Thursday, 6th April 2023 - Holy Thursday
We will depart in the morning from Dublin to Naples. In the arrivals hall we will be greeted by our Marian Pilgrimages guide and driver who will remain with us for the duration of our pilgrimage. We will drive to the four star Bel Sito Hotel le Due Torre and after lunch will check into our rooms and have time to relax.
The beauty of the Italian countryside will may for an enjoyable drive towards Pietrelcina, birthplace of Padre Pio. In this quaint town we will learn of the early years of Francesco Forgione (the future Padre Pio) and how he fulfilled his dream of becoming a monk with a beard. Accompanied by our guide, we will enjoy a working tour of the town, visiting the Forgione family home and the Church of Sant ’Anna where baby Francesco was baptised.
In the Church of the Holy Family, we will join with the local Capuchin community as they celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper – the moment when Jesus instituted both the Eucharist and the ministry of priesthood in his Church. After the celebration of Mass, we will return to our hotel.
Friday, 7th April - Good Friday
After checking out of our hotel, we will continue our pilgrimage in the footsteps of St. Pio as we drive to the town of Foggia. In the convent of Sant ‘Anna, where Padre Pio spent a brief period in 1916, we will see the cell occupied by the friar before continuing our drive to our destination of San Giovanni Rotondo, home to St. Pio for over fifty years.
After lunch we will walk the Stations of the Cross which will allow us as Christians to pause and enter reflectively into those last moments of Jesus’s journey of love. Our day will conclude with a visit to the Church of St. Pio of Pietrelcina where we will have time for prayer before the mortal remains of the great saint of our time.
Saturday, 8th April - Easter Saturday
During our morning visit to the English Office, we will receive a blessing with the glove and crucifix used by the humble friar. Accompanied by our guide, as we visit the capuchin friary, we will 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.
Padre Pio had a great devotion to St. Michael the Archangel. In the afternoon we will drive to the nearby Shrine of St. Michael the Archangel in the town of Monte Sant’Angelo.
Holy Saturday is the interlude between the pain of the death of Jesus and the joy of His Resurrection. It is the day of silence and expectation, in which every Christian, even today, meditates on the death of Jesus. In the sacred cave, visited by numerous Popes and Saints through the centuries, we will have time for prayer before the Holy Cross. Afterwards we will have time at leisure to stroll through the cobbled streets of the town with its quaint, white-washed houses. This evening we will have the opportunity to participate in the Easter Vigil ceremony in the Church of St. Pio of Pietrelcina.
Sunday, 9th April - Easter Sunday
We will celebrate morning Mass in the ancient Church of Our Lady of Grace where Padre Pio celebrated Mass and heard confessions.
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. After the celebration of Mass, we will hear of the history behind what is regarded as Padre Pio’s greatest creation. We will enjoy an afternoon at leisure with the opportunity to return to the crypt of St. Pio for private prayer.
Monday, 10th April - Return home
This morning we will check out of our hotel and drive to Naples airport for our return flight to Dublin returning 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.