Day 1 – Arrive Naples
We will depart in the afternoon from Dublin to Naples and on arrival will be greeted by our Marian Pilgrimages guide and drive to Pompeii. On arrival at the four-star Hotel Maiuri, we will check into our rooms and have out evening meal.
Day 2 – Basilica of the Virgin of the Holy Rosary, Pietrelcina & Piana Romana
This morning we will celebrate the opening Mass of our pilgrimage in the Basilica of the Virgin of the Holy Rosary, and afterwards hear of the life of its founder Bartolo Longo and his great works of charity. We will have time for prayer before the miraculous painting of the Virgin of the Holy Rosary.
The beauty of the countryside will make for an enjoyable drive towards the town of Pietrelcina, birthplace of Padre Pio. We will enjoy a walking tour of the town of Pietrelcina, as we begin to learn of the early life of Francesco Forgione with a visit to his family home and the Church of Sant’ Anna where he was baptised. We will visit the Church of the Holy Family and museum where precious items have been preserved dating back to Padre Pio’s early years in Pietrelcina. In nearby Piana Romana we will have time for prayer before the tree beneath which Padre Pio received the first signs of the stigmata. Spectacular views await us during our drive to our destination of San Giovanni Rotondo, home to Padre Pio for over fifty years. After checking into the Hotel Colonne, located within walking distance of the sanctuary, we will have dinner and afterwards time to relax and unpack.
Day 3 – English Office, Capuchin friary & Church of St. Pio of Pietrelcina
This morning we will celebrate Mass in the ancient Church of Our Lady of Grace and afterwards in the English Office will receive a blessing with the glove and crucifix used by Padre Pio.
After lunch, we will walk in the footsteps of Padre Pio during his time in San Giovanni Rotondo. Visiting the capuchin friary will allow us to learn more about the “poor friar who prays” as he often described himself. Here we will have the opportunity to see the cell once occupied by the humble friar and the crucifix before which he received the stigmata.
Our day will conclude with a visit to the Church of St. Pio of Pietrelcina where we will have time for private prayer before the mortal remains of the great saint of our time.
Day 4 – Shrine of St. Michael the Archangel & Sanctuary of Our Lady of Incoronata
Padre Pio had a great devotion to St. Michael the Archangel. This morning we will drive to the nearby Shrine of St. Michael the Archangel in the town of Monte Sant’Angelo. We will celebrate Mass in the sacred cave and afterwards have time to stroll the cobbled streets of this quaint town.
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. This evening, after dinner, we will have the opportunity to participate in the Candlelight Procession as the faithful honour the Madonna, for whom Padre Pio had a great devotion.
Day 5 – Way of the Cross & St. Matthew’s Monastery
We will celebrate morning Mass in the old tomb where the remains of St. Pio rested for over forty years. Afterwards, as we walk the Way of the Cross this morning, we will pause and enter reflectively into those last moments of Jesus’s journey of love.
In the afternoon we will visit the nearby St. Matthew’s monastery – a place rich in history, art, culture and above all full of faith and spirituality. We will receive a blessing with the relic of St. Matthew the apostle and the Holy Oil. We will return to San Giovanni Rotondo and have time to return to the crypt of St. Pio for private prayer.
Day 6 – Basilica of the Holy Face, Manoppello
This morning, after breakfast, we will depart San Giovanni Rotondo and drive to Manoppello where we will visit the Basilica of the Holy Face.
Relics, considered to be the burial cloths of Christ have been stored for centuries and are scattered throughout Europe however only two of the cloths have images upon them: the Shroud of Turin and the cloth at Manoppello,
After Mass we will have the opportunity to venerate the “Santo Sudarium”, the veil that has been carefully preserved above the alter, which is believed to have been the cloth lain over the head of Christ in the Tomb. We will hear of the examinations that have been carried out over the years on the veil and of the mysterious arrival of the cloth in the town of Manoppello. After lunch, we will continue our drive to Loreto. On arrival, we will check into our rooms and have dinner.
Day 7 – Holy House of Nazareth, Loreto
The most treasured and venerated shrine of Our Lady throughout the world is that of the Holy House of Nazareth which is enshrined in the basilica in Loreto. According to tradition, transported by angels to the town of Loreto, the Holy House is the same house where Our Lady received the gift of the Annunciation. Since at least the 14th century, pilgrims have been arriving in Loreto. Today we will celebrate Mass in the Basilica of the Holy House of Nazareth and will enjoy a day of prayer and reflection in this very holy place.
Day 8 – Corinaldo (Birthplace of St. Maria Goretti) & St. Joseph of Cupertino
This morning we will drive to the birthplace of Saint Maria Goretti. We will begin with a visit to the house where Marietta was born and lived until the time of departure for Nettuno. In nearby Corinaldo we will see the Parish church of San Francesco where Maria was baptised, we will have time for prayer at the tomb of her mother, Assunta and visit the Sanctuary of the Incancellata where Maria spent much time in prayer.
In the afternoon we will drive to Osimo. We will celebrate Mass in the Convent Basilica of St. Joseph of Cupertino, patron saint of air travellers (due to his gift of levitation), and afterwards visit the rooms where he lived. We will return to Loreto and have time for private prayer and reflection in the Basilica of the Holy House of Nazareth.
Day 9 – Tomb of St. Dominic
This morning we will depart Loreto and drive to Bologna. The Basilica of St. Dominic is one of the most important churches in Bologna and home of the Dominican Order.
In 1216 Dominic di Guzman’s order received papal approval. Within a year, Dominican monks were sent out to the major European centres: among these were Bologna and Paris, two cities with a large population and a university. Dominic arrived in Bologna two years later and settled in a convent outside the city walls before moving to the site where the current basilica now stands. We will celebrate the closing Mass of our pilgrimage and have time for prayer before the remains of the founder of the Dominican Order. After time for lunch we will drive to Bologna 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.