DAY 1: Monday 25 September
We depart Dublin Airport early this morning. Our Joe Walsh Tours representative will meet us on arrival in Naples. We will then be transferred by coach to Benevento, where we will check into the Grand Hotel Italiano and have lunch. After lunch at the hotel, we will have Mass at Benevento Cathedral, a walking tour of the city and visit Piana Romana. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
DAY 2: Tuesday 26 September
This morning after breakfast we will attend Mass and visit the Cathedral in Benevento where Padre Pio was ordained. We then continue our visit to Pietrelcina, the birthplace of Saint Pio. We visit St. Pio’s family home and the church of St. Anna where Padre Pio was baptised and received his First Holy Communion. We will have the time for snack and lunch before traveling to San Giovanni Rotondo. We will check in in the Parco delle Rose hotel for three nights with breakfast, lunch and dinner each day. Time permitting we will visit the Monastery of resurrection and Padre Pio’s tomb.
DAY 3: Wednesday 27 September
This morning we travel to the nearby town of San Marco in Lamis and visit St. Matthew’s Monastery.
We will have the chance to experience the local market before continuing to Monte Sant Angelo. Once in Monte Sant’Angelo we will visit the shrine in the cave where the Archangel Michael appeared in the 5th century. A long list of Saints and Popes have visited this cave to pray to the Archangel, among them St. Francis of Assisi, St Pio and St John Paul II. We will then return to hotel for dinner and overnight.
DAY 4: Thursday 28 September
Today we will enjoy a full day in San Giovanni Rotondo. 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.
Another must see during our pilgrimage is Padre Pio’s Church. 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.
Time also to visit the Capuchin Friary, the cell where Saint Pio lived and died, the crucifix before which he received the stigmata. We will visit the old and new churches and the tomb of St. Pio, as well as the English Office.
DAY 5: Friday 28 September
Time to depart after this Italian break following in the footsteps of Padre Pio. We will have an early departure at approximately 7am, after breakfast. We depart to Naples Airport for our flight home, arriving in Dublin at approximately 14.15 hr