Day 1 - Pietrelcina
This morning we will depart from Dublin to Naples with Aer lingus. 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 Pietrelcina, birthplace of Padre Pio and after free time for lunch, we will enjoy a walking tour of Pietrelcina and learn of the early life of Padre Pio with a visit to his family home where he was born and the Church of Sant’ Anna where he was baptised. We will celebrate the opening Mass of our pilgrimage in the Church of the Holy Family and later visit the museum where precious items have been preserved dating back to Padre Pio’s early years in Pietrelcina. During our visit to nearby Piana Romana, we will see the farmhouse of the Forgione family and have time for prayer before the tree beneath which Padre Pio received the first signs of the stigmata.
We will continue our drive to San Giovanni Rotondo and upon arrival at the Hotel Colonne, located just a 5-minute walk from the sanctuary, we will check into our rooms and have dinner.
Day 2 – Ancient Church of Our Lady of Grace, English Office, Capuchin friary
This morning we will celebrate Mass in the ancient Church of Our Lady of Grace where Padre Pio spent many hours each day hearing confessions and afterwards in the English Office will receive a blessing with the glove and crucifix used by the capuchin friar.
After lunch, we will continue to learn of the life 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 in the Church of St. Pio of Pietrelcina where we will have time for private prayer before the remains of the great saint of our time.
Day 3 – Shrine of St. Michael the Archangel
We will have the morning at leisure to browse the local markets in San Giovanni Rotondo or for some personal sightseeing. After lunch 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. Before returning to San Giovanni Rotondo we will visit the cemetery where the parents of Padre Pio and our dear friends, Fr. Alessio and Fr. Joseph Pius are entombed.
Day 4 – Convent of Sant’Anna & St. Matthew’s Monastery
After breakfast we will drive to the Convent of Sant’Anna in Foggia, where Padre Pio arrived in the February of 1916. We will celebrate Mass and afterwards visit the cell occupied by Padre Pio during his brief stay.
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. After dinner there will be the opportunity to attend the Marian Torchlight Procession as we honour the Madonna, for whom Padre Pio had a great devotion.
Day 5 – Way of the Cross
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, after morning Mass we will learn of the history behind what is regarded as Padre Pio’s greatest creation. As we walk 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 afternoon at leisure for confessions and to return to the crypt of St. Pio.
Day 6 – 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, joy 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.