Day 1 - Pietrelcina
This morning, we depart from Dublin to Naples. Upon arrival, we will meet our guide and enroute to Pietrelcina, have ample opportunity to enjoy scenic views of the beautiful Italian countryside, as well as hearing some inspirational words of the early years of Francesco Forgione (the future Padre Pio). Upon arrival in Pietrelcina, have lunch in a local restaurant.
Afterwards, during our guided tour, we will walk in the footsteps of Padre Pio in his quaint little town, that in many ways have seen few changes from his humble beginnings. We will learn of the early years of Francesco Forgione, his dream of becoming “a monk with a beard” and include visits 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 afterwards visit the museum, which has carefully preserved items dating back to Padre Pio’s years in Pietrelcina. Our day will conclude with a visit to nearby Piana Romana where one can see their small family farmhouse and in the Chapel of St. Francis have time for prayer before the tree beneath which Padre Pio received the first signs of the stigmata.
Afterwards, we will continue our drive to San Giovanni Rotondo where we will spend the following five nights in the 4 Hotel Vittoria, located within a short walking distance of the Sanctuary, on a full board basis.
Day 2 – Sanctuary of Our Lady of Grace, 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 spent many hours each day hearing confessions and afterwards visit the Church dedicated to St. Pio of Pietrelcina, a truly impressive construction, where one can admire the wonderful mosaics depicting the lives of St. Pio and St. Francis of Assisi which leads us to the crypt of St. Pio. There will be ample time for private prayer before the mortal remains of the great saint of our time, before returning to the hotel for lunch.
In the afternoon, we will continue in the footsteps of Padre Pio and hear more accounts of his time in San Giovanni Rotondo with a guided tour of the capuchin friary. Here we will have the opportunity to see the cell once occupied by the humble friar, where he died and the crucifix before which Padre Pio was praying when he received the stigmata.
Day 3 – English Office & Way of the Cross
This morning, we will walk the Way of the Cross, where we will have the opportunity to pause and enter reflectively into those last moments of Jesus’ journey of love. Afterwards, we will visit the English Office and after a welcome cup of Irish tea, will receive a blessing with the glove and crucifix used by Padre Pio.
In the afternoon, we will celebrate Mass at the Monastery of the Resurrection of the Capuchin Poor Clare Sisters which was built according to the wishes of both Brother Daniele Natale and of Padre Pio. We will have the remainder of the afternoon at leisure.
Day 4 - Shrine of St. Michael the Archangel - St. Matthew's Monastery - Sanctuary of Our Lady of Incoronata - Convento of Sant'Anna, Foggia
After breakfast we will drive to the town of Monte Sant’Angelo, home to the Shrine of St. Michael the Archangel. In this 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. As we drive back towards San Giovanni Rotondo, we will visit nearby St. Matthew’s Monastery located along the “Pilgrims’ Path.” It is a place filled with art, faith and above all, spirituality. We will receive a blessing with the relic of St. Matthew the Apostle and Holy Oil before returning to our hotel for lunch.
In the afternoon we will drive to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Incoronata, which dates to an apparition of the Virgin Mary which took place in April 1001 which according to tradition, appears to have been the first time the Virgin Mary claimed to be the Mother of God after she was given the title in 431. We will be blessed with the holy oil and have time for private prayer before the statue of Our Lady with the Baby Jesus, which was placed on the knee of Our Lady by Pope John Paul II during his visit on the 24th of May 1987. Afterwards, we will drive to nearby Foggia and visit the convent of Sant’Anna where Padre Pio stayed a brief period before his transfer to San Giovanni Rotondo. There will be the opportunity to visit the cell once occupied by the friar before returning to San Giovanni Rotondo.
Day 5 – House of Mary Pyle & Marian Torchlight Procession
This morning we will celebrate Mass and have time for private prayer. In the afternoon we will visit the House of Mary Pyle. “L’Americana” as she was known who gave up her lavish lifestyle and moved to the town of San Giovanni Rotondo where she became a lifelong friend of Padre Pio. Her home welcomed the many pilgrims who had travelled from afar to attend Padre Pio’s Mass. It was here also where she cared for Padre Pio’s parents in their final days. We will have the afternoon at leisure and after dinner, have the opportunity to participate in the Marian Torchlight Procession as the faithful honour the Madonna, for whom Padre Pio had a great devotion.
Day 6 – Tomb of parents' of Padre Pio, Mary Pyle, Fr. Alessio & Fr. Joseph
This morning we will celebrate the closing Mass of our pilgrimage and have ample time to return to the crypt of St. Pio for private prayer and time at leisure. Before departing San Giovanni Rotondo, we will visit the local cemetery where the Tombs of the parents of Padre Pio, Mary Pyle, and our good friends Fr. Alessio and Fr. Joseph Pius are entombed.
Afterwards we will drive to Bari airport for our return flight to Dublin later in the evening.
*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.