The Best Shrines of France12 days
Your trip includes
- Round-trip airfare from your desired Airport
- All airport taxes & fuel surcharges
- Centrally located hotels: (or similar)
- ~3 Nights: Hotel Moderne, Lourdes
- ~1 Night: Hotel du Chateau, Rocamadour
- ~1 Night: Hostellerie des Trois Pigeons, Paray Le Monial
- ~1 Night: Hotel Mercure, Nevers
- ~2 Nights: Grand Hotel de l'Esperance, Lisieux
- ~2 Nights: Marriot Paris Rive Gauche Hotel, Paris
- Breakfast and Dinner daily
- Wine with dinners
- 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. You will embark on a scenic drive to Lourdes. Check-in to your hotel, and then 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), 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 stay in a small town, nestled within the Pyrenees Mountains. During your time in Lourdes, you will pray and meditate at a 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 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 - Toulouse - Rocamadour
This morning, you will awaken feeling well rested! Following breakfast, transfer to Toulouse. This Southern French city was once a Roman colony and is home to numerous religious and historical treasures. While here, you will have the opportunity to view many of these rare artifacts such as twenty historical pipe organs, and the burial place of St. Thomas Aquinas at the St. Sernin Basilica. As one of the finest Romanesque churches in France, its exterior is constructed of red brick, with decorative accents of white stone. Following your visit to this magnificent church, continue north to Rocamadour, a town situated atop a rocky mountain. Upon arrival in Rocamadour, you will enjoy a delicious meal and a restful overnight.
Rocamadour - Paray Le Monial
This morning you will awaken in the town that overlooks the Alzou Valley, and was the home to early Christian hermit, Zaccheus of Jericho. Zaccheus conversed with Jesus himself and was the husband of St. Veronica, the woman who wiped the face of Jesus as He climbed to Calvary. During your time at this sacred destination, you will visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Rocamadour, a place of miraculous conversion. It is comprised of numerous religious structures and chapels, centered on a statue of the Virgin Mary and the tomb of Zaccheus. After your visit to this place of miraculous healing, your journey will continue to Paray Le Monial for dinner and an overnight.
Paray Le Monial - Nevers
You will begin your day with breakfast and then celebrate Mass, with some free time for prayer and reflection. Following Mass, you will visit the Chapel of the Visitation, where Jesus exposed His Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, in the seventeenth century. These apparitions allowed St. Margaret to rest herself upon Jesus' Sacred Heart, and to experience the unconditional love for humanity. During your visit to this Holy place, you will have the opportunity to view relics of the beloved Saint, located beneath a wax figure of her. Following free time for lunch in Paray Le Monial, we will drive to Nevers via the picturesque Loire Valle. 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. Visit of the Convent of Saint Gildard, before enjoying a delicious meal and retiring for the evening at a hotel in Nevers.
Nevers - Chartres - Lisieux
Upon waking up in Nevers, enjoy breakfast and Mass. Following Mass, you will depart for Chartres. Upon arrival, you will have free time for lunch in the quaint town, followed by a visit to the massive Cathedral Notre Dame, which is known worldwide for the incredible stained-glass windows, created in the twelfth and thirteenth century. A World Heritage site, by UNESCO, calls the Cathedral "the high point of French Gothic art" and a "masterpiece". After lunch, we will continue will continue to Lisieux for dinner and an overnight.
Lisieux - Normandy Beaches - Mont Saint Michel - Lisieux
This morning you will head west and take a day trip to the site that marked the turning point of World War II, Normandy Beach. This beach is known for the "D-Day landings", where Allied troops, led by American General Dwight Eisenhower, stormed and began to defeat the Nazi army. While at Normandy, you will have the opportunity to visit the American cemetery of Omaha Beach. 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. Continue on to Mont St. Michel, where the Monastery of Le Mont St. Michele is located, also known as, "The Wonder of the Western World". It is given this name because the Monastery is surrounded by a magnificent bay, which has 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 pilgrimage site for those seeking Eternal Life with God. You will return to Lisieux for dinner and an overnight.
Lisieux - Paris
After breakfast, you will explore the life of St. Therese. 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 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, where St. Therese entered in 1888, and is currently entombed in with her parents. Your tour of the "Little Flower's" life culminates as you board bus to transfer to the "City of Lights" - Paris. Upon arrival enjoy 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. You will continue your day with a visit to the Notre Dame Cathedral, a perfect example of Gothic art. Your 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 on, assisted 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.
*Regretfully we will not visit the Louvre Museum, due to time limitations. However, if you wish to extend your stay in Paris, this Museum is worth it, as it is one of the finest in the world and contains pieces that emanate European art and culture.
After an early breakfast and whole-hearted farewells, you will transfer to the Paris airport for 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.