On June 25, 1981, in the mountain village of Medjugorje in Herzegovina, Our Lady allegedly appeared to six children. She identified herself as the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Peace, and continues to allegedly appear to several of the visionaries. Her mission is to promote peace with God and mankind, through her Son, Jesus. Mary's own words to the children explained, "I have come to tell the world that God exists."
DAY 1: DEPART USA: Depart en route to Rome with complimentary meals and beverages served aloft.
DAY 2: ROME: Upon arrival in Rome, we are met by our Holy Land Travel Center representative, who will accompany us throughout our tour. We will immediately begin our tour of the Eternal City. We start our pilgrimage with a Holy Mass at St. Paul outside the walls, one of the major 4 basilicas in Rome. We then go for a panoramic view of Ancient Rome. After lunch, we transfer to our hotel. Afternoon is at leisure. Evening we gather for a welcoming dinner at our hotel. Later we enjoy a night panoramic tour passing by some of Rome's landmark buildings and squares such as Piazza Venezia, the Colosseum, the Capitoline Hill and the Roman Forum. We end our night with a walking tour of Rome, featuring a stroll to the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, a Christian church since the 7thcentury, and Piazza Navona.
DAY 3: ROME / PAPAL AUDIENCE: This morning we leave to the Vatican to attend the Holy Father's General Papal Audiences at Saint Peter’s Square. Some free time for lunch in the area and on to the world-renowned Vatican Museum and the spectacular Sistine Chapel with Michelangelo's vivid frescoes and to a guided tour of the interior of St. Peter's Basilica. As part of this morning's special visit, we spend time at the tomb of Pope John Paul II.
DAY 4: ROME: We start our morning with a guided tour of two of the major churches in Rome including the 1600-year-old St. Mary Major, and St. John Lateran, the Cathedral of Rome. We then visit the Colosseum. We then head to Assisi for overnight.
DAY 5: ASSISI: This morning we visit the sites of Assisi, birthplace of St. Francis, including the Basilica of Santa Maria Degli Angeli (Our Lady of the Angels). Inside this Basilica, we explore the Portiuncola, the chapel of the Transitus and the Rose Garden. We continue to the Basilica of St. Clare, the Town Hall Square and the Basilica of St. Francis. Later we continue to Siena.
DAY 6: SIENA / FLORENCE: Today we visit the medieval town of Siena in Tuscany. We visit the Basilica of San Domenico, where the incorrupt head and finger of St. Catherine lies, and to explore the center and the Piazza del Campo on our own. We continue to Florence in the heart of the Tuscany region. 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. We visit San Gimignano, a very well-preserved medieval town dating back to the 12th century.
DAY 7: PADUA: This morning we head to Padua, where we will visit the famous Cathedral of St. Anthony, guarded by Donatello's "Gattamelata." Here we celebrate Mass. Evening is at leisure to rest or explore Padua on our own.
DAY 8: PADUA / ANCONA / SPLIT: This morning we continue our visit to Padua before we head to Ancona to catch the overnight Ferry to Split.
DAY 9: SPLIT / MEDJUGORJE: Once we arrive to Split we take the bus to Medjugorje.
DAY 10: SPLIT / 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. Our local guide will accompany us throughout your stay. 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. 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, then stay on for Croatian Mass. Friday we attend the Veneration of the Cross in the Church and then Saturday the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. 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 also visit the community of Cenacolo.
DAY 11: DEPART USA: After an early breakfast we bid Medjugorje farewell. We depart for our journey back home.