DAY 1: BENEVENTO
Depart 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. After check-in and lunch we will be attending mass in the Cathedral of Benevento and have a walking tour of the city before returning back to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
DAY 2: PIANA ROMANA, PIETRELCINA & THE CHURCH OF ST ANNA
This morning after breakfast and check out will first have a walking tour and Mass in Piana Romana. When Padre Pio was an ordained priest living in Pietrelcina, Francesco used to walk there after mass, taking the path through the woods (the Rosary Walk). We will be visiting Pietrelcina afterward, 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. Time for lunch (own expenses) before continuing to San Giovanni Rotondo. We will check in at the Parco delle Rose where we will be staying for the next 5 nights on a Full Board basis. One pizza night in the lovely Parco delle Rose’s Garden will be also organised according to the weather. Time permitting before dinner we will be visiting and pay homage to Padre Pio’s tomb in the new Sanctuary.
DAY 3: SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO
Today after breakfast we will attend Mass and continue our journey on the Padre Pio footsteps visiting 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, 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, a small church where Padre Pio lived, heard confessions, prayed, and received the stigmata in 1918. Time to go back to the hotel for a lovely pizza in the garden and overnight.
DAY 4: CASA SOLLIEVO DELLA SOFFERENZA, SAN MARCO IN LAMIS & ST MATTHEW MONASTERY
Today we will have mass in the Sanctuary. During our morning we will visit part of the hospital ‘Casa Sollievo della sofferenza’. In his life, the Saint of Pietrelcina, Padre Pio, 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. We will visit the house of Mary Pile of the Capuchin Friars as well before returning to the hotel for the meal. After lunch and rest, we will make our way to San Marco in Lamis and visit St Matthew Monastery.
Time for dinner. A shuttle bus will be organised after dinner for the Eucharistic adoration.
DAY 5: MONTE SANT ANGELO
After a good breakfast today, we will have mass in the Sanctuary and spend the morning at the local market right beside the hotel. In the afternoon, after lunch, we will make our way to Monte Sant Angelo, 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. Mass and return to hotel for dinner. A shuttle bus will be organised for the prayers under the Cross. Overnight.
DAY 6: RODI GARGANICO
Today after breakfast we will have a full day out discovering Rodi Garganico. (lunch own expenses)
Rodi Garganico is known as “Il Giardino del Gargano” (Garden of Gardano), the town is in fact surrounded by olives and citrus fruit groves which fill the air with the scent of their intense flowers. The stunning church of St Peter and the Sanctuary of the Madonna Libera, the church of Saint Nicola di Mira, and St. Barbara can be found here.
After a full day time to go back to Parco delle Rose for dinner. After dinner the shuttle bus will bring us in the evening to the torchlight procession.
DAY 7: ST FILOMENA'S SHRINE
Today, unfortunately, is our last day in San Giovanni Rotondo. After breakfast and check out we will spend the morning following the via Crucis. Lunch in the hotel and transfer to Benevento for our last night.
On the way, we will visit the Sanctuary of St. Filomena in the Mugnano del Cardinale. It is the main Catholic place of worship in the province of Avellino. Inside, the remains of Saint Philomena have been kept since August 10, 1805. It is one of the nine sanctuaries of the Diocese of Nola.
Time to check in in Antum Hotel for dinner and overnight.
DAY 8: BACK TO DUBLIN
After breakfast and check-out from the hotel, we will be starting to get ready for our way to Naples for our flight back departing at approximately 11:40am.