~ 4 nights: A modern home/hotel with private bath in Medjugorje † Transfers as per itinerary † Breakfast and Dinner daily † Wine with dinners † Transportation by air-conditioned motor coach † 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
Day 1 – Depart for Rome
Depart the USA, Canada or other parts of the world, by overnight flight to Rome. Meals will be served on board.
Day 2 - Arrive Rome
Welcome to Rome, one of the most magnificent and interesting cities in the world, also known as the “Eternal City”! You will be transferred to your hotel. This afternoon our guide will introduce us to our fellow pilgrims and our priest who will be with us for the rest of the journey. We will make our way to Mass, followed by a welcome dinner with wine. This evening we will walk to St. Peter’s Square for Rosary (optional)
Day 3 – Rome: Papal Audience – Trevi Fountain / Piazza Novona – 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 Novona 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 one year ago 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.
Day 4: 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.
Day 5: Rome – Monte Cassino – 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.
Day 6: San Giovanni Rotondo - Monte Sant’ Angel(View incorrupt body of Padre Pio)
After celebrating Mass at the tomb of Padre Pio, we tour the sanctuary, see the old church and the crucifix from which he received the stigmata in 1918. You will see the confessional where Padre Pio spent innumerable hours with a multitude of pilgrims, directing them on their journey toward God. (We will have the opportunity to view and pray before the incorrupt body of Padre Pio.) Enjoy a breathtaking view of the Gargano Peninsula and a visit to the Grotto of Michael the Archangel. Six different popes, St Francis and at least four other saints have knelt in prayer at this grotto, seeking the protection of St Michael. Following lunch, take in the panoramic view of the ocean and the surrounding countryside awaits you at this most celebrated shrine of early Christianity, a shrine consecrated by St Michael himself in 490. Return to San Giovanni for devotions, reflection, and a restful overnight.
Day 7: San Giovanni Rotondo – Lanciano – Loreto – Assisi
We will have breakfast at our hotel before we make our way to Lanciano, and visit the Church of St. Longinus where we will see the Eucharistic Miracle and celebrate Mass. It was here, as they celebrated the Latin Rite, a Basilian hieromonk was assigned to celebrate Mass. The monk had doubts about the real presense of Jesus Chris in the Holy Eucharist. With doubt in his voice, he said the “Words of Consecration” and the bread turned into living flesh, and the wine changed into live blood. The blood coagulated into five globules, corresponding to the wounds Christ suffered in each hand and foot on the cross, and the wound from the centurion’s spear. After free time for lunch, we will continue on toward the Adriatic coast to the great Marian shrine of Loreto to visit the Holy House of Nazareth and the beautiful Madonna of Loreto. More than 50 popes have made a pilgrimage to the house transported by angels to this hill in central Italy in 1294. Tradition has it that this is the house in which Mary first prayed the Magnificat, in which Jesus grew to manhood, and in which the Holy Family lived. Enjoy lunch before we make our way to Assisi, the hometown of St. Francis, the patron saint of animals and the environment, and the founder of the Franciscan Order. We arrive in time for dinner at our hotel.
Day 8: Assisi (The Life of a Saint, that inspired a Holy Father)
Today is a very special day, as we will spend a full day touring the home of the Saint that inspired our Holy Father. Pope Francis 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, and preferring to live in simplicity and humility. Following breakfast, we will begin a tour of Assisi. Visit the tomb of St Francis. Explore the quaint hilltop birthplace of St Francis that still retains something of the atmosphere of the early 1200s, the period when St Francis began his ministry. Contained within the huge 13th-century Basilica are many of the saint's possessions and a series of frescoes depicting his life. You may kneel before the crucifix from which Jesus spoke to St Francis, asking him to rebuild His church. It was in St Mary of the Angels Basilica where St Francis spent most of his life. Here we visit the Chapel, Portiuncola, the rose bush, and the cave where the saint retired for prayer. Stroll the medieval streets of the compact little town. You will have some free time to shop or eat lunch at an outdoor cafe with a view of an ancient Roman temple, we go to the Church of St. Clare to view the relics of St. Clare. The foundress of the Order of Poor Clares followed the teachings of St Francis by living a life of poverty and humility. We will visit these two saints' tombs before dinner and retiring for the evening.
Day 9: Assisi – Siena - Assisi
After breakfast we will head south to Siena, the birthplace of Saints Catherine (Doctor of the Church, and one of the two patron Saints of Italy, with St. Francis of Assisi) and Bernardine (known as the “Apostle of Italy” for his efforts to revive the Catholic faith in the 15th century). Siena is also one of Italy’s loveliest medieval cities. Here we will stroll the Piazza Del Campo, one of Italy’s finest squares and visit the Cathedral and the Basilica of St. Francis, containing the miraculous consecrated hosts that remained intact since 1730. After lunch, we will continue on to view the incorrupt head of St. Catherine at the Basilica of St. Dominic (Her body is preserved in Rome in the Basilica St. Maria sopra Minerva). We travel back to Assisi for dinner and overnight.
Day 10 - Rome- Medjugorje
Today we depart for Rome Airport where you will take a short flight to Medjugorje. Upon arrival, you'll also 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. Once there, you'll meet your guide and be introduced to your host family in whose modern and comfortable house you will be staying for the next four nights.
Day 11 to 13 - 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.
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 visit the community of Cenacolo.
* The balance of your trip in Medjugorje is meant to provide you with time for a personal retreat. As such, your time in Medjugorje is not designed to be a “tour”, but rather to provide you with time to pray, reflect, and explore on your own as you feel called. On arrival, you will have an orientation tour after which a representative of 206 Tours will be available should you have any questions or requests, however, you will not have a guide with you through out your stay. Daily Mass in English, as well as English confessions are available at St. James Church. During your stay in Medjugorje you will have full discretion over how your time is spent, in order to have the fullest spiritual experience possible. If you would prefer our traditional pilgrimage/tour of Medjugorje, we would recommend you consider our Tour #1 (www.206tours.com/tour1) which provides a tour escort and spiritual leader through out your stay.
Day 14 - Medjugorje - USA After an early breakfast and heartfelt farewells, we leave by motor coach for Dubrovnik Airport (Split or Sarajevo) for return flights home.
Would you like to arrive earlier or stay later? Let us know at time of registration, we will reschedule your airline reservations pending availability at no additional fee. Let us know if you need assistance with pre or post stay at hotel.
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Single Supplement / Private Room
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Business Class Trans-Atlantic Upgrade (round-trip)