Saint Dominic Pilgrimage
Spain, France & Italy
800th Centenary of the Feast of St. Dominic
July 26 – August 11, 2021
Your trip includes
- Round-trip airfare
- All airport taxes & fuel surcharges
- Centrally located hotels: (or similar)
- ~ 1 night, Jul 27 - 28 : Hotel Preciados, Madrid, Spain
- ~ 1 night, Jul 28 - 29: Santo Domingo de Silos Hotel, Santo Domingo de Silos, Spain
- ~ 2 nights, Jul 29 - 31: Grand Hotel Moderne, Lourdes, France
- ~ 2 nights, Jul 31 - Aug 2: Les Minotiers, Mirepoix, France
- ~ 2 nights, Aug 2 - 4: Starhotel Tuscany, Florence
- ~ 2 nights, Aug 4 - 6: Hotel NH, Padua, Italy
- ~ 2 nights, Aug 6 - 8: Hotel Grand Visconti Palace, Milan, Italy
- ~ 3 nights, Aug 8 - 11: Hotel Genova, Turin, Italy
- Breakfast and Dinner daily
- Wine with dinners
- Transportation by air-conditioned motor coach
- Assistance of local guide throughout
- Transfers as per itinerary
- Sightseeing and admissions fees as per itinerary
- Catholic Priest available for Spiritual Direction
- Mass daily & Spiritual activities
- Luggage handling (1 piece per person)
- Flight bag & portfolio of all travel documents
- Lunches, Tips to your guide & driver.
Day 1, Monday, July 26 - Depart for Madrid
Make your way to your local airport where you will board your overnight flight(s). Your meals will be served on board.
Day 2, Tuesday, July 27 - Madrid
Upon arrival in Madrid, you will collect your luggage in the baggage claim area and continue to the arrival's hall where you will be greeted by your driver. Transfer to your hotel. This afternoon visit the Monastery of Santo Domingo el Real. This was the first and only female Monastery founded by Saint Dominic in Spain and inside the Monastery the original Saint Dominic’s Baptismal Font is kept. King Felipe III in 1605, brought the Font from Caleruega to Valladolid to baptize his son, future king Felipe IV. Afterward it was transferred to Madrid and kept at the Monastery of Santo Domingo el Real. Since then, all the heirs of the Spanish throne with exception of former King Juan Carlos who was born in Rome, have been baptized in that Baptismal Font where Saint Dominic was baptized. Enjoy a walking tour of Madrid to include the exterior of the Royal Palace. Walk through the Plaza Mayor and Puerta del Sol and we make a stop at the stop at the Cathedral of La Almudena. Return to your hotel. We will enjoy a nice meal before having a restful overnight in Madrid!
Day 3, Wednesday, July 28 - Madrid - Gumiel de Izan - Caleruega - Santo Domingo de Silos
This morning, you will awaken in the capital city of Spain! Following breakfast, we will depart for Santo Domingo de Silos. On the way we will stop in Gumiel de Izan, here is where Saint Dominic as a child pursued his elementary studies under the tutelage of his maternal uncle, the archpriest of Gumiel d'Izan, who instructed him in the basic arts of grammar, Latin, and music. He became familiar with the hymns and canticles of the Divine Liturgy, and in due time was received into the minor order of Lector, making him thus eligible to participate more intimately in the public worship of the Church. It was worship in common and the sacred chants of the Church that first fed his young mind, and laid in him a lasting love for the sacred ceremonies of the Church. In Gumiel de Izan we will visit the Parish Church of Santa Maria, which include an impressive Gothic altarpiece dedicated to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Continue to Caleruega, where Domingo de Guzmán was born in 1170. Before his mother conceived him, she saw in a vision that a dog with a burning torch in its mouth would come forth from her womb and set the world aflame. Later, she saw the moon on his forehead, yet at his Baptism, his godmother perceived it as a star. He was named after Saint Dominic of Silos whose nearby shrine was a favorite of his mother. Continue to Santo Domingo de Silos, where we will visit The Benedictine abbey of Santo Domingo de Silos. The monastery is named after the eleventh-century saint Dominic of Silos. We will continue to our hotel in town and have time to relax before dinner and overnight.
Day 4, Thursday, July 29 - Santo Domingo de Silos – Burgos - Lourdes
After breakfast we will celebrate Mass at the Abbey of Santo Domingo de Silos. Following Mass we will travel to the historic capital of Old Castile, Burgos. In the old part of the city we will find the remains of the old castle looking down onto the Gothic Cathedral of Saint Mary, declared a World Heritage Site in 1984. The building of the cathedral was commissioned in the 11th century by the King Fernando III and his German wife Beatrice of Swabia. The building of the cathedral was overseen by the English born Bishop Don Mauricio. The towers which dominate the skyline were designed and built by Hans of Cologne, bearing more than a passing resemblance to the great cathedral in Cologne. The cathedral is vast with a number of different chapels but perhaps one of the most interesting is the Chapel of the Christ of Burgos. Directly opposite this chapel above the Chapel of Santa Tecla you will find the Papamoscas. This is an automaton above a clock which opens and closes its mouth and strikes a bell on the hour. Also within the cathedral are buried the remains of Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar, better known worldwide as El Cid. After lunch continue to Lourdes with a spectacular view of the Pyrenees Mountains. Upon arrival in Lourdes, you will check-in to your hotel and enjoy a splendid dinner and peaceful overnight.
Day 5, Friday, July 30 - Lourdes
This morning you will wake up in a small town that is nestled within the Pyrenees Mountains. Today you will pray and meditate in yet another site of Our Lady's apparitions. Saint Dominic has a deep devotion to Our Lady. Our Lady first appeared to Bernadette in 1858, and announced herself as "The Immaculate Conception", near the Grotto of Massabielle. During 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, where Our Lady appeared to Bernadette; drink water from the miraculous spring that has healed many; and submerge yourself in the healing baths. Also, while in Lourdes, you will walk in and meditate upon the footsteps of St. Bernadette. You will have the opportunity to see Boly Mill, the birthplace of St. Bernadette, and the "Cachot," an abandoned prison where Bernadette's impoverished family lived. In the evening following dinner, you will have an opportunity to attend the candlelight procession and the Rosary before a restful overnight.
Day 6, Saturday, July 31 – Lourdes - Toulouse - Mirepoix
Following breakfast, transfer to Toulouse. This Southern French city was once a Roman colony and is home to numerous religious and historical treasures. Central to the ministry of St. Dominic, it was in the Languedoc of Southern France where he first encountered the Albigensian heresy of the Cathars. The dualism and gnostic beliefs of the Christian Cathars presented a major difficulty for the Church in the High Medieval period; Cathars rejected the authority and Monotheism of the Roman Church and became very popular throughout the Occitan region, Dominic established himself in Toulouse, with six followers, in a house given by Peter Seilan, a merchant of Toulouse gave his property to Dominic for the first residence of his preaching community. Part of the original house still stands. What was Dominic’s room is now a small chapel. We will also visit the Church of the Jacobins, including the cloister. It is in this beautiful church, given to the Dominicans in 1230, that we find the relics of St Thomas Aquinas. When Pope Urban V gave custody of Thomas’ relics to the Toulouse brethren in 1369 he wrote: “Just as St Thomas shines out among the Doctors of the Church by the beauty of his style and his thought, so this Toulouse church surpasses in beauty all other churches of the Friars Preachers. I choose it for St Thomas and I wish that his body should be placed there”. Toulouse was the see of Bishop Foulques, who greatly supported the preachers. Continue 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 south to Mirepoix. Upon arrival, you will enjoy a delicious meal and a restful overnight.
Day 7, Sunday, August 1 - Mirepoix – Fanjeaux – Monastery of Prouilhe – Carcassonne - Mirepoix
This morning after breakfast, proceed to the nearby town of Fanjeux, where in 1215 St. Dominic became pastor of the local parish. After Mass, we will tour the convent, and the house of St. Dominic. We will depart for the historic fortified city of Carcassonne – (UNESCO World Heritage Site). Here we will visit the Basilica of St. Nazaire where St. Dominic preached in at Easter in 1213, and St Celse. Take time to explore the narrow streets; maintained as they existed during the middle ages. We continue on to the Monastery of Notre-Dame-de-Prouille; known widely as the "cradle of the Dominicans". It was a monastery created for women who had been converted from heretical life. This village was also a resting place for priests combating the heresy of Catharism in southwest France. We return to Mirepoix for dinner & overnight.
Day 8, Monday, August 2 – Mirepoix – Florence
Today transfer to the Toulouse airport for your short flight to Florence. Welcome to Florence. Upon arrival at Florence airport, collect your luggage in the baggage claim area, and continue to the Arrivals Hall, where you will be greeted by a tour escort and/or driver. You will make your way to the bus and transfer to your hotel. Following check-in, you will have free time to unpack and relax, or explore Florence on your own. Your tour escort may suggest places to visit. Later in the afternoon, your group will meet in the hotel lobby for a "Meet and Greet" with your fellow pilgrims and depart for Mass. Following Mass, you will attend a welcome dinner. Upon arrival in Florence, you will notice immediately that it is the land for art lovers. Some of the most world renowned artists are from Florence such as, Dante, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Botticelli, Donatello, and many others. For the remainder of the afternoon, you will have the opportunity to explore the streets of Florence at leisure. In the evening gather for dinner, followed by an overnight.
Day 9, Tuesday, August 3 - Florence
In Florence, your day begins with breakfast, followed by a guided tour. The tour starts at the Church of the Holy Cross, the Santa Croce, where many nobles are buried, such as Michelangelo, Galileo, and Machiavelli. Continue to walk by Piazza Signorina, Palazzo Vecchio, Uffizi, Ponte Vecchio, and Republic Square to the Santa Maria del Fiore. This Cathedral is an iconic piece of architecture of the city of Florence. It was designed by Filippo Brunelleschi in the 13th century. Next, a visit to L'Accademia, the well-known art gallery. At this gallery, you will have the opportunity to view the work from artists such as Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, Pontormo and the everfamous sculpture by Michelangelo, David. This afternoon you will have time to explore Florence on your own. Return to hotel for dinner and an overnight.
Day 10, Wednesday, August 4 - Florence – Bologna - Padua
Following breakfast at your hotel, board the motor coach for your transfer to Bologna to celebrate Mass to celebrate the 800th Anniversary of the death of St. Dominic. Enjoy a tour of Bologna, the historic capital of the Emilia-Romagna region, in northern Italy. Its Piazza Maggiore is lined with arched colonnades, cafes and medieval and Renaissance structures such as City Hall, the Fountain of Neptune and the Basilica di San Petronio. Among the city’s many medieval towers are the Two Towers, leaning Asinelli and Garisenda. After lunch continue to Padua. This Northern Italian city honors the "Patron Saint of Lost Things and Causes", St. Anthony. You will begin a sightseeing tour of the city, including a view of one of the oldest Universities in Italy, the University of Padua, as well as the Basilica of Santa Giustina, the "Patron Saint of Padua." The tour will conclude at the Basilica of St. Anthony, where you will have the opportunity to visit his tomb. Return to the hotel for dinner and an overnight.
Day 11, Thursday, August 5 - Padua - Venice (Full Day Excursion)
Today, you will have early breakfast and then board your bus to depart to the magical city of Venice. After Mass, enjoy a tour of the "city paved with water!" Your walking tour includes a visit to St. Mark's Square, the largest square in the city and the site of many government buildings; the Golden Basilica of San Marco, known for the great mosaics that depict the Old and New Testament of the Bible; the Bridge of Sigh, a bridge that will bring eternal love to those who drift below it. You will also have the chance to view the Doges' Palace (Duke's Palace), which served as the seat of the Government for the Republic of Venice for centuries. Return to Padua for dinner and an overnight.
Day 12, Friday, August 6 - Padua - Verona - Milan
After breakfast, depart towards Verona. Upon arrival tour this medieval old town built between the meandering Adige river. Its famous for being the setting of Shakespeare’s "Romeo and Juliet." A 14th-century residence with a tiny balcony overlooking a courtyard is said be “Juliet’s House." Walk on Piazza delle Erbe, the town’s forum in Roman times, which is home to a produce market and the Torre dei Lamberti bell tower, started in 1172. San Zeno Basilica has a fresco-filled interior and medieval bronze doors depicting biblical stories. Verona Cathedral, built mainly in the 12th-century, contains “The Assumption of the Virgin,” a 16th-century painting by Titian. Along the Adige River, the Museo di Castelvecchio, in a 14th-century fortified castle, houses paintings, sculptures and military weapons from the Middle Ages. The Ponte Pietra is a Roman-era stone bridge. After lunch we continue onto the city of Milan for dinner and a restful overnight.
Day 13, Saturday, August 7 - Milan - Mesero – Milan
Following breakfast, visit the Basilica of St. Ambrogio (tomb of St. Ambrose) and the Duomo (location of the tomb of St Charles Borromeo) including a visitation to the Baptismal Font. After free time for lunch we depart to the countryside around Milan. We will enjoy a walking tour of Milan, before boarding the motor coach to the Shrine and tomb of St Gianna Berreto at Mesero. The group will visit Magenta and Pontenuovo to see the house where she was born, the Basilica di San Martino where she was baptized and the chapel of Madonna del Buon Consiglio where she used to pray and where her children has been baptized. We'll return to our hotel in Milan for dinner and overnight.
Day 14, Sunday, August 8 - Milan - Certosa – Pavia -Turin
Following breakfast, enjoy sightseeing with a local guide in Milan and visit the famous "Last Supper", We will continue to the Carthusian Certosa di Pavia, north of the town of Pavia, to admire its church and the monastery; one of the largest monasteries in Italy. Afterwards, the city of Pavia awaits you with its famous covered bridge over Ticino river and the middle age historical center. One of the most famous churches built by a Lombard king in Pavia is the church San Pietro in Ciel d'Oro. The largest tomb of the three located in San Pietro in Ciel d'Oro contains the remains of St. Augustine of Hippo. After our visit, we will depart this evening to the beautiful city of Turin.
Day 15, Monday, August 9 - Turin - Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Sanctuary of Maria Ausiliatrice, Corpus Domini - Castelnuovo Don Bosco
This morning, we wake up in the city of Turin, capital of the Piedmont region and home of the famous Shroud of Turin. Although the shroud is not being shown, we will visit its home - the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist where Blessed Giorgio Frassati in buried. Visit Corpus Domini - site of the Eucharistic Miracle. Following lunch visit the Sanctuary of Maria Ausiliatrice, The Basilica of Our Lady Help of Christians, completed in 1868. This church in Turin was originally part of a home for poor boys founded by Saint John Bosco, which now contains his Tomb with the relics of St Dominic Savio and other saints. Castelnuovo Don Bosco, the birthplace of St. John Bosco in the province of Asti. Return to your hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 16, Tuesday, August 10 - Turin - Oropa - Biella - Turin
After breakfast, we will depart for the town of Biella, the home of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati. We continue to Oropa, one of the oldest Marian shrines in the world begun by St Eusebius of Vercilli in the 4th c. According to local legend, during the 17th century, the town was spared from the plague because of the Shrine. Every year the residents make a pilgrimage in thanks to the Blessed Mother. We will see the Brown Madonna, and the Church where Frassati prayed. See the mountain he climbed, and have take a cable car (Optional activity - seasonal availability/time schedule permitting) that goes half way up the mountain to the lake. We return to Turin for dinner and overnight.
Day 17, Wednesday, August 11 - Return Home
After an early breakfast, your group will leave by motor coach and transfer to the Turin airport for return flights home.
Special Clergy Discount
A Clergy Discount is available to all members of “Clergy” within the Catholic Church. This includes Seminarians, Deacons, Brothers and Sisters, Priests, Monsignors, Bishops, Cardinals, and His Holiness.Click Here to learn more!
About your trip
She came for you and for everyone of us! 6 million pilgrims come to Lourdes each year and 10,000 visit this site daily. At the foot of the Pyrenees mountains in southwestern France, nestled between the spectacular mountain river, Gave de Pau, is Lourdes, one of the most important pilgrimage sites in the World. Lourdes is the birthplace of St Bernadette to whom Our Lady appeared in 1858 near the Grotto of Massabielle. Our pilgrimage and tour of Lourdes includes visits to the sanctuary and the Basilica of St Pius X, the world's largest underground church. Drink from the spring that the Virgin directed Bernadette to locate at the base of the grotto, which has flowed uninterrupted since 1858. Wash yourself in the baths where hundreds of miraculous cures have taken place. Contemplate Christ's Passion as you pray the unique three-dimensional Stations of the Cross. Attend the blessing of the sick, and participate in nightly candlelight processions requested by Our Lady. Daily Mass, and Mass at the Grotto on Sunday will be followed by a video presentation telling the miraculous story of Lourdes. Visit Lourdes and experience a spiritual journey from which many have claimed healing and conversion.