Day 1 - Depart USA Depart USA for your overnight flight to Europe. Dinner and breakfast will be served on board.
Day 2 - Lourdes Upon arrival in Europe you will connect with your flight to Toulouse, Pau or Lourdes airport. Upon arrival you will find your luggage and exit the baggage claim into the arrivals hall where you will be greeted by a tour guide and/or driver. You will be escorted to the vehicle which will then take you on your scenic drive to Lourdes. Upon arrival you will check in to your hotel and relax or explore before dinner. Following dinner you may choose to participate in the candlelight procession before retiring for the evening.
Days 3 & 4 - Lourdes During the next two days in Lourdes you will have time to pray with your fellow pilgrims from around the world. During your trip you will have an opportunity to: Attend Mass at the Grotto, watch a video presentation telling the story of Lourdes, and walk in the footsteps of St. Bernadette. See Boly Mill where St. Bernadette was born, and the "Cachot," an abandoned prison where Bernadette's impoverished family lived. Join your prayers with those of pilgrims from around the world as you pray for the sick, drink water from the miraculous spring or submerge yourself in the healing baths. Experience Christ's love as you walk the lifesized Stations of the Cross overlooking the holy Grotto. Kneel in the chapel built on the very rock of the Grotto, in obedience to the request of the "Immaculate Conception." Evenings are free for optional Blessed Sacrament Procession before dinner. Your role in the universal church will have new meaning as you join the candlelight procession and group rosary (candlelight procession & group rosary only occur April- October).
Day 5 - Lourdes - Paris - Nevers After an early breakfast we make our way to Lourdes or Pau Airport for our short flight to Paris. Upon arrival we will visit the Sacre Coeur Basilica for Mass, time for adoration. After lunch we will depart for Nevers by way of the picturesque Loire Valley. After taking the veil in 1867, St. Bernadette lived for 12 years as a member of the Congregation of the Sisters of Nevers. At least three times during her short lifetime, she received the last Sacraments. In addition to asthma, she was gradually struck by other illnesses, among them was tuberculosis of the lung and a tubercular tumor in her right knee. St. Bernadette eventually died at the age of 35. See St. Bernadette's incorrupt body at the convent of St. Gildard, miraculously preserved since her death in 1879. Dinner and overnight in Nevers.
Day 6 – Nevers – Lisieux (St. Therese – the Little Flower) Upon waking up in Nevers, you will enjoy breakfast followed by a visit to St. Gildard Convent, the site of where St. Bernadette’s incorrupt body rests. While here, you will pray and reflect upon the life of the beloved Saint as well as celebrate Mass. Following Mass, your group will transfer to the home of St. Therese, Lisieux (approximately four and a half hours). According to Pope Pius X, St. Therese of Lisieux was the “greatest saint of modern times.” Her extraordinary love for God and service to humanity will come alive as you walk in the great Saint’s footsteps. During your visit, you will see the beautiful Basilica of St. Therese, and the magnificent mosaics and stained glass that are contained within. Following your visit to the Basilica, you will have the opportunity to view relics, clothing and personal objects of St. Therese when you visit her family home, Les Buissonets. Additionally, you will tour the parish of St. Therese, the Cathedral of St. Peter; and the Carmelite Convent of where she entered in 1888, and is currently entombed in with her parents. Your tour of the “Little Flower’s” life culminates as you eat dinner and enjoy an overnight at your hotel in Lisieux.
Day 7 – Paris - Lisieux (St. Therese – the Little Flower) – Mont Saint Michel - Paris Following breakfast, you will depart Paris and transfer to the home of St. Therese, Lisieux (approximately two and a half hours). According to Pope Pius X, St. Therese of Lisieux was the “greatest saint of modern times.” Her extraordinary love for God and service to humanity will come alive as you walk in the great Saint’s footsteps. During your visit, you will see the beautiful Basilica of St. Therese, and the magnificent mosaics and stained glass that are contained within. Following your visit to the Basilica, you will have the opportunity to view relics, clothing and personal objects of St. Therese when you visit her family home, Les Buissonets. Additionally, you will tour the parish of St. Therese, the Cathedral of St. Peter; and the Carmelite Convent of where she entered in 1888, and is currently entombed in with her parents. Your tour of the “Little Flower’s” life will culminate, before you begin your transfer back to Paris. Along the way, you will visit where the Monastery of Le Mont St. Michele is located (approximately one hour and forty minutes), also known as, “The Wonder of the Western World.” It is given this name because the Monastery is surrounded by a magnificent bay that is one of the greatest tidal ranges in Europe, resulting in a breathtaking view. In 709, this Monastery was built and consecrated by Aubert, Bishop of Avranches at the request of Michael the Archangel. Since the ninth century, the Abbey has been home to a monastic community in order to ensure the continuation of a spiritual presence. For centuries it has been a place of pilgrimage for those who seek Eternal Life with God. Return to Paris for dinner and an overnight at your hotel.
Day 8 - Paris Today, you will enjoy a full sightseeing tour of Paris. After breakfast, you will visit and celebrate Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, where you will view the incorrupt body of St. Catherine Laboure. The Saint’s guardian angel led her to the chapel where the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to her. During apparitions, Our Lady repeatedly instructed the making and purpose of the Miraculous Medal as well as, the green scapular. According to the Blessed Virgin Mary, those who wear the Miraculous Medal and scapular will receive special protection and abundant graces. Following your prayerful and reflective experience at this elegant chapel, you will begin your sightseeing tour of Paris. The sightseeing tour includes the most iconic of locations. You will begin at the Notre Dame Cathedral, a perfect example of Gothic art and continue on to the most recognizable symbol of the city of Paris, the Eiffel Tower. Historically, the Tower’s original intent was to commemorate the centenary of the French Revolution but, later assisted in meteorology, telegraphy of World War I, radio, and television. Following this visit, your tour continues to L’Arch de Triomphe, a monument that symbolizes gratitude for those who fought for France. This monument stands at the West end of the Champ-Elysees, one of the world’s most famous boulevards and another one of our stops on the sightseeing tour. The eventful day culminates with a visit to the ever famous, Louvre Museum. This Museum is one of the finest in the world and contains a number of pieces that truly emanate not only French art but also, European culture. Your fun-filled, busy day ends with a lovely meal and a very comfortable overnight.
Day 9 - Paris - Rome After breakfast, we transfer to Paris Airport for our short flight to Rome. Upon arrival in Rome Airport you will find your luggage and exit the baggage claim into the arrivals hall where you will be greeted by your tour escort and/or driver. After a warm welcome to Italy, you will be escorted to your transportation to your hotel. This afternoon our guide will introduce us to our fellow pilgrims and our priest who will be with us for the rest of the journey. We will make our way to Mass, followed by a welcome dinner with wine. This evening we will walk to St. Peter’s Square for Rosary (optional
Day 10 - Rome: Papal Audience – Trevi Fountain / Piazza Navona – Basilica of St. John the Lateran and St. Mary Major – Holy Steps Following breakfast, we will make our way to St. Peter’s Square to attend the Papal Audience, led by His Holiness, Pope Francis. (Papal Audience: Is scheduled to take place every Wednesday, pending the schedule of Pope Francis.) Following the audience, we will make our way to the Trevi Fountain built in the 15th Century to mark the ending destination of the Aqua Virgo – a man-made channel erected in 19 B.C or Piazza Navona where at the center: Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi “Fountain of the Four Rivers. After free time for lunch we will visit the Basilica of St. John the Lateran, the Pope’s cathedral church where relics of both Peter and Paul remain under the main altar. It was here that Pope Francis was formally installed as Bishop of Rome. Next we cross the street to see the Holy Staircase which is believed to be a staircase from Pilate’s palace in Jerusalem and brought to Rome by St. Helen in the 4th century. Time permitting we may climb the steps on our knees in memory of Christ’s Passion. Continue to the Basilica of St. Mary Major, the most important and the oldest church dedicated to Our Lady. St. Mary Major contains a relic from the Manger of the infant Jesus. We will celebrate Mass, and then make our way to dinner and overnight.
Day 11 - Rome: Vatican Museum – Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls - Catacombs Following breakfast, we will depart to celebrate Mass in the largest church in Christendom, St Peter's Basilica, built on the site where St Peter was martyred. Unsurpassed in beauty, a monument to the long history of the Catholic Church, to which pilgrims come from around the world, St Peter's is the grandest of the world's churches. Marvel Pieta and Bernini's amazing bronze canopy. Following Mass, we will visit of the Vatican Museums, containing a group of the most impressive edifices with hundreds of galleries filled with art treasures. See awe-inspiring relics, and works of art donated throughout centuries as tributes of faith. We'll cover The Tapestry Gallery, The Raphael Rooms and the most overwhelming Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo's Masterpiece, restored mural of the Last Judgment. The tour ends as we make our way back into St. Peter’s Basilica. Pope Francis visited the tomb of St. Peter, following his elevation, for a visit of devotion that lasted 45 minutes. He is the first Pontiff to visit the necropolis since extensive archaeological excavations were conducted at the ancient site decades ago. We will also visit the tomb of St. John Paul II located at the Vatican. There will be free time for lunch, and then we will continue on to visit St Paul. Outside the Walls. Continue our tour via the Appian Way -- the oldest road from Roman times--plus the famous Domino Quo Vadis Chapel; see the ancient Baths of Caracalla, Arch of Drusus; Tomb of Celilia Metella, and the catacombs of St Callixtus where the early Christians hid themselves to escape persecution. We will conclude our day and wonderful stay in Rome with dinner at a local restaurant in Rome.
Day 12 - Rome - Medjugorje Today you will be transferred to Rome airport for your flights to Medjugorje. Upon arrival, you'll be greeted by a tour guide and/or driver who will then take you on the 2 1/2 hour drive by private coach to the village of Medjugorje. Guide will be with your throughout your stay. Once there, you'll meet your fellow pilgrims and your spiritual leader and be introduced to your host family in whose comfortable yet modest house (inn) you will be staying for the next four nights.
Days 13 to 15 - Medjugorje Experience the beauty and peace of this simple village. During your stay in Medjugorje you will have the opportunity to share faith with pilgrims from all over the world. Our local guide will accompany us throughout your stay.
Here are some of the activities you'll be sharing with our fellow pilgrims:
Each morning at 10am we assemble at St. James Church for the English-language Mass (Feast days and Sundays English Mass is at Noon). Follow the path up Apparition Hill where the visionaries first encountered Our Lady. Touch and pray before the cross that commemorates the spot where Mary first appeared to the visionaries. Each evening at 5pm or 6pm daylight savings time, we will join the villagers and pilgrims to pray the rosary. The apparition takes place at 5:40pm or 6:40 daylight savings time, and then stay on for Croatian Mass. Don't miss on Tuesdays and Saturdays Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and on Fridays Veneration of the Cross in the Church. Each evening during Croatian Mass, there is the Blessing of the Sick and blessing of the items you have with you. Our guide will arrange meetings with the visionaries at their own homes provided that they are in Medjugorje during your trip, and pending their availability. We will have the opportunity to climb Krizevac Mountain, where in 1933 the villagers built a 30' high cross on the anniversary of Jesus' crucifixion. Visit and pray at "Blue Cross", which is a place of great healings and graces- a very special place at the base of Apparition Hill. We will also visit the community of Cenacolo.
*Please be advised that in Medjugorje there will not be a spiritual director with you throughout your stay. Daily Mass in English, as well as English confessions are available at St. James Church.
Day 16 - Medjugorje - USA After an early breakfast and heartfelt farewells, we leave by motor coach for Dubrovnik Airport (Split or Sarajevo) for return flights home.
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About Lourdes: She came for you and for everyone of us! 6 million pilgrims come to Lourdes each year and 10,000 visit this site daily. At the foot of the Pyrenees mountains in southwestern France, nestled between the spectacular mountain river, Gave de Pau, is Lourdes, one of the most important pilgrimage sites in the World. Lourdes is the birthplace of St Bernadette to whom Our Lady appeared in 1858 near the Grotto of Massabielle. Our pilgrimage and tour of Lourdes includes visits to the sanctuary and the Basilica of St Pius X, the world's largest underground church. Drink from the spring that the Virgin directed Bernadette to locate at the base of the grotto, which has flowed uninterrupted since 1858. Wash yourself in the baths where hundreds of miraculous cures have taken place. Contemplate Christ's Passion as you pray the unique three-dimensional Stations of the Cross. Attend the blessing of the sick, and participate in nightly candlelight processions requested by Our Lady. Daily Mass, and Mass at the Grotto on Sunday will be followed by a video presentation telling the miraculous story of Lourdes. Visit Lourdes and experience a spiritual journey from which many have claimed healing and conversion.
About Lisieux & Paris:
Visit town of Lisieux, the home of St Therese whom Pope Pius X called "the greatest saint of modern times" Visit Paris and all its wonderful sights like Notre Dame Cathedral and Sacre Coeur, see the sights as the Eiffel Tower, L'Arc de Triomphe, and drive through the Champs Elysees. Mass at Shrine of the Miraculous Medal.
About Rome: Rome has been one of history's most powerful and important cities, along with home to the Roman Catholic Church, the Pope, and the site of the Vatican City. First built in 337, St. Peter's Basilica lies over the tomb of St. Peter. Contained within is a vast array of the most beautiful artwork ever assembled, reflecting the immensity, beauty, vastness, majesty, glory and awesomeness of God.
About Medjugorje: On June 25, 1981, in the mountain village of Medjugorje in Herzegovina, Our Lady allegedly appeared to six children. She identified herself as the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Peace, and continues to allegedly appear to several of the visionaries. Her mission is to promote peace with God and mankind, through her Son, Jesus. Mary's own words to the children explained, "I have come to tell the world that God exists." 206 Tours has been arranging pilgrimages to Medjugorje since 1985. About the Six Medjugorje Visionaries