Round-trip air from San Francisco - Lisbon / Barcelona- Paris– San Francisco
Airline FUEL SURCHARGES INCLUDED ($430)
Accommodations in first class/ 4 star hotels (or similar)
# of nights
Sep 17 – 18
Marques de Pombal
Sep 18 – 20
Sep 20 – 21
Sep 21 – 22
Sep 22 – 25
Sep 25 – 27
Transfers by private coach as per itinerary
Breakfast and Dinner daily
Wine and mineral water with dinners
Assistance of a professional local Catholic guide(s)
Sightseeing and admissions fees as per itinerary
Mass daily & Spiritual activities
Luggage handling (1 piece per person) Flight bag & portfolio of all travel document
Day 1, Sep 16, 2011: USA - Lisbon
Depart from New York, San Francisco or your hometown to Lisbon, Portugal. Dinner and breakfast will be served on board.
Day 2, Sep 17, 2011: Arrive Lisbon
Arrive Lisbon. Meet your Priest, tour guide and fellow pilgrims. After an orientation tour of Lisbon, we stop for Mass and visit at St. Anthony's Church. Despite what might be assumed from his name, Saint Anthony was born and grew up in Lisbon. Traditionally, the invocation of his name is considered the best means of locating lost objects. Dinner and overnight in Lisbon.
Day 3, Sep 18, 2011: Lisbon - Santarem - Fatima
After breakfast depart Lisbon for Santarem, where one of the oldest cities in the world is located. We will walk through its narrow streets to the Church of St Stephen, containing the oldest recorded Eucharistic miracle. This miracle has been on continuous display since 1269. We then continue on to Fatima, the place where the Blessed Mother appeared in 1917 to three simple shepherd children and exhorted mankind to pray for world peace. Dinner and overnight in Fatima.
Day 4, Sep 19, 2011: Fatima
Six times, from May 13 to Oct 13, 1917, the Virgin Mary appeared to three shepherd children in the diocese of Leiria. A new church has been constructed, however just as beautiful, an older church was constructed here in 1928, and millions of pilgrims visit each year. Fatima is one of the most visited holy places for Catholics from around the world. The atmosphere of intense spirituality and the importance of Fatima have been attested to by the visits of two Popes: Paul VI and John Paul II. Touring Fatima, see the Little Chapel of the Apparitions, Basilica, the site of Francesco and Jacinta's graves, the Hamlet of Aljustrel, where the children lived, and Valinhos, the site of Our Lady's appearance after the children's return from prison. Follow the Stations of the Cross along the Via Sacra (The Sacred Way) culminating in the Chapel of Calvary, which overlooks all of Fatima. Join pilgrims from around the world in an evening candlelight procession to pray the rosary. Dinner and overnight in Fatima.
Day 5, Sep 20, 2011: Fatima - Salamanca
After Mass and some free time for personal reflection we depart for Salamanca. Salamanca is the most graceful city in Spain. For four centuries it was the seat of one of the most prestigious universities in the world and, despite losing this reputation in the XVII Century, it has kept the unmistakable atmosphere of a seat of learning. The city’s architectural sights seem endless: two cathedrals, one Gothic, the other Romanesque, vie for attention with Renaissance palaces and gems of Plateresque decoration. The Plaza Mayor is the finest in Spain; and the surviving university buildings are tremendous throughout, all of them distinguished by the same warm stone. Today we will visit this impressive and beautiful grand Plaza Mayor, the vast Baroque church of La Clerecía, the Casa de las Conchas (House of Shells), named after the rows of carved scallop shells symbol of the pilgrimage to Santiago which decorate its façade, the University, the cathedrals, the Roman Bridge, the Art Nouveau and Art Deco Museum, Convento de las Dueñas, Monasterio de San Esteban, Torre del Clavero, San Marcos and San Martin churches, etc.
Dinner and overnight.
Day 6, Sep 21, 2011: Salamanca - Alba de Tormes - Ávila – Burgos
After breakfast we depart Salamanca for Alba de Tormes, where St. Teresa of Avila is buried. Next is Avila. Here atmosphere has changed very little since the days of St. Teresa of Jesus, to whom the city is dedicated. St. Teresa the great mystic, was the first woman to be named a Doctor of the Church. In Avila we will visit: the Cathedral, which contains many of St. Teresa relics; The crypt of the Convento of La Santa, built on the site of the house where she was born, is home to the most comprehensive museum dedicated to her life, and La Encarnacion Convent, the first convent she found. Afternoon departure to the city of Burgos, the historic capital of Old Castile. After dinner explore Burgos (on your own), and admire the magnificent limestone Cathedral.
Day 7, Sep 22, 2011: Burgos - Loyola - Lourdes
After breakfast depart Burgos, heading for Lourdes, France. En route stop in Loyola, the birthplace of St Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits. Here, we'll se the 17th Century Basilica dedicated to St Ignatius. Behind the sanctuary is the family home of St. Ignatius, which we'll visit during our stop. The most venerated place in this building is the room where Ignatius at age 30, was brought following his serious wounding at the Battle of Pamplona. Later we motor through the Pyrenees Mountains into Lourdes. Here, standing between the spectacular mountain-river, Gave de Pau, stands picturesque Lourdes, the birthplace of St Bernadette to whom Our Lady appeared in 1858 near the Grotto of Massabielle. Settle into your hotel, explore before dinner, followed by a candlelight procession (every evening from Apr through Oct) before retiring for the evening.
Day 8 & 9, Sep 23 & 24, 2011: Lourdes
After breakfast, our guided tour of Lourdes will include the sanctuary; the Basilica of St Pius X, the world's largest underground church; and the baths where hundreds of miraculous cures have taken place. Enjoy a video presentation telling the story of Lourdes, and 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, pray at the Grotto and 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." Attend the blessing of the sick and participate in nightly candlelight processions requested by Our Lady, and take time for private devotions. Each evening dinner and overnight at your hotel. (Candle light procession and Group Rosary every evening from April through October).
Day 10, Sep 25, 2011: Lourdes – Zaragoza - Montserrat
After breakfast we will depart towards Zaragoza where we will visit the magnificent Basilica del Pilar, built in the place where our Lady appeared to Saint James. Tradition says that in the early day of the Church, Saint James The Greater was spreading the Gospel in Spain, but making very little progress. He was dejected and questioning his mission. About 44 AD, the Virgin Mary, who was still living in Jerusalem at the time, bi-located and appeared to him in a vision to boost his morale. In it, she was atop a column or pillar, which was being carried by angels. That pillar is believed to be the same one venerated inside the Basilica. We will also visit the Cathedral of Zaragoza and we will do a walking tour of the city. Later we will continue our journey to the Benedictine Monk retreat Montserrat. Dinner and overnight.
Day 11, Sep 26, 2011: Montserrat – Barcelona - Montserrat
We will start our day, like most days with Mass, followed by a sightseeing tour of Montserrat. Since the 12th century, pilgrims have been drawn to the mountain to venerate the miraculous statue of the Black Madonna (La Moreneta). According to Catholic tradition, the statue of the Black Virgin of Montserrat was carved by St. Luke around 50 AD and brought to Spain. It was later hidden from the Moors in a cave (Santa Cova, the Holy Grotto), where it was rediscovered in 880 AD. The statue was discovered by shepherds. They saw a bright light and heard heavenly music that eventually led them to the grotto and the statue. The Bishop of Manresa, present at the discovery, suggested that it be moved to Manresa, but the small statue was discovered to be so heavy it could not be lifted. Thus the Virgin had indicated her will to stay on Montserrat to be venerated there. By the 9th century, there were four chapels on Montserrat, of which only one remains - St. Aciscolo's, which is in the monastery's garden. In the 11th century, the abbot-bishop Oliba founded a monastery on the mountain of Montserrat, next to one of the chapels, nowadays the Benedictine Abbey is still preserved. At 1PM Montserrat Boys Choir will perform Salve and Virolai
This afternoon we enjoy a tour of one of the most spectacular Barcelona. It is certainly most famous for it’s art. Sights include elegant tree-lined Ramblas and Plaza de Cataluna. Enjoy visits to Barcelona’s main attractions including the Gothic Quarter, the port, and Poble Espanyolo, Guell Park, Sagrada Familia, and the Santa Maria del Mar church. Visit the most picturesque market la Boqueria, where you will enjoy an incredible contrast of colors! Return to Montserrat for dinner and overnight.
Day 12, Sep 27, 2011: Montserrat – Barcelona - USA
Short ride to Barcelona Airport for our homebound flight. The pilgrimage has come to an end but the spiritual injection will keep within for some time to come and the memories will live with us for the rest of our lives.