Medjugorje, Rome & Assisi Pilgrimage
Spiritual Director: Archbishop Elias Gonsalves
Group Leader: Penny Abbruzzese
May 15 - 26, 2019
Your trip includes
- Round-trip airfare from New York (JFK)
- Airport taxes & fuel surcharges
- Accommodations at Centrally Located First Class Hotels(or similar):
- ~ 4 nights: May 16 - 20: Hotel or Villa Grace, Medjugorje
- ~ 3 nights: May 20 - 23: Hotel Della Conciliazione, Rome
- ~ 2 nights: May 23 - 25: Centro di Spiritualita Padre Pio, San Giovanni Rotondo
- ~ 1 night: May 25 - 26: Hotel Giotto, Assisi
- Transfers as per itinerary
- Breakfast and Dinner daily
- Wine and mineral water with dinners
- Transportation by air-conditioned motor coach
- Wireless headsets where needed
- Assistance of a professional local Catholic guide
- Sightseeing and admissions fees as per itinerary
- Mass daily & Spiritual activities
- Luggage handling (1 piece per person)
- Flight bag & portfolio of all travel documents
- Lunches, Beverages, Tips to your guide & driver.
Wed, May 15: Depart for Medjugorje
Make your way to your local airport where you will board your overnight flight. Your meals are served on board.
Thu, May 16: 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 1/2 hour drive to the village of Medjugorje. Enjoy dinner before retiring for the evening.
Fri - Sun, May 17 - 19: Experiencing Medjugorje
The most beautiful feature of Medjugorje is its simplicity, and its peace. While in Medjugorje, you will have the opportunity to experience your faith grow, and share in the faith journey of pilgrims from all over the world. The 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 10:00A.M, 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 Noon. Climb Apparition Hill: This mountainous hill is where the visionaries first encountered Our Lady. Also, 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. When 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 in 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. When 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 5PM or 6PM 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 6:40P.M (5:40 P.M. 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 outside altar 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. Adoration is held here 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: Located on the grounds of St. James Church, is the bronze statue of the Risen Christ. 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, May 20: Medjugorje - Rome
After an early breakfast and heartfelt farewells, we leave by motor coach for Dubrovnik Airport (Split or Sarajevo) for our flights to Rome. Welcome to Rome, also known as, "The Eternal City." Upon arrival at Rome airport, collect your luggage in the baggage claim area, and continue to the arrival's hall, where you will be greeted by a tour escort and/or driver. You will make your way to the bus and transfer to your hotel. Following check-in, you will have free time to unpack and relax, or explore Rome on your own. Your tour escort may suggest places to visit. Later in the afternoon, your group will meet in the hotel lobby and depart for Mass. Following Mass, you will attend a welcome dinner. After dinner, you will have the opportunity to walk to St. Peter's Square as a group, for the Rosary (optional).
Tue, May 21: St. Peter's Basilica - Vatican Museum - Trevi Fountain - Appian Way - Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls - Catacombs
This morning you will enjoy an early breakfast before making your way to the largest Christendom Church, St. Peter's Basilica. This Basilica was built on the site where St. Peter, the first Pope and Archbishop of Rome, was martyred. It is here that you will view Michelangelo's Pieta. This stunning marble sculpture depicts the Virgin Mary holding Christ after His crucifixion, death, and removal off the cross before being placed in the tomb. Continue to proceed to the Vatican Museums. At the world-renowned museum, you will see the most impressive of edifices, galleries, and awe-inspiring relics. Additionally, you will observe the Tapestry Gallery, Raphael Rooms, Sistine Chapel, and Michelangelo's Masterpiece, the restored mural of the Last Judgment. The final stop on your Vatican tour is at the tomb of Saint John Paul II. Afterward, you will be transferred to the Fontana di Trevi (Trevi Fountain), where you may enjoy some free time on your own for lunch. Continue on your short journey down the Appian Way, the earliest road of Ancient Rome. This road leads to the Domino Quo Vadis Chapel, the Baths of Caracalla, the Arch of Drusus, the Tomb of Cecilia Metella, and the catacombs of St. Callixtus. The day concludes with a visit to the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls. Originally founded by Emperor Constantine in the 4th Century, this Basilica is the burial places of Saint Paul the Apostle. We will make our way to a local restaurant for dinner. Following dinner, feel free to explore the streets of Rome, or return to the hotel for overnight.
Wed, May 22: Rome: Papal Audience - Basilica of St. John the Lateran - Holy Steps - Basilica of St. Mary Major
After a nice breakfast at your hotel, your first sightseeing day in Rome starts! The tour begins with attending the Papal Audience in St. Peter's Square! The Audience is celebrated each Wednesday by His Holiness (pending the papal schedule). Following the Audience, there will be free time for lunch, or shop, or mail a postcard from the Vatican Post Office. This afternoon you will visit the oldest of the four major basilicas in Rome, and the home to the relics of Peter and Paul, the Basilica of St. John the Lateran. This Basilica is where the Pope is installed as Archbishop of Rome, and where he officiates as the Archbishop of Rome. Next, we will cross the street to visit the Holy Staircase. Tradition states that this staircase is from Pontius Pilate's palace of Jerusalem during the time of Jesus. It is also said that this Staircase was brought to Rome by St. Helen in the 4th century. If time permits, you may climb the steps on your knees, in memory of Christ's agonizing Passion. To conclude your day, we will proceed to the Basilica of St. Mary Major. This Basilica contains a relic from the Manger of the Infant Jesus. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight. *The Scala Santa is currently under restoration. Thus, the Vatican has displayed an image replicating the stairs in front of the entrance where you will walk in. There are several staircases just to the side of the Scala Santa that you may ascend on your knees. You will still be able to receive the same graces and indulgences by going up any of the alternative stairs.
Thu, May 23: Rome - Pietralcina - San Giovanni Rotondo
Following breakfast, you will head south and cross through the Roman countryside with its villas and vineyards. During your drive, your tour escort will explain the spiritual, historical, and cultural overview of Italy, which will help to orient you to this beautiful country and prepare you for all that you will experience in the days to follow. We will visit Pietrelcina , a highly religious and beautiful town were St. Padre Pio was born and raised. We will visit the church where Padre Pio was baptized, the chapel of the Stigmata as well as the home where he grew up. St. Padre Pio is admired for his fervent love of Christ and the Virgin Mary and is credited with reconciling thousands of men and women back to their faith. In 1916 he came to San Giovanni Rotondo and whilst here he was reported to have had possessed many inexplicable abilities. The most famous of these is the Stigmata he received in 1918 which caused him great suffering. He died in 1968 and was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2002. We then continue through the countryside heading east to Padre Pio's town, San Giovanni Rotondo, our base for the following two nights. Dinner and overnight.
Fri, May 24: San Giovanni Rotondo - Monte Sant' Angel (View incorrupt body of Padre Pio)
After celebrating Mass at the tomb of Padre Pio, you will tour the sanctuary. Also, see the old church and the crucifix from which he received the stigmata in 1918. You will see the confessional where Padre Pio spent innumerable hours with a multitude of pilgrims, directing them on their journey toward God. (You will have the opportunity to view and pray before the incorrupt body of Padre Pio). Enjoy a breathtaking view of the Gargano Peninsula and a visit to the Grotto of Michael the Archangel. Many noteworthy figures including, St Francis and at least four other saints have knelt in prayer at this grotto, seeking the protection of St Michael. Following lunch, take in the panoramic view of the ocean and the surrounding countryside that awaits at this most celebrated shrine of early Christianity, a shrine consecrated by St Michael himself in 490. Return to San Giovanni for devotions, reflection, and a restful overnight.
Sat, May 25: San Giovanni Rotondo - Lanciano - Loreto - Assisi
After breakfast, we will head to Lanciano. Upon arrival in Lanciano, we will celebrate Mass at the Church of St. Longinus. This Church is the site of the Eucharistic Miracle that occurred in the eighth century. At the time of the Miracle, there was a Basilian monk who struggled with the belief in the real presence of The Lord Jesus in the Eucharist. During the time of Mass, the monk, with doubt in his voice, said the "Words of Consecration" and the bread turned into living flesh, and the wine transformed into live blood. There will be some free time to explore Lanciano, before continue toward the Adriatic coast to the great Marian shrine of Loreto to visit the Holy House of Nazareth, and the beautiful Madonna of Loreto. More than 50 Pope's have made a pilgrimage to the house transported by angles to this hill in central Italy, in 1294. Tradition has it that this is the house in which Mary first prayed the Magnificat, in which Jesus grew to manhood, and in which the Holy Family lived. Continue on to Assisi, the hometown of St. Francis. Upon arrival in Assisi, you will enjoy dinner, before retiring to your room for a restful night's sleep.
Sun, May 26: Assisi - Rome Airport - US
Following breakfast, you will board the bus that will bring the group to Rome Airport for the return flights home. You will bid farewell toy our new friends and to a Pilgrimage which will be in your memories and hearts for a long time to come. You will depart for Rome Airport and fondly say, Arrivederci Italia!