The Angel Connection
Marian Shrines Pilgrimage
Spiritual Director: Fr. Paco Anzoategui
Group Coordinator: Marge Oliveri
April 17 - 27, 2023
Barcelona · Lourdes (St. Bernadette) · Zaragoza · Madrid · Toledo · Avila (St. Teresa) · Alba de Tormes · Salamanca · Fatima · Lisbon (St. Anthony)
Your trip includes
- Round-trip airfare
- All airport taxes & fuel surcharges
- Hotel accommodations (or similar) in double occupancy
- ~ 1 night: Apr 18 - 19: Sercotel Caspe, Barcelona, Spain
- ~ 1 night: Apr 21 - 22: Hotel Catalonia El Pilar, Zaragoza, Spain
- ~ 2 nights: Apr 22 - 24: Preciados, Madrid, Spain
- ~ 1 night: Apr 24 - 25: Abba Fonseca, Salamanca, Spain
- ~ 2 nights: Apr 25 - 27: Santa Maria Jardim, Fatima, Portugal
- Breakfast and Dinner daily
- Wine and mineral water with dinners
- Transfers as per itinerary
- 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)
- Lunches, Beverages not mentioned, Tips to your guide & driver.
Day 1, Mon, Apr 17: USA - Spain
Depart the USA for your overnight flight to Spain. Dinner and breakfast will be served on board.
Day 2, Tue, Apr 18: Arrive Barcelona
Upon arrival in Barcelona, collect your luggage in the baggage claim area, and continue to the arrival hall where you will be greeted by your tour guide and/-or driver. Your day will begin with a sightseeing tour of Barcelona! Enjoy the stunning panoramic views of the Port of Barcelona, Montjuic, Plaza de Espana, and Plaza de Catalunya. This port created some 2000 years ago in the coastal area to protect and provide access for ships to bring in goods. Currently, it is home to numerous walking areas, businesses, cultural and sporting events. Plaza de Espana is right outside the center of town, formerly known for its old bull-fighting ring. Presently, the Plaza is renowned for containing the Museum of Catalan art, situated on the side of Montjuic. Plaza de Catalunya is located in central Barcelona and is known for its fountains and statues. Your day of touring will continue with a guided walk through the Gothic Quarter containing remains from an ancient Roman village, including the Cathedral of Barcelona. We will continue to the Eixample quarter to visit Antoni Gaudi's stunning, unfinished Roman Catholic Basilica, La Sagrada Familia. Following visits, transfer to your hotel. Upon arrival, check-in, and have free time to rest and refresh or explore. This evening, enjoy a welcoming dinner, followed by an overnight in Barcelona.
Day 3, Wed, Apr 19: Barcelona - Lourdes
After breakfast, we will take a short drive to the dramatic site of Montserrat to visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Monserrat, located on a rugged mountainside. According to Catholic tradition, St. Luke carved the statue of the Black Madonna around 50 A.D. and brought it to Spain. While in Spain, it was hidden from the Moors and then, was later rediscovered by shepherds. In 880 A.D, the shepherds and the Bishop of Manresa were drawn to a grotto by a bright light and heavenly music. Upon discovery of the statue of the Black Madonna in the grotto, the Bishop of Manresa suggested that it be moved to Manresa. However, the statue was too heavy that it could not be lifted. As a result, the Virgin remained in Montserrat and continued to be venerated there for centuries. As years progressed, a number of chapels were built upon the site and in the eleventh century, the abbot-bishop Oliba founded a monastery on Montserrat next to one of these chapels. Following visit to Montserrat, board the bus for a scenic ride through the Pyrenees to Lourdes. Upon arrival in Lourdes, you will check in to your hotel and have free time to explore the shrine, pray, and meditate. Enjoy a splendid dinner and peaceful overnight in Lourdes.
Day 4, Thu, Apr 20: Lourdes
Today you will wake up in a small town that is nestled within the Pyrenees Mountains. During your time in Lourdes, you will pray and meditate in yet another site of Our Lady's apparitions. Our Lady first appeared to Bernadette in 1858, and announced herself as "The Immaculate Conception", near the Grotto of Massabielle. During the first two apparitions, little Bernadette prayed the Rosary with Our Lady and left without any exchange of words. During the apparitions, Our Lady emphasized God's love for us, penance, and the necessity of performing acts of penance for sinners. Throughout your time in Lourdes, you will have the opportunity to attend Mass at the Grotto, where Our Lady appeared to Bernadette; watch a video presentation that explains, in detail, the story of Lourdes; drink water from the miraculous spring that has healed many; submerge yourself in the healing baths. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to experience Christ's unconditional love, as you meditate upon the "life-size" Stations of the Cross that overlook the Grotto of Massabielle. Also, while in Lourdes, you will walk in and meditate upon the footsteps of St. Bernadette. Your group will have the opportunity to see Boly Mill, the birthplace of St. Bernadette, and the "Cachot," an abandoned prison where Bernadette's impoverished family lived. Each evening following dinner, you will have an opportunity to attend the candlelight procession and the Rosary before a restful overnight.
Day 5, Fri, Apr 21: Lourdes - Zaragoza
This morning we leave Lourdes to Zaragoza. While in Zaragoza, you will have the opportunity to visit the magnificent Basilica del Pilar, built upon the site of where Our Lady appeared to St. James. In 44 A.D., St. James, the Greater was spreading the Gospel in Spain, 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 Greater to boost his morale. While inside the Basilica, you will view the pillar carried by angels, and from atop Our Lady appeared. After the visit to the Basilica del Pilar, continue to La Seo Cathedral (Cathedral of Zaragoza) formally known as the church of San Vicente. The Visigoth period contains architectural elements of Gothic, Mudejar, Renaissance, and Baroque styles. In addition to the famous cathedral, Zaragoza is known for its folklore and local gastronomy. Both will be explored during the walking tour of the city. Dinner and overnight in Zaragoza.
Day 6, Sat, Apr 22: Zaragoza - Madrid
After breakfast, we will head towards Madrid, the Capital City of Spain! Upon arrival, enjoy a tour of Madrid which includes the Royal Palace and Plaza Mayor. Rest of the day is free to relax and explore Madrid on your own. Group will meet later in the day for dinner at local restaurant.
Day 7, Sun, Apr 23: Madrid - Toledo - Madrid
Following breakfast group will visit Toledo. Toledo, located on a rocky mountain isolated on three sides right by a looping gorge of the Rio Tajo. Every available inch of this outcrop has churches, synagogues, mosques, and houses heaped upon one another in a haphazard spiral, which the cobbled lanes infiltrate as best they can. Toledo is known as the city of the Three Religions or Cultures. For many centuries the Christians, the Moors, and the Jews lived together in relative equality and peace. The city surrounded by walls hides great treasures: its beautiful Church of Santo Tome, the TrAnsito Synagogue, Santa Maria la Blanca Synagogue, the Church of San Juan de Los Reyes, Puerta de Bisagras, Puerta del Cambron, Puerta del Sol, etc. We return to Madrid for dinner and overnight.
Day 8, Mon, Apr 24: Madrid - Avila - Alba de Tormes - Salamanca
After breakfast, we will depart to the quaint village of Avila. Two things distinguish Avila: the perfectly preserved eleventh-century walls which surround the old town, and the mystic writer Santa Teresa, who was born here and whose shrines are a must see for all Catholic pilgrims! Avila's atmosphere has changed very little since the days of Santa Teresa, the first woman to be named a Doctor of the Church, to whom the city is dedicated. During our tour of Avila we will see the Cathedral and San Vicente church. We will visit the Incarnation Convent, where St. Teresa became a nun and home to the most comprehensive museum dedicated to her life. We also visit La Santa Monastery, built on the site of the house where she was born, and San Jose Convent, the first monastery founded by the Saint. After walking in the footsteps of St. Teresa we depart for Alba de Tormes. Here we will visit and celebrate Mass at the Carmelite Monastery, where Saint Teresa died in 1582 A.D. and is buried. In the little museum of the Carmelite Monastery we will be able to see the incorrupt heart and left arm of the St. Teresa. Continue to Salamanca for dinner and overnight.
Day 9, Tue, Apr 25: Salamanca - Fatima
This morning we'll tour city of Salamanca. Salamanca is the most graceful city in Spain and for four centuries it was the seat of one of the most prestigious universities in the world. We will have a chance to see many of the city's sights including the grand Plaza Mayor, the hub of Salmantine life; the vast Baroque church of La Clerecia; 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 facade; the University; the cathedrals; the Roman Bridge; San Marcos and San Martin churches, and more. We continue to Fatima, our home for two nights. Dinner and overnight in Fatima.
Day 10, Wed, Apr 26: Fatima
After breakfast, we begin our day celebrating Mass at the Little Chapel of the Apparitions. After Mass we begin our tour of Fatima where we will experience the beauty of this spiritual town. We will see the 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. Experience Christ's love as you walk and 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 your prayers with those of pilgrims from around the world as you pray for the sick, drink water from the miraculous well. Attend the blessing of the sick and participate in nightly candlelight processions requested by Our Lady. Time for private devotions before dinner and a restful night's sleep.
Day 11, Thu, Apr 27: Fatima - Lisbon - USA
Following breakfast we transfer to Lisbon airport for return flights home and memories of lifetime!*206 Tours Disclaimer:
Occasionally local religious and national holidays, weather, traffic conditions and other events may necessitate changes in the sequence of events or the missing of certain events/places. Though every effort will be made to follow the itinerary, it should be considered as an indication, rather than a contract of events and places to be visited.