~ 4 nights: A modern home/hotel with private bath in Medjugorje
Transfers as per itinerary
Breakfast and Dinner daily
Wine with dinners
Transportation by air-conditioned motor coach
Assistance of a professional local Catholic guide(s)
Sightseeing and admissions fees as per itinerary
Catholic Priest available for Spiritual Direction
Mass daily & Spiritual activities
*Special Clergy Discount *Discount is offered to ordained clergy in the Roman Catholic Church: deacons, priests, or bishops belonging to the diaconate, the presbyterate, or the episcopate, respectively as well, as Catholic Sisters.
Not Included: Lunches. Travel Insurance optional (www.206tours.com/insurance), Supplemental Cancellation Protection @ $299 (www.206tours.com/cancellationprotection),Tips to your guide & driver. Items of a personal nature.
Sample Day-by-Day Itinerary: Day 1 - Depart USA Depart USA for your overnight flight to France. Dinner and breakfast will be served on board.
Day 2 - Lourdes Upon your arrival in Lourdes transfer to your hotel. Relax or explore before dinner, followed by a candlelight procession before retiring. Dinner and overnight.
Days 3 & 4 - Lourdes
Mass at the Grotto, enjoy a video presentation telling the story of Lourdes, and walk in the footsteps of St Bernadette. See Boly Mill where St. Bernadette was born and the "Cachot," an abandoned prison where Bernadette's impoverished family lived. Join your prayers with those of pilgrims from around the world as you pray for the sick, drink water from the miraculous spring or submerge yourself in the healing baths. Experience Christ's love as you walk the life-sized Stations of the Cross overlooking the holy Grotto. Kneel in the chapel built on the very rock of the Grotto, in obedience to the request of the "Immaculate Conception." Evenings are for Blessed Sacrament Procession before dinner. Your role in the universal church will have new meaning as you join the candlelight procession and group rosary. (candle light procession and group rosary April through October only).
Day 5 - Lourdes - Rome
After breakfast, leave on your flight(s) to Rome.
Upon arrival your escort will warmly greet you and welcome you to Italy. Transfer to your hotel and enjoy a free afternoon for rest, relaxation, or exploration.
Day 6 - Rome
This morning we depart for a sightseeing tour entitled "Christian Rome"
which includes: the Basilica of St. Mary Major, one of the oldest shrines dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, a shrine that contains a relic from the Manger of the infant Jesus; the Holy Stairs, the Basilica of St. John the Lateran, The Basilica of the St John in Lateran, is the former residence of the popes prior to their return to Rome in 1377; St Paul Outside the Walls, which houses the remains of St Paul under its main altar; and the Appian Way -- the oldest road from Roman times--plus the famous Domino Quo Vadis Chapel; see the ancient Baths of Caracalla, Arch of Drusus; Tomb of Celilia Metella, and the catacombs of St Callixtus where the early Christians hid themselves to escape persecution. We will also enjoy a visit to the Trevi fountain. Dinner and overnight.
Day 7 - Rome (Papal Audience and Vatican Museum Tour)
Wake up in Eternal City, one of the greatest centers of Western Civilization and the first truly cosmopolitan city on earth! It is also spiritual capital for all the Catholics around the world. Today is truly a day we will have in our minds for many years to come. This morning we go to Vatican City to attend the weekly Papal Audience or Blessing given by His Holiness the Pope (pending papal schedule). Following the audience visit of the Vatican Museums, a group of most impressive edifices with hundreds of galleries filled with art treasures. See awe-inspiring relics and works of art donated throughout centuries as tributes of faith. We'll cover The Tapestry Gallery, The Raphael Rooms and the most overwhelming Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo's Masterpiece, restored mural of the Last Judgment. Later, enter the largest church in Christendom St Peter's Basilica, built on the site where St Peter was martyred. Unsurpassed in beauty, a monument to the long history of the Catholic Church, to which pilgrims come from around the world, St Peter's is the grandest of the world's churches. Marvel Pieta and Bernini's amazing bronze canopy. We will also visit the grave of Saint John Paul II located at the Vatican. Before dinner, we'll have some time at leisure, to explore your own paths, to shop, or just to sit in one of the outside cafes and watch the world go by.
Day 8 - Rome - Siena - Assisi After breakfast we depart the Eternal City and head
north to Siena, the birthplace of Saints Catherine and Bernardine and one of Italy’s loveliest medieval cities. Here we will stroll the Piazza Del Campo, one of Italy’s finest squares and visit the Cathedral and the Basilica of St. Francis, containing the miraculous consecrated hosts that remained intact since 1730. View the incorrupt head of St. Catherine at the Basilica of St. Dominic. We continue on to Assisi for dinner and overnight.
Day 9 - Assisi Visit the tomb of St Francis. Explore the quaint hilltop birthplace of St Francis that still retains something of the atmosphere of the early 1200s, the period when St Francis began his ministry. Contained within the huge 13th-century Basilica are many of the saint's possessions and a series of frescoes depicting his life. You may kneel before the crucifix from which Jesus spoke to St Francis, asking him to rebuild His church. It was in St Mary of the Angels Basilica where St Francis spent most of his life. Here we visit the Chapel, Portiuncola, the rose bush, and the cave where the saint retired for prayer. Stroll the medieval streets of the compact little town. After stopping at an outdoor cafe with a view of an ancient Roman temple, we go to the Church of St Clare to see the saint's incorrupt body. The foundress of the Order of Poor Clares followed the teachings of St Francis by living a life of poverty and humility. We will visit these two saints' tombs before dinner and retiring for the evening.
Day 10 - Assisi - Florence
After breakfast we depart for Florence. Upon arrival we will enjoy free time to rest and explore before dinner and overight.
Day 11 - Florence After Mass, we will enjoy guided tour of Florence which includes magnificent Franciscan church of The Holy Cross or Santa Croce with the beautiful facade, church is a burial place of nobles, among which is Michelangelo, Galileo and Machiavelli. Walking tour through Piazza Signoria, pass by Palazzo Vecchio, Uffizi and Ponte Vecchio. Continue through Republic Square to the Santa Maria del Fiore 13th century cathedral. After lunch we will visit L'Accadamia where we will view Michelangelo's "David" as well as other works of art. You will have free time to explore the museum and city before dinner.
Day 12 - Florence - Padua
After breakfast, we depart for Padua, where St. Anthony, patron saint of lost things is honored. We celebrate Mass at the Basilica built in his honor. Following Mass, begin our sightseeing tour including one of the oldest universities in Italy, the Tomb of St. Anthony and we have an opportunity to see several of his relics. We will pass by Pratto Della Valle, and see the Basilica of Santa Giustina. We arrive at our hotel in time for dinner and a restful overnight.
Day 13 - Full day excursion to Venice
After breakfast depart for nearby Venice, the iconic city where the streets are paved with water! We will enjoy a tour and visit of some of the greatest sights you will ever see: St. Mark's Square, The Golden Basilica of San Marco, the Bridge of Sighs, and we will even have an extraordinary visit of Dodges' Palace. After the tour you will have free time to explore Venice on own, shop and perhaps take an gondola ride. Don't forget to enjoy a cappuccino and gelato at one of the cafes in St. Mark's Square, a must do for any visit to Venice. We return to Padua in time for our dinner and our final night in Italy!
Day 14 - Venice - Medjugorje After breakfast depart from the hotel to Venice Airport for your flights to Medjugorje. Upon arrival, you'll be greeted by a tour guide and/or driver who will then take you on the 2 1/2 hour drive by private coach to the village of Medjugorje. Guide will be with your throughout your stay. Once there, you'll meet your fellow pilgrims and your spiritual leader and be introduced to your host family in whose comfortable yet modest house (inn) you will be staying for the next four nights.
Day 15 to 17 - Medjugorje
Experience the beauty and peace of this simple village. During your stay in Medjugorje you will have the opportunity to share faith with pilgrims from all over the world.
Here are some of the activities you'll be sharing with our fellow pilgrims: Each morning at 10am we assemble at St James Church for the English-language Mass (Feast days and Sundays English Mass is at Noon). Follow the path up Apparition Hill where the visionaries first encountered Our Lady. Touch and pray before the cross that commemorates the spot where Mary first appeared to the visionaries.
Each evening at 5pm or 6pm daylight savings time, we will join the villagers and pilgrims to pray the rosary. The apparition takes place at 5:40pm or 6:40 daylight savings time, and then stay on for Croatian Mass. Don't miss on Tuesdays and Saturdays Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and on Fridays Veneration of the Cross in the Church. Each evening during Croatian Mass, there is the Blessing of the Sick and blessing of the items you have with you.
Our guide will arrange meetings with the visionaries at their own homes provided that they are in Medjugorje during your trip, and pending their availability. We will have the opportunity to climb Krizevac Mountain, where in 1933 the villagers built a 30' high cross on the anniversary of Jesus' crucifixion. Visit and pray at "Blue Cross", which is a place of great healings and graces- a very special place at the base of Apparition Hill.
We will visit the community of Cenacolo.
* The balance of your trip in Medjugorje is meant to provide you with time for a personal retreat. As such, your time in Medjugorje is not designed to be a “tour”, but rather to provide you with time to pray, reflect, and explore on your own as you feel called. On arrival, you will have an orientation tour after which a representative of 206 Tours will be available should you have any questions or requests, however, you will not have a guide with you through out your stay. Daily Mass in English, as well as English confessions are available at St. James Church. During your stay in Medjugorje you will have full discretion over how your time is spent, in order to have the fullest spiritual experience possible. If you would prefer our traditional pilgrimage/tour of Medjugorje, we would recommend you consider our Tour #1 (www.206tours.com/tour1) which provides a tour escort and spiritual leader through out your stay.
Day 18 - Medjugorje - USA
After an early breakfast and heartfelt farewells, we leave by motor coach for Dubrovnik Airport (Split or Sarajevo) for return flights home.
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