206 Tours - Pope Paul VI & Oscar Romero

Last week The Vatican’s Secretary of State announced that Blessed Pope Paul VI and Blessed Archbishop Óscar Romero will be Canonized in October. Let’s take a look at the lives of these two amazing figures in the Catholic Faith.

Blessed Pope Paul VI

Blessed Pope Paul VI’s papacy began on June 21, 1963 and he served until his death on August 6, 1978. He was born Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini in Italy in 1897. Ordained in 1920, Pope Paul VI was never appointed a Parish Priest.  Rather he had a long career in the Roman Curia, or the papal civil service. His position as one of the heads of the Secretariat of State of the Holy See established a close relationship with Pope Pius XII.

As requested by Pope Pius XII, Pope Paul VI was very involved in providing aid to refugees and displaced soldiers. In 1954, he was appointed the Archbishop of Milan making him the Secretary of the Italian Bishop Conference. During this time, Blessed Pope Paul VI was vocal about political issues like working conditions and labor laws, built over 100 new churches, and reached the public by speaking in in schools, hospitals, places of work, courtyards and even barracks. His goal was to re-introduce the Catholic Faith and generate more public participation and stewardship. Blessed Pope Paul VI is perhaps best known for the Humanae Vitae which reaffirmed the churches stance on contraception in 1968, at a time when many speculated the church might change its views marriage and marital relations.

In September of 1965, Blessed Pope Paul VI created the Synod of Bishops, a selected group of Bishops to meet periodically as an advisory body to the papacy also known as the Code of Canon Law (CIC).  It is fitting that Pope Paul VI will be canonized this October during the 15th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops.

206 Tours - Pope Paul VI & Oscar Romero

He left behind Peter’s Boat and exchanged it for a Plane. He visited nineteen (19) countries throughout the five continents, in nine (9) Apostolic visits. Included in the Pontiff’s travels were New York, Iran, the Philippines, Colombia, and Portugal. When he finally returned from the Holy Land, he went out to the streets of Rome with open arms.

Blessed Archbishop Óscar Romero

Blessed Óscar Romero is revered as a strong advocate of the marginalized and poor, often speaking out about social injustice, violence, and poverty.

The Archbishop of San Salvador was born Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez on August 15, 2917. He was ordained in 1942, and after two decades in El Salvadorian parishes, he was appointed rector of the inter-diocesan seminary in San Salvador.  In 1970 Romero was appointed auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of San Salvador before becoming the Bishop of the Diocese of Santiago de Maria in 1974 and subsequently the Archbishop of San Salvador in 1977.

Just a month after being appointed Archbishop, Blessed Archbishop Óscar Romero’s close friend, a Jesuit priest, Fr. Rutilio Grande was assassinated in front of him. Deeply disturbed, Romero became an even stronger advocate against violence. He gained a huge following through the use of radio and the press.  

On March 23, 1980, after delivering a sermon in which he called on Salvadoran soldiers to end violations of basic human rights on behalf of the government, a gunman entered the chapel and fired a shot killing Romero on the altar. After the assassination, over 250,000 mourners from all over the world traveled to attend his funeral in San Salvador. During the funeral mass, chaos erupted on the streets of San Salvador, leaving dozens dead.  

Romero’s ardent seeking of peace has left a legacy that has touched millions. Many worldwide political and religious figures have nominated him for the Nobel Peace prize. In 2010 the UN named March 25, “the International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims” in honor of Romero celebrating his strong in defense of human rights.  

In 2015, Pope Francis beatified Romero calling him a “voice that continues to resonate” with an estimated 250,000 people attending the services and thousands more watching via television. 

206 Tours - Oscar Romero
El Salvador, in many ways, is a country that is still suffering the violence that he died trying to stop. In 2007, Pope Francis (then, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio) reportedly told a Salvadorian Priest “… to me, (Romero) is a Saint and a Martyr. If I were Pope, I would have already Canonized him.”

Join a 206 Tours Pilgrimage in celebration of the Canonizations of Blessed Pope Paul Vi and Blessed Archbishop Óscar Romero. Register before June 13, 2018 and get $200 off with discount code PAULVI.

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In honor of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, also known as Padre Pio’s, 131st birthday, we’d like to celebrate his inspiring and amazing life and legacy by sharing some of our favorite words of wisdom that he imparted to us during his life on earth.
Francesco Forgione was born on May 15, 1887, to Italian peasant farmers. Padre Pio was known to have expressed a strong desire to dedicate his life to God as early as five years old. In 1903, he became a Friar at the young age of 15 and was ordained as a Priest in 1910. After his death on September 23, 1968, Saint Pope John Paul II beatified Padre Pio in 1999, and subsequently canonized him in 2002.
Saint Padre Pio is perhaps most famously known for his stigmata, visions, and the gift of healing. He is recognized as the Patron Saint of Civil Defense Volunteersas he served in the military as a Friar in World War I. He spent much of his life ill and in pain, yet remained extremely faithful, hopeful, and even joyful. For this, he is venerated as a symbol of hope – inspiring and consoling those in times of struggle through unwavering faith.

Here are a few of our favorite quotes from Saint Padre Pio:

1. “Pray, hope, and don’t worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer.” 

Padre Pio - 206 Tours

2. “Prayer is the best weapon we have; it is the key to God’s heart. You must speak to Jesus not only with your lips, but with your heart. In fact, on certain occasions you should only speak to Him with your heart.” 

3. “The longer the trial to which God subjects you, the greater the goodness in comforting you during the time of the trial and in the exaltation after the combat.” 

4. “Joy, with peace, is the sister of charity. Serve the Lord with laughter.”

Padre Pio - 206 Tours

5.  “Jesus is with you even when you don’t feel His presence. He is never so close to you as He is during your spiritual battles. He is always there, close to you, encouraging you to fight your battle courageously. He is there to ward off the enemy’s blows so that you may not be hurt.” 

6. “The most beautiful act of faith is the one made in darkness, in sacrifice, and with extreme effort.” 

Padre Pio - 206 Tours

7. “The storms that are raging around you will turn out to be for God’s glory, your own merit, and the good of many souls.” 

8. “You must have boundless faith in the divine goodness, for the victory is absolutely certain.” 

9. “My past, O Lord, to Your mercy; my present, to Your love; my future to Your providence.” 

Padre Pio - 206 Tours

10. “You complain because the same trials are constantly returning. But look here, what have you to fear? Are you afraid of the divine craftsman who wants to perfect His masterpiece in this way? Would you like to come from the hands of such a magnificent Artist as a mere sketch and no more?”      

11. “I recommend calm and calm all the time.” 

Padre Pio - 206 Tours

12. “How unbearable is pain when suffered far from the Cross, but how sweet and bearable it becomes when it is offered close to the Cross of Jesus!” 

13. “If we earnestly endeavor to love Jesus, this alone will drive all fear from our hearts and soul will find that instead of walking in the Lord’s paths, it is flying.” 

14. “The greater your sufferings, the greater God’s love for you.” 

Padre Pio - 206 Tours
    This year we will be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Saint Padre Pio entering into eternal life – and – the 100th Anniversary of his Stigmata. Join us on a pilgrimage to Italy to celebrate the life and legacy of Saint Padre Pio!

    St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina”100th Anniversary of the Stigmata”50th Anniversary Pilgrimage to Italy

    September 17 – 27, 2018

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    May 13th, Catholics celebrate the Blessed Virgin Mary by honoring her message of peace and by reflecting on her apparitions in Fátima, Portugal.

    Our Lady of Fatima - 206 Tours

    The history of Our Lady of Fátima is a miraculous one. On May 13, 1917, the Virgin Mary first appeared to three shepherd children, Sister Lucia, St. Jacinta Marto, and St. Francisco in Fátima. The Marian apparitions continued from May through October of 1917. In the midst of World War I, Mary famously counseled the children to pray the rosary and to pray for world peace.

    A year ago, in celebration and honor of these historic apparitions, Pope Francis Canonized witnesses St. Jacinto Marto and St. Francisco on the 100th Anniversary of the first apparition.  He also visited Fátima with about a million Catholic Pilgrims to celebrate the newly Canonized Saints and Our Lady of Fátima.

    Fátima has become one of the most popular pilgrimage sites in the world, attracting over 4 million pilgrims on any given year. A Pilgrimage to Fátima is a very spiritual experience as one visits the apparition sites and walks in the footsteps of the shepherd children.

    Our Lady of Fatima - 206 Tours

    Our Lady of Fátima Pilgrim Sites:

    • The Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary is a spectacular neoclassical Church containing the tombs of St. Francisco, St. Jacinta, and Sister Lucia. Here you can view the monument that commemorates the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In homage to Our Lady’s consistency in her messages to pray the Rosary, the Basilica features fifteen altars that are dedicated to the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary.

    • The Little Chapel of the Apparitions is a simple, yet modern Chapel which located where the Virgin Mary first appeared to the children. 

    • The Shrine of Fátima Museum houses the exhibit, Fátima: Light and Peace which contains a collection of offerings dedicated to Our Lady of Fátima and commemorates the apparitions and all the pilgrims who worship there.
    • The Holy Trinity Basilica is a Minor Basilica in the Marian Shrine of Our Lady of Fátima built in the modernists style and completed in 2007.

    • The Via Sacra or “Sacred Way” marks the path taken by the children to the first apparition. Pilgrims can walk along this path and pray the Stations of the Cross at fifteen small Chapels before arriving in Valinhos, the site of Our Lady’s August 1917 apparition and the first and third apparitions of the Angel.

    • Candlelight Vigils are celebrated by pilgrims in response to the request of Our Lady. 

    Our Lady of Fatima - 206 Tours
    As we remember and honor Our Lady of Fátima on the 101stAnniversary this May, her message to pray for peace is just as significant now as it was in 1917. May we all reflect on Our Lady’s messages and honor her through our lives. 
    Interested in a Spiritual Pilgrimage to Fátima?

    Our Lady of Fatima - 206 Tours

    Did You Know These Interesting Facts About Fatima? 

    • Some pilgrims crawl to the shrine on their knees as an act of penance, 600 feet (182 meters) from the Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity to the Chapel of Apparitions, and then they circle around the Chapel on their knees too, praying the rosary – what a beautiful witness.

    Our Lady of Fatima - 206 Tours
    • Many pilgrims make pilgrimage walking from all over Portugal, as far away as Lisbon – 80 miles away
    • The Fátima Prayer: O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, and save us from the fires of hell, especially those with most need of thy mercy.

    • During the Christian conquest in the 12th century, a group of Moors were captured by a Christian army. Among them was a Moorish girl called Fátima. One of the Christians fell in love with Fátima and married her. When Fátima died, he built a small chapel (where the Fátima parish stands) in her honor; the lands received her name.

    • The crown on the statue is an offering by Portuguese women in thanksgiving for Portugal having not entered World War II and consequently saving their men from having to fight in the war. The crown is believed to have 3,000 precious stones. It is also embedded with one of the bullets fired at St. Pope John Paul II, during an assassination attempt in Rome in 1981, in thanksgiving to Our Lady for saving his life.  
    Our Lady of Fatima - 206 Tours
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