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 checking 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: SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO & PIETRELCINA
After breakfast today we will head to San Giovanni Rotondo. On our way we will visit the famous 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.
Time to head to the Centro di Spiritualita’ Padre Pio, where we will be staying for the next 3 nights on a Full Board basis.
After lunch 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, 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 dinner and overnight.
DAY 3: SAN MARCO IN LAMIS, ST MATTHEW'S MONASTERY AND 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. After lunch we then continue 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 and overnight.
DAY 4: SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO
This is our last day in San Giovanni. After breakfast we will visit the Station of the Cross, followed by a visit to 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 centres in Italy. Free afternoon for personal prayers and shopping.
DAY 5: ALBA ADRIATICA, LANCIANO & SHRINE OF THE HOLY FACE IN MANOPPELLO
After breakfast and check out from the Centro di Spiritualita’, we will be traveling to Alba Adriatica.
On our way we will be visiting the small town of Lanciano, near the Adriatic Coast. Another wonderful place of pilgrimage, as this shrine is the location of the first and greatest Eucharistic Miracle of the Catholic Church.
Pilgrims have travelled to the Sanctuary in Lanciano since then to see the miracle, which is kept in a silver and glass reliquary.
In the afternoon we will also be visiting the Shrine of the Holy Face in Manoppello, preserved in a church part of a monastery belonging to Capuchin friars.
After a long and eventful day, we will be checking in the Hotel Meripol where we will be spending the next 2 nights on a Half Board Basis.
DAY 6: ALBA ADRIATICA & LORETO
Today after breakfast we will have the time to enjoy a free morning. Time to explore Alba, enjoy a walk on the beach or time for prayers.
After lunch we will be heading to Loreto. Located in the Marche region of central Italy and close to the Adriatic Coast, Loreto is a special place for Catholic pilgrimage as it is home to the Shrine of the Holy House of the Virgin Mary, located in the Basilica della Casa Santa.
This Late Gothic and Renaissance-style Basilica was built between 1469 to 1587 and according to research, it contains three sides of the house in Nazareth where Mary was born and lived during the time she received the Annunciation from the Archangel Gabriel.
DAY 7: ST GABRIEL SHRINE – BACK TO DUBLIN
This is our last day. After breakfast and check out from the hotel, we will be starting to get ready for our way to Rome. Before our evening flight back we will have the chance to visit the famous St. Gabriel Shrine.
Saint Gabriel Shrine is one of the most attended places of worship in Italy. Its early origin dates to the thirteenth century, when St. Francis of Assisi, passing through the area after participating in the IV Lateran Council (1215), established a community of his friars. Next to the monastery a church was built, which until today is dedicated to the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary.
Ready for our flight back to Dublin.