Saint of October | 206 Tours Blog


October is home to many Feast Days, and those Saints are so important to those who follow the Catholic faith. Though this month does not contain any major Holy Days, there are many special days for which to pray and celebrate in October. Here are a few of our favorites:


St Therese the Little Flower – Feast Day: October 1st

Saint Therese of Lisieux, also known as St. Therese “the Little Flower”.  On the Feast Day of the “Little Flower” – we celebrate her extraordinary love for God and service to humanity. She was born in France in 1873. Since then, Lisieux has become a popular Pilgrimage site for those who wish to pay homage to this beloved Saint. According to Pope Pius X, St. Therese was the “greatest Saint of modern times.” 


In Lisieux, pilgrims can view her relics, clothing, her hair, personal belongings, and visit her family home, known as “Les Buissonets”. You can also visit the Carmelite Convent she entered in 1888 where she is now entombed alongside her parents.

You can visit these sites, and more, on Tour 8!



St. Francis of Assisi – Feast Day October 4

St. Francis of Assisi lived his life deeply dedicated to imitating the life of Jesus, serving the poor, and taking a vow of poverty himself. As many know, he is the patron Saint of Animals and the Environment. 

There are many accounts of St. Francis respecting, preaching to, and blessing animals as he would a human. He is also responsible for founding the Franciscan Order, and is the inspiration for our Holy Father, Pope Francis.

Visit the hometown of Saint Francis on the tour that follows his life in Assisi: Tour 100




St. Teresa of Avila – Feast Day October 15

Saint Teresa of Avila is widely known for being a nun, author, and theologian of contemplative life through mental prayer. Also called, Saint Teresa of Jesus, she was born in Avila (Spain) in 1515. The city is now dedicated to her, and has not changed much since her passing in 1582. Saint Teresa, the great mystic, was the first woman ever to be named a “Doctor of the Church”. 

You can visit sites from her life, the La Encarnacion Convent where she became a nun, the museum built to honor her, and the Cathedral and Cuatro Postes (the four columns) dedicated to her life on tour 210!

Get an inside look into the life of this “Doctor”, by joining Tour 210




Celebrate October with these Saints in mind!

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Chris Stefanick is a proud husband and father of six (6), who has dedicated his life to spreading the Catholic Faith, mostly amongst young people. Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap calls him, “one of the most engaging young defenders of the Christian faith on the scene today.
A graduate of Franciscan University in Steubenville, he is respected in the American Catholic community serving as a consultant to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth. He is also currently the Director of Youth and Youth Adult Ministry for the Archdiocese of Denver, which serves more than half a million Catholics.
Chris has become a critically acclaimed author and speaker, with wildly successful television, radio, and YouTube programs. Chris speaks to over 90,000 people at seminars each year. Each month, his various TV and radio programs reach an audience of 1 million. He even authored a new Confirmation program that is being used by 100,000 teenagers per week.
He is the Founder and President of Denver based non-profit, Real Life Catholic, which is dedicated to reengaging a fading generation of Catholics. Through his organization’s research, they estimate that 80%of young Catholics stop practicing their faith before their 23rdbirthday, which he says can be fixed through a program he calls the “College Connection.”
Real Life Catholic’s goal is to “ignite a bold, contagious faith in the heart of every Catholic by building a movement of Catholics who share the beauty, power and truth of the Gospel with a world that had largely forgotten.” It is clear from the number of book sales, conference attendees, and multimedia audience members that Chris has indeed built a movement and is engaging many Catholics on a regular basis.
Another way that Chris changes lives, and reignites faith, is through Pilgrimage. He says of his experience in the Holy Land;

“Going to the Holy Land changed the way I pray. Changed the way I share the faith. Changed my life. You can’t NOT be changed when you touch the rock Jesus was crucified on, enter the empty tomb, walk along the Sea of Galilee, and bow to enter the Bethlehem Basilica through the small ‘door of humility’.”

Chris often leads groups to the Holy Land acting as a Spiritual Director. In the summer of 2020, Chris will be leading a group of 206 Tours Pilgrims – as they too walk in Jesus’s footsteps in the Holy Land. Chris will lead the group through Our Lord’s homeland for eleven (11) days, visiting sites like the Jordan River, Bethlehem, Mount of Olives, the Sea of Galilee, the Dead Sea, walking the Via Dolorosa, entering the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and more.

206 Tours Chris Stefanick


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Father Donald Calloway, MIC | 206 Tours

Father Donald Calloway, MIC, is a prominent Marian Priest – known for his personality, authenticity, and passion for the Priesthood, and devotion to Our Lady. For years, Fr. Calloway has been one of our most sought-after Spiritual Directors, attracting Pilgrims from all over the world to join him in Pilgrimage to Holy sites all over the world – like Mexico City, Ireland, Poland, the Holy Land, Rome, and more. His vast resume of Catholic sites visited, and zeal for the helping others fall in love with the act of Pilgrimage, is why we’ve dubbed him, “The Pilgrimage King”.

Fr. Donald Calloway | The Pilgrimage King | 206 Tours

His story is an unusual one – a convert to Catholicism, but the trip that led him there began as a high school dropout, addicted to drugs, kicked out of a foreign country, institutionalized twice, and thrown in jail multiple times. As he details this in his best-selling book, “No Turning Back: A Witness to Mercy”, he experienced a radical conversion one evening when he inexplicably started reading a book about the Marian Apparitions in Medjugorje. After staying up all night reading the book, Donald spoke with his mother, ran to Mass, made Confession, and purged all of his detrimental possessions.

He went on to get his G.E.D., then earn a B.A. from the Franciscan University of Steubenville, and conclude with both an M.Div. and S.T.B degree from the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC. Not to mention, finding time to get an S.T.L in Mariology from the International Marian Research Institute in Dayton, Ohio.  He is now considered to be a renowned Theologian, currently serving as the Vicar Provincial and Vocations Director for the Marian Fathers. To date, he has written eleven (11) books, with many more on the way, in addition to winning an Emmy. 
Father Donald Calloway, MIC | 206 Tours

He has made “Pilgrimage” a regular part of his life. He says a Pilgrimage is,

 “A time of prayer that helps a person draw closer to heaven, especially by visiting Holy sites associated with Jesus, Mary, and the saints… meant to help you experience a deeper conversion and assure you of God’s merciful love.”

To date, Father Calloway has completed over twenty (20) pilgrimages, and guided hundreds of Catholics along the way. His story is so human, and uniquely relatable, that many have had their faith’s reignited through Fr. Calloway’s journey. We’re blessed to continue to have the opportunity of having Father Calloway lead our pilgrims, with departures scheduled through 2020. 

For more information, and a personal letter from Fr. Calloway, please visit: www.pilgrimages.com/frcalloway

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206 Tours Celebrating 33 Years!
In 1983, Milanka Lachman was working for Yugoslav Airlines when she received several calls from people asking for help arranging travel to Medjugorje to witness the Marian Apparitions there. She could hear in their voices that these people felt called to make this Pilgrimage and felt suddenly strongly compelled to help them get there. She gave these clients her personal home phone number fearing she could be fired by her Communist superiors if she were heard discussing Medjugorje.


Though it was a difficult task, Milanka accepted the challenge and arranged a non-stop PanAm flight to Dubrovnik, secured hotel space, and organized for a driver. At the time, Medjugorje was a small village of only 300 people who were opening their doors and sharing meals with Pilgrims free of charge. Milanka was so moved by her first Pilgrimage experience that she felt called to dedicate her life to facilitating the act Pilgrimage for other Catholics, and 206 Tours was born.


In October of 1985, in a small town on Long Island, Milanka set out to create her company. At just 27 years old, she was a single mother of two with little experience in the travel industry, no money, no family, no clergy connections, and no support. Milanka approached the task with Faith, knowing that God would help her in her mission to help others answer His call of Pilgrimage.

Thirty-three (33) years later, 206 Tours has grown into one of the country’s leading Pilgrimage operators facilitating over 300,000 Pilgrimages to 28 countries all over the world. Every Pilgrimage is accompanied by a Catholic Spiritual Director who says Mass and is available for the Sacrament of Reconciliation daily. With hundreds of regularly schedules departures and the ability to create one of a kind custom group pilgrimages, 206 Tours helps Catholics to deepen their relationship with God.
Of the 300,000 Pilgrimages completed, 63,000 of those have been free of charge. Tens of thousands of lives have been changed through Pilgrimage with 206 Tours, and hundreds of people have been called into Priesthood or experienced vocation callings. The Holy Father has noted that, “Pilgrimage is one of the most eloquent expressions of the faith of God’s people” and 206 Tours also understands that the call to service and charity is also one that will deepen Catholic Faith. Holding charity and service as a core value, 206 Tours have been blessed to be able to support many Catholic charities in the 33 years, helping to grow the Catholic community not only on Long Island, but also all over the world. Learn more about how 206 Tours gives back here. 
In 33 years, the 206 Tours family has seen firsthand, and learned the importance of Pilgrimage and how it can completely transform lives. While on Pilgrimage, deep and long-lasting friendships and connections are often made, faith is renewed and revived, and life takes on a new meaning.
In the years to come, 206 Tours aims to make Pilgrimage even more accessible to the Catholic community, maintaining the originally goal of helping others to experience Pilgrimage. The strength and perseverance of 206 Tours is attributed to the strong network of employees, partners, clergy and pilgrims around the world who are keeping the act of Pilgrimage alive and of course all credit and Glory to God, as without Him, the last 33 years would not have been possible.

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206 Tours - Dr. Scott Hahn - Fr. Rutler - St. Paul Center Cardinal Newman Award

“We can believe what we choose. We are answerable for what we choose to believe.” – Cardinal Newman

Congratulations to Father George W. Rutler for receiving the St. Paul Center Cardinal Newman Award.  Fr. Rutler converted to Catholicism in 1979, and was ordained to the priesthood just three (3) years later. He served as chaplain for several organizations, and was a Parish pastor. Since 1988, Father has hosted a popular weekly program on EWTN. He has also written over twenty (20) books, and published hundreds of essays.

Held at the exclusive Union League Club in New York City last month, attracted hundreds of supporters and Catholics who all came together to honor Father George at the St. Paul Center’s Annual Cardinal Newman Award Dinner.

The St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology is a non-profit research and educational Institute that was started by Dr. Scott Hahn, in 2002. Dr. Hahn is a well-known speaker and author who in 1990 began teaching at the Franciscan University of Steubenville where he is now the Chairman of the Biblical Theology and the New Evangelization Department. 
He founded the St. Paul Center with the goal of driving a revival in the study of Catholic Scripture, bring countless Catholics into an encounter with the life-transforming power of God’s Word, both in Liturgy and life. 206 Toursis a proud sponsor of the St. Paul Center, and has been close partners with Dr. Hahn for years.
Dr. Hahn’s latest project with 206 Tours is his upcoming Lenten Pilgrimage to the Holy Land, in which he will lead with his wife – Author and Steubenville Councilwoman: Kimberly Hahn. The Pilgrimage will follow the footsteps of Jesus from March 7 – 17, 2019. Limits spots remain on this special tour, so sign up today! 

Watch Dr. Hahn’s Personal Video to join him in the Holy Land Invitation 

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206 Tours Pilgrimage to the Holy Land Jim Caviezel John Michael Talbot

John Michael Talbot has become a household name to millions of Catholics due to his extensive artistic, musical, and humanitarian career. For decades, John Michael has been creating in the Catholic space, sharing his art as well as his message travelling from Parish to Parish. Here is a deeper look into the life, work, and service of this Christian Music legend.

John Michael Talbot was born into a Methodist family in Oklahoma City in 1954. Music had always been a large part of John Michael’s life, so much so that he dropped out of school and formed a country folk-rock band with his brother as a teenager. After several successful albums and years of touring, the band separated, and John Michael began a spiritual journey that ultimately led him to Christian Music.

John Michael became a Roman Catholic in 1978 while studying at the Franciscan center in Indianapolis, deeply inspired by St. Francis of Assisi. He founded an integrated monastic community of celibate men, woman, and families called Brothers and Sisters of Charity in 1980. He is currently the Minister General and Spiritual Father for the Brothers and Sisters of Charity in both Little Portion Hermitage in Arkansas and St. Clare’s Monastery in Texas.

After years of continued success in the world of Christian Music, John Michael founded his own record label, “Troubadour for the Lord” in 1992. He is currently regarded as Catholic music’s most popular artist. In his 37 years in the music industry, his latest album is his 53rd, contributing to the over 4 million records sales worldwide.

Click to watch a live performance from 2001

In addition to his extensive music career, John Michael had authored over 24 published books. In 2014, John Michael added the world of television to his creative resume with the highly acclaimed inspirational show called, “All Things Are Possible”, which ran for three seasons.

John Michael Talbot is uniquely creative, which makes his message deeply inspiring and motivational. At 64 years old, he is extremely active in traveling to parishes and spreading his message, like a modern-day St. Francis with the goal of renewing and reviving faith. His presence is in high demand as he is a powerful speaker, often invited to speak at Churches, and events – in addition to his busy touring concert schedule.

Next Spring, John Michael will travel to the Holy Land with fellow artistic Catholic Actor, Jim Caviezel. Pilgrims will have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to walk in Jesus’s footsteps alongside John Michael and Jim. John Michael will be sharing his musical talents throughout what is sure to be an unforgettable Pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Limited spots remain, don’t miss out on this amazing trip!

 Watch John Michael’s Personal Invitation to join him in the Holy Land!

Click Here to Register

206 Tours Pilgrimage to the Holy Land Jim Caviezel John Michael Talbot


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206 Tours | VIDEO DIARY | A Day in the Life of A Pilgrim, Fr. Peter Dugandzic documenting his pilgrimage in Portugal, Fatima, Spain, Lourdes, and Paris.

One of our very talented Spiritual Directors, Father Peter Dugandzic, recently led a 206 Tours Pilgrimage to Fatima, Spain, Lourdes & Paris. He has been extremely gracious in taking the time to document his journey in a Video Diary – which we are happy to share with you! Click to watch the videos below, get a glimpse into what a 206 Tours Marian Pilgrimage is about, and to feel as though you are right alongside Fr. Peter in Portugal, Spain, and France!

Day 1: Arrive in Lisbon
The group begins their Marian Pilgrimage in Lisbon, Portugal. Of all the things to see in Lisbon, the birthplace of St. Anthony of Padua is the most important. The group celebrated daily Mass at the Church that was built on the place where St. Anthony was born. 


Day 2: Santarem & Fatima

The group celebrated Holy Mass in Santarem, at the Church of St. Stephen where a 13thcentury Eucharistic miracle occurred – before heading to the Shrine in Fatima. In Fatima, they visited the Hamlet of Aljustrel, the home of the three (3) shepherd children who witnessed Our Blessed Mother’s apparitions.  After dinner, they joined the Rosary and Procession at the Shrine.

Day 3: Fatima
In the morning, the group celebrated Holy Mass at the Chapel of the Angel of Peace (Little Chapel of Apparitions) in Fatima before touring the Shrine, and learning about the miracle that happened more than 100 years ago. After lunch, the group did the Stations of the Cross. The path for the Stations is the same route the children took from their homes to where they tended their flock, and where they saw the Blessed Mother.

Day 4: Salamanca – Alba de Tormes – Avila – Burgos

On this day, the group journeyed to Salamanca – a beautiful University city with an old and new Cathedral. They embarked on a walking tour which concluded with Holy Mass in St. Martin’s Church. As part of our celebration, Fr. Peter blessed Pilgrims – George and Sandra – on their 32nd Wedding Anniversary!


Day 5: Avila
After departing from Salamanca, the group made their way to the village of Alba de Tormes, the place where Saint Teresa of Avila founded the Carmelite Monastery in 1571. While there, they celebrated Holy Mass, and had an opportunity to venerate St. Teresa’s remains. They continued to Avila to pray in the chapel where St. Teresa was born, and enjoyed the well preserved – and beautiful – 11th century architecture of the city.


Day 6: Loyola and Lourdes
On this day, the group traveled to Loyola, the birthplace of St. Ignatius – and had the opportunity to visit his home,  as well as celebrate Holy Mass in the room where he underwent his conversion. They proceeded to Lourdes, with a remarkable view of the Pyrenees Mountains. After dinner, they walked to the Shrine for the spectacular Rosary Procession.



Day 7 & 8: Lourdes
After Holy Mass at the Chapel of St. Gabriel, the group toured the city of Lourdes and the holy places from the life of St. Bernadette. Some of those sites include Boly Mill where she was born, the Grotto of Massbielle where Our Lady first appeared to her in 1858, the miraculous spring that has cured many, and the healing baths. The group then joined the Eucharistic procession where there is a special blessing for all the sick and infirm – here Fr. Peter said a special prayer for all of us!

On this day Father Peter was asked to be the main celebrant for Mass in the Grotto, and a few of our 206 Tours Pilgrims served as Lectors. After Mass, the group walked the Stations of the Cross – which are uniquely carved into a mountain with life-sized figures featured in the Stations. The group offered a special prayer at the 12th Station. 
Day 9: Paris & Lisieux
The group left Lourdes to fly to Paris where the celebrated Mass at the famous Basilica, Sacre Coeur, which translated means, “Sacred Heart”. The Basilica sits atop Montmartre Hill with a stunning panoramic view overlooking Paris.  


Day 10: Lisieux
In Lisieux, the group visited the Basilica of St. Therese, and admired the magnificent mosaics and stained glass within. St. Therese was also known as “The Little Flower” and called, “the greatest Saint of modern times” by Pope Pius X. The group had the opportunity to view relics of her family, tour the Carmelite Convent she attended, and see her childhood home, Les Buissonets. 
Normandy – Landing Beaches – American Cemetery 
The group then made their way to Normandy, the site of D-Day. Together they visited the Normandy American Cemetery, and Memorial to honor and pray for the many brave American soldiers who died on D-Day and in Europe during World War II. Watch Fr. Peter’s moving video from this experience. 
Day 11: Chartres
In Chartres, the group celebrated Holy Mass at the massive Cathedral Notre Dame. Here they observed the incredible stained-glass windows from the 12th and 13th century which is widely revered as one of the highest points of French Gothic Art.
Day 12: Paris
On the group’s final day of their Pilgrimage, they went to Rue de Bac and celebrated Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal – which holds the remains of St. Catherine Laboure. Then they toured the city of Paris, visiting the church of St. Vincent de Paul, returned to Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Eiffel Tower.


For fourteen (14) days, Father Peter and his fellow Pilgrims visited many holy sites, Shrines, and Churches in the experience of a lifetime. We thank Father Peter and his group of Pilgrims for giving us the opportunity to share in their experience through this wonderful video diary. 

To learn more about taking part in your own Marian Pilgrimage, view the full itinerary here:
For more videos like these, SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube page!

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206 Tours - Padre Pio



Today, September 20th, we honor the 100th Anniversary of Saint Padre Pio’s Stigmata – and – Sunday, September 23th, marks the 50th Anniversary of his death. We would like to give Special Recognition for the example he set for us and his service to all Catholics.


Stigmata

Saint Padre Pio is famously known for his stigmata, visions, and the gift of healing. His stigmata first appeared on September 20th, 1918 while he was hearing confession. The Stigmata directly mimics Christ’s Crucifixion and Passion wounds on his hands, feet, and side. The wounds had a floral odor, often referred to as the, “odour of sanctity”, and the Stigmata was perceived by many as evidence of holiness. With much skepticism surrounding Saint Pio, he was investigated many times, but all the doctors commissioned by the Holy See confirmed his Stigmata is to have been a gift from God.



Superhuman Qualities

As Father Sean Connolly mentions in his recent article for Catholic World Report, Padre Pio’s “devotion to prayer, fasting, and penance was superhuman.” From as early as 5 years old, Saint Pio dedicated his life to God, and throughout his life remained extremely connected to Christ. He was known to speak directly to Mary, Jesus, and the Angels, in addition to his gift of visions, and ability to bi-locate and read souls. Saint Pio barely ate or slept, yet always pushed through his pains, demons, and illnesses to serve God and His people in a way that demonstrated supernatural physical resilience and unwavering Faith.  To Fr. Sean’s read the full article, click here


Connection to St. John Paul II

In the late 1940’s, Saint John Paul II visited Saint Padre Pio and confessed to him. There, Saint Pio shared that he had a prophecy that Saint John Paul II would one day serve the highest post in the church. As we all know, he went on to elected Pope in 1978, and subsequently, Beatified Padre Pio in 1999, and Canonized him in 2002.

Death

On September 20th, 1968, Saint Padre Pio had endured 50 years living with his stigmata, and began to feel great fatigue. The next day he celebrated his last Mass in San Giovanni Rotondo, to a town packed with Pilgrims who came to see him. On the morning of September 23rd Saint Padre Pio made his last confession, and renewed his Franciscan vows before stating he could see two mothers, presumably his own mother and Mary, and whispering “Maria!” with his final breath. 


Throughout his life, Catholics would travel great distances, and wait outside for weeks to confess to Saint Pio. Likewise, his funeral Mass received the same response and was attended by over 100,000 people.
Saint Padre Pio had often said that his real mission would begin after his death, and now – 50 years after his death, we still remember and honor him, forever inspired by our modern-day biblical Prophet. Many Catholics honor Saint Pio’s life by making a pilgrimage to San Giovanni Rotondo. To learn more about how you can remember Saint Pio through Pilgrimage, visits – Shrines of Italy or All Italian Shrines.




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Jim Caviezel Starring as Jesus in The Passion of the Christ to make Pilgrimage with 206 Tours
As Jim Caviezel prepares to make his way to Israel in 2019, and walk the true Via Dolorosa, let us take a look back at the role that set him apart – and one that he will reprise next year.
The making of the film, The Passion of the Christ, was so extraordinary and unusual that it has been the subject of countless articles, books, and even televised Specials. Much of what made the film so unique is the experiences that lead actor, Jim Caviezel who plays Jesus Christ, endured while filming the movie. Rather than regret taking the role, or looking back on his experience with contempt, Jim has widely been known to say the experience brought him closer to God and his Catholic Faith. Here are some interesting details about Jim’s experience acting in the highest grossing Independent film of all time.


1. Gibson offered him the role, then tried to talk him out of it

Mel Gibson Directed, Produced, and funded the entire film. When he originally set up a meeting with Caviezel, he said he wanted to discuss a film about a surfer as a ruse to get Jim to take the meeting. After presenting the idea of the film about the last hours of Christ’s life, and Jim accepted the offer, Gibson tried to change his mind.
At the 2018 SEEK Conference, Jim shared; “[Mel] said, ‘You’ll never work in this town again.” So I told him, ‘We all have to embrace our crosses’ … We have to give up our names, our reputations, our lives to speak the truth.”
Jim Caviezel Starring as Jesus in The Passion of the Christ to make Pilgrimage with 206 Tours

2. Jim had turned the role of Jesus down before

Jim was asked to portray Jesus twice before Gibson approached him – once for a Play, and once for a television Special. Both times, he immediately knew the roles were not right. When he heard Gibson’s pitch though, he knew the story would be told in a way he was proud to represent. He said he knew this version would show “the absolute fullness of the truth” of what Jesus endured in his last few hours, and that that was the only way he would ever portray Christ.

3. A headache of a make-up process

Most days, Jim needed to be on set by 2am to endure hours of make-up application. Gibson’s vision included making Jesus as realistic as possible for a man born in that region at that time. Jim wore a prosthetic nose and brown contacts – they even raised his hairline. For much of the filming, he wore make up that made it look like his eye was swollen shut, which effected his depth perception and vision, causing migraines. 
Jim Caviezel Starring as Jesus in The Passion of the Christ to make Pilgrimage with 206 Tours

4. Jim endured lots of physical ailments

While filming what has been recognized as one of the most graphic and violent films ever made, there was no shortage of real injury and pain – mainly suffered by the lead actor. In keeping with the goal of authenticity to the horrors suffered by Jesus, Jim was put in very precarious and potentially dangerous spots. He suffered scratches and bruises from the chains he wore and even dislocated his shoulder carrying the 150-pound cross, which was captured on film and kept in the movie. While filming the scene where Jesus delivers the Sermon on the Mount, Jim and the Assistant Director, Jan Michelini, both were struck by lightening just minutes apart. This was the second time Jan was struck during the project.
Jim hung on the cross in below freezing temperatures and strong wind, which almost caused hypothermia – leading to pneumonia and a lung infection. During the scourging scene, Jim was accidentally whipped twice by the two actors portraying Roman soldiers, one of the hits leaving a 14-inch gash in his back.

5. Through the pain, his Faith never wavered

During an interview on The Today Show, Jim shared how challenging making the film was for him. He shared how he turned to prayer when he was struggling, exhausted, overwhelmed, and doubtful. He said he wasn’t sure if he was going to be able to handle the pain, or maintain the physical and emotional endurance needed to complete the film. Jim shared that he needed to listen to his heart rather than his head to get through the filming process.
As a devout Catholic, Jim felt the process forced him to become closer to God and his Faith. He said that when he was at his most doubtful, he turned to prayer;
“It forced me into the arms of God. That’s the only place I could go. That’s when God’s voice came to me. ‘Hey, don’t you worry about it. Let me take care of it, and will you allow me to use you to play?’ And that’s when I just said, All right, I’m going to let you perform, and I’m going to step out of the way.”
As we mentioned in an earlier blog post, in January of 2018, Jim confirmed the rumors that he would be reprising his role as Jesus Christ in Gibson’s upcoming sequel which is said to follow the three days after Jesus’s death and explore his Resurrection.
In April of 2019, Jim will be joining 206 Tours on a Special Pilgrimage to the Holy Land in preparation for the role. There are limited spots available, reserve your spot today! 

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206 Tours Blog | Celebrating the Remarkable Life of Blessed Pope John Paul II
As we prepare for the Centennial (100th) Birthday of Saint John Paul II, which will take place on May 18, 2020, we reflect the remarkable life of the famous Polish Pontiff.
St. Pope John Paul II was born Karol Józef Wojtyła in Wadowice Poland. When he was just a young boy, his mother died in child birth and before he was 20 years old, he had also lost his brother and father. After his father’s death in 1941 he began courses at the clandestine underground seminary which was run by the Archbishop of Krakow. Several times, he escaped death in freak accidents and even avoided the Gestapo, which, to him, confirmed his calling to become a priest.
Throughout the Nazi regime, while still a seminarian, he is attributed with saving the lives of several Jewish children which led to him receiving the medal of a “Righteous Among the Nations”. In 1946, he was Ordained on All Saint’s Day. Just a year later, when visiting and confessing to Saint Padre Pio, St. Padre Pio shared a prophecy that he would someday ascend to the highest post in the Church.
In 1953 he began teaching Ethics at the Jagiellonian University where he gathered a small group young people, who affectionally referred to themselves as “Rodzinka” or “little family”. They often met for prayer and enjoyed activities like skiing and kayaking together. The group grew to about 200 people and Saint Pope John Paul II became known as “Wujek”, the Polish word for “Uncle”. Upon being named Auxiliary Bishop of Krakow, he assured his little family, “Wujek will remain Wujek”.  This nickname is still affectionately used mostly by Polish Catholics.
As a participant in the Synod of Bishops, he had a good relationship with Blessed Pope Paul VI. He was appointed the Archbishop of Krakow by Pope Paul VI in 1964 and subsequently played a key role in creating the encyclical “Humanae vitae”
He was elected Pope on October 16, 1978 – and remained Pontiff until his death in 2005, making him the second longest serving Pope in modern history. One of the most popular Pontiffs, he often attracted large crowds – like in 1995 when nearly four (4) million worshipers came to see him at the World Youth Day in Manila. The Vatican recognizes this as the largest Papal gathering ever!

206 Tours Blog | Celebrating the Remarkable Life of Blessed Pope John Paul II

Catholics in Poland, and all over the world, still maintain a deep love for Saint Pope John Paul II, and will no doubt celebrate his life on what would have been his 100thBirthday. Many will travel to Poland to walk in his footsteps, and make a spiritual Pilgrimage. 

Our “Pilgrimage to Poland: Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Karol Jozef Wojtyla” is now open for registration! We welcome all to come along as we wish a Happy 100th Birthday to Saint John Paul II in May of 2020! 

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