Day 1 – Basilica of the Virgin of the Holy Rosary of Pompeii
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 Pompeii our guide will run through the plans for the coming days and give us a little insight into the customs and traditions of this diverse country.
After lunch we will check into our rooms and have time to unpack. This afternoon we will celebrate the opening Mass of our pilgrimage in the Basilica of the Virgin of the Holy Rosary and afterwards venerate the painting of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, for whom Padre Pio had a great devotion.
Day 2 – Shrine of St. Alphonsus Liguori
This morning we will travel to the town of Pagani, home to the sanctuary of St. Alphonsus Liguori. The founder of the congregation of Missionaries, today known as the Redemptorists, St. Alphonsus Liguori died at Pagani in 1787. After the celebration of Mass, we will have time to venerate the relics of the saint and later visit the museum, inaugurated by Pope John Paul II in 1990, and will see some of the wide artistic, cultural, and religious heritage related to Saint Alphonsus Liguori.
We will return to Pompeii and in the afternoon have free time for lunch and to explore this town, steeped in history.
Day 3 – Pietrelcina & Piana Romana
After checking out our hotel as we drive to 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. On arrival we will celebrate Mass in the Church of the Holy Family and afterwards visit the museum which has carefully preserved items associated with Padre Pio’s years in Pietrelcina.
After time at leisure for lunch, our guided walking tour of the town of Pietrelcina will take us to the Forgione family home where Padre Pio was born, the Church of Sant’ Anna where he was baptised and the parish church where he celebrated his first Mass. In 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 4 – English Office, Capuchin friary, Church of St. Pio of Pietrelcina
This morning we will celebrate Mass in the ancient Church of Our Lady of Grace where Padre Pio celebrated Mass, heard confessions and received the gift of the stigmata. Afterwards we will visit the English Office where we will have the opportunity to meet one of the capuchin friars and after a cup of “Irish tea” will receive a blessing with the glove and crucifix used by the humble friar.
After lunch, we will begin to 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 in the Church of St. Pio of Pietrelcina where we will have time for private prayer before the remains of the great saint of our time.
This evening we will have the opportunity to join with our fellow pilgrims as we participate in the Marian Torchlight Procession.
Day 5 – Way of the Cross
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 6 – Shrine of St. Michael the Archangel & St. Matthew's Monastery
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 where we will receive a blessing with the relic of St. Matthew and Holy Oil. Before returning to San Giovanni Rotondo we will visit the cemetery in San Giovanni Rotondo and have time for prayer at the tombs of the parents of Padre Pio, Fr. Alessio Parente and Fr. Joseph Pius.
Day 7 – Historical centre of San Giovanni Rotondo
In 1916, Padre Pio first arrived in San Giovanni Rotondo. The southern Italian town would soon become his home and here he would spend the remainder of his life. This morning we will celebrate Mass in the historical centre of San Giovanni Rotondo and afterwards have time to stroll through the cobbled streets, experience the hospitality of the locals and learn more of the history of the town, loved so much by Padre Pio. We will return to our hotel for lunch and have the afternoon at leisure, with the opportunity to return to the crypt of St. Pio for private prayer.
Day 8 – Return home
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.