Day 1 – Monday, 5 August
This morning we will depart from Dublin to Naples where, upon arrival, we will meet our tour escort 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 we will drive to the town of Pietrelcina, birthplace of St. Pio. We will celebrate the opening Mass of our pilgrimage and afterwards have a walking tour of the quaint town visiting the home of the Forgione family where Padre Pio was born, the Church of Sant’Anna where he was baptised and the church where he celebrated his first Mass.
Afterwards we will travel to nearby Piana Romana where we will see the humble farmhouse of the Forgione family and have time for prayer before the tree beneath which Padre Pio received the invisible stigmata.
Day 2 – Tuesday, 06August
This morning we will visit the Shrine of St. Philomena. St. Philomena was a Greek princess and virgin martyr who died at the age of 13 years. After her remains were discovered at the catacombs of St. Priscilla in Rome and transferred to the Church of Our Lady of Grace, the town of Mugnano del Cardinale was transformed into a place of pilgrimage which attract devotees from the world over who come to pray at the altar of the saint. After visiting the museum and learning more about the virgin martyr, we will receive a blessing with the relic of St. Philomena and afterwards have time for private prayer at the altar of the 'Wonderworker' as she is so often referred to.
After our visit to the Shrine of St. Philomena we will enjoy a drive through the picturesque countryside before arriving in Materdomini, home to the Shrine of St. Gerard Majella, patron saint of mothers and children.
After free time for lunch we will enjoy a tour of the sanctuary visiting the ‘Room of the bows’ surrounded by a collection of photos of young babies, evidence of St. Gerard Majella’s powerful intercession: overcoming infertility, receiving the gift of motherhood, getting through a difficult pregnancy, a safe delivery, a healthy baby, to name a few. We will celebrate Mass at the tomb of St. Gerard Majella and before continuing our journey towards our destination of San Giovanni Rotondo, home to St. Pio for over fifty years.
Day 3 – Wednesday, 07August
After breakfast we will celebrate Mass in the ancient church of Our Lady of Grace where St. Pio celebrated Mass, heard confessions and received the gift of the stigmata. Afterwards we will meet with one of the capuchin friars where we will hear more of the life of St. Pio and receive a blessing with the glove and crucifix of the humble friar.
In the afternoon we will follow in the footsteps of the humble friar during his time in San Giovanni Rotondo. Despite experiencing great suffering in his own life, through his ministries and great work which saw the realisation of the hospital in San Giovanni Rotondo, he helped relieve the sick and troubled from their own individual sufferings. After visiting the capuchin friary and seeing the cell occupied by the capuchin friar, we will visit the Church of St. Pio of Pietrelcina and have time for private prayer before the mortal remains of this great saint of our time.
Day 4 – Thursday, 08 August
This morning we will travel to the town of Monte Sant’Angelo and celebrate Mass at the Shrine of St. Michael the Archangel, the oldest shrine in Western Europe dedicated to the Archangel Michael.
In the afternoon we will drive to St. Matthew’s monastery where we will have the blessing with the relic of St. Matthew and Holy Oils.
Day 5 – Friday, 09 August
We will have the morning at leisure and after lunch celebrate Mass at the old tomb of the Church of Our Lady of Grace, where the remains of St. Pio rested for almost forty years. After Mass we will walk the Way of the Cross, which allow us, as Christians, to pause and enter reflectively into those last moments of Jesus’s journey of love.
Day 6 – Saturday, 10 August
This morning we will celebrate Mass at the hospital, ‘Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza’ considered Padre Pio’s greatest creation and have a tour of what is considered Padre Pio's greatest creation.
We will have the afternoon at leisure for private prayer before joining together as we participate in the Marian Torchlight procession as we honour the Madonna, for whom St. Pio had a great devotion.
Day 7 – Sunday, 11 August
This morning we will depart San Giovanni Rotondo and make our way to Naples airport as we return to our homes, filled with a sense of tranquillity, 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.