A Pilgrimage to the Marian Shrines Fatima & Spain
Moderate – High
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We arrive at the Lisbon Airport where we are met and given an orientation tour of Lisbon including Pombal Square, Liberty Avenue, Rossio Square, Belem Tower and the Monument to the Discoveries on the bank of the Tagus. We also stop at Lisbon’s Romanesque Cathedral, the Sé. Enroute to Fatima, we visit Santarem, the Church of Marvila and the site of the Eucharistic Miracle. We continue to Fatima and our hotel for dinner and overnight. Overnight: Fatima (Dinner)
Today, our morning is devoted to visiting the Basilica and Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima and the birthplaces of Francisco, Jacinta and Lucia to whom the Virgin appeared for the first time on May 13, 1917. Dinner and overnight at our hotel. In the evening we join the Rosary and candlelight procession. Overnight: Fatima (Breakfast, Dinner)
Fatima/Santiago de Compostela
This morning, we depart Fatima and drive north to Santiago de Compostela. On the way we stop in Porto to see the wine factory and enjoy sampling the best wine. We visit the Church of St. Francis before driving to Santiago de Compostela. Overnight: Santiago de Compostela (Breakfast, Dinner)
Santiago De Compostela
This morning we begin our visit of Santiago de Compostela, one of the most famous shrines in the world, where the tomb of St. James the Apostle was discovered. St. James was given the task of spreading Christianity in the distant Hispanic lands and is known as the first pilgrim. Since the discovery of the tomb, numerous miracles have taken place here and every year thousands of worshippers gather on July 25 to celebrate the Feast Day. We begin with a visit to the Cathedral of St. James, one of the finest examples of architecture in all of Europe. As pilgrims, we have the opportunity to climb the stairs behind the high altar to visit the crypt where the relics of St. James are preserved, touch the central pillar (Portico de La Gloria), view the ‘botafumeiro’ and admire the wealth of medieval art inside the Cathedral, before visiting the cloister museum. Enjoy a stroll on own, through the beautiful streets of Santiago de Compostela, full of historical buildings. Overnight: Santiago de Compostela (Breakfast, Dinner)
After breakfast we will depart towards the city of Leon. The name of Leon comes from the Roman Times. The Roman Legion named the town Legio in AD 68 and derivations over years led the name to Leon or lion. The city amasses some of Spain’s most important historic-artistic monuments, like its Cathedral, a Gothic gem and a masterpiece of architecture with the best collection of stained-glass windows in Europe (Only * after Chartres). Next to the Cathedral, there is the Roman Saint Isidoro Basilica (eleventh and twelfth century), where the Tomb of Kings is kept as well as the relics of San Isidro. Time permitting, we will stop by the Saint Marcus Monastery (now a hotel), with its fantastic front in Plateresque style bedecked with shells (the symbol of the pilgrim). Overnight: Leon (Breakfast, Dinner)
After breakfast, we travel to the city of Avila, a UNESCO World Heritage site, surrounded by the best-preserved medieval walls in Europe. Here the atmosphere has changed very little since the days of St. Teresa, to whom the city is dedicated. St. Teresa, a great mystic, was the first woman to be named a Doctor of the Church. We will view the Cathedral and visit the Convent of St. Teresa, built on the site where she was born, and the Monastery of the Incarnation, where St. Teresa lived, wrote and had many mystical experiences. Here we will celebrate Mass and have time for reflection and to visit the comprehensive museum dedicated to her life. On a hill outside the city walls, we will visit the Cuatro Postes (four columns) monument where St. Teresa, at the age of seven, was found by her father after attempting to run away with her brother to die as martyrs in the land of the Moors. After our tour and lunch, we will head for Alba de Tormes, where Saint Teresa died in 1582 and is buried. The museum of the Carmelite Convent of the Annunciation here contains her incorrupt heart and left arm. Some free time before we return to our hotel in Avila.
Overnight: Avila (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Following breakfast, we will leave Madrid for the Imperial City of Toledo, where Saint John of the Cross was imprisoned by the Inquisition in a monastery just below the Muslim Alcazar and later nursed back to health by St. Teresa. Toledo, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is picturesquely perched on a rocky mound, isolated on three sides by a looping gorge of the Río Tajo. Known as the City of the Three Religions, it is a maze of cobblestone streets winding among churches, synagogues, mosques, houses and buildings preserved from its rich history. For many centuries the Christians, Moors and Jews lived here together in relative equality and peace. The city, surrounded by walls, hides great treasures such as its awesome Cathedral, the Santa María La Blanca Synagogue which also served as a Catholic church, the superb Church of San Juan de los Reyes, and the Church of Santo Tomé, with its famous el Greco masterpiece, where we will celebrate Mass. Following Mass, we will have some free time and be able to sample the famous local pastry created by the Catholic Sisters here, Marzipan. Return to Madrid for dinner and overnight. Overnight: Madrid (Breakfast, Dinner)
Today we make our way to the spiritual heart of the Catalonia region. Along the way we stop in Zaragoza and visit Our Lady of the Pillar before stopping for our overnight in Montserrat.
Overnight: Montserrat (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
After breakfast, we depart to Barcelona. Along the way 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. 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. Upon arrival in Barcelona, we check into our hotel for overnight.
Overnight: Barcelona (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED
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