Day 1– Sunday, 15th September
We will depart in the afternoon from Dublin to Split. Upon arrival we will be met by our tour escort and transfer to Medjugorje where we will be taken to our accommodation and introduced to our host family. Light snack will be served on arrival.
Day 2 – Monday, 16th September
After breakfast, there will be Holy Mass for English speaking pilgrims at 10.00am in the Church of St. James. Following mass there will be an opening meeting and introduction at the shrine of Our Lady Queen of Peace. We will hear a talk by one of the Medjugorje priests on the messages of Our Lady. We will continue to the Statue of the Risen Lord for a prayer service and climb up the Cross Mountain (Krizevac) where we will pray the Stations of the Cross as we make our way to the summit. We will return for dinner which will be followed by the evening services. Afterwards we are cordially invited to a free concert - An Evening of Prayer through Song - with David Parkes.
Day 3 – Tuesday, 17th September
Today we meet with our guides at the statue of Our Lady to walk through the vineyards, to the Hill of Apparitions (Podbrdo). We will listen to the story of the first days of the apparitions and then climb, in prayer, to the site of the first apparition. There will be a talk by one of the Medjugorje priests on the messages of Our Lady or a meeting with one of the visionaries.
Day 4 – Wednesday, 18th September
We will depart Medjugorje and travel to Dubrovnik for our flight to Bari. Upon arrival in Bari airport we will be met by our tour escort and catch our first glimpse of the region of Puglia as we drive to San Giovanni Rotondo where we will stay for the following three nights. We will celebrate Mass and afterwards have evening meal.
DAY 5 – Thursday, 19th September
This morning we will celebrate Mass in the ancient church of Our Lady of Grace where St. Pio celebrated Mass, heard confessions and received the gift of the stigmata. Afterwards we will meet with one of the capuchin friars where we will hear more of the life of St. Pio and receive a blessing with the glove and crucifix of St. Pio.
In the afternoon we will visit the hospital, ‘Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza’, considered Padre Pio’s greatest creation. 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.
We will see the capuchin friary and the cell occupied by the humble friar before visiting the Church of St. Pio of Pietrelcina where we will have time for private prayer and reflection before the mortal remains of this great saint of our time.
DAY 6 – Friday, 20th September
After breakfast we will travel to nearby St. Matthew’s monastery and have the blessing with the relic of St. Matthew and Holy Oils. As we return to San Giovanni Rotondo we will visit the cemetery where the parents of Padre Pio, Mary Pyle, Fr. Alessio and Fr. Ermelindo are entombed.
In the afternoon we will drive to the Shrine of St. Michael the Archangel, the oldest shrine in western Europe dedicated to the Archangel Michael. We will celebrate Mass at the sacred cave and afterwards have time at leisure before returning to San Giovanni Rotondo.
DAY 7 – Saturday, 21st September
This morning we will depart San Giovanni Rotondo, enjoying the contrasting landscapes of the Italian countryside as we drive to 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 invisible stigmata.
We will celebrate Mass in nearby Pietrelcina, birthplace of St. Pio, and afterwards take a walking tour of the town, visiting the home of the Forgione family where Padre Pio was born, the Church of Sant’Anna where Padre Pio was baptised and the parish church where he celebrated his first Mass.
After free time for lunch we will make our way to Naples airport as we return to our homes, filled with a sense of tranquillity, rejuvenation and peace in our hearts.