~ 4 nights: modern Pansion/Hotel with private baths in Medjugorje
Transfers as per itinerary
Breakfast and Dinner daily
Wine and mineral water with dinners
Assistance of a professional local Catholic guide(s)
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
Day 1 - Depart USA
Board your overnight transatlantic flights to Paris. Meals are served on board.
Day 2 - Arrive Paris
Upon arrival, you will be greeted by our driver and brought to your transportation. You will have free time for lunch and then depart for our tour of Paris. We will begin with holy Mass at the Shrine of the Miraculous Medal. View the incorrupt body of St. Catherine Labouret whose guardian angel led her to the chapel where the Blessed Virgin displayed a vision of the miraculous medal and later the green scapular. The Virgin promised bountiful graces for all who wore these. Next we depart on our sightseeing tour which includes the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower, L'Arc de Triomphe, the Champs Elysees and the Louvre. Enjoy other sights on this mostly panoramic tour. We enjoy a lovely dinner before returning to our hotel.
Day 3 - Excursion to Lisieux, St. Therese the Little Flower
After breakfast, we depart for Lisieux where we will enjoy a tour of the home of St. Therese whom Pope Pius X called "the greatest saint of modern times." Her extraordinary love for God and service to humanity comes alive as you visit the Basilica of Saint Therese, one of the biggest and most magnificent religious structures built in the 20th-century. While in Lisieux we will celebrate Mass will be celebrated. We will stop at Les Buissonets, St. Therese's family home, there on display are relics, clothing, and personal objects belonging to the "little flower." Before leaving, tour the ancient Cathedral of St. Peter and the Carmelite Convent. We return on to Paris for dinner and overnight.
Day 4 - Excursion to Nevers the body of St. Bernadette
After breakfast, we 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. We return to Paris for dinner and overnight.
Day 5 - Paris - Rome
After breakfast we depart for Paris airport for your short flight to Rome. Upon arrival your escort will warmly welcome you to Italy. Transfer to your hotel and enjoy a free afternoon for rest, relaxation, or exploration. Your tour escort can suggest sights or walks for you to enjoy.
Day 6 - Rome
This morning we depart for a sightseeing tour entitled "Christian Rome" which includes: the Basilica of St. Mary Major, one of the oldest shrines dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, a shrine that con-tains a relic from the Manger of the infant Jesus; the Holy Stairs; the Basilica of St. John the Lateran, former residence of the popes prior to their return to Rome in 1377; St. Paul Outside the Walls, which houses the remains of St. Paul under its main altar; the Appian Way, the oldest road from Roman times; the famous Domino Quo Vadis Chapel; 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 also enjoy a visit to the Trevi fountain. Dinner and overnight in Rome.
Day 7 - Rome (Papal Audience and Vatican Museum Tour)
Wake up in Eternal City, one of the greatest centers of Western Civilization and the first truly cosmopolitan city on earth! It is also spiritual capital for all the Catholics around the world. To-day is truly a day we will have in our minds for many years to come. This morning we go to Vatican City to attend the weekly
Papal Audience or Blessing given by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI (pending papal schedule). Following the audience visit of the Vatican Museums, a group of 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 Mas-terpiece, restored mural of the Last Judgment. Later, enter 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. We will also visit the grave of St. John Paul II located at the Vatican. Before dinner, we'll have some time at leisure, to explore your own paths, to shop, or just to sit in one of the outside cafes and watch the world go by.
Day 8 - Rome - Medjugorje
After breakfast 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 9 to 11 - 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.
Day 12 - Medjugorje - USA
After an early breakfast and heartfelt farewells, we leave by motor coach for Dubrovnik Airport (Split or Sarajevo) for return flights home.
*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.