DAY 1 - Arrive Italy
This morning we will depart from Shannon to Naples airport. 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. The Bel Sito Hotel le Due Torri, boasting some stunning views of the countryside, will be our base for the first night of our pilgrimage. Upon arrival, we will check into our rooms and have time to relax before dinner.
DAY 2 - Pietrelcina
This morning we will begin to walk in the footsteps of Padre Pio, starting with a visit to his birthplace of Pietrelcina. We will celebrate the opening Mass of our pilgrimage in the Church of the Holy Family and afterwards visit the museum which has carefully preserved items relating to the early years of Padre Pio. During our guided walking tour of the town, we will learn of the young Francesco (the future Padre Pio) with visits to his family home and the Church of Sant’Anna where he was baptised.
After lunch in a local restaurant, we will visit Piana Romana and have time for prayer before the tree beneath which Padre Pio received the first signs of the stigmata. We will enjoy breath-taking views as we drive to San Giovanni Rotondo, home to Padre Pio for over fifty years. Upon arrival at the Hotel Colonne, located within walking distance of the sanctuary, we will check into our rooms and have time to relax before dinner.
DAY 3 - English Office, Capuchin Friary, Church of Sr. Pio of Pietrelcina
This morning we will celebrate Mass in the ancient Church of Our Lady of Grace, where Padre Pio celebrated Mass and spent many hours hearing confessions. Afterwards, during our visit to the English Office we will hear more of the life of Padre Pio before receiving a blessing with the glove and crucifix used by the humble friar.
In the afternoon we will begin to walk in the footsteps of Padre Pio during his time in San Giovanni Rotondo. Visiting the capuchin friary, the corridors he walked each day on his way to celebrate Mass, the cell where he lived and died; all this will allow us to learn more about the “poor friar who prays” as he often described himself.
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 - "Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza"
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 morning Mass, we will learn of the history behind what is regarded as Padre Pio’s greatest miracle.
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. We will have the remainder of the afternoon at leisure.
DAY 5 - Convent of Sant'Anna, Foggia
We will celebrate morning Mass and after lunch drive to the town of Foggia. We will visit the Church of Sant’Anna, where Padre Pio spent a brief period before his final transfer to San Giovanni Rotondo. We will see the cell occupied by the humble friar and afterwards receive a blessing with the mitten of St. Pio. This evening we will enjoy dinner in a local restaurant in San Giovanni Rotondo, with the opportunity to sample some of the local produce.
DAY 6 - Shrine of St. Michael the Archangel, Masseria Calderoso, St. Matthew's Monastery
After breakfast we will drive to the town of Monte Sant’Angelo, home to the Shrine of St. Michael the Archangel. In the sacred cave we will celebrate Mass and afterwards have time to stroll through the cobbled streets of this unique town with its quaint, white-washed houses.
We will drive to Masseria Calderoso for lunch. Located in the picturesque countryside, surrounded by century old olive trees, the farm was donated to Padre Pio during the 1950’s and now provides the hospital with some wonderful fresh produce. Our day will conclude with a visit to St. Matthew’s monastery where we will receive a blessing with the relic of St. Matthew and Holy Oil.
DAY 7 - Mass at the Old Tomb
This morning we will celebrate Mass in the old tomb of the Church of Our Lady of Grace, where the remains of Padre Pio rested for over forty years, remembering especially during this Mass our deceased family and friends.
In the afternoon we will come together as a group where there will be Exposition and Adoration of the Eucharist – one of the most beautiful ways to spend time in prayer. Afterwards, there will be confessions and time to return to the crypt of St. Pio for private prayer.
DAY 8 - Return home
We will celebrate the closing Mass of our pilgrimage in the ancient Church of Our Lady of Grace before departing San Giovanni Rotondo and driving to Naples airport as we return to our homes filled with a sense of joy, tranquillity, 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.