On May 1, some Italian youth will begin a journey on foot that will take them from Padre Pio’s tomb to the sanctuary dedicated to St. Michael on Monte Gargano.
The Society of St. Pius X’s District of Italy has organized its second youth pilgrimage on May 1; participants will go by foot from San Giovanni Rotondo to Monte Sant’Angelo.
The pilgrimage begins at the tomb of Padre Pio: the Capuchin saint, a friend of Archbishop Lefebvre who died in 1968 and whose body was found incorrupt during his canonization process. He was known – among other things – for his attachment to the traditional Mass and doctrine; he even obtained from Pope Paul VI the permission to remain faithful to the old rite of the Mass at a time when liturgical experiments – such as the “normative” Mass – were spreading and becoming common law.
The pilgrimage will then take the pilgrims to Monte Sant’Angelo, to venerate the sanctuary of St. Michael the Archangel on Monte Gargano. On May 8, 490, the archangel appeared to St. Laurence of Siponto, the local ordinary, and ordered him to build a church in a grotto under the city, in order to fight against the pagan beliefs of the time: “I am the Archangel Michael, one of those who stand ever before the Lord. I have chosen this place to be venerated on earth; I will be its protector forever”, declared the Prince of the Heavenly Army.