Marian Shrines Pilgrimage to Portugal, Spain & France
Moderate – High
Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,
The months of May and October are dedicated to Our Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God. Our devotion to Mary will always bring us closer to her son Jesus Christ. I am leading a pilgrimage to the Marian Shrines in Portugal, Spain and France. By embarking in this pilgrimage, we will be able to reflect, meditate and grow spiritually closer to Jesus through the eyes of His Mother, Mary. Please join me in praying at the sites where Our Lady has appeared, and always urges us to pray to her Son unceasingly. In this pilgrimage, we will have the opportunity to visit the site where Mary appeared to St. Catherine of Laboure and gave her the Miraculous Medal, enter the holy waters at Lourdes, visit the place where the Angel gave Holy Communion to the children in Fatima, and so much more! You do not want to miss this spiritual and beautiful opportunity to grow closer to Christ through the intercession of his Mother Mary. Sign up early before it fills up.
– Padre Francisco Ramirez
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All new travel bookings automatically come with our Book with Confidence Travel Plan*—free of charge. This plan gives pilgrims the ability to move their booking to another destination or simply a different available departure date in our vast travel portfolio, no questions asked. They just need to let us know 120 days* before departure and we’ll waive all penalties and get them booked on a new pilgrimage.
*The Book with Confidence Travel Plan allows for any new booking made with Holy Land Travel Center to be changed to a different destination or to another available departure date. Notice of change in travel plans must be given 120 days before departure; standard cancellation penalties will apply for full cancellation without rebooking or changes made within 120 days to departure. Applicable price and eligible promotions for the new tour will apply; if new trip is less expensive, a future travel credit will be issued for the difference in price. Cannot be applied to Passion Play Pilgrimages. No cash value. Credit is fully transferable. Offer reliant on space availability. Effective 10.7.2020. May be withdrawn at any time. Additional restrictions may apply; see Travel Terms & Conditions for details.
Today, you will enjoy a full sightseeing tour of Paris. After breakfast, 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 visit the Pantheon, built for the patron saint of Paris, Saint Genevieve. You will continue your day with a visit to the Notre Dame Cathedral, a perfect example of Gothic art. We will visit the Holy Chapel- A gem of Gothic style. Built in seven years, an impressive feat, the Sainte Chapelle was intended to house precious Christian relics, including Christ’s crown of thorns, acquired by Saint Louis. After we break for lunch, we will visit the Basilica of Sacre Coeur on Montmartre Hill. then we will enjoy time at leisure at the Eiffel Tower before climbing up to the 2nd floor. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight Overnight: Paris (B, D)
-Due to the tragic fire at Notre Dame Cathedral on April 15, 2019, Pilgrims will not be able to enter the Cathedral for the near future. Pilgrims will still have the opportunity to view the Cathedral from outside, and we expect the sacred relics to be on display in a nearby church or museum.
After breakfast, you will explore the life of St. Therese. According to Pope Pius X, St. Therese of Lisieux was the “greatest saint of modern times”. Her extraordinary love for God and service to humanity will come alive as you walk in the Great Saint’s footsteps. During your visit, you will see the beautiful Basilica of St. Therese, and the magnificent mosaics and stained glass contained within. Following your visit to the Basilica, you will have the opportunity to view relics, clothing and personal objects of St. Therese, when you visit her family home, Les Buissonets. Additionally, you will tour the parish of St. Therese, the Cathedral of St. Peter, and the Carmelite Convent, where St. Therese entered in 1888, and is currently entombed in with her parents. We depart Lisieux for Versailles, one of the most important landmarks in French history. Explore the beautiful palace that was a former French royal residence and center of government. Return to our hotel for dinner and overnight. Overnight: Paris (B, D)
After breakfast we will drive to Nevers via the picturesque Loire Valle. Nevers is the site 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. Visit of the Convent of Saint Gildard to see the beautiful and miraculously incorrupt body of St. Bernadette before returning to Paris for time at leisure for shopping, before dinner and overnight. Overnight: Paris (B, D)
Today we take the TGV Fast Train from Paris to Lourdes. Upon arrival we will check into our hotel and enjoy some free time before we participate in the candlelight processional (dates and time permitting). Return to hotel for dinner and overnight. Overnight: Lourdes (B, D)
This day we start with mass at the Grotto of Massabielle, where our Lady appeared to Bernadette in 1858. Later we take our official group photo in front of the Basilica, followed by our guided tour of Lourdes: The sanctuary of the Basilica of St. Pius X, the world’s largest underground church. The Basilica, The Baths, where thousands of miraculous cures have taken place is the most respected shrine and sanctuary in France. Also to be visited are sites associated with the life of Saint Bernadette, like the Boly Mill – where she was born; the Locale Mill – residence of her parents; the Cachot – formerly used as a jail where she lived at the time of the Apparitions; the Chapel – where she received her first Holy Communion; and the Parish Church – containing the baptismal font where she was baptized. We will then have some free time before returning to our hotel for dinner and overnight. Overnight: Lourdes (B, D)
After breakfast we depart Lourdes and drive over the Pyrenees to Andorra la Vella and view Romanesque churches and stone houses in the city’s quarter along with a visit to the Shrine of Our Lady of Meritxell. Continue on to Barcelona. Once we arrive, we check in at our hotel for dinner and overnight. Overnight: Barcelona (B, D)
This morning we head to the most famous Holy family church, La Sagrada Familia. La Sagrada Familia is an unfinished Catholic basilica in Barcelona designed by the celebrated Art Nouveau architect Antoni Gaudi. We enjoy a full guided tour of the Basilica before we celebrate Mass. We will then continue on to Park Guell before we head to La Rambla for free time and shopping before we return to our hotel for dinner and overnight. Overnight: Barcelona (B, D) Optional: Flamenco Show: Tonight, there will be an optional Flamenco Show. More information and ticket prices will be available and sent out closer to the tour for those who would like to join.
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. Overnight: Barcelona (B, D)
This morning we depart Barcelona and head towards Burgos. We will stop on our way in Zaragoza. While in Zaragoza, you will have the opportunity to visit the Magnificent Basilica del Pilar that was built upon the site of where Our Lady appeared to St. James. In 44 A. D. St. James the Great was spreading the Gospel in Spain, but, making very little progress and questioning his mission. According to Catholic Tradition, the Virgin Mary, who was still living in Jerusalem, bi-located and appeared to St. James the Great to boost his morale. While inside the Basilica, you will view the pillar that was carried by angels and from where Our Lady appeared. Following your visit to the Basilica del Pilar, you will visit La Seo Cathedral (Cathedral of Zaragoza). Formally known as the Church of San Vicente during the Visigoth period, it contains architectural elements of Gothic, Mudejar, Renaissance and Baroque styles. In addition to the famous cathedral, Zaragoza is also known for its folklore and local gastronomy, both of which will be explored on your walking tour of the city. We will then continue to Burgos for dinner and overnight. Overnight: Burgos (B, D)
After breakfast we will explore Burgos. Burgos was for some five hundred years the capital of the Old Castile and with its dark stone old town and castle it remains redolent of these years of power and military strength. It has historic associations as the home of El Cid in the XI Century, and as the base of two centuries later of Fernando el Santo, the reconqueror of Murcia, Cordoba, and Sevilla. It was Fernando who began the city’s famous Gothic cathedral, one of the greatest in all Spain. During the visit we will be able to see: the Arco de Santa Maria, originally this gateway formed part of the town walls, the Cathedral, the Huelgas Monastery, the Catuja de Miraflores, the Castle, etc. We will then depart for 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 it’s 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 Saint Isidoro of Seville tomb is kept; and the Saint Marcus Monastery, with its fantastic front in Plateresque style bedecked with shells (the symbol of the pilgrim). We will then continue to Santiago de Compostela for late dinner and overnight. Overnight: Santiago de Compostela (B, D)
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 (brother of St. John the Divine) 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 faithful gathers 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, though the beautiful streets of Santiago de Compostela, the city of the apostle, full of historical buildings and others. Dinner and overnight in Santiago de Compostela. Optional Morning Walking Tour ~ This morning we set out to join the walking pilgrims at the Monte del Gozo from which the spires of the Cathedral are first visible. We will walk the last couple of miles of El Camino arriving at the Cathedral of St. James, the destination we have been yearning to reach. Continue to the Cloister Museum with our group. Overnight: Santiago de Compostela (B, D)
This morning we depart Santiago de Compostela and drive south to Fatima. 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 Fatima. Overnight: Fatima (B, D)
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 13th, 1917. Dinner and overnight at our hotel. In the evening we join the Rosary and candlelight procession. Overnight: Fatima (B, D)
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