Krakow, Heidelberg, Aachen and Bruges Pilgrimage
Spiritual Director: Fr. Jerry Daigle
Group Coordinator: Bettie Nolin
September 16 - 26, 2019
Your trip includes
- Round-trip airfare from Shreveport
- All airport taxes and fuel surcharges
- Centrally located first class hotels as follows: (or similar)
- ~ 4 nights: Sep 17 - 21: Vienna House Andel's, Krakow
- ~ 2 nights: Sep 21 - 23: Qube Heidelberg, Heidelberg
- ~ 3 nights: Sep 23 - 26: Hotel Novotel Aachen City, Aachen
- Transfers as per itinerary
- Breakfast and dinner daily
- Wine with dinners
- Tour Escort throughout
- 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)
- Lunches, Beverages not mentioned. Tips to your guide and driver.
Monday, September 16: Depart for Krakow
Make your way to your local airport where you will board your overnight flight(s) to Krakow. Your meals will be served on board.
Tuesday, September 17: Krakow Arrival
Welcome to Poland! Upon arrival at Krakow Airport, make your way to the baggage claim area and collect your luggage. Proceed to the Arrival's Hall, where you will be greeted by your tour guide and/or driver. After a warm welcome to Poland, you will be escorted to your transportation to your hotel. Enjoy a free afternoon to stroll the quaint streets of Krakow before meeting your group for a welcome dinner and a show at a local restaurant.
Wednesday, September 18: Krakow - Auschwitz - Krakow
After breakfast, you will explore Krakow's Market Square as the sound of the silver trumpet from St. Mary's Tower fills the air. The captivating beauty of this square is largely due to the fact that it has remained unchanged for almost 700 years. It contains a number of buildings that hold important historic value such as, the Town Hall Tower, the Cloth Hall, and the Burgher's houses. Following your time in this longstanding square, you will make your way to Wawel Hill, where you will visit the beautiful Cathedral, and Coronation Chapel. These are among the most important sites in Poland as the Cathedral has been the coronation site of the Polish monarchs and has held numerous pieces of Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Classicist and Modern art. Also at this site, you will have the opportunity to pray at the tomb of the patron saint of Poland, St. Stanislaus. Next, a short drive to Auschwitz, notoriously known as a Nazi concentration camp during the Second World War. Upon arriving at the former camp, you can feel the darkness and sorrow that overtakes the atmosphere as there were numerous unspeakable atrocities that occurred at this site. Additionally, while on this visit, you will have the opportunity to view the cell that imprisoned the Christ-like, St. Maximilian Kolbe, and visit the Martyrdom Museum. After this reflective day, return to your hotel in Krakow for dinner and a restful overnight.
Thursday, September 19: Krakow - Czestochowa - Krakow
Today, group will take a day trip to the home of the grandest pilgrimage shrine of Poland since the 14th century! You will begin your day with breakfast and then transfer to Czestochowa. We will celebrate Mass at Jasna Gora Monastery. This hill-top monastery is home to the beloved icon of the Black Madonna. Additionally, Saint John Paul II is said to have made frequent visits to this monastery throughout his life. Tradition tells us that this icon was painted by Luke the Evangelist, discovered by St. Helen, and later enshrined. While here, you will have the opportunity to venerate not only the Holy Icon, but also many other priceless treasures that are contained within. Following your prayerful visit to the Chapel of the Black Madonna, you will return to Krakow. Enjoy dinner at the local restaurant before resting up for the next day of activities.
Friday, September 20: Krakow - Divine Mercy - Lagiewniki -Krakow
After breakfast depart for your excursion to Lagiewniki, the capital of the Divine Mercy. Through the mediation of St. Faustina, Christ passed on the message of Divine Mercy at Lagiewniki. While here, you will have the opportunity to visit the Shrine of Divine Mercy that contains images of the Merciful Jesus, relics of St. Faustina, as well as, the Saint's convent chapel and her Tomb. Visit and celebrate Mass at the Shrine of Divinity, which was visited by Saint John Paul II in 2002. Following Mass, have the opportunity to pray by a relic of Saint John Paul II. Return to Krakow for your farewell dinner and last overnight.
Saturday, September 21: Krakow - Frankfurt - Heidelburg
After an early breakfast transfer to Krakow Airport for your short flight to Frankfurt. Upon landing into Frnakfurt Airport, make your way to the baggage claim area and collect your luggage. Proceed to the arrival's hall where you will be greeted by your tour guide and/or driver. Transfer to your hotel for check in and some refreshment. Welcome dinner and overnight at hotel.
Sunday, September 22: Heidelberg - Rothenburg ob der Tauber - Heidelberg
Following breakfast at the hotel, we will start your day with a tour of Heidelberg. Visit the Old Town dominated by the ruins of Heidelberg Castle. See marketplace with the Town Hall, the Church of the Holy Spirit located nearby and have a walk on the main street. Admire the panoramic view of the city passing by the Old Bridge to the other banks of river. We will celebrate Mass at the local church, followed by free time for lunch. Proceed to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, In Rothenburg we will see picturesque lanes, half-timbered houses and an intact fortification wall that will give you a good idea what a medieval town looked like nearly 1000 years ago. Walk around the city on top of the wall to enjoy the stunning views over the old town. Return to Heidelberg for dinner and overnight.
Monday, September 23: Heidelberg- Mainz- Cologne - Aachen
Breakfast at the hotel and check-out. Celebrate Holy Mass at a local church. Depart for Mainz where we'll have a brief local walking tour to see the main city attractions such as Mainz Cathedral and St. Stephan Church among others. Continue to Cologne that has been the center of influence since the Roman times. Its importance as a center of pilgrimage grew after its acquisition in 1194 of the relics of the Three Magi, the wise men who brought gifts to the infant Jesus. For a time it was a pilgrimage destination second only to Rome. Visit the Kolner Dom, the Gothic Cathedral worthy of the huge reliquary, worked in silver and gold in which the gifts were originally displayed. Continue with guided tour of Cologne. Lunch on your own. Continue to Aachen. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Aachen.
Tuesday, September 24: Aachen - Trier - Aachen
Today, you will enjoy a short sightseeing tour of the village of Aachen! We will attend Mass at the Aachen Cathedral, a Gothic Marian Shrine. The Church is the oldest of Germany and contains numerous treasures such as Jesus' swaddling clothes, the Lord's loin cloth, the Blessed Virgin's Cloak and, the cloth used for St. John the Baptist's head. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to venerate the miraculous fourteenth century statue of the Blessed Virgin. Later you will drive to will drive to Trier, the oldest city in Germany. It is situated in the Mosel wine region, and was founded before the year 16 B.C. Trier is known for its well-preserved Roman and medieval buildings, all of which you will visit during your time in this ancient city. The Porta Nigra is the only one of four Roman gates that still stands and was formally the home to a hermit monk named Simeon. Additionally, the Roman amphitheater and baths were places of relaxation for the ancient monks. Lastly, the style and size of the Constantine Basilica (Aula Palatina) truly exemplifies the strength and power that the Roman Emperor had in ancient times. We will celebrate Mass at the Trier Cathedral, followed by free time for lunch. Continue with a visit of Trier Cathedral , which not only contains a remarkable collection of artwork, but is also home to the Holy Robe that Our Lord Jesus Christ wore during the Crucifixion (Like the Shroud of Turin - it is very fragile, and is only displayed every 10 - 15 years). Lastly, visit the Liebfrauenkirche, one of the first Gothic churches in Germany and is located near the burial site of the Saint who replaced Judas Iscariot, St. Matthias. Return to Aachen for dinner and overnight.
Wednesday, September 25: Aachen - Kevelaer - Echt - Aachen
Breakfast at the hotel. Take off to Kevelaer, another site of Our Lady's apparitions. In 1641, Hendrick Busman (a merchant) was walking and heard a mysterious call that said: "Build a little chapel for me here". He heard the call three consecutive nights. Simultaneously his wife, Mechel, had a vision of Our Lady and recalled a previous event of an itinerate soldier attempting to sell her a photo of the Madonna that she had seen in her vision. Eventually, Mechel bought the photo and was enshrined in the Shrine of Kevelaer. Pilgrims who visited this shrine have reported miraculous cures to the blind, paralyzed, deaf and mute. Celebrate Holy Mass. Lunch on your own. Following this prayerful experience we will proceed to Echt. Have a guided tour of Echt. This is where Edith Stein entered the Carmelite Order as a Jewish nun. She spent time with the order for four short years until being arrested by the Gestapo during World War II. Edith was sent to Auschwitz where she died as a martyr. She was canonized a Saint in 1998 as St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. Return to Aachen. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Aachen.
Thursday, September 26: Aachen - Frankfurt Airport - USA
Breakfast at the hotel and check-out. Drive to Frankfurt Airport for your return flights home and memories of the lifetime!