DAY 1 - Pietrelcina
We will depart in the morning from Dublin to Naples and on arrival, be greeted by our Marian Pilgrimages guide and driver who will remain with us for the duration of our pilgrimage.
Our pilgrimage in the footsteps of St. Pio will begin in his native town of Pietrelcina where the young Francesco Forgione grew up and, in the years that would follow would overcome many obstacles to realise his dream of becoming a �monk with a beard.� Our afternoon walking tour will include visits to the Forgione family home where Francesco was born, the Church of Sant'Anna where he was baptised and the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli where the newly ordained Padre Pio would celebrate his first Mass. Our visit to Pietrelcina will conclude with the celebration of the Mass in the Church of the Holy Family, and time permitting, a visit to the museum which carefully preserves items dating back to Padre Pio's years in Pietrelcina. Our final visit of the day will be to nearby Piana Romana where Padre Pio would receive the first signs of the stigmata.
The breathtaking Italian countryside will make for an enjoyable evening drive to San Giovanni Rotondo, home to Padre Pio for over fifty years.
DAY 2 - Shrine of St. Michael the Archangel, Crypt of St. Pio, Capuchin friary, Torchlight Procession
Padre Pio had a great devotion to St. Michael the Archangel and travelled on pilgrimage to the shrine in Monte Sant'Angelo. During our morning drive to the oldest shrine in Western Europe dedicated to the Archangel Michael, we will hear of the apparitions of the Archangel Michael and have the privilege of celebrating Mass in the sacred cave.
In the afternoon, during our guided tour of the sanctuary, we will walk in the footsteps of Padre Pio during his years in San Giovanni Rotondo. Our guide will take us to the ancient Church of Our Lady of Grace where Padre Pio celebrated Mass and heard confessions before continuing to visit the capuchin friary, where we will learn more about the �poor friar who prays� as Padre Pio often described himself. Our day will conclude in the Church of St. Pio of Pietrelcina where there will be time for private prayer before the remains of the great saint of our time.
This evening we will return to the sanctuary and join with fellow pilgrims to participate in the Torchlight Procession.
DAY 3 - Visit to the English Office & Way of the Cross
Founded by Fr. Alessio Parente to welcome English-speaking pilgrims arriving in San Giovanni Rotondo, during our morning visit to the English office we will hear more of the life of Padre Pio and receive a blessing with the glove and crucifix used by the humble friar.
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. The remainder of the afternoon at leisure will give us the opportunity for confessions or to return to the crypt.
DAY 4 - Return home
This morning, after breakfast, we will depart the town of St. Pio and drive to Naples airport for our return flight to Dublin.
*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.