rotondo and travel through the picturesque countryside to the town of Avellino. After lunch in our hotel we will drive the short distance to the Abbey of Montevergine. We will celebrate Mass and later venerate the 13th century icon of the Black Madonna before taking a tour of the impressive abbey. We will have time to enjoy the tranquillity and beauty of the surrounding landscape before returning to our hotel for evening meal.
Sunday, 1st August
After morning Mass, we will check out of our hotel and drive to Naples airport for our flight to Dublin as we return 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.