DAY 1 - San Giovanni Rotondo
Our morning flight from Dublin will take us to Naples airport, where we will be greeted by our Marian Pilgrimages representative. As we drive to San Giovanni Rotondo we will hear of some of the episodes from the early years of Padre Pio and his time spent in his native Pietrelcina. Upon arriving in San Giovanni Rotondo, home to Padre Pio for over fifty years, we will check into our hotel and have dinner.
DAY 2 - English Office, Capuchin friary, Church of St. Pio of Pietrelcina
The English Office was founded by Fr. Alessio Parente to welcome English-speaking pilgrims arriving in San Giovanni Rotondo. After the celebration of morning Mass, we will visit the English Office and learn more of the life of Padre Pio before receiving a blessing with the glove and crucifix used by the humble friar.
In the afternoon, our guided tour of the sanctuary will allow us to 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 onto 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.
DAY 3 - Shrine of St. Michael the Archangel & Way of the Cross
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 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, during our afternoon visit to the hospital we will learn of the history behind what is regarded as Padre Pio's greatest creation and of the wonderful work that continues to this day.
DAY 4 - Anniversary of the Canonisation of St. Pio
Whilst growing up in Pietrelcina, little Francesco Forgione (future Padre Pio) had a dream - that of becoming �a monk with a beard.� The much-anticipated day arrived in August 1910, when he would be ordained in the Cathedral in Benevento and, four days later, celebrate his first Mass. On this Anniversary of the Canonisation of St. Pio, we will travel to where it all began for Padre Pio - his birthplace of Pietrelcina.
Upon arrival in the quaint town of Pietrelcina, we will celebrate Mass in the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli, where the newly ordained Padre Pio celebrated his first Mass and after lunch enjoy a guided tour of the town which will take us to the Forgione family home where 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 have time for prayer before the tree beneath which Padre Pio received the first signs of the stigmata.
After our day learning more of the early years of Padre Pio in his native town we will drive to our hotel, immersed in the picturesque countryside, and after checking into our rooms have time to relax before dinner.
DAY 5 Return home
This morning, after breakfast, we will check out of our hotel 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.