Medjugorje, Shrines of Croatia & Slovenia Pilgrimage
Spiritual Director: Fr. Burt Absalon
Group Leader: Marcia Curtis
September 16 – 27, 2024
Medjugorje · Dubrovnik · Split · Opatija · Ljubljana
Medjugorje · Dubrovnik · Split · Opatija · Ljubljana
Catholic Heritage: From Medjugorje’s Grace to the Beauty of the Balkans
Embark on a pilgrimage that not only strengthens the Catholic spirit but also unveils the rich tapestry of history and heritage found in the Balkans. Begin in the sacred village of Medjugorje, blessed by the apparitions of Our Lady, and let its serenity set the tone for your journey. From there, navigate through the architectural wonders of Croatia’s coastal towns, the ancient allure of Slovenia’s landscapes, and the deep-rooted religious legacies that intertwine with each destination. Experience a fusion of faith, culture, and history, as every site, from Dubrovnik’s ancient walls to Ljubljana’s Baroque heart, brings you closer to the essence of Jesus and Our Lady’s teachings. This 12-day pilgrimage is a celebration of Catholic devotion set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Balkans.
Your trip includes
- Lunches, Tips to your guide & driver.
Day 1 | Monday, September 16: Depart from Chicago
Depart from your hometown for your overnight flights. Meals will be served on board.
Day 2 | Tuesday, September 17: Arrive Medjugorje
Upon arrival in Europe, change gates to board your short connection flight to either: Dubrovnik, Split, or Sarajevo airport. Upon arrival collect your luggage in the baggage claim area, and continue to the arrival’s hall where you will be greeted by a tour guide and/or driver, who will take you on the 2 1/2 hour drive to the village of Medjugorje. Enjoy dinner before retiring for the evening.
Days 3 & 4 | Wednesday & Thursday, September 18 & 19: Experiencing Medjugorje
The most beautiful feature of Medjugorje is its simplicity, and its peace. While in Medjugorje, you will have the opportunity to experience your faith grow and share in the faith journey of pilgrims from all over the world. The local guide will accompany your group throughout your stay in the village.
Some activities that will accompany you in your spiritual journey:
Attend Daily Mass: Each morning, at 10:00AM, your group will assemble at St. James Church for Mass (English-Speaking). At the end of each Mass, regardless of language, there is a blessing of the religious articles that you have with you.
On Feast Days, and Sundays: English Mass is at Noon
Climb Apparition Hill: This mountainous hill is where the visionaries first encountered Our Lady. Also, at the base of this hill is a Blue Cross, where it is said Our Lady appeared to the children while they hid from the communist police in the early days of the alleged apparitions. When climbing, your group is invited to recite the Rosary, pausing five times for each decade of the Rosary. At the top of the hill, you will witness the exact location of the first alleged apparition of Our Lady to the visionaries, and enjoy private time in prayer.
Climb Mt. Krizevac (Cross Mountain): In 1933, the villagers built a 30′ high cross atop a mountain to commemorate Jesus’ passion and death on the cross. Your group will have the opportunity to climb this mountain and venerate that very cross. When climbing, your group is invited to pray the Stations of the Cross (to meditate on Jesus’ suffering Road to Calvary), pausing fifteen times for each Station.
Apparitions: Each evening at 6PM daylight savings time, your group will join the villagers and fellow pilgrims of Medjugorje in saying the Rosary as all anxiously await the alleged arrival of Our Lady to the visionaries. Following the apparition, at 6:40 PM feel free to stay at St. James Church and attend the Croatian Mass. Following the Croatian Mass there is a Blessing of the Sick.
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament: Our Lady has always called us to be close to her Son. For this, you will have the opportunity to adore the Blessed Sacrament at the outside altar of St. James Church. Adoration is held on Tuesdays and Saturdays; Veneration of the Cross is held on Fridays inside the church. Additionally, there is an Adoration Chapel on the grounds of St. James Church. Adoration is held here in the afternoon hours.
Visit to the Community of Cenacolo: You will have the opportunity to visit the community of Cenacolo, founded by the Sisters of Charity, for young men and women who have taken a wrong path and are on the road to recovery. You will be able to listen to their inspirational words about their journeys back to Jesus Christ.
Prayer at the Statue of the Risen Christ: Located on the grounds of St. James Church, is the bronze statue of the Risen Christ. Many pilgrims sit and pray on the benches surrounding this peaceful statue. This statue miraculously seeps droplets of water at all times of the day, out of Christ’s right knee.
Day 5 | Friday, September 20: Medjugorje – Dubrovnik
After breakfast, we will transfer to Dubrovnik where we will arrive in time to check in to our Hotel. Spend the afternoon in this city overlooking the Adriatic, at your leisure. Feel free to walk to the Old Town, also known as the “Pearl of the Adriatic”. Upon arrival enjoy a walking tour of “Old Dubrovnik” starting with the Rector’s Palace, Bell Tower Clock, Orlando’s Column and the Sponza Palace. You will also see the Dominican Monastery and Franciscan Monastery with its Pharmacy, one of the oldest in the world. This evening, you will have dinner at a typical Dalmatian restaurant that serves local delicacies and wines.
Day 6 | Saturday, September 21: Dubrovnik, excursion to Montenegro
After breakfast, depart for the Republic of Montenegro, towards the mouth of the beautiful Bay of Kotor, the longest and deepest fjord in Southern Europe. Enjoy a boat ride to Our Lady of the Rocks, one of two islets off the coast of Perast. The Roman Catholic Church is the largest building on the islet, with a museum attached to it. Upon return to the coast, we will stop in Perast, an old charming coastal town. This afternoon we will spend time in the city of Kotor before returning to Dubrovnik for an overnight.
Day 7 | Sunday, September 22: Dubrovnik - Split
After breakfast, depart Dubrovnik and travel north along the spectacular Adriatic coast, past old fishing villages and new resorts, to Split. Enjoy a city tour featuring the historic inner city, built around the Roman Emperor Diocletian’s Palace, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. See the remnants of Split’s Roman heritage, its Renaissance and Gothic structures, Jupiter’s Temple, the Peristyle and the Cathedral. Dinner and overnight in Split.
Day 8 | Monday, September 23: Split -Trogir - Plitvice Lakes
After breakfast, we will journey north along the coast to Trogir, the center of artistic activities where scholars from around the world gather to study and paint. Our journey continues towards the beautiful Plitvice Lakes National Park. Dinner and overnight in Plitvice.
Day 9 | Tuesday, September 24: Plitvice Lakes
Today we enjoy Plitvice National Park listed in UNESCO’s World Heritage list. This park is a natural wonder boasting breathtaking scenery, terraced lakes, thickly wooded mountains, and lush vegetation. The rest of the day is at leisure. Dinner and overnight in Plitvice.
Day 10 | Wednesday, September 25: Plitvice Lakes, Opatija, Postojna to Bled
Return to the coast to the beautiful bay of Kvarner and its popular tourism town, Opatia. An orientation tour of Opatia will present the highlights of this former Imperial resort city. After your visit here, drive across the border into Slovenia to Postojna Caves, home to one of the largest caves in Europe. Tour the fantastic subterranean world by miniature electric train. Over 38 million people have visited these caves in the past 200 years. In 1872 the first cave rails were laid, and overhead electric lighting was installed in 1884 – before electric lighting was added to the city of Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. Afterward, continue to Bled for dinner and overnight.
Day 11 | Thursday, September 26: Bled - Ljubljana
Bled is a stunning Alpine lake surrounded by high peaks in northwestern Slovenia at the southern foot of the Karawanks mountain, just about 30 miles from Ljubljana. A sightseeing tour features the charming town and lakeshore, and visits Bled Castle, a medieval castle perched on a cliff high above the lake. Bled Castle is the oldest Slovenian Castle, first mentioned in a 1011 deed. This afternoon enjoy an excursion to Ljubjana, the capital of Slovenia. Here, view the Central open-air Market, Baroque Town Hall, Robba’s Fountain, the Three Bridges and the Parliament. Farewell dinner and overnight in Ljubljana.
Day 12 | Friday, September 27: Ljubljana - USA
After breakfast transfer to Ljubljana airport for your flight 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
Medjugorje, located in Bosnia & Herzegovina, is the site of the 1981 Marian Apparitions. On June 24th 1981 six children witnessed the Blessed Virgin Mary on what is now known as Apparition Hill. The apparition of Our Lady had a message of peace for the world, as well as a call to conversion, prayer and fasting. She appeared to them with an infant in their arms and confided several secrets to the children. Some of the children, now adults, continue to witness Our Lady’s apparitions.
Medjugorje is a place of peace and prayer where over 40 million people have visited the now popular Pilgrimage site. In 2018 Pope Francis appointed Archbishop Henryk Hoser the “Apostolic Visitor” to Medjugorje in steps to officially recognize Medjugorje as a sacred Catholic site. On May 13, 2019 the Holy See officially announced that Dioceses and Parishes throughout the world are officially authorized to organize Pilgrimages to Medjugorje.
About the Six Medjugorje Visionaries
While sightseeing in Dubrovnik, visit St. Blasius Church to appreciate the Baroque architecture and the Domincian and Franciscan monasteries. Complete your Pilgrimage in the “Pearl of the Adriatic” and explore the Old Town where you will enjoy Dalmatian delicacies and wines.