Pilgrimage to Canada & Mexico11 Days
Your trip includes
- Round-trip airfare from your desired Airport
- All airport taxes & fuel surcharges
- Centrally located hotels: (or similar)
- ~ 2 nights: Ville-Marie Best Western, Montreal
- ~ 1 night: Pilgrim House Maison de la Madone, Trois - Rivieres
- ~ 2 nights: Hotel Chateau Laurier, Quebec City
- ~ 5 nights: Galleria Plaza, Mexico City, Mexico
- Continental Breakfast daily
- Canada: 4 Lunches / 3 Dinners
- Mexico: 4 lunches / dinner daily
- Wine with dinner
- Assistance of a professional local 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
- Meals unless mentioned. Beverages. Tips to your guide & driver. Items of a personal nature.
Arrive in Montreal, Canada
Make you way to your local airport to board your flight(s) to Montreal International Airport. Arrive in Montreal, the second largest French-speaking city in the world. Upon your arrival you will be greeted by your tour escort and driver, and then transferred to your hotel. Enjoy free time before celebrating Mass and dinner. Overnight in Montreal.
The morning begins with a continental breakfast at your hotel. We will drive to the top of Mount Royal for a spectacular panorama view of the city of Montreal. Your day will include a visit at St. Joseph’s Oratory, the world’s largest shrine dedicated to St Joseph; which was founded by St. Brother André in 1904 as a modest chapel. Annually, this pilgrimage center receives over two million visitors who come to meditate and pray in this peace-filled setting. St. Joseph's Oratory grew from a small chapel on beautiful Mount Royal to the premier Shrine of today. The Basilica's dome reaches 97 meters and is second only in height to St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. The primitive chapel, votive chapel, crypt and Basilica presents a variety of architectural styles as the construction began in 1904 and finished in 1966 with a number of architects over the decades. During our tour we will visit the reliquary where the relics of St. Brother André are displayed and view the two great pipe organs along with the carillon of 56 bronze bells that are played often throughout the week. We will celebrate Mass and you may participate in the Way of the Cross on the mountainside before we continue our journey. Next, we will visit the seat of the Archdiocese of Montreal, the Basilica Marie-Reine-du-Monde (Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral), the third largest church in Montreal after St. Joseph's Oratory and the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré. This Basilica was visited in 1951 by Monsignor Giovanni Battista Montini, the future Pope Paul VI and in August of 1969 Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, the future Pope John Paul II visited. He returned in 1984 as the first pope to visit Canada. Our next stop will be the 350 year old Notre Dame de Bon Secours Chapel and Marquerite Bouygeoys Museum. The chapel built in 1771 over the site of the original stone chapel was often visited by sailors to pray before they were shipped out for duty. The story of Marguerite-Bourgeoy’s exceptional life as a woman of action along with the early settlers who built Montreal is beautifully presented as we visit the museum named after her. The tower offers a spectacular view of Old Montreal and the Old Port. This evening relax with dinner on your own and stroll through the city. Overnight in Montreal.
Montreal – Our Lady of the Cape Shrine
Wake to a continental breakfast at your hotel. Our day begins with a guided tour of Montreal. Visit the Notre Dame Basilica, which plays a significant part in Montreal’s religious heritage. Constructed from 1824 to 1829; it dominates Old Montréal with its imposing size. The neo-gothic architecture and richness of its decoration inside and out - make it shine like a jewel in comparison to the modern buildings nearby. Special attention should be given to the magnificent pipe organ, the largest in North America and the French stained glass windows, modeled after Sainte Chapelle Cathedral in Paris, France. We will continue to the Shawinigan region to visit the Ozias Luduc Church. Ozias Luduc (1864-1955), a Canadian artist painted murals and masterpieces for more than 30 churches during his career. You may wish to enjoy a relaxing break with a musician here before we continue to the Pilgrim House at Our Lady of the Cape Shrine. This shrine is located in the majestic region of Mauricie and is Canada’s National Shrine to Our Blessed Mother. Standing on the shore of the St. Lawrence River, Our Lady of the Cape Shrine welcomes pilgrims annually to pray at the oldest standing Canadian chapel built in 1714 or the large modern Basilica which was inaugurated in 1964. The Basilica is adorned with magnificent stained glass windows and a Casavant organ with 5425 pipes, one of the largest in Canada. With its beautiful gardens overlooking the river, the shrine reveals an oasis of greenery and inspires peace and tranquility. The atmosphere of this Shrine and surrounding landscape invites you to spend time in spiritual reflection. The Way of the Cross, Adoration, prayer walk and a torch-lit procession (weather permitting) will all be available to you while you relax in this serene setting. Dinner and Mass included, overnight at Pilgrim House.
Our Lady of the Cape Shrine - Quebec
After morning breakfast we will depart for Quebec City, the cradle of French culture in North America. Today enjoy a city tour with the theme of "The Three Founders of Québec City"; where you will learn more about the role of religion in the history of Quebec. Our exploring will include the Basilica-Cathedral Notre-Dame de Québec with a visit to the crypt and the François de Laval Center; the Ursulines Monastery, which was started by a missionary group of Ursuline nuns in 1639 (the oldest institution of learning for women in North America); followed by a visit of the Marie-de-l’Incarnation Center. Our journey will take us to the St. Augustine’s Monastery and the Catherine de Saint-Augustin Center - dedicated to the co-founder of the Canadian Church who also dedicated her life to caring for the sick and destitute. We will celebrate Mass at the Basilica Notre Dame de Quebec. You are free to enjoy the remainder of the day to explore this beautiful city and have dinner at one of the many wonderful restaurants you will find in Quebec! Overnight in Quebec.
After continental breakfast at your hotel we will visit the National Shrine of Sainte Anne-de-Beaupre, which welcomes over a million visitors from all over the world annually. Learn the fascinating history through artistic masterpieces such as beautiful mosaics, stained-glass windows, stone and wood sculptures throughout its many chapels. Enjoy a visit to the St. Anne museum. There will be free time to explore the Shrine with its old stone Church, outdoor Way of the Cross, and Scala Santa. We will celebrate Mass at the Shrine before visiting the Albert Gilles Copper Art & Museum nearby. View exclusive pieces and learn about the art of embossing copper, how it is extracted and used around the world. Our travels today will take us to Montmorency Falls Park where the waterfalls are 272 feet tall, that is 100 feet higher than Niagara Falls! You may admire the view from the cable car, suspended bridge, lookout points, or climbing stairs up the side of the cliff. Return to Quebec for your farewell dinner and overnight.
Quebec – Mexico City
Continental breakfast at your hotel before check-out. Transfer to the airport for your departure to Mexico City with wonderful memories of new friends and renewed spirit from your Canadian Pilgrimage.
Upon arrival in Mexico City, you will collect your luggage in the baggage claim area, and continue to the Arrival's Hall where you will be greeted by a tour guide and/or driver. Transfer to your hotel. Enjoy free time before celebrating Mass and dinner. Overnight in Mexico City.
Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe & San Juan Teotihuacan
After breakfast, transfer to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Patroness of the Americas), by way of the Plaza of the Three Cultures. We will visit the Church of Santiago Tlatelolco where St. Juan Diego was baptized. This plaza is important as it symbolizes the unique blend of pre-Hispanic, and Hispanic cultures that make up Mexico. Continue to the Shrine of Guadalupe built in response to Our Lady's request to the visionary, St. Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin. Upon arrival at the Shrine, you will celebrate Mass as you marvel at the brilliantly colored Basilica. Following Mass, you will join the other pilgrims as you kneel in front of the "Tilma", where Our Lady's image was miraculously imprinted. Following this visit, you will make your way to San Juan Teotihuacan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. According to mythology, this site was chosen to be the center of the universe, and from then it became a prominent political and religious center from the second century until the ninth century. While in San Juan Teotihuacan, you will enjoy lunch at a nearby restaurant, followed by a guided tour of the Archaeological zone. We will view the pyramids of the Sun and Moon and know more about how the Aztecs used to work the obsidian stone and the multiple use of the Maguey Plant. Your fun-filled busy day will culminate with a delicious dinner and overnight at your hotel.
This morning, your day will begin with breakfast, followed by Mass at the Holy Family Church, where you will view the tomb of Fr. Miguel Agustin Pro, the Jesuit martyr. In a time of great religious persecutions, Fr. Pro was exiled from Mexico during the Mexican Revolution. However, he returned to Mexico and was aided by a secret ministry who helped him hide from authorities. During his time in Mexico, he assisted many individuals in their spiritual, as well as temporal, needs. Although he helped many, he was eventually arrested and killed by authorities. While at this church, you may pray to this great martyr who remained filled with the joy of serving Our Lord even in the midst of very difficult times. We will also visit the small but very inspiring Museum dedicated in honor of Father Pro. Time for a prayer and a special blessing. After this visit, you will tour the oldest and largest cathedral in all of Latin America, the Metropolitan Cathedral. Throughout your time in the cathedral, you will become overwhelmed by the stunning paintings, altar pieces, and statues. Your tour continues with a transfer to the National Palace. This extraordinary palace has been a building of the ruling class of Mexico since the Aztec Empire's rule. During this visit we will be able to view some amazing murals painted by Diego Rivera. Continue our day with a visit to the Plaza of Santo Domingo. This plaza contains two Holy places that are architecturally exquisite; the Church of Santo Domingo, the first church built by the Dominicans in 1576 and; the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary, the first Rosary Shrine in Mexico. additionally you will visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Covadonga, the headquarters of the Confraternity of the Most Holy Rosary. This Shrine is dedicated to the Patron Saint of Asturias (Spain). Return back to your hotel to enjoy a delicious dinner and rest before the next day of activities.
Church of Tulpetlac - Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe & Coyoacan
A fun-filled day is ahead. Spectacular drive to what is known as Mexico's most beautify city Puebla. On your ride, you will climb to over 10,000ft above sea level, and view two magnificent peaks; one that is covered with snow and the other that is an active volcano. Stop in Tlaxcala to visit the Shrine of San Miguel Del Milagro. Holy Mass will be celebrated upon the site where St. Michael the Archangel appeared to Diego Lazaro in 1631. Next we head to Puebla, where a typical lunch is waiting for us. Following lunch visit Puebla's Cathedral St. Dominic's Church, and its Chapel of Our Lady of the Rosary, Church of St. Francis of Assisi where you will view the incorrupt body of St. Sebastian of Aparicido. Return to Mexico City for dinner and overnight.
Church of Tulpetlac - Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe & Coyoacan
After breakfast, transfer to the Church of the 5th apparition, where the Blessed Virgin Maria de Guadalupe appeared to Juan Bernardino, Juan Diego's uncle. Here we can find a well of healing water which locals drink. Followed with a return visit to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe to attend Mass, and bid farewell to Mary the Mother of God. Continue on to Coyoacan. Upon arrival enjoy a nice lunch, followed with a visit of the pretty plaza and suburbs of Coyoacan with its Church of St. John the Baptist. This church was originally constructed as a Dominican Monastery, but then changed to a Franciscan Monastir, where we will view the stunning architecture of seven chapels, as well as an altar piece that dates back to the seventeenth century. Free time to stroll around and make sure to taste the famous ice cream of Coyoacan, where during the weekend locals queue up to enjoy a delicious ice cream. Return to the Hotel dinner and overnight.
(*or Optional Post Stay in Mexico City or Cancun/Riviera Maya)
This morning, transfer to the airport for your return flight(s) home. You will say farewell to friends and a pilgrimage that will last in your memory for years to come.
About your trip
The Shrine at Guadalupe:
The Shrine at Guadalupe is considered the holiest place in the Western Hemisphere. President John F. Kennedy and French President Charles de Gaulle testified to this during state visits to Mexico. St. John Paul II preached to millions of the faithful from this holy Shrine during his 1979 visit to Mexico. The Basilica commemorates the Virgin Mary's appearance to a humble Indian and honors her request that a Shrine be built in Her honor. In December of 1531, Juan Diego informed a skeptical bishop of his encounter with Mary. A few days later, Juan returned to the site of the vision and once again Our Mother appeared. The humble man relayed the bishop's request for proof of Her visitation, whereupon the Virgin instructed Juan to gather roses from the frozen, rocky terrain and present them to the bishop. Remarkably for the cool season, he found a great number of roses strewn all around. Gathering the roses in sackcloth, he hurriedly took them to the bishop. When he opened the cloak to present the roses to the cleric, it was not Only * the blooms that amazed the bishop. Stamped on the humble cloth was an image of the Virgin! The same miraculous image exists for you to see, hanging in splendor above the main altar.