DAY 1 - Thursday, 24th June
This morning we will depart Dublin airport to Rome. Upon arrival in Rome we will meet our tour escort and drive to the “Green Heart of Italy” to the town of Assisi, birthplace of St. Francis and St. Clare.
After free time for lunch, we will celebrate the opening Mass of our pilgrimage in the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli and afterwards have time for prayer in the Chapel of the Porziuncola, birthplace of the Franciscan Order. We will enjoy a tour of the basilica as we see the Chapel of the Transito where St. Francis died and the famous Rose Garden
DAY 2 - Friday, 25th June
This morning we will celebrate Mass at the Basilica of St. Francis and have time for prayer at the tomb of the founder of the Franciscan Order. Afterwards we will enjoy a tour of the basilica where we can admire the wonderful works of Giotto, Cimabue 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.
In the afternoon we will have time at leisure for shopping and private sightseeing or the opportunity to visit the convent of San Damiano. Located in a beautiful setting just outside the walls of Assisi, the Church and Convent of San Damiano is the place where St. Francis received his miraculous calling in 1205 and where St. Clare died in 1253 – an important stop on a pilgrimage to the Franciscan Holy City.
DAY 3 – Saturday, 26th June
This morning we will check out of our hotel and enjoys views of the Adriatic Coast as we drive to Lanciano, site of the first Eucharistic Miracle of the Catholic church. We will celebrate Mass in the Church of St. Francis and later venerate the relics of the Eucharistic Miracle.
We will catch our first glimpse of the beauty of the region of Puglia, with its century-old olive trees, as we drive to San Giovanni Rotondo where we will stay for the following four nights.
This evening, after dinner we will participate in the Marian Torchlight Procession as we honour the Madonna, for whom Padre Pio had a great devotion.
DAY 4 – Sunday, 27th June
We will celebrate the Mass this morning 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.
In the afternoon we will walk in the footsteps of Padre Pio during his time in San Giovanni Rotondo with a tour of the capuchin friary where we will see the cell where Padre Pio lived and died have venerate the crucifix of the stigmata. We will complete our afternoon with a 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 5 – Monday, 28th 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.
DAY 6 – Tuesday, 29th 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 7 – Wednesday, 30th June
After breakfast we will check out of our hotel and drive to Bari airport, as we return to our homes filled with peace, tranquillity 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.