Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC
Shrines of Spain Pilgrimage
June 13 - 22, 2023
*Optional Post Tour to Madrid, Avila, Segovia & Toledo
Jun 22 - 25, 2023 (more information coming soon)
Barcelona · Manresa · Montserrat · Zaragoza · Pamplona · San Sebastian · Covadonga · Oviedo · Santiago de Compostela (St. James)
Your trip includes
- Round-trip airfare from your desired Airport
- All airport taxes & fuel surcharges
- Hotel accommodations (or similar) in double occupancy
- ~ 1 night, Jun 14 - 15: Catalonia Plaza Cataluña, Barcelona
- ~ 1 night, Jun 15 - 16: Abad Cisneros, Montserrat
- ~ 1 night, Jun 16 - 17: Catalonia El Pilar, Zaragoza
- ~ 2 nights, Jun 17 - 19: Abba San Sebastian or Zinema7, San Sebastian
- ~ 1 night, Jun 19 - 20: Parador Turismo de Cangas de Onis, Covadonga
- ~ 2 nights, Jun 20 - 22: San Francisco Hotel Monumento, Santiago de Compostela
- Breakfast and Lunch daily, plus 3 dinners
- Wine and mineral water with dinners
- Transportation by air-conditioned motor coach
- Assistance of local guide throughout
- Sightseeing and admissions fees as per itinerary
- Catholic Priest, Mass daily & Spiritual activities
- Whisper Headsets
- Transfers as per itinerary
- Luggage handling (1 piece per person)
- Lunches, Tips to your guide & driver.
Day 1: Tuesday - June 13 - Depart for Spain
Make your way to your local airport where you will board your overnight flight(s) to Spain. Your meals will be served on board.
Day 2: Wednesday - June 14 - Arrive in Barcelona
Upon arriving at Barcelona Airport, you will make your way to Baggage Claim area to collect your luggage. Then proceed to the "Arrival Hall" where you will be greeted by your tour guide and/or driver. From there you will make your way to the bus, where you will board to begin your tour of Barcelona. The city vibrates with life and has had a long reputation of being the avant-garde capital of Spain, especially in design and architecture. It boasts some superb museums - including the world-class Museum of Art of Cataluna, and individual art museum dedicated to Picasso, Joan Miro and Tapies. There is also outstanding Gothic and modernism architecture, most perfectly and eccentrically expressed in the work of Antonio Gaudi: Sagrada Familia Church, La Pedrera house, Park Guell and more. The majority of the sites of historic interest are located in the old town: Barrio Gotico, Ramblas street, Picasso Museum, San Jaime Square, the Gothic Cathedral, etc. But we must not forget the new area of the city: "Montjuic" where the Olympic stadium and the Spanish Village are situated. In the afternoon, we will take a sightseeing tour of the city, including a visit to Sagrada Familia Basilica and the Barcelona Cathedral (La Seu), a celebrated example of Catalan Gothic architecture dating from the 14th century. The elevated site occupied by the cathedral has always been the spiritual center of Barcelona. We will also have the opportunity to walk through the colorist street of Las Ramblas. From there we make our way to the Hotel for check-in, followed by dinner and overnight in Barcelona.
Day 3: Thursday - June 15 - Barcelona - Manresa - Montserrat
Following breakfast, we travel to the town of Manresa, where St Ignatius went after his life changing pilgrimage at Montserrat. He shut himself in a cave to pray and do penance during his sojourn in the city from March 1522 to February 1523. Each day he spent seven hours in prayer in a cave and then helped the sick in the village with the time he had left over. Here too, Ignatius began to develop the method for seeking God's will and where he wrote his renowned Spiritual Exercises. We come as pilgrims to this amazing place with St Ignatius and pray in the actual cave where his life and spirituality developed. After visiting the Shrine dedicated to St Ignatius, we will continue our journey towards one of the most popular pilgrimage destinations in Spain: the Shrine of Our Lady 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. Tiday, the Benedictine Abbey is still preserved. This afternoon will visit the complex of the Benedictine Abbey. Dinner and overnight in Montserrat.
Day 4: Friday - June 16 - Montserrat - Zaragoza
Start the day with breakfast in the hotel, and then depart towards Zaragoza. Zaragoza's city center reflects an air of prosperity in its wide and modern boulevards, stylish shops and coffee shops. We will visit the city with a local guide including the magnificent Basilica del Pilar, built in the place where our Lady appeared to Saint James (Santiago Apostle). 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. Around 40 AD, while he was deep in prayer by the banks of the Ebro in Zaragoza, the Mother of God appeared to him and gave a column of jasper and instructed him to build a church in her honor: "This place is to be my house, and this image and column shall be the title and altar of the temple that you shall build". That column or pillar is believed to be the same one venerated inside the Basilica. Many of the most important saints in the Catholic Church have paid their devotion before the statue of Our Lady of the Pillar, for example: Saint John of the Cross, Saint Teresa of Avila, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Blessed William Joseph Chaminade and more. This afternoon, we will visit the city of Zaragoza including La Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar and La Seo (Cathedral). Return to your Hotel for dinner and overnight in Zaragoza.
Day 5: Saturday - June 17 - Zaragoza - Pamplona - San Sebastian
Following breakfast, we will depart for Pamplona and San Sebastian. On our way to Pamplona we will visit the town of Agreda. There, we will see the incorrupt body of Venerable Mary of Agreda, the famed 17th century mystic who had the gift of bilocation and wrote the "The Mystical City of God," an account of the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary. After this visit, we continue to Pamplona. Pamplona was originally a Basque village called Iruna until 74 B.C. when the Roman General, Pompeyo Magno, founded the new Roman town of Pompaelo, and naming it after himself. Over the centuries the city was populated by Visigoths and the Moors. During the 12th century, there was an influx of people, in particular the French (or Franks). Pamplona is most famous for the Fiesta de San Fermin when they run the bulls through the streets. The Fiesta was made world-famous by Ernest Hemingway who first attended the Fiesta in 1923 and made it the backdrop of his novel "The Sun Also Rises". The Fiesta takes place in early July. While in Pamplona we will be able to visit its most important monuments like the Gothic Cathedral of Santa Maria la Real and the San Nicolas Church. After the visit, we continue our journey towards San Sebastian and arrive in time for check-in, dinner and overnight in San Sebastian.
Day 6: Sunday - June 18 - San Sebastian
Breakfast in the hotel and the begin our tour of San Sebastian, also known as Donostia (in Basque language). It lies along a white sandy bay between the Urgull and Igeldo hills. Fishermen's houses, a smart suburb and modern districts make it one of the most attractive cities on the Cantabrian coast. The Museum of San Telmo, the Peine del Viento (the Wind Comb) and the Kursaal are examples of how the city brings together modern and traditional features. On our tour of San Sebastian we will find the Miramar Palace, Queen Maria Cristina (18th C.) summer residence; La Brecha Market, La Concha and Ondarreta beaches, and the sculpture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the top of Urgull hill. We will also see Victoria Eugenie Theater, that holds the San Sebastian film festival annually, the Constitution Square, the Neoclassical City Hall and the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd where we will celebrate Mass. The rest of the day will be free for you to spend at your own leisure. Return to your hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 7: Monday - June 19 - San Sebastian - Our Lady of Covadonga Shrine
After breakfast we will travel towards the Covadonga Sanctuary. This Shrine gained popularity following the Battle of Covadonga in 722, at which the Moorish invasion of Spain was first resisted. A statue of the Virgin Mary, secretly hidden in one of the caves, was believed to have faithfully supported the Christian victory. Covadonga is the place where the Re-conquest began under king Pelayo, whose remains are buried in the cave alongside La Santina. This is the gateway to the Picos de Europa National Park. The basilica, alongside the cave where pilgrims venerate the statue of La Santina, is a place of worship and pilgrimage for the people of Asturias. The basilica is in neo-Romanesque style, with two high towers flanking the main entrance. Inside there are works of great value, such as a canvass by Madrazo. The statue of king Pelayo is in the square by the basilica. The statue of La Santina, the tomb of king Pelayo and that of king Alfonso I, are in a cave, with access via a large staircase. A spring flows out of the cave and below this there is a fountain with seven spouts. On the altar, a gold panel represents the battle of Covadonga. Dinner and overnight in Cangas de Onis.
Day 8: Tuesday - June 20 - Our Lady of Covadonga - Oviedo - Santiago de Compostela
After breakfast in the hotel we will depart towards the city of Oviedo. Oviedo is the capital city of Asturias and maintains a vocation of administrative and university services. The city arose on a hill that the Romans called "Ovetao" and was founded in the year 761 by Asturian King Fruela. Once in Oviedo we will be able to see the Campoamor Theater where the Prince of Asturias Awards are annually presented and to visit the Cathedral of the Holy Saviour and its Holy Chamber, the only surviving portion of the Pre-Romanesque Basilica. Built in the IX Century, this Church contains important relics like one of the six jugs of the Cana Wedding and the Sudarium of Our Lord, sweat/burial cloth that was used to cover Jesus' bloodied face following his death on the cross and mentioned in John's Gospel, as well as treasures associated with the Asturian Monarchy like the Cross of the Angels, the Victory Cross and the Agate Casket. Bishop Pelagius relates that the Agate Box, a coffer made by the disciples of the Apostles and containing the most precious relics of the Holy City, was taken from Jerusalem to Africa, and after residing in several locations was finally placed at Oviedo by King Alfonso II. Continuation of the journey towards Santiago de Compostela. On our way we will stop in one of the coastal village of the Cantabrico sea to enjoy a nice lunch. Arrive into Santiago de Compostela for check-in, followed by dinner and a restful nights sleep.
Day 9: Wednesday - June 21 - Santiago de Compostela
The Apostle Saint James (Santiago) the Greater, as he was called by Christian tradition, was one of the sons of Zebedeo and Salome; his brother was Saint John the Evangelist, also Apostle. He was invited by Jesus "beside his brother and immediately after Peter and Andrew- to become fisherman of men". He was one of the apostles that had a close and intimate relationship with the son of God. He accompanied him when he began the propagation of the word of God; he was present in the Mount of Olives when he predicted the destruction of the temple of Jerusalem, the complete ruin of the city and the catastrophes that will precede the end of times; and witnessed the last apparition of Jesus in Galilee after his resurrection. Santiago died young, at 41 or 44, beheaded by order of the King of the Jewish, Herodes Agripa I, when, in a frustrated attempt to win the confidence of Rome, intensified the persecution of the first communities of Christians. According to tradition after his martyrdom, his disciples carried his body by boat from Jerusalem to Iria Flavia, in Finisterre. Once beheaded, his body was thrown out of the city to feed dogs and beasts, but, when night fell, his disciples took it and carried it to the Port of Jope. Providentially, an empty fully rigged boat appeared. On the seventh day of navigation they arrived at the mouth of the Ulloa river, in Galicia. As they put the body of their master on a heavy rock, the rock melted like wax and turned into a sarcophagus. In the beginning of the 9C the sepulcher of Santiago was discovered. Pelayo, a hermit who lived in the former diocese of Iria Flavia, had a "divine revelation" in the deep of the forest. He sees "altar lights" and hears "angels singing". The parishioners of San Felix de Solobio, at the foot of the forest, announced the event. The bishop Teodomiro went in the forest, found the mausoleum and identified it as the Apostle Santiago's tomb. At a time when Europe needed to be united, the Route to Santiago was the first element that made it possible. The find of the sepulcher of the first Apostle Martyr became an unquestionable symbol, compatible with the diverse conceptions of the Christian peoples. The Way to Santiago has indissolubly connected the culture, the knowledge and the information. Everything that was said, preached, told, sung, sculpted or painting along the Route was known to more people and places. On account of its influence on literature and art, Compostela, along with Rome or Jerusalem, became a place of cult for Christian society, especially between the 11 and 14 C.
Start the day with breakfast we will get on the bus for a short ride to Arca do Pino where we will join the walking pilgrims on their way to Santiago to walk a leg of El Camino. At noon we will attend the International Pilgrim Mass at the Cathedral of St. James, one of the finest examples of architecture in all of Europe. In the afternoon we will visit to the city of Santiago: Obradoiro Square, Fonseca Palace, Gelmirez Palace, Franco Street and the Cathedral. Once in its interior, we will be carried away by the emotions produced by the sight of so many extraordinary valuable works of art. Tradition invites us to perform some rites: The most important and meaningful one is the hug to the Saint, go under the main altar and visit the crypt where the relics of St. James are preserved. This evening we will enjoy our Farewell Dinner, and then retire to your room for a restful nights sleep.
Day 10: Thursday - June 22 - Santiago de Compostela - Return Home
After an early morning breakfast in the hotel, we will transfer to Santiago de Compostela Airport for your return flights home.*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.