A PILGRIMAGE TO FRANCE, SPAIN & ITALY
14 DAYS: MAY 8 - 21, 2017 - SPECIAL DISCOUNT PRICE $4099

Dear Pilgrims,

Going on a pilgrimage is one of the most ancient and traditional means of deepening one’s faith. On this journey we will be praying, feasting and enjoying the many sights and experiences of ancient and contemporary Spain and Portugal, and Lourdes.  

We will visit religious sights where we will have the opportunity to express our devotion to the Blessed Mother. We will celebrate Mass at various Marian Shrines including Fatima in Portugal where she appeared to Blessed Francisco, Jacinta and Lucia.

We look forward to each other’s company as we celebrate our faith and enrich our understanding and apreciation of these special places associated with Mary, the Mother of God, and Christ’s disciples. This will be a great opportunity and privilege for us to journey together as part of our faith community.

-Monsignor Jerome

MAY 8 DAY 1: DEPART USA:  Today we board our flights to Barcelona, with meals and beverages served aloft.  

MAY 9 DAY 2: ARRIVE BARCELONA: Upon arrival in Barcelona, we are met by our HLTC representative and board our motor coach. We transfer to our hotel and have the remainder of the day at leisure.  

MAY 10 DAY 3: BARCELONA: EXCURSION TO MANRESA & MONTSERRAT: Today we make our way to the spiritual heart of the Catalonia region. We visit Manresa a place of profound conversion for Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). Here, in a cave on the banks of the Cardoner River, Ignatius received a vision that provided him with deep insights into the spiritual life and altered the course of his own life. From the initial insights he received here, Ignatius went on to pen the Spiritual Exercises.” We enjoy an audiovisual presentation and tour of the museum at Manresa then celebrate Eucharist in the nearby cave. We enjoy lunch together at a local restaurant. Afterwards we continue to Montserrat, home to the Benedictine monastery dramatically set in the Montserrat mountain range. Pilgrims from around the world flock to this monastery to view its magnificent architecture in such a striking setting. This shrine has attracted pilgrims for over 700 years, much as it did Ignatius of Loyola in March of 1522. We pause here to visit the Black Madonna of Montserrat, probably Spain’s most fervent devotion to the Blessed Mother.  

MAY 11 DAY 4: BARCELONA / LOURDES: Today we will cross the mountains of the Pyrenees, a region that has produced a particular art and language.  We stop for lunch on the way and arrive in Lourdes this afternoon. The remainder of the day is at leisure before dinner. We have the option to attend the evening Procession.  

MAY 12 DAY 5: LOURDES: We begin our morning with mass at the Grotto before enjoying a video presentation telling the story of Lourdes, and then we get a chance to 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.  

MAY 13 DAY 6: LOURDES / BARCELONA: After private devotions this morning, we make way back to Barcelona, aptly called the Pearl of the Mediterranean Sea. This afternoon is at leisure before dinner and overnight.
 
MAY 14 DAY 7: BARCELONA CITY TOUR / EMBARK: Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, a city of builders and planner, is renowned for its beauty in both its religious and secular buildings. In fact, the first Cathedral built in Los Angeles, California was modeled after Santa Maria del Mar, one of the most beautiful churches in all of Spain. After breakfast we enjoy a half-day’s tour of Barcelona, including a walking tour through the labyrinthine alleys of the Gothic Quarter with its IV Century Roman Wall. The Quarter is home to Juan Miro Museum, one of Barcelona’s most celebrated artists. Our tour will include the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar, where we celebrate the opening Mass of our pilgrimage. We’ll view the broad avenues of this beautiful city, admiring its marvelous architectural contrasts, dating back nearly 2,000 years. Driving by the Columbus Statue and on the well-known Ramblas Boulevard to Cataluña Square to the “Enxample,” we will admire the architectural styles of Catalan’s most famous architects: Batilló, Milà and Gaudí. We stop to admire the Basilica of the Holy Family (Sagrada Familia), undeniably Gaudí’s most notable work which remains unfinished. Late this afternoon, we embark on our seven day Western Mediterranean Cruise aboard the Norwegian Epic. (B, D)

MAY 15 DAY 8: AT SEA: Today we enjoy our cruise, resting and enjoying on-board activities. (B, L, D)

MAY 16 DAY 9: NAPLES (Excursion): Discover Italy’s vivid ancient history on a full-day coach and walking tour of Pompeii and Naples with a local guide. Hear stories about the people who lived in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius as you travel to the archeological site by luxury coach, then explore the streets, homes and public places that were preserved beneath a thick layer of ash. Visit a coral jewelry workshop and store, see Naples’ historic downtown on foot and take in the waterfront by coach before finishing your tour in central Naples. Pompeii admission excluded. (B, D)

MAY 17 DAY 10: ROME (Excursion): Our full day tour includes a guided tour of the four Major Basilicas, including St. Peter's Basilica, St. John of Lateran, St. Paul Outside the Walls and St. Mary Major. We also have a three-hour guided tour of the Vatican Museums, including the Sistine Chapel, and a visit to The Holy Stairs. (B, D)

MAY 18 DAY 11: FLORENCE (Excursion): This morning we discover the wonders of Florence, "City of Art." We visit the Academy of Fine Arts to view Renaissance masterpieces, including Michelangelo's "David." We explore the wonderful Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore (Duomo), the Baptistery, Piazza della Signoria, and Santa Croce, housing Michelangelo's tomb. (B, D)

MAY 19 DAY 12: CANNES (Excursion): First, we head to Monaco and Monte Carlo. By motor coach, you will drive along the famous Formula 1 track. You will visit the Monte Carlo casino and can enjoy an optional walk around the Japanese Garden. There will also be some free time during which you can see the changing of the guard in front of thepalace of the Prince, take pictures or buy souvenirs. Next, we head to Eze. Take a stroll through the old town with your guide. This old village is huddled around a substantial medieval fortress, with rocks and houses of similar hues blending into each other. Afterwards, your guide will take you to the Fragonard perfume factory near the town of Eze. Your guide will then take you to Cannes. We drive along the world-famous Boulevard de la Croisette. The guide will tell you the fascinating story of Cannes and the Lérins islands are located offshore. Since 1834 a whole host of famous personalities have helped to establish the city's reputation. In the past the aristocracy would spend the winter here. There will also be some free time during which you can see the Film Festival Palace, take pictures on the famous red road or buy souvenirs. The last stop of your trip is the top of Cannes hill near one of the oldest churches, Notre-Dame-de-l'Espérance de Cannes where you will be able to make a memorable photo with the view of the entire bay of Cannes. 

MAY 20 DAY 13: Palma Majorca (Excursion): When your cruise ship docks in Majorca’s captivating capital, gain cultural insight into the picturesque villages of Valldemossa and Palma de Mallorca on a private 6-hour shore excursion. Admire spectacular seaside scenery; explore the charming streets of Valldemossa; and gaze at the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Sierra de Tamuntana Mountain Range. Absorb panoramic vistas of Palma at the stolid Bellver Castle and see all of the city’s spectacular sights on a guided walking tour, visiting the Cathedral of Santa Maria and the old fish market. We return to our ship this evening for dinner and overnight. (B, D)

MAY 21 DAY 14: DISEMBARK / RETURN HOME: Today, we disembark our ship and transfer to the airport for our return flight home, carrying with us memories and keepsakes that will last a lifetime. (B)