Shrines of France & OberammergauOBER20205
Your trip includes
- Round-trip airfare
- ~3 Nights: Hotel Moderne, Lourdes
- ~1 Night: Hotel du Chateau, Rocamadour
- ~1 Night: Hostellerie des Trois Pigeons, Paray Le Monial
- ~1 Night: Hotel Mercure , Nevers
- ~2 Nights: Grand Hotel de l'Esperance, Lisieux
- ~2 Nights: Marriot Paris Rive Gauche Hotel, Paris
- ~ 2 Nights Oberammergau area
- ~ 1 Night Munich
- Lunches, Tips to your guide & driver.
Depart for Lourdes
Make your way to your local airport, where you will board your overnight flight(s). Your meals will be served on board.
Upon arriving at into Pau or Toulouse airport, make your way to the baggage claim area and collect your luggage. Proceed to the arrival's hall, where you will be greeted by your tour guide and/or driver. Embark on scenic drive to Lourdes. Check-in to your hotel and relax or explore before dinner. Following dinner, you will have free time to pray the Rosary and to attend the candlelight procession. (April-October only). These processions are lit by candlelight and guided by the Most Holy Rosary. Following this prayerful experience, you will return to your hotel for an overnight.
Over the next two days, you will wake up in a small town that is nestled within the Pyrenees Mountains. During your time in Lourdes, you will pray and meditate in yet another site of Our Lady's apparitions. Our Lady first appeared to Bernadette in 1858, and announced herself as "The Immaculate Conception", near the Grotto of Massabielle. At the first two apparitions, little Bernadette prayed the Rosary with Our Lady and left without any exchange of words. During the following apparitions, Our Lady emphasized God's love for us, penance and the necessity of performing acts of penance for sinners. Throughout your time in Lourdes, you will have the opportunity to attend Mass at the Grotto of where Our Lady appeared to Bernadette; watch a video presentation that explains, in detail, the story of Lourdes; drink water from the miraculous spring that has healed many; and submerge yourself in the healing baths. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to experience Christ's unconditional love as you meditate upon the "life size" Stations of the Cross that overlook the Grotto of Massabielle. Also, while in Lourdes, you will walk in and meditate upon the footsteps of St. Bernadette. Your group will have the opportunity to see Boly Mill, the birthplace of St. Bernadette; and the "Cachot," an abandoned prison where Bernadette's impoverish family lived. Each evening following dinner, you will have an opportunity to attend the candle light procession and the Rosary before a restful overnight.
Lourdes - Toulouse - Rocamadour
This morning, you will awaken feeling well-rested! Following breakfast, transfer to Toulouse. This southern French city was once a Roman colony and is home to numerous religious and historical treasures. While here, you will have the opportunity to view many of these rare artifacts such as twenty historical pipe organs, and the burial place of St. Thomas Aquinas at the St. Sernin Basilica. As one of the finest Romanesque churches in France, its exterior is constructed of red brick with decorative accents of white stone. Following your visit to this magnificent church, continue north to the town situated atop a rocky mountain, Rocamadour. Upon arrival in Rocamadour, you will enjoy a delicious meal and a restful overnight.
Rocamadour - Paray Le Monial
This morning you will awaken in the town that overlooks the Alzou Valley and, was the home to early Christian hermit, Zaccheus of Jericho. Zaccheus conversed with Jesus himself and was the husband of St. Veronica, the woman who wiped the face of Jesus as He climbed to Calvary. During your time at this Sacred destination, you will visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Rocamadour, a place of miraculous conversion. It is comprised of numerous religious structures and chapels that are centered on a statue of the Virgin Mary and the tomb of Zaccheus. After your visit to this place of miraculous healing, your journey will continue to Paray Le Monial. Dinner and overnight
Paray Le Monial - Nevers
You will begin your day with breakfast. Celebrate Mass with some free time for prayer and reflection. Following Mass visit the Chapel of the Visitation, of where Jesus exposed His Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in the seventeenth century. These apparitions allowed St. Margaret to rest herself upon Jesus' Sacred Heart and to experience the unconditional love for humanity. During your visit to this Holy place, you will have the opportunity to view relics of the beloved Saint that are located beneath a wax figure of her. Following free time for lunch in Paray Le Monial , we will drive to Nevers via the picturesque Loire Valle. Nevers is the site of where St. Bernadette lived for twelve years as a member of the Congregation of the Sisters of Nevers. The Saint suffered from a number of illnesses such as asthma, tuberculosis of the lungs, and a tubercular tumor in her right knee. For this reason, St. Bernadette received "The Last Sacraments" three times and eventually passed away in 1879, at the age of thirty-five. Visit of the Convent of Saint Gildard, before enjoying a delicious meal and retiring for the evening in Nevers.
Nevers - Chartres - Lisieux
Upon waking up in Nevers and enjoying breakfast. Mass. Following Mass depart for Chartres. Upon arrival, you will have free time for lunch in the quaint town followed by the visit of Chartres, known for its massive Cathedral Notre Dame. Worldwide for the incredible stained-glass windows from the 12th and 13th century. A World Heritage site by UNESCO, which calls the Cathedral "the high point of French Gothic art" and a "masterpiece". After lunch we will continue will continue to Lisieux. Dinner and overnight in Lisieux.
Lisieux - Normandy Beaches - Mont Saint Michel - Lisieux
This morning you will head west and take a day-trip to the site that marks the turning point of World War II, Normandy Beach. This beach is known for the "D-Day landings" of where Allied troops, led by American General Dwight Eisenhower, stormed and began to defeat the Nazi army. While at Normandy, you will have the opportunity to visit the American cemetery of Omaha Beach. Many of the brave American soldiers of World War II are buried here and, it is encouraged to say a prayer in thanksgiving for their courage. Continue on to Mont St. Michel , where the Monastery of Le Mont St. Michele is located, also known as, "The Wonder of the Western World." It is given this name because the Monastery is surrounded by a magnificent bay that is one of the greatest tidal ranges in Europe, resulting in a breathtaking view. In 709, this Monastery was built and consecrated by Aubert, Bishop of Avranches at the request of Michael the Archangel. Since the ninth century, the Abbey has been home to a monastic community in order to ensure the continuation of a spiritual presence. For centuries it has been a place of pilgrimage for those who seek Eternal Life with God. Return to Lisieux for dinner and an overnight.
Lisieux - Paris
Today, after breakfast you will explore the life of St. Therese. According to Pope Pius X, St. Therese of Lisieux was the "greatest saint of modern times." Her extraordinary love for God and service to humanity will come alive as you walk in the Great Saint's footsteps. During your visit, you will see the beautiful Basilica of St. Therese, and the magnificent mosaics and stained glass that are contained within. Following your visit to the Basilica, you will have the opportunity to view relics, clothing and personal objects of St. Therese when you visit her family home, Les Buissonets. Additionally, you will tour the parish of St. Therese, the Cathedral of St. Peter; and the Carmelite Convent of where she entered in 1888, and is currently entombed in with her parents. Your tour of the "Little Flower's" life culminates as you board bus to transfer to the “City of Lights,” Paris. Upon arrival enjoy dinner and overnight.
Today, you will enjoy a full sightseeing tour of Paris. After breakfast, you will visit and celebrate Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, where you will view the incorrupt body of St. Catherine Laboure. The Saint's guardian angel led her to the chapel where the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to her. During apparitions, Our Lady repeatedly instructed the making and purpose of the Miraculous Medal as well as, the green scapular. According to the Blessed Virgin Mary, those who wear the Miraculous Medal and scapular will receive special protection and abundant graces. Following your prayerful and reflective experience at this elegant chapel, you will begin your sightseeing tour of Paris. After Mass we will walk to Saint Vicent de Paul Church. Continuing our day with a visit of the Notre Dame Cathedral, a perfect example of Gothic art. Our panoramic sightseeing tour via motor coach continues on to the most recognizable symbol of the city of Paris, the Eiffel Tower. Historically, the Tower's original intent was to commemorate the centenary of the French Revolution but, later assisted in meteorology, telegraphy of World War I, radio, and television. Pass by the L'Arch de Triomphe, a monument that symbolizes gratitude for those who fought for France. This monument stands at the West end of the Champ-Elysees, one of the world's most famous boulevards and another one of our stops on the sightseeing tour. You will see the ever famous, Louvre Museum. This Museum is one of the finest in the world and contains a number of pieces that truly emanate not only French art but also, European culture. Your fun-filled, busy day ends with a lovely meal and a very comfortable overnight
Paris - Oberammergau
After breakfast depart to the airport for your flight to Munich. Upon arrival at Munich Airport, make your way to the baggage claim area and collect your luggage. Proceed to the arrival's hall, where you will be greeted by your tour guide and/or driver. Enjoy a picturesque ride through Bavaria arriving at your hotel in Oberammergau (or nearby). Time permitting walk the quaint streets of Oberammergau. The incredible 2,000 Oberammergau citizens are the actual actors, singers, instrumentalists and stage technicians. They are ordinary citizens who lead an everyday life. Later in the afternoon we will celebrate Mass followed by a welcome dinner and overnight.
Oberammergau – Passion Play: Performance Day
Celebrate Mass at local church. Enjoy some time to explore Oberammergau’s colorful frescos known as "Luftlmalereien" on house facades and to visit wood carving shops with amazing array of nativity scenesand religious figures. Following lunch, we will make our way to the world famous theatre to attend the performance of a lifetime, the 42nd Oberammergau Passion Play. The sleepy village springs to life every ten years to put on a play that draws the world upon it! We, too, will become part of mission of the Passion of Christ, the greatest story ever told. We all share His message of faith and love! The Oberammergau Passion Play tells the story of the Passion of Christ, beginning with His entry into Jerusalem, followed by His trial, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension. The play is held in a beautiful open air theatre that is praised for its superb acoustics. There are 2,000 actors (and live animals), they include local wood carvers, hotel owners, students, teachers, children, all of them interrupt their schedules to become actors, singers, orchestra members and stagehands. Requirements are strict: all actors must be born in Oberammergau, or have lived there 20 years, or be married to a villager and a resident for 10 years. All natural makeup, such as men let their hair and beards grow a year before the play. Female roles are limited to single women under age 35.
Act I will begin at 2:30 P.M. to 5:00 P.M.
(Intermission: From 5:30 P.M. to 7:30 P.M., you will have dinner at a restaurant that is walking distance from the theatre)
Act II will begin at 8:00 P.M., and conclude at 10:30 P.M.
What makes this performance so extraordinary is how the Stage truly comes alive! Not only in the decoration of the Set and the performance of the Actors, but with real animals and birds playing under the open sky. There are thirty-six (36) main actors who are dressed in white costumes, with their supporting cast dressed in greyish blue. The actors do not wear makeup, as that is their natural hair. Every scene is real, and live, so for example: the actor who is tied to the cross has to stay in that position for more than one (1) hour In between each scene, there are "Living Tableaus", where the live actors perform intricate sets of the Old Testament. You can never describe the feeling you get, as you see these stories being performed right in front of you.
Oberammergau - Munich
After breakfast, we will depart the Oberammergau area to Munich. Munich is the capital of Bavaria, one of Germany's popular destination. Upon arrival enjoy visiting many of Munich's top sites; Marienplatz with its world famous "Glockenspiel"; the twin-towered Frauenkirche (the Church of Our Lady), which serves as the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Munich . The Cathedral is widely considered a symbol of Munich. Celebrate Mass followed by free time for lunch and/or shopping. Dinner and overnight.
Return from Munich to your hometown
Today we fondly say "auf wiedersehen" to Germany, we say farewell to our fellow pilgrims and new friends! Although it’s an end of this journey, graces and blessings from our pilgrimage will last a lifetime.