DAY 1: BENEVENTO AND THE SHRINE OF ST PHILOMENA
Today we will depart from Dublin Airport at approximately 06:15 hrs. Our Joe Walsh Tours representative will meet us on arrival in Naples. After collecting our luggage, we will be transferred by coach to Benevento.
We will check-in at the hotel and have lunch in the newly refurbished Antum Hotel before travelling to the shrine of St Philomena in Mugnano. St. Philomena has been credited with countless miracles and intercessions since the discovery of her tomb in the most ancient catacombs of St. Priscilla in Rome in 1802. St.Philomena is prayed to by people of diverse ages and cultures around the world. The young Philomena was martyred when she was just thirteen, willingly trading her earthly life for heavenly salvation. We visit the sanctuary which holds the body of Saint Philomena.
DAY 2: SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO, PIETRELCINA, THE CHURCH OF ST ANNA & STATION OF THE CROSS
After breakfast, we will head to San Giovanni Rotondo. On our way, we will visit and have mass in the famous Pietrelcina, the birthplace of Saint Pio and Piana Romana if time permitting.
We visit St. Pio’s family home and the church of St. Anna where Padre Pio was baptised and received his First Holy Communion.
Then, time for a quick snack and lunch (own expenses) before heading to the Centro di Spiritualita’ Padre Pio, where we will be staying for the next 3 nights on a Full Board basis.
In the afternoon we will pay a visit to part of the hospital ‘Casa Sollievo della sofferenza’. In his life, the Saint of Pietrelcina, Padre Pio, gave a 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 healthcare centres in Italy.
DAY 3: SAN MARCO IN LAMIS, ST MATTHEW'S MONASTERY & MONTE SANT ANGELO
This morning we travel to the nearby town of San Marco in Lamis with its beautiful market and visit St. Matthew’s monastery. Before heading to San Marco we will also be visiting the Station of the Cross. After lunch we then continue to Monte Sant Angelo. We will visit and have mass in the shrine in the cave where the Archangel Michael appeared in the fifth 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. Then we will have Mass before returning to the hotel for dinner.
DAY 4: FULL DAY IN SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO
After breakfast today we will spend the full day in San Giovanni. We will visit the English office where we hear about the extraordinary life of Padre Pio and the Capuchin Friary, the cell where Saint Pio lived and died, and the crucifix before which he received the stigmata. One of the most beautiful shrines to see in San Giovanni Rotondo, the Old Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie or Our Lady of Grace, where we will have mass, a small church where Padre Pio lived, heard confessions, prayed, and received the stigmata in 1918. Time to go back to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
DAY 5: TRAVEL BACK HOME
After an early breakfast and check out we will make our way to Naples airport for our morning flight back to Dublin.