Pilgrimage Tour to Europe: October 2008
We have a special affection for Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, the priest who carried the stigmata for 50 years. So many wonderful stories of faith, healing, and forgiveness surround his simple life, with most stories bordering on the impossible. It is pure grace to be reading the stories that surround his life, and I swear, even a full-pledged atheist will find his religion in the presence of a great spiritual leader that is Padre Pio.
My insatiable quest for more Padre Pio stories led me to a beautiful chapel in Libis, Quezon City called The Philippine Center of St. Pio of Pietrelcina. When I entered the chapel, rows and rows of testimonies of Padre Pio’s intercessions for people from all walks of life lined its walls. A cloth from his blood-soaked glove, along with his life-size statue were made part of the altar. There, you can kneel down and write him a letter to empty your heart’s burden. Truly, it is a place of sanctuary for anyone who wants to seek Padre Pio’s intercession, as I have did a thousand times over.
I will soon dedicate an entire post to introduce Padre Pio; I have so much to share about this controversial priest. But for now, let me just help The Philippine Center for St. Pio of Pietrelcina promote their 2nd Grand Pilgrimage Tour to Europe which is scheduled on October 1 – 18, 2008.
The said tour will have Fr. Emmanuel Victor Clemen as Pilgrimage Chaplain. The cost of the whole tour is $4,178 per person, and will have the following itinerary:
Oct 1, 2008: MANILA – ROME
Travel from Manila to Rome (economy class)
Oct 2, 2008: ROME
Upon arrival in Rome, meet your local guide for sightseeing. View the the Coliseum, site of gladiatorial combats and early Christian martyrdom. See also the Roman Forum, Piazza Navonna, Spanish Steps, and the exquisitely beautiful Trevi Fountain. (Lunch included)
Oct 3, 2008: ROME
Still in Rome, visit the Vatican Museum to admire the frescoes of Michelangelo at the Sistine Chapel, where you will also see the Greek and Roman antiquities and collections of religious arts. See also St. Peter’s Basilica, dubbed as the most magnificent church in Christendom. The rest of the day is for your own activities. (Breakfast and Dinner included)
Oct 4, 2008: ROME – SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO
Drive to Pietrelcina, hometown of St. Padre Pio. Visit his house and the Church of Santa Maria Deli Angeli. Proceed to San Giovanni Rotondo for the night. (Breakfast and Dinner included)
Oct 5, 2008: SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO
Visit the shrine of Padre Pio at the Basilica of Our Lady of Grace. Meditate on the life of the miraculous saint, most beloved of confessors, who received the stigmata – the five wounds of Jesus Christ. Ample time will be given for prayer and meditation, to be ended with a Eucharistic Celebration.
In the afternoon, drive to Saint Michael’s Cave where Saint Michael the Archangel was said to have appeared. Visit the new basilica and the grotto; then head back to San Giovanni Rotondo for the night. (Breakfast and Dinner included.)
Oct 6, 2008: SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO – ASSISI
Leave for Lanciano to visit the Church with the Bleeding Host. Continue to Assisi for the night. (Breakfast and Dinner included).
Oct 7, 2008: ASSISI – FLORENCE
Arrive in Assisi and celebrate the Holy Eucharist in the Basilica. Appreciate the home of the religious order who devotes themselves to the ideals of humility, forgiveness, simplicity, and love for all God’s creatures. Learn about the monastic life and view the priceless frescoes adorning the walls of the church. Head to Florence for the night. (Breakfast and Dinner included)
Oct 8, 2008: FLORENCE – VENICE
Enjoy sightseeing in Florence, the city of Michelangelo’s classics. See the treasures of the city from the Renaissance period. Visit, too, the magnificent Santa Maria del Fiore. Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Baptistry’s Gate of Paradise, and the sculpture-studded Signoria Square. Continue to Venice for the night. (Breakfast and Dinner included).
Oct 9, 2008: VENICE ISLAND
Cruise by private launch to St. Mark’s Square and absorb the city’s Byzantine atmosphere. Other highlights of your walking tour are the Byzantine Cathedral, Doge’s Palace, and the Bridge of Sighs. You will also be taken to a glass-blowing factory and may join an optional gondola serenade. Back to Venice Mestre for the night. (Breakfast and Dinner included)
Oct 10, 2008: VENICE – COMO
Cruise along the lake and enjoy the sights of the lake summer bungalows of the rich and famous. Rest of the day is for your leisure and shopping. (Breakfast and Dinner included)
Oct 11, 2008: COMO – MONTE CARLO – NICE
Drive to the exhilarating Monte Carlo of the principality of Monaco. See the Grimaldi Palace, and visit the Cathedral where Princess Grace and many other Monegasque Royals are buried. Arrive at Nice, the home of the rich and famous. (Breakfast and Dinner included)
Oct 12, 2008: NICE – LOURDES
Leave for Lourdes via Montpellier and meditate at the Lourdes Grotto after dinner. (Breakfast and Dinner included)
Oct 13, 2008: LOURDES
Celebrate the Holy Eucharist in Lourdes, France. You may wish to bathe in the miraculous water of the Lourdes Grotto, or simply go through the life-size Stations of the Cross. (Breakfast and Dinner included)
Oct 14, 2008: LOURDES – LYON
Leave for Lyon via Narbonne. Spend the night at Lyon, one of France’s major cities. (Breakfast and Dinner included)
Oct 15, 2008: LYON – PARAY LE MONIAL – NEVERS – PARIS
Drive to Paray Le Monial where you may attend a Eucharistic Celebration at the chapel where the Sacred Heart of Jesus appeared to St. Margaret Alacoque. Her incorrupt body lies at the side altar. Continue to Nevers to visit the Monastery of St. Gildard. View the incorrupt body of St. Bernadette and pray at her favorite spots in the garden. Proceed to the most romantic city in the world, Paris. (Breakfast and Dinner included)
Oct 16, 2008: PARIS
Sightseeing of Paris will include both sides of the Seine. View the Cathedral of Notre Dame, one of the greatest Gothic churches in the world. See the majestic Arc de Triomphe, Champs Elysee, and Place de Concorde. Go up the Eiffel Tower for a scenic view of the loveliest city in the world. A guided visit to the Louvre Museum, and a cruise along the Seine River are also included in the tour.
Oct 17, 2008: PARIS – MANILA
The day is yours to spend for your own activities until you are due to the airport for your flight back home.
Oct 18, 2008: MANILA
Arrive in Manila, Philippines.
The cost mentioned above includes the following:
roundtrip economy class ticket
hotel accommodation on first class hotels (twin/triple sharing)
meals as indicated
transportation on air-conditioned coach
tour with English-speaking guides
porterage of one luggage per person
souvenir hand-carry bag
pre-departure briefings with giveaways
Not included in the cost are:
all applicable taxes
cost of passport and visa documentation
cost of optional tours
tips and gratuities ($8/day) for tour and transfer guides, drivers, porters, etc.
cost of excess baggage
meals other than indicated
personal items: laundry, telephone calls, etc.
For details on Visa Requirements and other concerns, please get in touch with the following:
Ms. Gigi Gaerlan – 0917-5040300
Mr. Dondi Gaite – 0922-8581276
Philippine Center for St. Pio of Pietrelcina – 6343668 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Comment from monette
Time: September 16, 2009, 9:35 am
I’m sooooo sorry for replying just now. I just came back from a trip to Padre Pio’s place in Italy… and when I got back, I was swamped with work! This is what I get for filing a leave for 5 days…hehehe! I just want to give you the link for the directions going to the Padre Pio Chapel in Libis. Here it is: http://saintpiocenter.com/Direction_%26_Map.html
It is really worth going there, as it is a really beautiful chapel! You may also want to bring some extra money because they have a little store there that sells Padre Pio books, statues, rosaries, etc. It is best to buy stuff before the mass, then you can leave your stuff to the very friendly attendant and say that you want it to be blessed by the priest. After the mass, the priest would always go to the little store and bless the stuff that people bought.
And just to inspire you to get to know the dear Padre more, I have posted my personal experience with Padre Pio here.
Thanks for visiting my blog and I hope I have helped you in some way.
Comment from monette
Time: September 16, 2009, 9:49 am
Oh, let me just say that I have read a lot of stories about childless couples finally receiving the gift of life after Padre Pio’s intercession! I am so excited for you! I believe that you will be one of them…after you have finished your novena. *hugs*
I am not in any way connected to the Padre Pio Center in Libis, Quezon City…so I am not also aware if they are putting together a new pilgrimage tour. But you may want to call them and inquire: +63.2.6343668 or +63.2.6343677
Should you want to go on your own at San Giovanni Rotondo, I think I can help you because I just got back from my own trip there. I went last September 5-9, 2009 and I will be writing about my visit there, which can also serve as your travel guide. I have already posted the first story here, if you’re interested.
Let me know how I can help you more. I will send you an email so we can correspond privately.