Great Shrines of France13 days
Your trip includes
- Round-trip airfare from your desired Airport
- All airport taxes & fuel surcharges
- Centrally located hotels: (or similar)
- ~ 2 nights: Grand Hotel de l'Esperance, Lisieux
- ~ 2 nights: Pullman Hotel or M Gallery, Paris
- ~ 1 night: Hotel Mercure , Nevers
- ~ 3 nights: Hotel B4, Lyon
- Breakfast and Dinner daily
- Wine with dinners
- Assistance of a professional local guide(s)
- Transportation by air-conditioned motor coach
- Assistance of a professional local guide(s)
- Transfers as per itinerary
- Sightseeing and admissions fees as per itinerary
- Catholic Priest available for Spiritual Direction
- Mass daily & Spiritual activities
- Luggage handling (1 piece per person)
- Flight bag & portfolio of all travel documents
- Lunches, Tips to your guide & driver.
Depart for Lourdes
Make your way to your local airport, where you will board your overnight flight(s). Your meals will be served on board.
Upon arriving at Pau or Toulouse airport, make your way to the baggage claim area and collect your luggage. Proceed to the arrival's hall, where you will be greeted by your tour guide and/or driver. Embark on scenic drive to Lourdes. Check-in to your hotel and relax or explore before dinner. Following dinner, you will have free time to pray the Rosary and to attend the candlelight procession. (April-October only). These processions are lit by candlelight and guided by the Most Holy Rosary. Following this prayerful experience, you will return to your hotel for an overnight.
Over the next two days, you will wake up in a small town that is nestled within the Pyrenees Mountains. During your time in Lourdes, you will pray and meditate in yet another site of Our Lady's apparitions. Our Lady first appeared to Bernadette in 1858, and announced herself as "The Immaculate Conception", near the Grotto of Massabielle. During the first two apparitions, little Bernadette prayed the Rosary with Our Lady and left without any exchange of words. During the following apparitions, Our Lady emphasized God's love for us, penance and the necessity of performing acts of penance for sinners. Throughout your time in Lourdes, you will have the opportunity to attend Mass at the Grotto, where Our Lady appeared to Bernadette; watch a video presentation that explains, in detail, the story of Lourdes; drink water from the miraculous spring that has healed many; and submerge yourself in the healing baths. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to experience Christ's unconditional love, as you meditate upon the "life size" Stations of the Cross that overlook the Grotto of Massabielle. Also, while in Lourdes, you will walk in and meditate upon the footsteps of St. Bernadette. Your group will have the opportunity to see Boly Mill, the birthplace of St. Bernadette, and the "Cachot," an abandoned prison where Bernadette's impoverished family lived. Each evening following dinner, you will have an opportunity to attend the candlelight procession and the Rosary before a restful overnight.
Lourdes - Paris - Lisieux (St. Therese - The Little Flower)
Today, you will enjoy breakfast before departing for Pau or Lourdes airport for your short flight to Paris. Upon arrival in Paris, visit and attend Mass at the magnificent, Sacre Coeur Basilica that stands atop Montmartre Hill. The Basilica, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, was originally built in 1914, as an act of penance for the infidelity that France was experiencing during that time. While on your visit, in addition to the extraordinary artwork and architecture that forms the Basilica, you will see the beautiful mosaic of the Risen Christ, and the remarkable Grand Organ. Celebrate Mass at the Crypt that contains the Tombs of many notable Cardinals. Time permitting, you may have the opportunity during your free time to ascend a staircase to the Dome where you will take in a breathtaking panoramic view of the city of Paris. Following this visit, you will enjoy lunch on your own and depart for Lisieux. 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. Dinner an overnight at your hotel in Lisieux.
Lisieux - Landing Beaches - American Cemetery
Upon waking up in Lisieux and enjoying breakfast, you will pray and reflect upon the life of the beloved Saint, as well as celebrate Mass. After Mass and a 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 Carmelite Convent, where she entered in 1888, and is currently entombed in with her parents. This afternoon, transfer to Normandy Landing beaches. The Normandy landings were the landing operations on Tuesday, June 6, 1944 (termed D-Day) of the Allied invasion of Normandy during World War II. The largest seaborne invasion in history, the operation began the liberation of German-occupied Northwestern Europe from Nazi control, and contributed to the Allied victory on the Western Front. Continue on to visit the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, a World War II memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy, France, that honors American troops who died in Europe during World War II. Many of the brave American soldiers of World War II are buried here, and it is encouraged to say a prayer in thanksgiving for their courage. Return to Lisieux for dinner and an overnight.
Lisieux - Chartres - Paris
This morning, your day begins with an early breakfast, before we depart for Chartres, known worldwide for its massive Cathedral Notre Dame, and its incredible stained-glass windows from the 12th and 13th century. The World Heritage site, UNESCO, calls the Cathedral "the high point of French Gothic art" and a "masterpiece". You will have some free time for lunch in the quaint town of Chartres. After lunch, we will continue to Paris for check in at your hotel, followed by some free time before a delicious dinner and an overnight.
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. After Mass, we will walk to Saint Vicent de Paul Church. Your day continues with a visit of the Notre Dame Cathedral, a perfect example of Gothic art. Our panoramic sightseeing tour, via motor coach, continues 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 advancements in meteorology, telegraphy during World War I, radio, and television. Pass by the 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. We will also pass by 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.
Paris - Nevers
After breakfast, depart for Nevers by way of the picturesque Loire Valley. Nevers is the site where St. Bernadette lived for twelve years, as a member of the Congregation of the Sisters of Nevers. The Saint suffered from a number of illnesses such as asthma, tuberculosis of the lungs, and a tubercular tumor in her right knee. For this reason, St. Bernadette received "The Last Sacraments" three times and eventually passed away in 1879, at the age of thirty-five. You will have some free time before enjoying a delicious meal and retiring for the evening in Nevers.
Nevers - Paray le Monial - Lyon
After breakfast, we continue our travelling on to Paray le Monial, the place where St. Margaret Mary Alacoque experienced visions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the 17th century. In revealing His Heart to her, Jesus said: "Behold the Heart which has so loved men that it has spared nothing but has been poured out totally and consumed as proof of its love". After celebrating Mass in the Shrine of Paray-le-Monial, we will start a guided visit that features the Chapel of Apparitions, the place where St. Margaret Mary Alacoque experienced visions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the 17th century, the room of the relics of St. Margaret Mary, the Diorama of St Margaret and the Eucharist Museum. Other highlights include the Basilica of Sacre Coeur and the Chapel of St. Claude in honor of St. Margaret Mary's Spiritual Director. After the visit, you will have free time for lunch on your own. Depart Paray Le Monial to continue on to Lyon. Dinner and an overnight.
Lyon - La Salette - Lyon
After breakfast, we depart for La Salette located in a high alpine pasture in the French Alps. La Salette is the site where the Virgin Mary appeared in 1846 to two shepherds, Melanie Matthew and Maximin Gird. Our Lady appeared to these shepherds crying, lamenting over the lack of observance of Sundays and the profaning of her Son's holy name. A spring forever marks the spot where the Virgin appeared and where millions of pilgrims come, in order to drink the fresh spring water and to pray. The stunning mountain scenery and lush mountain trails make La Salette one of the most spectacular pilgrimage sites in France, with a beautiful Basilica built to honor the Virgin Mary. In 1996, La Salette celebrated the 150th anniversary of Our Lady's first appearance. We return to Lyon for dinner and overnight.
Lyon - Ars - Lyon
Enjoy a nice breakfast before we start our day. Lyon stands on the site of the ancient Roman city called Lugdunum, founded in 43 BC, which was the capital of Gaul, and later, became a major Christian center. This city is filled with renowned history, culture, and architecture. This morning we will enjoy a tour of Lyon, including a visit to the Basilique Notre-Dame of Fourviere, which was built after the Franco-Prussian War when the people of Lyon had vowed to create a Marian sanctuary if their city was spared. The Basilica is a blend of Gothic and Byzantine styles with a richly decorated interior. Fourviere Hill provides a sensational panoramic outlook onto the city of Lyon. The views extend to the Croix-Rousse and the Terreaux districts, the Quartier Saint-Jean and the Place Bellecour. In the afternoon, we will depart towards Ars where we will visit the Shrine dedicated to Saint Jean Marie Vianney, the patron saint of the priesthood. In Ars, we will be able to visit the presbytery and the Basilica where we will find the incorrupt body of the Cure of Ars, and to enjoy a short documentary about his life. Return to Lyon for a delicious meal and restful overnight.
This morning, you will begin with breakfast and continue with a transfer to the Lyon airport for your return flight(s) home.*206 Tours Disclaimer:
Occasionally local religious and national holidays, weather, traffic conditions and other events may necessitate changes in the sequence of events or the missing of certain events/places. Though every effort will be made to follow the itinerary, it should be considered as an indication, rather than a contract of events and places to be visited.
About your trip
She came for you and for every one of us! 6 million Pilgrims go to Lourdes each year and 10,000 visit this holy 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 paramount pilgrimage sites in the World. Lourdes is the birthplace of St. Bernadette, to whom Our Lady appeared to in 1858, near the Grotto of Massabielle. Included in our pilgrimage to Lourdes are 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 do, located at the base of the Grotto, which has flowed uninterrupted since 1858. Wash yourself in the baths, that has resulted in hundreds of miraculous cures. Contemplate Christ's Passion as you pray the unique three-dimensional Stations of the Cross. Attend the Blessing of the Sick, and participate in the 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, one that many have claimed healing and conversion from.
About Lisieux & Paris:
Visit the town of Lisieux, home of St. Therese, whom Pope Pius X called "the greatest saint of modern times". Visit Paris and all its wonderful sights, like the Notre Dame Cathedral and Sacre Coeur, the Eiffel Tower, L'Arc de Triomphe, and drive through the Champs-Elysees. Participate in Mass at Shrine of the Miraculous Medal.