Fatima, Spain, Lourdes & All Italian Shrines22 days
Your trip includes
- Round-trip airfare from your desired Airport
- All airport taxes & fuel surcharges
- Centrally located hotels: (or similar)
- ~ 1 night: Marques de Pombal or Mundial, Lisbon, Portugal
- ~ 2 nights: Santa Maria Jardim, Fatima, Portugal
- ~ 1 night: Abba Fonseca, Salamanca, Spain
- ~ 1 night: Abba, Burgos, Spain
- ~ 2 nights: Centro di Spiritualita Padre Pio, San Giovanni Rotondo
- ~ 3 nights: Hotel Giotto, Assisi
- ~ 2 nights: Machiavelli Palace, Florence
- ~ 2 nights: Biri, Padua
- Breakfast and Dinner daily
- Wine with dinners
- Assistance of a professional local Catholic guide(s)
- Transfers as per itinerary
- Transportation by air-conditioned motor coach
- Sightseeing and admissions fees as per itinerary
- Mass daily & Spiritual activities
- Catholic Priest available for Spiritual Direction
- Luggage handling (1 piece per person)
- Flight bag & portfolio of all travel documents
- Lunches, Tips to your guide & driver.
Depart for Lisbon
Make your way to your local airport, where you will board your overnight flight(s). Your meals will be served on board.
Upon landing at Lisbon Portela 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. You will be escorted to the bus and we will begin a panoramic sightseeing tour of the coastal city of Lisbon. We will stop at the St. Jerome's Monastery, built to give thanks to the Virgin Mary for guiding Vasco da Gama on his voyage that linked Europe and Asia. Continue to drive by the Belem Quarter that contains the iconic entry way to the Lisbon harbor, the Belem Tower. This important structure of history has many beautiful sculptures, such as depictions of, St. Vincent and Our Lady of Safe Homecoming. We will continue and " pass -by" the "25th of April Bridge", inspired by the Golden Gate Bridge of San Francisco, California. The Ponte 25 de Abril is the oldest bridge that connects the Tagus river of Lisbon. Following, we will drive by the Discoveries Monument. This memorial commemorates the Great Explorers who, as a result of their explorations, brought Portugal to a standing of wealth and power during the Age of Discovery. This ship prow shaped structure stands at the point where the Great Explorers began their expeditions. Enjoy a view of the Basilica of the Star, the Rossio Square, Commerce Square, and the Marquee of Pombal Square. Our last stop will be St. Anthony's Church to celebrate Mass. Although this patron Saint of lost things is known as St. Anthony of Padua (Italy), he was originally born in Lisbon, Portugal. This Church is built upon the site of St. Anthony's birth, and is also where St. John Paul II visited in 1982. The former Pope stopped at this Church, on his way to Fatima, to pray to Our Lady in thanksgiving. St. John Paul II recognizes Our Lady as saving him from being killed when he was shot one year prior, in 1981. After Mass we will check-in at the hotel and enjoy a welcoming dinner followed by a restful overnight.
Lisbon - Santarem – Fatima
Today, we will travel north to the old city of Santarem. In Santarem visit and attend Mass at the Church of St. Stephen, which holds the oldest (13th century) recorded Eucharistic Miracle: The Miracle occurred when a woman yearned to change the ways of her unfaithful husband and consulted a sorceress. The sorceress agreed that she would cure the husband's infidelity in exchange for a consecrated Host. The woman committed the sacrilege, but when she exited the church, the Host began to bleed. It bled so much that her fellow parishioners thought she had cut her hand. The woman ran home and hid the bleeding Host in a trunk. When her husband arrived home, the wife told him what she had done, and later that night there was a light emanating from the trunk. She and her husband began to kneel before the trunk. The following morning, the husband and wife brought the Host to the parish priest. It was then moved to the Church of St. Stephen where another miracle occurred; the miraculous Host was originally put in a wax container, however, when a priest opened the tabernacle to view the Host, the container was found broken, and the Host was found enclosed in a crystal pyx. Return to Fatima with a visit to the Hamlet of Aljustrel, the home of the three shepherd children. visit of the Parish Church and Fatima Parish Cemetery. Return to hotel for dinner and overnight.
Today will surely be a memorable experience as you pray and meditate upon one of Our Blessed Mother's apparition sites. Our Lady appeared to three shepherd children; Lucia (age 10), Jacinta (age 7), and Francisco (age 9). These apparitions occurred monthly from May until October of 1917. Historically, as the entire world was in true turmoil, Our Lady's most prominent message during this time was to pray for world peace. The destruction of the world at that point in history was also mentioned by Our Lady in her messages of Fatima, and more specifically, in her second secret to the children. Our profoundly reflective day begins with a visit of the Little Chapel of the Apparitions. This simple, yet modern, chapel is the site of where the Virgin Mary first appeared on May 13, 1917. Continue with a visit of the stunning neoclassical church, the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary. This Sacred space contains the tombs of Blessed Francisco, Blessed Jacinta and Sister Lucia. View the monument, that commemorates the Sacred Heart of Jesus , in the square. Due to Our Lady's consistency in Her messages to pray the Rosary, this Basilica also features fifteen altars that are dedicated to the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary. While in the Basilica, you will be able to feel, through the Love of Our Lord and Lady, the many graces that were received here. Visit the Museum with the exhibition: Fatima: Light and Peace. Continue with a visit of the Holy Trinity Basilica. After free time for lunch, we will experience Christ's unconditional love by participating in the Stations of the Cross along the Via Sacra. The "Sacred Way" marks the path taken by the shepherd children of Fatima to their first apparition with Our Lady. It is composed of fifteen small chapels in commemoration of the Passion of Our Lord. The fifteenth station, the Resurrection, can be found close to the Chapel of Calvary, dedicated to St. Stephen, King of Hungary. Ending the day with visit of Valinhos, the site of Our Lady's August 1917 apparition and the first and third apparition of the Angel. Your night will conclude with private devotions, and a candlelight procession, requested by Our Lady (1917). Enjoy dinner and a comfortable night's rest in Fatima.
Fatima – Salamanca
Depart Fatima and head to Salamanca, following a full breakfast at the hotel. Salamanca is a city in the Castilla y Leon region, and is known for its large University, the oldest in Spain that is still active, and prominent culture. Our walking tour will bring us by the most noteworthy sites such as; the grand Plaza Mayor, an iconic square filled with food, shopping and city events; La Clerecia, a church and college of the Jesuit Order that was constructed in the seventeenth century; La Casa de las Conchas, currently a public library but also, a monument noted and decorated by its shells, which symbolizes the ever-famous pilgrimage to Santiago (El Camino); the University of Salamanca, the oldest University in Spain and the third oldest in Europe; the Roman Bridge, extends along the River Tormes, is a national monument and among one of Salamanca's sturdiest bridges; La Iglesia de San Marcos, constructed in the Romanesque style and contains breathtaking paintings that portray many scenes of Our Lady's life; La Iglesia de San Martin, a church devoted to St. Martin de Porres, who is the patron saint of mixed-race people and all those seeking interracial harmony. Visit inside the two joint Salamanca Cathedrals (old and new), one of which is of a Romanesque style and the other is of a Gothic style. Following this eventful day, you will return to your hotel for a delicious meal with your group and an overnight at your hotel in Salamanca.
Salamanca - Alba de Tormes - Ávila – Burgos
This morning, after breakfast, you will board the bus and enjoy a short transfer to the village of Alba de Tormes. This town is home to the Carmelite Monastery that Saint Teresa founded in 1571. Upon arrival in Alba de Tormes, your group will celebrate Mass at this Monastery where the saint died and was buried. Following Mass, you will have the opportunity to visit the museum dedicated to St. Teresa of Avila, which also holds her incorrupt heart and left arm. Your group will enjoy free time for lunch on your own, before continuing to the medieval city of Avila. Upon arrival in Avila, you will immediately notice the perfectly preserved eleventh-century walls that surround the old town. The conservation of architecture in this city, to which St. Teresa was born, deems its shrines, convents and churches necessary to visit on any Catholic pilgrimage. Avila with the Cathedral de Avila, whose artwork and architecture encompasses the Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance styles; La Basilica de San Vicente, of which stands on the site of the martyrdom of St. Vincent. Visit of the Incarnation Convent, where St. Teresa became a nu. Saint Therese convinced Saint John of the Cross to reform the male Carmelite order. Saint Therese had started the reform when she met Saint John in Medina del Campo. Followed by El Convento de Santa Teresa, built upon the home of St. Teresa and contains the relics of hers and of St. John of the Cross. After walking in the footsteps of St. Teresa, continue your journey to Burgos. Upon arrival in the historic capital of Old Castile, enjoy dinner. Following dinner, you will have the opportunity to explore the city of Burgos, and admire its magnificent limestone, gothic-style Cathedral. Late this evening, you will return to your hotel for a restful overnight.
Burgos - Loyola – Lourdes
Following breakfast, transfer from Burgos to Loyola to visit the birthplace of St. Ignatius, founder of the Jesuit Order. St. Ignatius dedicated himself to becoming a soldier of the Christian faith, and as a result of many tribulations, he wrote the ever-famous Spiritual Exercises. In Loyola, you will see the 17th century Basilica that is dedicated to this remarkable Saint. The Basilica is part of a series of buildings that surrounds the "Holy House," the birthplace of St. Ignatius. When you visit these Holy places, you will also have the opportunity to pray at the most venerated room, where St. Ignatius prayed and began his conversion. After meditating on the life of this founder of the Jesuit Order, you will enjoy free time for lunch and board the bus for the next destination. We will continue to Lourdes with a spectacular view of the Pyrenees Mountains. Upon arrival in Lourdes, you will check-in to your hotel and enjoy a splendid dinner and peaceful 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. At 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 of 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. You will have the opportunity to see Boly Mill, the birthplace of St. Bernadette; and the "Cachot," an abandoned prison where Bernadette's impoverish family lived. In the evening, you will have free time to attend the Blessed Sacrament Procession before dinner. Following dinner participate in the candle light procession and the Rosary.( April- October). Return to hotel for a restful night of sleep.
Lourdes - Rome
After breakfast, leave on your flight(s) to Rome. Upon arrival your escort will warmly greet you and welcome you to Italy. Transfer to your hotel and enjoy a free afternoon for rest, relaxation, or exploration.
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.
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
Rome – Montecassino – San Giovanni Rotondo
Following breakfast, we will head south and cross through the Roman countryside with its villas and vineyards. During your drive, your tour escort will explain the spiritual, historical, and cultural overview of Italy, which will help to orient you to this beautiful country and prepare you for all that you will experience in the days to follow. We stop at Montecassino, a beautiful town founded by Saint Benedict in 529. Enjoy lunch and then continue through the countryside heading east to Padre Pio’s town, San Giovanni Rotondo, our base for the following two nights. Dinner and overnight.
San Giovanni Rotondo - Monte Sant’ Angel (View incorrupt body of Padre Pio)
Your first full day in San Giovanni Rotondo begins with breakfast, followed by Mass at the tomb of St. Pio. After Mass, your group will have the opportunity to tour the sanctuary, and view the crucifix, in front of which St. Pio received the stigmata. Also, you will visit the confessional from where St. Pio spent an innumerable amount of hours listening to confessions. Next, your group will board the bus and travel through the beautiful Gargano Peninsula to the Grotto of Michael the Archangel, a shrine consecrated by St. Michael. At this grotto, St. Michael appeared to a Bishop to assure him that his diocese would not be annihilated as he feared. Following the visit to this grotto, your group will enjoy free time for lunch on own and gaze at the breathtaking view of the ocean and surrounding countryside. Lastly, your group will return to San Giovanni for devotions, reflection, dinner, and overnight.
San Giovanni Rotondo – Lanciano – Assisi
Following breakfast, your group will board the bus and head to Lanciano (approximately two hours). Upon arrival in Lanciano, you will celebrate Mass at the Church of St. Longinus. This Church is the site of the Eucharistic Miracle that occurred in the eighth century. At the time of the Miracle, there was a Basilian monk who struggled with the belief in the real presence of The Lord Jesus in the Eucharist. During the time of Mass, the monk, with doubt in his voice, said the “Words of Consecration” and the bread turned into living flesh, and the wine transformed into live blood. After Mass free time for lunch. Continue toward Assisi (Approximately three hours), the hometown of St. Francis. Upon arrival in Assisi, your group will check-in, enjoy dinner, before retiring to your room for a restful night’s sleep.
Assisi (The Life of a Saint, that inspired a Holy Father)
This morning, your group will enjoy breakfast followed by a full day of touring the hometown of St. Francis. St. Francis is the “Patron Saint of Animals and the Environment.” Additionally, he is responsible for founding the Franciscan Order, and the inspiration for our Holy Father, Pope Francis. He chose his name in admiration of the Saint of Nature, and Servant to the Poor. Known for being a humble man himself, Pope Francis spent most of his life denying the luxuries of life. He preferred to live in simplicity and humility, while giving up all other worldly possessions, just as St. Francis did. As your group visits the birthplace of St. Francis, you will become captivated as the atmosphere has not changed since St. Francis began his ministry, in the early 13th-century. During the tour, your group will have the opportunity to visit the tomb of St. Francis at his Basilica. Also, at the Basilica of St. Francis, you will have the opportunity to view a series of frescoes depicting his life, as well as, view a few of the saint’s possessions. As the tour continues, your group will visit St. Mary of the Angels Basilica. This Basilica is where St. Francis spent most of life, and is made up of two structures; both of which you will visit. The Porziuncola is where St. Francis founded his order of the Friar Minor (Franciscans), and the Capella del Transito, which is the place of St. Francis’ death. During this visit, your group will have the opportunity to visit the beautiful Rose Garden where St. Francis and other friars lived, as well as the cave where the Saint retired to pray. After visiting this beautiful Basilica, your group will enjoy some free time on your own. Feel free to take this time for additional prayer, or shop in the Gift Shop. The last stop on your tour will be to the Church that honors St. Clare, the foundress of the Poor Clare Sisters. This Saint followed the teachings of St. Francis very closely by also living a life of poverty and humility. Lastly, your group will transfer back to the hotel, where you will have some free time to walk, shop, or pray. Return to the Hotel for dinner and overnight.
Assisi - Siena - Assisi
Make your way downstairs to breakfast, and then you will travel (approximately one hour and a half) to the Tuscan city of Siena. This medieval city is the birthplace of the Doctor of the Church, St. Catherine, and the Apostle of Italy, St. Bernardine. During your time here, your group will stroll down one of Italy’s finest squares, the Piazza Del Campo to the Cathedral and Basilica of St. Francis. This Basilica is the site of yet another miracle: In 1730, a ciborium of consecrated Hosts were stolen, but two days later the exact number of Hosts were found in the tabernacle, and since then these Hosts have not been consumed nor disintegrated. Following this visit, your group will continue to view the incorrupt head of St. Catherine at the Basilica of St. Dominic. Lastly, your group will transfer back to Assisi for dinner and overnight.
Assisi – Pisa - Florence
After breakfast, your group will transfer to the city of Pisa (approximately three hours). Upon arrival in Pisa, you will visit the famous Leaning Tower. The Leaning Tower of Pisa was designed to stand upright however; it began to tilt during construction. Currently, it leans about 3.9 degrees. Following lunch on own, your group will continue the drive to Florence (approximately one hour) through the beauty of Tuscany. Upon arrival in Florence, you will notice immediately that it is the land for art lovers. Some of the most world renowned artists are from Florence such as, Dante, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Botticelli, Donatello, and many others. This afternoon, you will have the opportunity to explore the streets of Florence on own. In the evening, your group will gather for dinner, followed by an overnight.
Your first full day in Florence begins with breakfast and a guided tour. The tour includes the Church of the Holy Cross, the Santa Croce where many nobles are buried such as Michelangelo, Galileo, and Machiavelli. This tour also includes a walking portion through the Piazza Signorina, Palazzo Vecchio, Uffizi, Ponte Vecchio, and Republic Square, to the Santa Maria del Fiore. This Cathedral is an iconic piece of architecture of the city of Florence. It was designed by Filippo Brunelleschi in the 13th century. After the tour, your group will enjoy lunch on own followed by a visit to L’Accademia, the well-known art gallery. At this gallery, you will have the opportunity to view the work from artists such as Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, Pontormo and the ever famous sculpture by Michelangelo, David. During this time in the museum, your group will have the opportunity to enjoy free time to explore the museum and later, the city. Following this free time, your group will return to your hotel for dinner and overnight.
Florence - Padua
Following breakfast at your hotel, your group will transfer by motor coach to Padua (approximately two hours). This Northern Italy city honors the patron saint of lost causes, St. Anthony. While in Padua, your group will visit the tomb and celebrate Mass at the Basilica of St. Anthony. After Mass, your group will begin their sightseeing tour. The tour includes one of the oldest universities in Italy, the University of Padua, and a visit to the Basilica of Santa Giustina, the patron saint of Padua. After the tour, your group will return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
Padua - Venice (Full Day Excursion)
Today, your group will depart Padua and transfer to the magical city of Venice (approximately forty-five minutes). Your group will enjoy a full day tour of the city paved with water! The tour includes visits to St. Mark’s Square, the largest square in the city and the site of many government buildings; the Golden Basilica of San Marco, known for the great mosaics that depict the Old and New Testament of the Bible; and the Bridge of Sigh, a bridge that will bring eternal love to those who drift below it. Following the tour, your group will return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
After an early breakfast and heartfelt farewells, your group will leave by motor coach and transfer to the Venice airport for return flights home.
About your trip
The Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima is one of most famous Marian shrines in the world. Drawn by apparitions of the Virgin Mary to three local shepherd children in 1917. Four million people visit Fatima each year. The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to shepherd children on the 13th day of six consecutive months in 1917, starting on May 13th until October 13th. The events at Fatima gained particular fame due to their elements of prophecy and eschatology, particularly with regard to possible world war and the conversion of Russia.
Saint Teresa and Saint Ingatius both hailed from Spain. Saint Teresa of Ávila, also called Saint Teresa of Jesus, was a prominent Spanish mystic, Carmelite nun, and writer. Saint Ignatius of Loyola was a Spanish knight who became priest and found the Society of Jesus and became its first Superior General.
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.
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.