Wednesday, 20th September
This morning we will depart from Dublin to Naples. Upon arrival we will meet our guide and enjoy our first glimpse of the Italian countryside as we drive to the four-star Bel Sito Hotel le Due Torri where we will spend the first night of our pilgrimage. After lunch on arrival, we will check into our rooms and have time to relax.
In the afternoon we will drive the short distance to the town of Pietrelcina, birthplace of St. Pio, where we will celebrate the opening Mass of our pilgrimage. During our guided tour of the quaint town, we will learn of the early years of Francesco Forgione and his dream of becoming “a monk with a beard.” We will visit the Forgione family home where baby Francesco was born and the Church of Sant ‘Anna where he was baptised. Our day will conclude with a visit to nearby Piana Romana where we will see the 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.
Thursday, 21st September
After breakfast we will check out of our hotel and enjoy views of the contrasting landscapes as we drive to the town of Foggia. We will celebrate Mass in the Church of Sant ’Anna and afterwards see the cell once occupied by Padre Pio. After a short drive we will arrive at the Hotel Santa Maria delle Grazie in San Giovanni Rotondo and after lunch, check into our rooms.
In the afternoon we will continue in the footsteps of Padre Pio with a guided tour of the friary in San Giovanni Rotondo where we will see the cell where Padre Pio lived and died and have time for prayer before the crucifix of the stigmata. We will have the remainder of the afternoon at leisure for private prayer.
Our day will conclude with a visit to the Church of St. Pio of Pietrelcina where we will admire the wonderful mosaics depicting the lives of St. Pio and St. Francis of Assisi and afterwards venerate the mortal remains of the great saint of our time.
Friday, 22nd September
We will celebrate Mass in the ancient Church of Our Lady of Grace where he 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 humble friar.
In the afternoon we will walk the Way of the Cross, which allows us, as Christians to pause and enter reflectively into those last moments of Jesus’ journey of love.
After dinner there will be the opportunity to attend the Vigil Mass in the sanctuary as the faithful join to celebrate the life of St. Pio of Pietrelcina and listen to an account of his final hours.
Saturday, 23rd September - FEAST DAY OF ST. PIO OF PIETRELCINA
This morning we will celebrate Mass in the sacred cave at the Shrine of St. Michael the Archangel and afterwards have time at leisure in the wonderful town of Monte Sant’ Angelo, famous for its quaint cobbled streets and white-washed houses. In the afternoon we will visit nearby St. Matthew’s monastery and receive a blessing with the relic of St. Matthew and Holy Oil.
The celebrations will conclude with a procession through the town as the faithful join with the Capuchin community to give thanks for the gift of St. Pio.
Sunday, 24th September
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 morning Mass, we will learn of the history behind what is regarded as Padre Pio’s greatest creation.
We will have the afternoon at leisure with the opportunity for private sightseeing or to return to the crypt of St. Pio.
Monday, 25th September
This morning we will drive to Naples airport as we return to our homes, filled with a sense of tranquility, 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.