Saturday, 15th April - Pietrelcina
This morning we will depart 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.
As we drive to the town of Pietrelcina, birthplace of Padre Pio, we will begin to learn of the early years of Francesco Forgione and how he realised his dream of becoming “a monk with a beard.” After lunch in a local restaurant, we will celebrate the opening Mass of our pilgrimage and during our guided walking tour of the town, we will visit the home of the Forgione family where baby Francesco was born and the Church of Sant ‘Anna where he was baptised. In nearby Piana Romana we will see the farmhouse of the family and have time for prayer before the tree beneath which Padre Pio received the first signs of the stigmata. The breath-taking views and contrasting landscapes will make for an enjoyable drive towards San Giovanni Rotondo. Arriving at our hotel, we will check into our rooms and have dinner.
Sunday, 16th April - English Office, Capuchin friary & Church of St. Pio of Pietrelcina
This morning we will celebrate Mass in the Church of Our Lady of Grace and see the confessional where Padre Pio administered God’s Mercy for over fifty years. During our visit to the English Office we will hear more of the life of St. Pio and receive a blessing with the glove and crucifix used by the humble friar.
Our afternoon guided tour of 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 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.
Monday, 17th April - Shrine of St. Michael the Archangel & Way of the Cross
After breakfast we will drive to the town of Monte Sant’Angelo, home to the Shrine of St. Michael the Archangel. We will celebrate Mass in the sacred cave of this most holy shrine which has been visited by countless Popes and Saints.
Before returning to San Giovanni Rotondo we will visit the cemetery and have time for prayer at the tombs of the parents of Padre Pio, Mary Pyle, and our dear friends Fr. Alessio and Fr. Joseph Pius. We will have lunch in a local restaurant and in the afternoon walk the Way of the Cross which will allow us as Christians, to pause and enter reflectively into those last moments of Jesus’s journey of love.
Tuesday, 18th April "Cassa 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. This morning we will celebrate Mass and afterwards learn of the history behind what is Padre Pio’s greatest creation. In the afternoon there will be time for confession or to return to the crypt of St. Pio for private prayer.
Wednesday, 19th April - Pompeii
Padre Pio had a great devotion to Our Lady of Pompeii and during his lifetime visited the Basilica of the Virgin of the Holy Rosary. This morning we will depart San Giovanni Rotondo and drive to Pompeii, during which we will hear of the visits of Padre Pio to the Papal Basilica and the history of its founder, Blessed Bartolo Longo and his own great works of charity. After free time for lunch, we will celebrate the closing Mass of our pilgrimage and afterwards see the rose which was sent to the basilica by Padre Pio, just before his death in 1968. We will have the remainder of the afternoon at leisure for shopping and private sightseeing.
Thursday, 20th 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.