San Giovanni Rotondo, a small town in the province of Foggia, in southern Italy, is one of the most important centers of pilgrimage for Catholics.
Every year thousands of pilgrims from all over the world visit this town to witness its beautiful sanctuaries, architecture and to experience Saint Padre Pio’s life.
At Joe Walsh Tours, we would like to share some important shrines for you to see in San Giovanni Rotondo, exploring the places that make this town so special.
The Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie
One of the most beautiful shrines to see in San Giovanni Rotondo is the Old Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie or Our Lady of Grace, a small church where Padre Pio lived, heard confessions, prayed, and received the stigmata in 1918.
This beautiful church is the perfect place for pilgrims to find peace in prayer and explore the places connected to Padre Pio’s life, such as Padre Pio’s cell and the crypt where the Saint’s body used to rest before being transferred to the Church of St. Padre Pio di Pietrelcina.
Padre Pio’s Church
The Church of Padre Pio is a must-see visit during our pilgrimage to San Giovanni Rotondo.
This church is the newest and much larger sanctuary in San Giovanni with its construction being financed almost entirely by pilgrims.
It was designed by the Italian designer Renzo Piano.
Padre Pio’s Tomb
A fascinating place to visit when you go to San Giovanni Rotondo is the tomb of Padre Pio, located in the new sanctuary, where pilgrims and devotees will be able to find and honour the remains of the Saint as well as appreciate sacred art and beautiful mosaics.
Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza
In his life, the Saint of Pietrelcina gave special welcome to those people who, like him, were sick or experiencing any kind of suffering. He founded the hospital Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza in solidarity with them.
The hospital, also known as “Home for Relief of the Suffering”, now welcomes many patients, being one of the best health care centers in Italy.
Who was Padre Pio?
“For your daily transgressions, humble yourself, humble yourself,always humble yourself”- Padre Pio.
Francesco Forgione, known as Padre Pio was a priest born in the town of Pietrelcina, in the Italian province of Benevento, in 1887.
Due to his humility and love for religious life, he entered the Capuchin Order of the Friars Minor, being ordained later to the priesthood.
Padre Pio was known for his devotion to God and his amazing spiritual abilities and visions that were considered miraculous by those who witnessed them.
He lived in the monastery in San Giovanni Rotondo, where he would say Mass and hear confession. He was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2002.
The Saint, who was afflicted with poor health conditions his entire life, also received a stigmata on September 20th 1918 and this mark would stay with him until his death in 1968.
Learn more about Padre Pio’s life: HERE and San Giovanni Rotondo website.
We hope you enjoyed our suggestions for places to see in San Giovanni Rotondo.
San Giovanni Rotondo is one of the shrines visited on our Pilgrimage to Italy tours.
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