Shrines of Spain, Fatima, Lourdes, Paris & Rome23 days
Your trip includes
- Round-trip airfare
- ~ 1 night: Hotel Ayre Caspe, Barcelona
- ~ 2 nights: Hotel Abat, Montserrat
- ~ 2 nights: Hotel Catalonia Atocha, Madrid
- ~ 2 nights: Hotel Compostela, Santiago de Compostela
- ~ 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
- ~ 1 night: Hotel Mercure, Nevers
- ~ 1 night: Grand Hotel de l’Esperance, Lisieux
- ~ 2 nights: Pullman Hotel or M Gallery, Paris
- Lunches, Tips to your guide & driver.
Depart for Barcelona
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 Barcelona, 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. Make your way to the vehicle for your transfer to your hotel. Upon arrival, you will check-in and have free time to rest and refresh or explore. This evening, you will enjoy a welcoming dinner, followed by an overnight in Barcelona.
After breakfast we will enjoy a tour of Barcelona including: panoramic views of the Harbor area, Montjuic, Plaza de España, and Plaza de Catalunya. Afterwards, continue on a guided walk through the Gothic Quarter to visit the cathedral and to view Gaudi's Sagrada Familia, a beautiful, unfinished Roman Catholic basilica of impressive proportions. Spend the afternoon at leisure exploring the colorful markets of Las Ramblas. Dinner and overnight in Barcelona.
Excursion to Montserrat & Manresa
After breakfast we make our way to Montserrat, home to the dramatically set Benedictine monastery. On a rugged mountainside we will visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Montserrat. Since the 12th-century, pilgrims have been drawn to the mountain to venerate the miraculous statue of the Black Madonna. According to Catholic tradition, the statue of the Black Virgin of Montserrat was carved by St. Luke around 50 AD and brought to Spain. It was later hidden from the Moors in a cave, where it was rediscovered by shepherds in 880 AD. They saw a bright light and heard heavenly music that eventually led them to the grotto and the statue. The Bishop of Manresa, present at the discovery, suggested that it be moved to Manresa, but the small statue was discovered to be so heavy it could not be lifted. Thus the Virgin had indicated her will to stay on Montserrat to be venerated there. In the 11th century, the abbot-bishop Oliba founded a monastery on the mountain of Montserrat next to one of the chapels, where the Benedictine Abbey is still preserved. Return to Barcelona for dinner and overnight.
Barcelona - Zaragoza - Madrid
After breakfast we will depart towards Zaragoza where we will visit the magnificent Basilica del Pilar, built in the place where our Lady appeared to Saint James. Tradition says that in the early day of the Church, Saint James The Greater was spreading the Gospel in Spain, but making very little progress. He was dejected and questioning his mission. About 44 AD, the Virgin Mary, who was still living in Jerusalem at the time, bi-located and appeared to him in a vision to boost his morale. In it, she was atop a column or pillar, which was being carried by angels. That pillar is believed to be the same one venerated inside the Basilica. We will also visit the Cathedral of Zaragoza and we will do a walking tour of the city. Later we will continue our journey to Madrid for dinner and overnight.
Madrid & Toledo
After breakfast we will enjoy a tour of Madrid including the Royal Palace and Plaza Mayor. We then depart for Toledo which sits on a rocky mound isolated on three sides by a looping gorge of the Río Tajo. Every available inch of this outcrop has churches, synagogues, mosques and houses heaped upon one another in a haphazard spi-ral, which the cobbled lanes infiltrate as best they can. Toledo is known as the City of the Three Religions or Cultures because for many centuries the Christians, the Moors, and the Jews lived together in relative equality and peace. The city surrounded by walls hides great treasured: its awesome Cathedral, the church of Santo Tomé, the Tránsito Synagogue, Santa María La Blanca Synagogue, the superb church of San Juan de los Reyes, Puerta de Bisagras, Puerta del Cambrón, Puerta del Sol, etc. We return to Madrid for dinner and overnight.
Madrid - Santiago de Compostela
After breakfast depart towards city of Santiago de Compostela. Stop in Villafranca del Bierzo, where we will visit to the Collegiate Church of Santa María, the churches of Santiago and San Nicolas, as well as the Agua Street, full of palaces and emblazoned houses. Later we enter Galicia by Lugo, not far from Santiago. We will stop in O Ce-breiro, the first village in the region of Lugo along the Route, with an altitude of 1,300 meters. A group of "pallozas" can be seen and a beautiful Pre-Romanesque temple, from the 9-10 C, containing a Chalice, the Paten of "Santo Milagro" and a precious Romanesque carving of Santa Maria la Real. We continue on to Santiago de Com-postela for dinner and overnight
Santiago de Compostela
This morning, you will walk a few miles of El Camino, and immerse yourselves in the fragrant eucalyptus groves and experience the breathtaking scenery. Later this morning attend the International Pilgrim Mass at the Cathedral of St. James. After Mass and there will be free time for lunch and visit the Cathedral of Santiago. 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 will 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. After that, 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 overnight in Lisbon.
Lisbon - Santarem – Fatima
Today, your group will travel about forty-five miles north to the old city of Santarem. In Santarem, your group will visit and attend Mass at the Church of St. Stephen, which holds (13th century) Eucharistic Miracle:
The Miracle occurred when a woman yearned to change the ways of her unfaithful husband and consulted a sorceress. The sorceress agreed that she would cure the husband’s infidelity in exchange for a consecrated Host. The woman committed the sacrilege, but when she exited the church, the Host began to bleed. It bled so much that her fellow parishioners thought she had cut her hand. The woman ran home and hid the bleeding Host in a trunk. When her husband arrived home, the wife told him what she had done, and later that night there was a light emanating from the trunk. She and her husband began to kneel before the trunk. The following morning, the husband and wife brought the Host to the parish priest It was then moved to the Church of St. Stephen where another miracle occurred; the miraculous Host was originally put in a wax container however, when a priest opened the tabernacle to view the Host, the container was found broken, and the Host was found enclosed in a crystal pyx.
Following your visit to this miraculous site, your group will board the bus and transfer to Fatima (approximately forty-five minutes).You will arrive in time for dinner at your hotel, and a restful overnight.
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 Mass at the Little Chapel of the Apparitions. This simple, yet modern, chapel is the site of where the Virgin Mary first appeared on May 13, 1917. Following Mass, your tour of Fatima begins at the stunning neoclassical church, the Basilica of Our Lady of Fatima. This Sacred space contains the tombs of Francisco and Jacinta, as well as, a Monument that commemorates the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Due to Our Lady’s consistency in Her messages to pray the Rosary, this Basilica also features fifteen altars that are dedicated to the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary. Upon arriving at this Basilica, you will be able to feel, through the Love of Our Lord and Lady, the many graces that were received here. Following this visit, your tour will continue to the Hamlet of Aljustrel, the home of the three shepherd children; and Valinhos, the site of Our Lady’s August 1917 apparition. Next, your tour culminates as you and your fellow pilgrims experience Christ’s unconditional love by participating in the Stations of the Cross along the Via Sacre. The “Sacred Way” marks the path taken by the shepherd children of Fatima to their first apparition with Our Lady. It is composed of fourteen small chapels in commemoration of the Passion of Our Lord. The fifteenth station, the Resurrection, can be found below in the Chapel of Calvary, dedicated to St. Stephen of Hungary. 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 oft he 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 churchesBridge; 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
After breakfast, we will depart to the quaint village of Alba de Tormes. Here we will visit and celebrate Mass at the Carmelite Monastery, where Saint Teresa died in 1582 A.D. and is buried. In the little museum of the Carmelite Monastery we will be able to see the incorrupt heart and left arm of the St. Teresa. We enjoy free time for lunch before we continue our journey to Ávila. Two things distinguish Ávila: the perfectly preserved eleventh-century walls which surround the old town, and the mystic writer Santa Teresa, who was born here and whose shrines are a must see for all Catholic pilgrims! Ávila's atmosphere has changed very little since the days of Santa Teresa, the first woman to be named a Doctor of the Church, to whom the city is dedicated. During our tour of Ávila we will see the Cathedral and San Vicente church. We will visit the Incarnation Convent, where St. Teresa became a nun and home to the most comprehensive museum dedicated to her life. We also visit La Santa Monastery, built on the site of the house where she was born, and San José Convent, the first monastery founded by the Saint. After walking in the footsteps of St. Teresa we depart for Burgos, the historic capital of Old Castile. After dinner you will have free time to explore Burgos, and admire the magnificent limestone Cathedral.
Burgos - Loyola - Lourdes
After breakfast, we depart Burgos for Loyola, the birthplace of St. Ignatius of Loyo-la, founder of the Jesuits. Here, we will see the 17th-century Basilica dedicated to St. Ignatius. We will also visit his family home behind the sanctuary. We will have time to pray at the most venerated room where Ignatius at age 30, was brought following his serious wounding at the Battle of Pamplona. After free time for lunch we motor through the spectacular Pyrenees Mountains. Nestled in the mountains stands picturesque Lourdes, the birthplace of St. Bernadette to whom Our Lady appeared in 1858 near the Grotto of Massabielle. We arrive in time for dinner at our hotel before retiring to our rooms for a restful night's sleep.
During the next two days in Lourdes you will have time to pray with your fellow pilgrims from around the world. During your trip you will have an opportunity to: Attend Mass at the Grotto, watch 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 free for optional 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).
Lourdes - Paris – Nevers
Today, you will enjoy breakfast before departing for the Toulouse, Pau, or Lourdes airport for your short flight to Paris (approximately one hour and twenty-five minutes). Upon arrival in Paris, your group will visit and attend Mass at the magnificent, Sacre Coeur Basilica that stands atop Montmartre Hill. The Basilica that is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus was originally built in 1914, as an act of penance for infidelity that France was experiencing during that time. While on your visit, in addition to the extraordinary artwork and architecture that forms the Basilica, you will see the beautiful mosaic of the Risen Christ, the remarkable Grand Organ, and the Crypt that contains the Tombs of many notable Cardinals. Also, there will be an opportunity to ascend a staircase to the Dome where you will take in a breathtaking panoramic view of the city of Paris. Following this visit, you will enjoy lunch on own and depart for Nevers by way of the picturesque Loire Valley (approximately two and a half hours). 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. Following your transfer, you will have some free time before enjoying a delicious meal and retiring for the evening in Nevers.
Nevers – Paris
After breakfast we will attend private Mass at St. Gildard Convent before continuing on to Paris. After lunch 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. We will also pass by 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.
Excursion to Lisieux, St. Therese the Little Flower
After breakfast, we depart for Lisieux where we will enjoy a tour of the home of St. Therese whom Pope Pius X called "the greatest saint of modern times." Her extraordinary love for God and service to humanity comes alive as you visit the Basilica of Saint Therese, one of the biggest and most magnificent religious structures built in the 20th-century. While in Lisieux we will attend private Mass at the basilica. We will stop at Les Buissonets, St. Therese's family home, there on display are relics, clothing, and personal objects belonging to the "little flower." Before leaving, tour the ancient Cathedral of St. Peter and the Carmelite Convent. We return to Paris for dinner and overnight.
Paris - Rome
After breakfast, we transfer to Paris Airport for our short flight to Rome. Upon arrival in Rome Airport you will find your luggage and exit the baggage claim into the arrivals hall where you will be greeted by your tour escort and/or driver. After a warm welcome to Italy, you will be escorted to your transportation to your hotel. This afternoon our guide will introduce us to our fellow pilgrims and our priest who will be with us for the rest of the journey. We will make our way to Mass, followed by a welcome dinner with wine. This evening we will walk to St. Peter’s Square for Rosary (optional).
Rome: Papal Audience – Trevi Fountain / Piazza Navona – Basilica of St. John the Lateran and St. Mary Major – Holy Steps
Following breakfast, we will make our way to St. Peter’s Square to attend the Papal Audience, led by His Holiness, Pope Francis. (Papal Audience: Is scheduled to take place every Wednesday, pending the schedule of Pope Francis.) Following the audience, we will make our way to the Trevi Fountain built in the 15th Century to mark the ending destination of the Aqua Virgo – a man-made channel erected in 19 B.C or Piazza Navona where at the center: Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi “Fountain of the Four Rivers. After free time for lunch we will visit the Basilica of St. John the Lateran, the Pope’s cathedral church where relics of both Peter and Paul remain under the main altar. It was here that Pope Francis was formally installed as Bishop of Rome. Next we cross the street to see the Holy Staircase which is believed to be a staircase from Pilate’s palace in Jerusalem and brought to Rome by St. Helen in the 4th century. Time permitting we may climb the steps on our knees in memory of Christ’s Passion. Continue to the Basilica of St. Mary Major, the most important and the oldest church dedicated to Our Lady. St. Mary Major contains a relic from the Manger of the infant Jesus. We will celebrate Mass, and then make our way to dinner and overnight.
*The Scala Santa is currently under restoration. Thus, the Vatican has displayed an image replicating the stairs in front of the entrance where you will walk in. There are several staircases just to the side of the Scala Santa that you may ascend on your knees. You will still be able to receive the same graces and indulgences by going up any of the alternative stairs.
Rome: St. Peter's Basilica - Vatican Museum - Trevi Fountain - Appian Way - Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls - Catacombs
Following breakfast, we will depart to celebrate Mass in 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. Following Mass, we will visit of the Vatican Museums, containing a group of the 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. The tour ends as we make our way back into St. Peter’s Basilica. Pope Francis visited the tomb of St. Peter, following his elevation, for a visit of devotion that lasted 45 minutes. He is the first Pontiff to visit the necropolis since extensive archaeological excavations were conducted at the ancient site decades ago. We will also visit the tomb of Saint John Paul II located at the Vatican. There will be free time for lunch, and then we will continue on to visit St Paul. Outside the Walls. Continue our tour via 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 conclude our day and wonderful stay in Rome with dinner at a local restaurant in Rome.
Rome - USA
We bid farewell to Italy and our new pilgrimage family as we depart for Rome Airport. During the drive take time to reflect on the memories that will remain in your heart for a lifetime.*206 Tours Disclaimer:
Occasionally local religious holidays, national days, weather, traffic conditions and other events may necessitate changes in the sequence of visits or the missing of certain visit. Though every effort will be made to follow the itinerary, however, it should be considered as an indication, rather than a contract of 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 of what 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. Drawn by apparitions of the Virgin Mary to three local shepherd children in 1917. Four million people visit Fatima each year. The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to shepherd children on the 13th day of six consecutive months in 1917, starting on May 13th until October 13th. The events at Fatima gained particular fame due to their elements of prophecy and eschatology, particularly with regard to possible world war and the conversion of Russia.
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.
About Lisieux & Paris
Visit town of Lisieux, the home of St Therese whom Pope Pius X called "the greatest saint of modern times" Visit Paris and all its wonderful sights like Notre Dame Cathedral and Sacre Coeur, see the sights as the Eiffel Tower, L'Arc de Triomphe, and drive through the Champs Elysees. Mass at Shrine of the Miraculous Medal.
Rome has been one of history's most powerful and important cities, along with home to the Roman Catholic Church, the Pope, and the site of the Vatican City. First built in 337, St. Peter's Basilica lies over the tomb of St. Peter. Contained within is a vast array of the most beautiful artwork ever assembled, reflecting the immensity, beauty, vastness, majesty, glory and awesomeness of God