Medjugorje & Italy Pilgrimage
Group Leader: Mary Ann Koke
July 17 - 27, 2019
Your trip includes
- Round-trip airfare
- Airport taxes & fuel surcharges
- Accommodation at centrally located hotels: (or similar)
- ~ 4 nights: July 18 - 22, Medjugorje, Modern Pansion
- ~ 3 nights: July 22 - 25, Rome, Hotel Dei Borgia
- ~ 2 nights: July 25 - 27, Florence, Star Hotels Tuscany
- Transfers as per itinerary
- Breakfast and Dinner daily Medjugorje
- Breakfast daily and 2 Dinners in Italy
- Transportation by air-conditioned motor coach
- Wireless headsets where needed
- Assistance of a professional local guide(s)
- Sightseeing and admissions fees as per itinerary
- Mass daily & Spiritual activities
- Flight bag & portfolio of all travel documents
- Lunches, Beverages, Tips to your guide & driver.
Wed, Jul 17, Depart for Medjugorje
Make your way to your local airport, where you will board your overnight flight. Your meals will be served on board.
Thu, Jul 18, Arrive Medjugorje
Upon arrival in Europe, change gates to board your short connection flight to either: Dubrovnik, Split, or Sarajevo airport. Upon arrival, collect your luggage in the baggage claim area, and continue to the arrival's hall, where you will be greeted by a tour guide and/or driver, who will take you on the 2.5 hour drive to the village of Medjugorje. Enjoy dinner before retiring for the evening.
Fri, Sat, Sun, Jul 19-21, Experiencing Medjugorje
The most beautiful features of Medjugorje are its simplicity and peace. While in Medjugorje, you may experience your faith grow, and share in the faith journey of pilgrims from all over the world. A local guide will accompany your group throughout your stay in the village.
Some activities that will accompany you in your spiritual journey:
Attend Daily Mass: Each morning at 10:00 AM, your group will assemble at St. James Church for Mass (English-Speaking). At the end of each Mass, regardless of language, there is a blessing of the religious articles that you have with you.
On Feast Days, and Sundays: English Mass is at 12 PM.
Climb Apparition Hill: This mountainous hill is where the visionaries first encountered Our Lady. At the base of this hill is a Blue Cross, where it is said Our Lady appeared to the children while they hid from the communist police in the early days of the alleged apparitions. While climbing, your group is invited to recite the Rosary, pausing five times for each decade of the Rosary. At the top of the hill, you will witness the exact location of the first alleged apparition of Our Lady to the visionaries, and enjoy private time for prayer.
Climb Mt. Krizevac (Cross Mountain): In 1933, the villagers built a 30' high cross atop a mountain to commemorate Jesus' passion and death on the cross. Your group will have the opportunity to climb this mountain, and venerate that very cross. While climbing, your group is invited to pray the Stations of the Cross (to meditate on Jesus' suffering Road to Calvary), pausing fifteen times for each Station.
Apparitions: Each evening at 5 PM or 6 PM (depending on daylight savings time), your group will join the villagers and fellow pilgrims of Medjugorje in saying the Rosary, as all anxiously await the alleged arrival of Our Lady to the visionaries. Following the apparition, at 5:40 PM (6:40 PM during Daylight Savings Time), feel free to stay at St. James Church and attend the Croatian Mass. Following the Croatian Mass, there is a Blessing of the Sick.
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament: Our Lady has always called us to be close to her Son. For this, you will have the opportunity to adore the Blessed Sacrament at the altar outside of St. James Church. Adoration is held on Tuesdays and Saturdays; Veneration of the Cross is held on Fridays inside the church. Additionally, there is an Adoration Chapel on the grounds of St. James Church, where Adoration is held in the afternoon hours.
Meetings with the Visionaries: Pending their availability, your guide will arrange meetings with the visionaries at their homes.
Visit to the Community of Cenacolo: You will have the opportunity to visit the community of Cenacolo, founded by the Sisters of Charity, for young men and women who have taken a wrong path and are on the road to recovery. You will be able to listen to their inspirational words about their journeys back to Jesus Christ.
Prayer at the Statue of the Risen Christ: The bronze statue of the Risen Christ is located on the grounds of St. James Church. Many pilgrims sit and pray on the benches surrounding this peaceful statue. This statue miraculously seeps droplets of water at all times of the day, out of Christ's right knee.
Mon, Jul 22, Medjugorje - Rome
After an early breakfast and heartfelt farewells, we leave by motor coach for Dubrovnik Airport (Split or Sarajevo) for our return flights to Rome. Welcome to Rome, one of the most magnificent and interesting cities in the world, also known as the "Eternal City" Upon arrival in Rome you'll be met by our tour escort who will join us for the duration of our visit. Dinner and overnight in Rome .
Tue, Jul 23, Rome: St. Peter's Basilica - Vatican Museum - Ancient Rome
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 our tour of Ancient Rome, the Roman Forum; see the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Pantheon and House of Caesar. Dinner on your own at one of the many wonderful places you will find in Rome. Overnight Rome.
Wed, Jul 24, Rome: Papal Audience at Castel Gandolfo
Following breakfast, we will make our way to visit the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo, where the pope spends his summers. You will marvel at the beauty of this place which is also home to ancient religious ruins, a former castle and s hidden natural bath inside a cave. Return to Rome with some suggestions for the afternoon on your own before dinner (on your own) at one of the many great places to have a meal in this beautiful city! Overnight Rome.
Thu, Jul 25, Rome - Assisi (St. Francis) - Florence
Enjoy an early breakfast, followed by an excursion to the hometown of St. Francis. St. Francis is the "Patron Saint of Animals and the Environment." Additionally, he is responsible for founding the Franciscan Order, and an inspiration to all by preferring to live in simplicity and humility, while giving up all other worldly possessions. As we visit the birthplace of St. Francis, you will become captivated as the atmosphere has not changed since St. Francis began his ministry, in the early 13th-century. We will start our tour at the St. Francis Basilica, visit his tomb of St. Francis, and have the opportunity to view a series of frescoes depicting his life, along with a few of the saint's possessions. From there, we will continue on a walking tour through this picturesque town, including the birthplace of St. Francis, and ending with a tour of the Church that honors St. Clare, the foundress of the Poor Clare Sisters. This Saint followed the teachings of St. Francis very closely by also living a life of poverty and humility. Enjoy some free time on your own - you may take this time for additional prayer, shop in the many gift shops or enjoy a nice lunch. After lunch, we will board the bus, which will take us outside of the walls of Assisi, to the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels. This is where St. Francis spent most of life. This Basilica is made up of two structures, both of which you will visit. The first structure, is the "Porziuncola", which is where St. Francis founded his order of the Friar Minor (Franciscans). The second, is the "Capella del Transito", which is the place of St. Francis' death. During your time here, you will have the opportunity to visit the beautiful Rose Garden where St. Francis and other friars lived, as well as the cave where the Saint retired to pray. Continue to Florence for dinner and overnight .
Fri, Jul 26, Florence Full Day of Touring
In Florence, your day begins with breakfast, followed by a guided tour. The tour starts at the Church of the Holy Cross, the Santa Croce, where many nobles are buried, such as Michelangelo, Galileo, and Machiavelli. Continue to walk by Piazza Signorina, Palazzo Vecchio, Uffizi, Ponte Vecchio, and Republic Square to the Santa Maria del Fiore. This Cathedral is an iconic piece of architecture of the city of Florence. It was designed by Filippo Brunelleschi in the 13th century. Next, a visit to L'Accademia, the well-known art gallery. At this gallery, you will have the opportunity to view the work from artists such as Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, Pontormo and the ever famous sculpture by Michelangelo, David. See the Uffizi, a prominent art museum located adjacent to the Piazza della Signoria in the historic center . Dinner on your own this evening. Choose from the many fine restaurants and trattorias you will find here ! Overnight Florence .
Sat, Jul 27, Return Home - Florence - Chicago
After an early breakfast and heartfelt farewells we leave by motor coach for the airport and our return flights home with memories for a lifetime.