Day 1 - May 23rd
This morning we will depart from Dublin to Naples. In the arrivals hall we will be greeted by our Marian Pilgrimages guide and driver who will remain with us for the duration of our pilgrimage. As we drive towards Pietrelcina, birthplace of St. Pio, we will learn of the early years of Francesco Forgione (the future Padre Pio) and how he overcame many obstacles to fulfil his dream of becoming “a monk with a beard.”
After lunch in a local restaurant, our guided walking tour of the town of Pietrelcina will take us to the Forgione family home where Padre Pio was born and the Church of Sant’ Anna where he was baptised. We will celebrate the opening Mass of our pilgrimage in the Church of the Holy Family and later visit the museum where precious items have been preserved dating back to Padre Pio’s early years in Pietrelcina. During our visit to nearby Piana Romana, we will see the farmhouse of the Forgione family and have time for prayer before the tree beneath which Padre Pio received the first signs of the stigmata.
We will enjoy views of the picturesque countryside as we drive to our destination of San Giovanni Rotondo, home to Padre Pio for over fifty years. Arriving at our hotel, located just a five-minute walk from the sanctuary, we will have dinner and the evening to relax and unpack.
Day 2 – May 24th
Today we will celebrate morning 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 capuchin friar.
After lunch, we will hear of the life of Padre Pio during his time in San Giovanni Rotondo. Visiting the capuchin friary will allow us to learn more about the “poor friar who prays” as he often described himself. Here we will have the opportunity to see the cell once occupied by the humble friar and the crucifix before which he received the stigmata.
Our afternoon will conclude at the church dedicated to St. Pio of Pietrelcina where we will have the remainder of the afternoon for private prayer before the mortal remains of the great saint of our time.
Day 3 – May 25th ~ Anniversary of the Birth of Padre Pio
After breakfast we will drive to the town of Monte Sant’Angelo, home to the Shrine of St. Michael the Archangel. In the sacred cave we will celebrate Mass and afterwards have time to stroll through the cobbled streets of this unique town with its quaint, white-washed houses.
Located along the “Pilgrims Path”, the monastery of St. Matthew is a place rich in history, art, culture and above all, faith, and spirituality. This afternoon we will drive the short distance to the monastery and after time for prayer will receive a blessing with the relic of St. Matthew and Holy Oil.
Day 4 – May 26th
In 1956 Padre Pio presented to the world his greatest gift, “Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza” which today is now one of the most important hospitals in Europe. After morning Mass, we will learn of the history behind what is regarded as Padre Pio’s greatest miracle.
Walking the Way of the Cross this morning will allow 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 confessions and to return to the crypt of St. Pio.
Day 5 – May 27th
This morning we will celebrate the closing Mass of our pilgrimage and afterwards drive to Naples airport for our return flight to Dublin returning to our homes, filled with a sense of tranquillity, joy 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.