YOUR TRIP INCLUDES: †Round Trip Airfare departing from your home town † All airport taxes & fuel surcharges †10 nights at centrally located first class hotels: (or similar)
~ 1 night: Marques de Pombal or Hotel Mundial, Lisbon, Portugal
~ 2 nights: Santa Maria Jardim, Fatima, Portugal
~ 3 nights: Hotel Berna, Barcelona
~ 2 nights: Hotel Moratin, Madrid
~ 2 nights: Hotel Compostela, Santiago de Compostela † Transfers as per itinerary † Breakfast and Dinner daily † Wine 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
*Special Clergy Discount *Discount is offered to ordained clergy in the Roman Catholic Church: deacons, priests, or bishops belonging to the diaconate, the presbyterate, or the episcopate, respectively as well, as Catholic Sisters.
Not Included: Lunches, Tips to your guide & driver.
Sample Day-by-Day Itinerary:
Day 1 – 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.
Day 2 - Arrive Lisbon
Upon landing at the Lisbon Portela Airport, you will make your way to the baggage claim area and collect your luggage. Then, you will proceed to the Arrival’s Hall where you will be greeted by your tour guide and/or driver. You will be escorted to the vehicle which will take you on a sightseeing tour of the coastal city of Lisbon. This tour begins at the city’s oldest cathedral, the Lisbon Cathedral. This Romanesque structure truly emanates the ancient culture and history that Lisbon holds. The tour continues on to 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. In this Monastery, you will clearly observe the maritime theme that commemorates the Portuguese triumph during the Age of Exploration (15th-17th centuries). The next stop is St. Anthony’s Church. 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. Following, you will visit the Belem Quarter that contains the iconic entry way to the Lisbon harbor, the Belem Tower. While at this important structure of history, you will view many beautiful sculptures such as depictions of, St. Vincent and Our Lady of Safe Homecoming. The tour continues as you will have the opportunity to view 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. Our tour culminates with a visit to 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. In addition to these sites, the drive of your tour will include a “pass-by” view of the Basilica of the Star, the Rossio Square, Commerce Square, and the Marquee of Pomba Square. After a fun-filled day of sightseeing, you will enjoy a welcoming dinner and overnight at your hotel.
Day 3 - Lisbon - Santarem - Fatima
Today, your group will travel about forty-five miles north to the old city of Santarem. In Santarem, your group will visit and attend Mass at the Church of St. Stephen, which holds (13th century) 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 ofSt. 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.
Following your visit to this miraculous site, your group will board the bus and transfer to Fatima (approximately forty-five minutes).You will arrive in time for dinner at your hotel, and a restful overnight.
Day 4 - Fatima
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 Mass at 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. Following Mass, your tour of Fatima begins at the stunning neoclassical church, the Basilica of Our Lady of Fatima. This Sacred space contains the tombs of Francisco and Jacinta, as well as, a Monument that commemorates the Sacred Heart of Jesus. 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. Upon arriving at this Basilica, you will be able to feel, through the Love of Our Lord and Lady, the many graces that were received here. Following this visit, your tour will continue to the Hamlet of Aljustrel, the home of the three shepherd children; and Valinhos, the site of Our Lady’s August 1917 apparition. Next, your tour culminates as you and your fellow pilgrims experience Christ’s unconditional love by participating in the Stations of the Cross along the Via Sacre. The “Sacred Way” marks the path taken by the shepherd children of Fatima to their first apparition with Our Lady. It is composed of fourteen small chapels in commemoration of the Passion of Our Lord. The fifteenth station, the Resurrection, can be found below in the Chapel of Calvary, dedicated to St. Stephen of Hungary. 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.
Day 5 – Fatima - Barcelona
This morning you will transfer to the Lisbon airport for your flights to Barcelona. Upon arrival in Barcelona, you will collect your luggage in the baggage claim area, and continue to the Arrival’s Hall where you will be greeted by your tour guide and/or driver. Make your way to the Bus where your group will transfer to your hotel. Upon arrival, you will check-in and have free time to rest and refresh before Mass. This evening, you will enjoy a welcoming dinner, followed by an overnight in Barcelona.
Day 6 - Barcelona
This morning, your day will begin with breakfast and a sightseeing tour of Barcelona! You will enjoy the stunning panoramic views of the Port of Barcelona, Montjuic, Plaza de España, and Plaza de Catalunya. The Port was created 2,000 years ago on the coastal area in order to protect and provide access for ships and goods. Currently, it is home to numerous walking areas, businesses and, cultural and sporting events. Plaza de España is directly out of the center of town and, was formerly known for its old bull-fighting ring. Presently, the Plaza is renowned for containing the Museum of Catalan art, situated on the side of Montjuic. Plaza de Catalunya is located in central Barcelona and is known for its fountains and statues. Your day of touring will continue with a guided walk through the Gothic Quarter that contains remains from an ancient Roman village. While in the Gothic Quarter, you will have the opportunity to visit Antoni Gaudi’s stunning, unfinished Roman Catholic Basilica, La Sagrada Familia. This afternoon you will spend time at your own leisure. Feel free to explore the labrynth-like streets of the Quarter, the colorful markets of Las Ramblas, or enjoy the boutiques on Calle Avinyo. This evening you will eat dinner and have a restful overnight in Barcelona.
Day 7 - Excursion to Montserrat & Manresa
Today, your group will enjoy a day excursion to Montserrat and Manresa! Following breakfast, you will board the bus and head to the town of a miraculous Black Madonna (approximately one hour and twenty minutes). While in Montserrat, you will visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Montserrat that is located on a rugged mountainside. According to Catholic tradition, St. Luke carved the statue of the Black Madonna around 50 A.D. and brought it to Spain. While in Spain, it was hidden from the Moors and then, was later rediscovered by shepherds. In 880 A.D., the shepherds and the Bishop of Manresa were drawn to a grotto by a bright light and heavenly music. Upon discovery of the statue of the Black Madonna in the grotto, the Bishop of Manresa suggested that it be moved to Manresa. However, the status was too heavy that it could not be lifted. As a result, the Virgin remained on Montserrat and continued to be venerated there for centuries. As years progressed, a number of chapels were built upon the site and in the eleventh century, the abbot-bishop Oliba founded a monastery on Montserrat next to one of these chapels. While in Montserrat, you will have the opportunity to visit this beautiful Benedictine Abbey that is still preserved. Tonight, you will return to Barcelona for dinner and an overnight.
Day 8 - Barcelona - Zaragoza - Madrid
This morning, following breakfast, your group will depart for Zaragoza (approximately three and a half hours). While in Zaragoza, you will have the opportunity to visit the magnificent Basilica del Pilar that was built upon the site of where Our Lady appeared to St. James. In 44 A.D. St. James the Greater was spreading the Gospel in Spain but, making very little progress and questioning his mission. According to Catholic Tradition, the Virgin Mary, who was still living in Jerusalem, bi-located and appeared to St. James the Greater to boost his morale. While inside the Basilica, you will view the pillar that was carried by angels and from atop Our Lady appeared. Following your visit to the Basilica del Pilar, you will visit La Seo Cathedral (Cathedral of Zaragoza). Formally known as the church of San Vicente during the Visigoth period, it contains architectural elements of Gothic, Mudejar, Renaissance and Baroque styles. In addition to the famous cathedral, Zaragoza is also known for its folklore and local gastronomy, both of which will be explored on your walking tour of the city. This evening, your group will continue on to Madrid (approximately three hours and forty minutes) where you will eat your dinner and enjoy a restful overnight.
Day 9 - Madrid & Toledo
This morning, you will awaken in the capital city of Spain! Following breakfast, you will enjoy a tour of Madrid that includes the Royal Palace and the Plaza Mayor. Both sites are iconic to Madrid as the Palace holds state ceremonies and events; and the Plaza Mayor is the geographic center of Madrid, as well as the social center. This afternoon, you will depart for Toledo (approximately one hour and twenty minutes). Toledo is a city set upon a rocky mound that is isolated on three sides by a looping gorge of the Rio Tajo. It is known as the City of Three Religions or Cultures because the Christians, Jews, and Moors have lived peacefully in this city for centuries. Each inch of this outcrop has churches, synagogues, mosques and houses heaped upon one another in a haphazard spiral in which the cobbled lanes infiltrate with its best efforts. During your time in this city, you will view the some of the grandest treasures such as, the glorious Gothic Cathedral that was built upon the Great Mosque of Toledo. Also, you will visit la iglesia de Santo Tomé, best known for housing El Greco’s most famous painting and, the Sinagoga delTránsito, known for its impeccable stucco inscriptions. Your tour will continue as you visit the Sinagoga deSanta Maria la Blanca that interestingly appears to be a mosque rather than a Catholic church and la Iglesia deSan Juan de los Reyes. Additionally, you will visit a number of monuments such as laPuerta de Bisagras, la Puerta del Cambrón, la Puerta del Sol and many others. Your day will culminate with a return transfer to Madrid where you will enjoy dinner and an overnight.
Day 10 - Madrid - Santiago de Compostela
Today, you will depart Madrid and head towards the city of Santiago de Compostela (approximately six hours). While en route, you will make a stop on the calle del Agua of Villafranca del Bierzo. This main street truly emanates Baroque architecture and, is filled with palaces and emblazoned houses. At the entrance of this village, you will find the Romanesque church of Santiago. According to tradition, the pilgrims who were unable to finish El Camino as a result of an illness would receive the jubilee blessing at this church. Your next two stops will be visits to the gothic styled Collegiate Church of Santa María and the church of St. Nicolas, dedicated to the patron Saint of Villafranca del Bierzo. This late afternoon, you will enter Galicia (approximately one hour and fifteen minutes) by way of the city, Lugo. Your first stop will be to O Cebreiro, the first village in the region of Lugo and nestled in the mountains at an altitude of 1,300 meters. While in O Cebreiro, you will have the opportunity to view the iconic palloza styles houses, and the site of a Eucharistic Miracle that occurred in the year 1300. This evening, you will proceed to Santiago de Compostela (approximately two hours and thirty minutes) for your dinner and overnight.
Day 11 - Santiago de Compostela
This morning, you will join the walking pilgrims at the Monte del Gozo from which the spires of the iconic Cathedral are visible. You will walk the last few miles of El Camino and attend the International Pilgrim Mass at the Cathedral of St. James. Formed by Galician granite, this Cathedral is one of the finest architectural examples in Europe as it encompasses Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque styles. Additionally, the Cathedral contains numerous and valuable pieces of art that truly captivate the eye. Upon entering the Cathedral, tradition will lead as you will hug the dazzling statue of St. James. Following this intimate embrace, you will descent into the crypt where the Patron Saint of Pilgrims’ relics are kept. Following your visit, you will enjoy a sightseeing tour of the city. Some stops on your tour include the Obradoiro Square, Fonseca Palace, Gemirez Palace, Franco Street, and much more. Your evening will be free to spend at your leisure until a final dinner with your group. You will spend a final overnight in Santiago de Compostela.
Day 12 – Return Home
Your last day in will begin with breakfast at your hotel, followed by a transfer to the Santiago Airport for your return flight(s) home. You will say hasta luego (see you later) to your new friends made on this journey.
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About Santiago de Compostela: The History of El Camino, The Way of St. James or St. James' Way
Often known by its Spanish name, el Camino de Santiago, is the pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain, where legend has it that the remains of the apostle, Saint James the Great, are buried.
The Way of St James has existed for over a thousand years. It was one of the most important Christian pilgrimages during medieval times. It was considered one of three pilgrimages on which a plenary indulgence could be earned; the others are the Via Francigena to Rome and the pilgrimageto Jerusalem. Legend holds that St. James's remains were carried by boat from Jerusalem to northern Spain where they were buried on the site of what is now the city of Santiago de Compostela. There are some, however, who claim that the bodily remains at Santiago belong to Priscillian, the fourth-century Galician leader of an ascetic Christian sect, Priscillianism, who was one of the first Christian heretics to be executed.
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