DAY 1 - Pietrelcina''
We will depart in the morning from Dublin to Naples and on arrival will be greeted by our Marian Pilgrimages guide and driver who will remain with us for the duration of our pilgrimage. The beauty of the countryside will make for an enjoyable drive towards the town of Pietrelcina, birthplace of Padre Pio.
After lunch in a local restaurant, we will enjoy a walking tour of the town of Pietrelcina, as we begin to learn of the early life of Francesco Forgione with a visit to his family home 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 afterwards visit the museum where precious items have been preserved dating back to Padre Pio’s early years in Pietrelcina. In nearby Piana Romana we will have time for prayer before the tree beneath which Padre Pio received the first signs of the stigmata. Spectacular views await us during our drive to our destination of San Giovanni Rotondo, home to Padre Pio for over fifty years. After checking into the Hotel Colonne, located within walking distance of the sanctuary, we will have dinner and afterwards time to relax and unpack.
DAY 2 - English Office & Capuchin friary
This morning we will celebrate Mass in the ancient Church of Our Lady of Grace and afterwards in the English Office will receive a blessing with the glove and crucifix used by the capuchin friar.
After lunch, we will walk in the footsteps 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 day will conclude with a visit to the Church of St. Pio of Pietrelcina where we will have time for private prayer before the mortal remains of the great saint of our time.
DAY 3 – Monte Sant’Angelo, Way of the Cross
Padre Pio had a great devotion to St. Michael the Archangel. This morning we will drive to the nearby Shrine of St. Michael the Archangel in the town of Monte Sant’Angelo. We will celebrate Mass and afterwards, in the sacred cave, will have time for private prayer.
Walking the Way of the Cross in the afternoon 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.
DAY4 – “Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza”, St. Matthew's Monatery, Masseria Calderosa
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. An important part in the story of Padre Pio, after Mass we will learn of the history behind what is regarded as Padre Pio’s greatest creation.
After lunch we drive to the nearby St. Matthew’s monastery. Located along the “Pilgrims Path,” the monastery is a place rich in history, art, faith, and spirituality. After a tour of the monastery, we will receive a blessing with the relic of St. Matthew and Holy Oil.
Before returning to San Giovanni Rotondo, we will visit Masseria Calderoso. Located in the picturesque countryside, surrounded by century old olive trees, the farm was donated to Padre Pio during the 1950’s and now provides the hospital with some wonderful fresh produce.
DAY 5 – Mass at the Monastery of the Resurrection
We will have this morning at leisure for personal sightseeing or to browse the local markets in San Giovanni Rotondo. After lunch we will visit the Monastery of the Resurrection of the Capuchin Poor Clare Sisters. Nestled on the mountainside, overlooking the Sanctuary of St. Pio of Pietrelcina, in the Church of the Resurrection we will celebrate Mass and have time for private prayer.
DAY 6 – Convent of Sant’Anna, Foggia & town of Manfredonia
This morning we will drive to the town of Foggia. We will celebrate Mass in the Church of Sant’Anna, where Padre Pio spent a brief period before his final transfer to San Giovanni Rotondo. We will receive a blessing with the mitten of St. Pio and afterwards see the cell once occupied by the capuchin friar.
Once an important port hub of the Roman period, today the town of Manfredonia is a bustling seaside resort where the atmosphere is cheerful and dynamic, typical of a tourist town. After lunch we will drive to Manfredonia where we will have time for shopping, to visit the 13th century castle which houses the National Museum of Archaeology or enjoy a walk along the promenade, stopping off to sample a “gelato” in one of the many famous ice-cream parlours.
DAY 7 – Mass in the Old Tomb
This morning we will celebrate the closing Mass of our pilgrimage in the old tomb of the Church of Our Lady of Grace where the remains of Padre Pio rested for over 40 years. An afternoon at leisure will allow us 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, 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.