Day 1 – Arrive Italy
This afternoon 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 to our hotel in Avellino, our guide will give us an insight into the local customs of this wonderful country and talk us through our plans for the days ahead. After checking into our hotel, we will have time to relax before dinner.
Day 2 - Pietrelcina & Piana Romana
After breakfast we will depart Avellino. As we drive this morning to the town of Pietrelcina, birthplace of Padre Pio, we will begin to learn of the early years of Francesco Forgione and how he realised his dream of becoming “a monk with a beard.” We will celebrate the opening Mass of our pilgrimage in the Church of the Holy Family and during our guided walking tour of the town, we will visit the home of the Forgione family where baby Francesco was born and the Church of Sant ‘Anna where he was baptised.
In nearby Piana Romana we will see the farmhouse of the family and have time for prayer before the tree beneath which Padre Pio received the first signs of the stigmata. We will enjoy the breath-taking views and contrasting landscapes as we drive towards San Giovanni Rotondo. Arriving at our hotel, located just a five-minute walk from the sanctuary, we will check into our rooms and have dinner.
Day 3 – 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 and afterwards in the English Office we will receive a blessing with the glove and crucifix used by Padre Pio.
After lunch, during our guided tour of the capuchin friary, we will 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 prayer before the mortal remains of the great saint of our time.
Day 4 – 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.
After lunch we will drive the short distance to St. Matthew’s Monastery. Located along the “Pilgrims Path,” the monastery is a place rich in history, art, culture, faith, and spirituality.? We will receive a blessing with the relic of St. Matthew and Holy Oil and afterwards have time for private prayer. Before returning to San Giovanni Rotondo, we will visit the cemetery and have time for prayer in the Capuchin chapels where the remains of the parents of Padre Pio, Fr. Alessio and Fr. Joseph Pius are entombed.
After dinner we will have the opportunity to participate in the Marian Torchlight Procession.
Day 5 – Way of the Cross
After morning Mass, we will walk the Way of the Cross which will allow us as Christians, to pause and enter reflectively into those last moments of Jesus’s journey of love. We will have the afternoon at leisure for confessions or to return to the crypt of St. Pio.
Day 6 – Return home
This morning we will check out of our hotel and drive to Naples airport for our return flight to Dub-lin 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.