Day 1 – Monday, 14th October
This afternoon we will depart from Dublin to Bari. Upon arrival we will be met by our tour escort and transfer to the Hotel Genius in Corato where we will stay for two nights on a half board basis.
Day 2 – Tuesday, 15th October
This morning we will celebrate the opening Mass of our pilgrimage in the Church of Santa Maria Greca.
Inaugurated in 1664 and dedicated to the Greek Madonna, the Church of Santa Maria Greca is home to the tomb of the ‘little Daughter of the Divine Will’, Luisa Piccarreta. Luisa was a mystic and victim soul confined to her bed with an illness that no doctor could identify and who lived on the Eucharist and the Divine Will for over 60 years. With the permission of Pope Leo XIII, Mass was celebrated in her bedroom daily. We will have time for prayer before the tomb of the ‘little Daughter of the Divine Will’, and afterwards visit the crypt in the church where we will venerate the miraculous icon of the Greek Madonna.
In the afternoon we will visit the house of Luisa Piccarreta and see her bedroom with the altar used for the celebration of the Holy Mass which Luisa participated in with great devotion and spent many hours in prayer. We will see some of the lacework of Luisa which she carried out while sitting up in her bed during the day and will see copies of some of her writings, many of which have been published. Afterwards we will return to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 3 – Wednesday, 16th October
This morning we will celebrate Mass in Corato and have time for private prayer and reflection. We will depart Corato and drive through the pituresque region of Puglia to San Giovanni Rotondo where we will stay in the Hotel Colonne for two nights on a full board basis.
After lunch we will visit the English Office where we will meet with a capuchin friar, learn more of the life of St. Pio and receive a blessing with the glove and crucifix of the humble friar. Afterwards we will visit the ancient Church of Our Lady of Grace where Padre Pio celebrated Mass, heard confessions and received the gift of the stigmata. Our day will end 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.
Day 4 – Thursday, 17th October
We will celebrate morning Mass in the old tomb and afterwards 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 our visit to the capuchin friary 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.
The remainder of the afternoon we will have at leisure with the opportunity for the sacrament of reconciliation and private prayer.
Day 5 – Friday, 18th October
This morning, after breakfast, we will depart San Giovanni Rotondo and transfer to Bari airport for our flight to Dublin, returning to our homes, filled with a sense of tranquillity, rejuvenation and peace in our hearts.