Padre Pio an Icon of Divine Mercy
During this year which marks the 20th Anniversary of the Canonisation of St. Pio, Easter 2022 will also mark the 20th Anniversary of the entrustment to the world to Divine Mercy.
St. Pio is a classic icon of Divine Mercy. During his lifetime in San Giovanni Rotondo, he encouraged the faithful to go regularly to confession, and to seek the sacrament with sincerity of heart.
Padre Pios life was to be Divinely entwined with a young Polish Priest, Fr. Karol Wojtyla, who made a pilgrimage to the then small town of San Giovanni Rotondo to meet Padre Pio and have his confession heard by him. The young priest would go on to be repeatedly touched by Padre Pio and his legacy,
Saint John Paul IIs life, like that of Padre Pio, was deeply rooted in the mystery of Divine Mercy. In 2000, Pope John Paul II both canonised Sister Faustina, the recipient of the message of Divine Mercy, and established Divine Mercy Sunday as a Feast Day for the entire Church. And in 2002, he entrusted the world to Divine Mercy, just two months before he canonised St. Pio.
During our 5-Day pilgrimage we will highlight the Icons of Mercy that are Padre Pio and St. John Paul the Great, whose lives were intrinsically linked in the Divine Plan of Salvation, both of whom received and shared Gods mercy in an extraordinary way.
Where better to celebrate this great occasion than in the footsteps of these great Icons who both administered and received Gods Mercy in San Giovanni Rotondo.
Friday, 22 April - Pietrelcina
Upon arrival in Naples, we will be greeted by our Marian Pilgrimages guide and driver who will remain with us for the duration of our pilgrimage.
As we drive to the town of Pietrelcina, birthplace of Padre Pio, we will begin to learn of the early years of Francesco Forgione and how he realised his dream of becoming a monk with a beard. We will celebrate the opening Mass of our pilgrimage in the Church of the Holy Family and during our guided walking tour of the town, we will visit the home of the Forgione family where baby Francesco was born and the Church of Sant Anna where he was baptised.
In nearby Piana Romana we will see the farmhouse of the family and have time for prayer before the tree beneath which Padre Pio received the first signs of the stigmata. We will enjoy the breath-taking views and contrasting landscapes as we drive towards San Giovanni Rotondo. Arriving at our hotel, located just a five-minute walk from the sanctuary, we will check into our rooms and have dinner.
Saturday, 23 April - English Office / Healing and Penitential service / Torchlight Procession
This morning we will celebrate Mass in the ancient Church of Our Lady of Grace and afterwards visit the English Office where we will hear of the life of St. Pio and receive a blessing with the glove and crucifix used by the humble friar.
After lunch we will visit the Monastery of the Resurrection of the Capuchin Poor Clare Sisters. Nestled on the mountainside, overlooking the Sanctuary of St. Pio of Pietrelcina, in the Church of the Resurrection we will have an afternoon of prayer, reflection and a healing and penitential service.
This evening, after dinner, we will have the opportunity to participate in the Marian Torchlight Procession at the sanctuary as we honour the Madonna, for whom Padre Pio had great devotion.
Sunday, 24 April - DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY
In 2000, Pope John Paul II both canonised Sister Faustina, the recipient of the message of Divine Mercy, and dedicated the Second Sunday of Easter in the Roman Catholic Church calendar to Divine Mercy. This morning we will celebrate Mass and afterwards have the morning for private prayer.
Our afternoon guided tour of the capuchin friary will allow us to learn more about the poor friar who prays as he often described himself. Here we will have the opportunity to see the cell once occupied by the humble friar and the crucifix before which he received the stigmata. We will also visit the confessional and sacristy where Padre Pio administered Gods Mercy through the confessional for over fifty years.
Monday, 25 April - Shrine of St. Michael the Archangel
After breakfast we will drive to the town of Monte SantAngelo, home to the Shrine of St. Michael the Archangel. In the sacred cave we will celebrate Mass. This is a most holy shrine and one also visited on pilgrimage by countless Popes and Saints, including Padre Pio and Pope John Paul II.
Walking the Way of the Cross in the afternoon will allow us as Christians, to pause and enter reflectively into those last moments of Jesuss journey of love. We will have the remainder of the afternoon at leisure for confessions or to return to the crypt of St. Pio.
Tuesday, 26 April - St. Matthew's Monastery
This morning we will celebrate Mass in St. Matthews monastery. Located along the Pilgrims Path, the monastery is a place rich in history, art, culture and faith, and spirituality.? After Mass we will receive a blessing with the relic of St. Matthew and Holy Oil.
Before returning to San Giovanni Rotondo, we will visit Masseria Calderoso. Located in the picturesque countryside, surrounded by century old olive trees, the farm was donated to Padre Pio during the 1950s and now provides the hospital with some wonderful fresh produce.
We will return to San Giovanni Rotondo and have the opportunity to return to the crypt of St. Pio for private prayer.
Wednesday, 27 Apri - Return home
This morning we will check out of our hotel and drive to Naples airport, returning to our homes filled with a sense of tranquillity, rejuvenation, and peace in our hearts.