"Pope Authorizes Official Pilgrimages to Medjugorje"
May 13, 2019
Madrid, Santiago de Compostela, Fatima, Lourdes & Medjugorje18 days
Your trip includes
- Round-trip airfare
- ~ 2 nights: Hotel Moratin, Madrid, Spain
- ~ 2 nights: Hotel Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, Spain
- ~ 1 night: Marques de Pombal or Mundial, Lisbon, Portugal
- ~ 2 nights: Santa Maria Jardim, Fatima, Portugal
- ~ 1 night: Abba Fonseca, Salamanca, Spain
- ~ 1 night: Abba, Burgos, Spain
- ~ 4 nights: Modern Pansion/Hotel, Medjugorje, Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Lunches, Tips to your guide & driver.
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.
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 tour guide and/or driver. You will be escorted to the bus where your group will transfer to your hotel. You will enjoy free time before dinner and retiring for the evening.
Madrid & Toledo
This morning, you will awaken in the capital city of Spain! Following breakfast, you will enjoy a tour of Madrid that includes the Royal Palace and the Plaza Mayor. Both sites are iconic to Madrid, as the Palace holds state ceremonies and events, and the Plaza Mayor is the geographic center of Madrid, as well as the social center. This afternoon, you will depart for Toledo (approximately one hour and twenty minutes). Toledo is a city set upon a rocky mound that is isolated on three sides by a looping gorge of the Rio Tajo. It is known as the City of Three Religions or Cultures because the Christians, Jews, and Moors have lived peacefully in this city for centuries. Each inch of this outcrop has churches, synagogues, mosques and houses heaped upon one another in a haphazard spiral in which the cobbled lanes infiltrate with its best efforts. During your time in this city, you will view the some of the grandest treasures such as, the glorious Gothic Cathedral that was built upon the Great Mosque of Toledo. Visit La Iglesia de Santo Tome, best known for housing El Greco's most famous painting and the Sinagoga del Tránsito, known for its impeccable stucco inscriptions. Additionally, you will visit a number of monuments such as La Puerta de Bisagras, La Puerta del Cambron, La Puerta del Sol and many others. Your day will culminate with a return transfer to Madrid where you will enjoy dinner and an overnight.
Madrid - Santiago de Compostela
Today, you will depart Madrid and head towards the city of Santiago de Compostela (approximately six hours). While en route, you will make a stop on the calle del Agua of Villafranca del Bierzo. This main street truly emanates Baroque architecture and is filled with palaces and emblazoned houses. At the entrance of this village, you will find the Romanesque church of Santiago. According to tradition, the pilgrims who were unable to finish El Camino as a result of an illness would receive the jubilee blessing at this church. Your next two stops will be visits to the gothic styled Collegiate Church of Santa Mari¬a and the Church of St. Nicolas, dedicated to the patron Saint of Villa franca del Bierzo. This late afternoon, you will enter Galicia (approximately one hour and fifteen minutes) by way of the city, Lugo. Your first stop will be to O’ Cebreiro, the first village in the region of Lugo and nestled in the mountains at an altitude of 1,300 meters. While in O’ Cebreiro, you will have the opportunity to view the iconic palloza styles houses, and the site of a Eucharistic Miracle that occurred in the year 1300. This evening, you will proceed to Santiago de Compostela (approximately two hours and thirty minutes) for your dinner and an overnight.
Santiago de Compostela
This morning, you will join the walking pilgrims at the Monte del Gozo from which the spires of the iconic Cathedral are visible. You will walk the last few miles of El Camino and attend the International Pilgrim Mass at the Cathedral of St. James. Formed by Galician granite, this Cathedral is one of the finest architectural examples in Europe, as it encompasses Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque styles. Additionally, the Cathedral contains numerous and valuable pieces of art that truly captivate the eye. Upon entering the Cathedral, tradition will lead as you hug the dazzling statue of St. James. Following this intimate embrace, you will descent into the crypt where the Patron Saint of Pilgrims’ relics are kept. Following your visit, you will enjoy a sightseeing tour of the city. Some stops on your tour include the Obradoiro Square, Fonseca Palace, Gemirez Palace, Franco Street, and much more. Your evening will be free to spend at your leisure, until a final dinner with your group. You will spend a final overnight in Santiago de Compostela.
Santiago de Compostela – Lisbon
Today, you will transfer to Lisbon (approximately five and a half hours). Following your orientation drive through Lisbon, you will visit St. Anthony’s church. Although this patron Saint of Lost Things is known as St. Anthony of Padua (Italy), he was originally born in Lisbon, Portugal. This Church is built upon the site of St. Anthony’s birth, and is also where Saint John Paul II visited in 1982. The former Pope stopped at this Church, on his way to Fatima, to pray to Our Lady in thanksgiving. Saint John Paul II recognizes Our Lady as saving him from being killed when he was shot one year prior, in 1981. This evening, you will enjoy dinner and an overnight in Lisbon.
Lisbon - Santarem – Fatima
Today, we will head to Fatima, on the way will stop in town of Santarem for Mass at St. Stephens Church, and to venerate the 13th century Eucharistic Miracle. Continue to Fatima, a Hamlet of Aljustrel, the birthplace and home of the three shepherd children. Dinner and overnight in Fatima.
Today will surely be a memorable experience, as you pray and meditate upon one of Our Blessed Mother's apparition sites. Our Lady appeared to three shepherd children; Lucia (age 10), Jacinta (age 7), and Francisco (age 9). These apparitions occurred monthly from May until October of 1917. Historically, as the entire world was in true turmoil, Our Lady's most prominent message during this time was to pray for world peace. The destruction of the world at that point in history was also mentioned by Our Lady in her messages of Fatima, and more specifically, in her second secret to the children. Our profoundly reflective day begins with a visit to the Little Chapel of the Apparitions. This simple, yet modern, chapel is the site where the Virgin Mary first appeared on May 13, 1917. Continue with a visit to the stunning neoclassical church, the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary. This Sacred space contains the tombs of St. Francisco, St. Jacinta, and Sister Lucia. View the monument that commemorates the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in the square. Due to Our Lady's consistency in Her messages to pray the Rosary, this Basilica also features fifteen altars, dedicated to the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary. While in the Basilica, you will be able to feel, through the Love of Our Lord and Lady, the many graces that were received here. Visit the Museum with the exhibition: Fatima: Light and Peace. Continue with a visit to the Holy Trinity Basilica. After free time for lunch, we will experience Christ's unconditional love by participating in the Stations of the Cross along the Via Sacra. The "Sacred Way" marks the path taken by the shepherd children of Fatima to their first apparition with Our Lady. It is composed of fifteen small chapels in commemoration of the Passion of Our Lord. The fifteenth station, the Resurrection, can be found close to the Chapel of Calvary, dedicated to St. Stephen, King of Hungary. The day ends with a visit to Valinhos, the site of Our Lady's August 1917 apparition and the first and third apparition of the Angel. Your night will conclude with private devotions, and a candlelight procession, requested by Our Lady (1917). Enjoy dinner and a comfortable night's rest in Fatima.
Fatima - Salamanca
After a filling breakfast we depart towards the city of Salamanca. Salamanca is the most graceful city in Spain and for four centuries it was the seat of one of the most prestigious universities in the world. We will have a chance to see many of the city's sights including the grand Plaza Mayor, the hub of Salmantine life; the vast Baroque church of La Clerecía; the Casa de las Conchas (House of Shells), named after the rows of carved scallop shells symbol of the pilgrimage to Santiago which decorate its façade; the University; the cathedrals; the Roman Bridge; San Marcos and San Martin churches, and more. We will enjoy a delicious dinner in a local restaurant before continuing to our hotel for a restful overnight.
Salamanca - Alba de Tormes - Ávila - Burgos
This morning, after breakfast, you will board the bus and enjoy a short transfer to the village of Alba de Tormes. This town is home to the Carmelite Monastery that Saint Teresa founded in 1571. Upon arrival in Alba de Tormes, your group will celebrate Mass at this Monastery where the saint died and was buried. Following Mass, you will have the opportunity to visit the museum dedicated to St. Teresa of Avila, which also holds her incorrupt heart and left arm. Your group will enjoy free time for lunch on your own, before continuing to the medieval city of Avila. Upon arrival in Avila, you will immediately notice the perfectly preserved eleventh-century walls that surround the old town. The conservation of architecture in this city, to which St. Teresa was born, deems its shrines, convents and churches necessary to visit on any Catholic pilgrimage. The Cathedral de Avila encompasses the Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance styles of its time, within its artwork and architecture. La Basilica de San Vicente in Avila, stands on the site of the martyrdom of St. Vincent. Visit the Incarnation Convent, where St. Teresa became a nun. Saint Therese convinced Saint John of the Cross to reform the male Carmelite order, the reform she started when she met Saint John in Medina del Campo. After walking in the footsteps of St. Teresa, continue your journey to Burgos. Upon arrival in the historic capital of Old Castile, enjoy dinner. Following dinner, you will have the opportunity to explore the city of Burgos, and admire its magnificent limestone, gothic-style Cathedral. Late this evening, you will return to your hotel for a restful overnight.
Burgos - Loyola - Lourdes
Following breakfast, transfer from Burgos to Loyola to visit the birthplace of St. Ignatius, founder of the Jesuit Order. St. Ignatius dedicated himself to becoming a soldier of the Christian faith, and as a result of many tribulations, he wrote the ever-famous Spiritual Exercises. In Loyola, you will see the 17th century Basilica that is dedicated to this remarkable Saint. The Basilica is part of a series of buildings that surrounds the "Holy House," the birthplace of St. Ignatius. When you visit these Holy places, you will also have the opportunity to pray at the most venerated room, where St. Ignatius prayed and began his conversion. After meditating on the life of this founder of the Jesuit Order, you will enjoy free time for lunch and board the bus for the next destination. We will 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.
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. 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; 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 impoverished family lived. Each evening following dinner, you will have an opportunity to attend the candlelight procession and the Rosary before a restful overnight.
Lourdes - Medjugorje
Early morning departure from Lourdes 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 2.5 hour drive by private coach to the village of Medjugorje. Once there, you'll be introduced to your host family in whose modern and comfortable house you will be staying for the next four nights.
The most beautiful features of Medjugorje are its simplicity and peace. While in Medjugorje, you may experience your faith grow, and share in the faith journey of pilgrims from all over the world. A 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 10:00 AM, 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 12 PM. Climb Apparition Hill: This mountainous hill is where the visionaries first encountered Our Lady. 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. While 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 for 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. While 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 5 PM or 6 PM (depending on 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 5:40 PM (6:40 PM during Daylight Savings Time), 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 altar outside 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, where Adoration is held in the afternoon hours. Meetings with the Visionaries: Pending their availability, your guide will arrange meetings with the visionaries at their homes. 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: The bronze statue of the Risen Christ is located on the grounds of St. James Church. 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.
Medjugorje - USA
After an early breakfast and heartfelt farewells, we leave by motor coach for Dubrovnik Airport (Split or Sarajevo) for return flights 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
About Santiago de Compostela:
The history of El Camino, the Way of St. James or St. James' Way, often known by its Spanish name, el Camino de Santiago, is the pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain, where legend has it that the remains of the apostle, Saint James the Great, are buried. The Way of St. James has existed for over a thousand years. It was one of the most important Christian pilgrimages during medieval times. It was considered one of three pilgrimages on which a plenary indulgence could be earned; the others are the Via Francigena to Rome and the pilgrimageto Jerusalem. Legend holds that St. James's remains were carried by boat from Jerusalem to northern Spain, where they were buried on the site that is now the city of Santiago de Compostela. There are some, however, who claim that the bodily remains at Santiago belong to Priscillian, the fourth-century Galician leader of an ascetic Christian sect, Priscillianism, who was one of the first Christian heretics to be executed.
The Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima is one of most famous Marian shrines in the world. 4 million Pilgrims visit Fatima each year! Many are drawn by the apparitions of the Virgin Mary to the three local shepherd children, in 1917. The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to the shepherd children on the 13th day of six consecutive months in 1917, starting on May 13th until October 13th. The events at Fatima gained fame due to their elements of prophecy and eschatology, particularly with regard to possible world war and the conversion of Russia.
Saint Teresa and Saint Ingatius both hailed from Spain. Saint Teresa of Ávila, also called Saint Teresa of Jesus, was a prominent Spanish mystic, Carmelite nun, and writer. Saint Ignatius of Loyola was a Spanish knight who became priest and found the Society of Jesus and became its first Superior General.
She came for you and for every one of us! 6 million Pilgrims go to Lourdes each year and 10,000 visit this holy 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 paramount pilgrimage sites in the World. Lourdes is the birthplace of St. Bernadette, to whom Our Lady appeared to in 1858, near the Grotto of Massabielle. Included in our pilgrimage to Lourdes are 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 do, located at the base of the Grotto, which has flowed uninterrupted since 1858. Wash yourself in the baths, that has resulted in hundreds of miraculous cures. Contemplate Christ's Passion as you pray the unique three-dimensional Stations of the Cross. Attend the Blessing of the Sick, and participate in the 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, one that many have claimed healing and conversion from.