Catholic Medical Association
Shrines of Italy Pilgrimage
Spiritual Director: Fr. Scott Francis Binet
Group Coordinator: John Lane, MD
June 18 - 26, 2019
*Optional Post Tour to Assisi - June 26 - 28
Your trip includes
- Round-trip airfare
- Airport taxes & fuel surcharges
- Centrally located first class hotels as follows: (or similar)
- ~ 5 nights: June 19 - 24: Hotel Della Conciliazione, Rome
- ~ 2 nights: June 24 - 26: Centro di Spiritualita Padre Pio, San Giovanni Rotondo
- Optional Post Tour to Assisi:
- Transfers as per itinerary
- Breakfast and Dinner daily
- Wine with dinners
- Transportation by air-conditioned motor coach
- Wireless headsets where needed
- Assistance of a professional local Christian guide(s) in Rome, Montecassino and Dan Giovanni Rotodno
- Sightseeing and admissions fees as per itinerary
- Tips to Hotel Staff and Restaurants
- Mass daily & Spiritual activities
- Flight bag & portfolio of all travel documents
- Lunches, Beverages not mentioned, Tips to your guide & driver.
Tue, June 18: Depart for Rome
Make your way to your local airport, where you will board your overnight flight(s). Your meals will be served on board.
Wed, June 19: Arrival in 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 Arrivals 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 for a "Meet and Greet" with your fellow pilgrims 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).
Thu, June 20: Rome: 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 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 Pope Francis was installed as Bishop of Rome, and where he officiates as the Bishop of Rome. Next, you 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 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. Next to visit is 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 an overnight.
Fri, June 21: Rome: 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 Bishop of Rome, was martyred. Also, it was Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, who was the first Pontiff to visit the necropolis since extensive archaeological excavations were conducted at the ancient site decades ago. 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. Next, make your way to a local restaurant for dinner. Following dinner, feel free to explore the streets of Rome, or return to the hotel for an overnight.
Sat, June 22: Rome: Colosseum and Roman Forum in the morning, St Mary of the Altar of Heaven in the afternoon
Explore the first and second tiers of this A-list attraction with a guide, learning about the gladiators who competed in the Colosseum's gory gladiatorial games. Finish with a tour of the Roman Forum in Ancient Rome and admire incredible ruins, like the Temple of Julius Caesar. After lunch we'll visit St Mary of the Altar of Heaven. Built on the foundations of the ancient temple of the Roman goddess Juno, this church is one the oldest basilicas in Rome. The foundation of a first house of worship may have been laid here as early as the sixth century, when it was built in the style of an ancient basilica. At that time, the worshippers would have followed the Greek rite. However, the building was taken over by the papacy in the tenth century and was given to the Benedictines. In 1249 pope Innocent IV passed it on to the Franciscans who remodeled and expanded the church in 1320.
Sun, June 23: Mass with Holy Father - Free afternoon
This morning you will enjoy an early breakfast before making your way to the largest Christendom Church, St. Peter's Basilica. You will attend Mass with the Holy Father, followed by Free Time to spend at your own leisure. Dinner and overnight.
Mon, June 24: Rome - Monte Cassino - San Giovanni Rotondo
Following breakfast, you will board your bus to enjoy the scenic route to Monte Cassino. Passing through the Roman countryside that is known for its villas and vineyards. During the bus ride, your tour escort will share interesting information regarding the spiritual, historical, and cultural aspects of Italy. Monte Cassino, the principle monastery of the Benedictine Order, was founded by Saint Benedict around 530 A.D. Following the tour, there will be an opportunity to visit the gift shop, before you board the bus to continue toward San Giovanni Rotondo, the hometown of Saint Padre Pio. Upon arrival in San Giovanni Rotondo, you will check-in, enjoy dinner in a restaurant, and overnight.
Tue, June 25: San Giovanni Rotondo (View Incorrupt Body of St. Padre Pio) - Monte Sant' Angelo
This morning, after breakfast, you will visit the Old Church. After Mass, you will tour the sanctuary, it is here you will view the crucifix, in front of which St. Pio received the stigmata. Visit the confessional from where St. Pio spent an innumerable amount of hours listening to confessions. Next, you will board the bus and travel along the beautiful Gargano Peninsula to the Grotto of St. Michael the Archangel, a shrine consecrated by St. Michael. At this grotto, St. Michael appeared to a Bishop to assure him that his diocese would not be annihilated as he feared. Following the visit to the grotto, enjoy free time. On the way back to San Giovanni Rotondo, view breathtaking views of the ocean and surrounding countryside. Upon arrival, you will have time for devotion and reflection. Dinner and an overnight in San Giovanni Rotondo.
*Candlelight Procession - Between May and October attend the weekly Candlelight Procession at the Sanctuary of St. Pio after dinner, at 9:00 PM. These processions are lit by candlelight, and are guided by the Most Holy Rosary. Following this prayerful experience, you will return to your hotel for a restful overnight.
Wed, June 26: San Giovanni Rotondo - Rome Airport
After an early breakfast and heartfelt farewells, transfer to Rome Airport for your return flights home.