Shrines of Italy & Medjugorje Pilgrimage
Spiritual Director: Fr. Peter Kim, LC
April 26 - May 11, 2023
Rome · Vatican City (Papal Audience with the Holy Father) · Trevi Fountain · Basilica of St. John the Lateran · Holy Stairs · Basilica of St. Mary Major · St. Peter's Basilica · Vatican Museum · Appian Way · Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls · Catacombs · Monte Cassino · San Giovanni Rotondo (St. Padre Pio) · Monte Sant'Angelo (St. Michael) · Lanciano (Eucharistic Miracle) · Loreto (Holy House) · Assisi (St. Francis) · Gubbio · La Verna · Medjugorje
Your trip includes
- Round-trip airfare
- All airport taxes & fuel surcharges
- Hotel accommodations (or similar) in double occupancy
- ~ 4 nights: Apr 27 – May 01: Michelangelo, Rome
- ~ 2 nights: May 01 – May 03: Centro di Spiritualita St. Padre Pio, San Giovanni Rotondo
- ~ 2 nights: May 03 – May 05: Giotto, Assisi
- ~ 6 nights: May 05 - May 11: Hotel Grace, Medjugorje
- Breakfast and Dinner daily
- Transfers as per itinerary
- Transportation by air-conditioned motor coach
- Wireless headsets where needed
- Assistance of a professional local Catholic Guide in Assisi, San Giovanni Rotondo and Medjugorje
- Sightseeing and admissions fees as per itinerary
- Tips to Hotel Staff and Restaurants
- Mass daily & Spiritual activities
- Luggage handling (1 peace per person)
- Lunches and Beverages not mentioned, Tips to your guide & driver.
Day 1, Wed, Apr 26: 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.
Day 2, Thu, Apr 27: Arrival in Rome
Welcome to Rome, also known as "The Eternal City". Upon landing at Rome airport, claim your baggage proceed to the arrival hall, where your tour guide and/or driver will greet you. Following check-in at the hotel, enjoy some free time to unpack, relax or explore Rome on your own. Your tour escort may suggest places to visit. Later this afternoon, your group will meet in the hotel lobby for a meet and greet with fellow pilgrims and Fr. Peter Kim. Together depart for Mass. Following Mass, you will attend a welcome dinner. After dinner you have to opportunity to join in a walk to St. Peter's Square for the Rosary (optional).
Day 3, Fri, Apr 28: Rome Free day on your own
After breakfast enjoy free day in Rome with your own guide and visits. Dinner and overnight in Rome
Day 4, Sat, Apr 29: Fr Marcus Ordination in Rome
Today group will be present for special occasion of Fr Marcus Ordination. Rest of the day is free to spend in prayer in reflection or exploring Rome. Dinner and overnight in Rome.
Day 5, Sun, Apr 30: In Rome First Mass celebrated by Fr Marcus.
Rest of the day is free to spend in prayer in reflection or exploring Rome. Dinner and overnight in Rome.
Day 6, Mon, May 01: Rome - Monte Cassino - San Giovanni Rotondo
Following breakfast, you will board your bus to enjoy the scenic route to Monte Cassino. We will pass through the Roman countryside that is known for its villas and vineyards. Your tour escort will share interesting information regarding the spiritual, historical, and cultural aspects of Italy. Around 530 A.D. Monte Cassino, the principal monastery of the Benedictine Order founded by Saint Benedict. After a tour, you will have an opportunity to visit the gift shop. Board your bus and continue to San Giovanni Rotondo, the hometown of Saint Padre Pio. Upon arrival in San Giovanni Rotondo, check-in, enjoy dinner in a restaurant, and overnight.
Day 7, Tue, May 02: 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, tour the sanctuary, where 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 will not be annihilated, as the bishop feared. After some free time we head back to San Giovanni Rotondo, a drive with breathtaking views of the ocean and surrounding countryside. Some time for devotion and reflection before enjoying a delicious 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, return to your hotel for a restful overnight.
Day 8, Wed, May 03: San Giovanni Rotondo - Lanciano - Loreto - Assisi
After breakfast, you will head to Lanciano. Upon arrival in Lanciano, celebrate Mass at the Church of St. Longinus. This church is the site of the Eucharistic Miracle that occurred in the 8th 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. Have some free time to explore Lanciano, before continuing toward the Adriatic coast to the great Marian shrine of Loreto to visit the Holy House of Nazareth and the beautiful Madonna of Loreto. Over 50 Pope's have made a pilgrimage to the house transported by angels 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, enjoy dinner before retiring to your room.
Day 9, Thu, May 04: Assisi (St. Francis)
As you visit the birthplace of St. Francis, you will become captivated as the atmosphere has not changed since St. Francis began his ministry in the early 13th century. You will start a tour at the St. Francis Basilica, visit the tomb of St. Francis, and have the opportunity to view a series of frescoes depicting his life, along with a few of the saint's possessions. Followed by a visit to the Santuario Della Spogliazione where Blessed Carlo Acutis’ tomb is placed. Carlo is the first millennial to be declared Blessed who loved the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. From there, you will continue on a walking tour through this picturesque town, including the birthplace of St. Francis, and end with a tour of the Church that honors St. Clare, the foundress of the Poor Clare Sisters. St. Clare followed the teachings of St. Francis very closely by also living a life of poverty and humility. Enjoy some free time - you may take this time for additional prayer, shop in the many gift shops, or enjoy a nice lunch. After lunch, board the bus, which will take you outside of the walls of Assisi, to the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels. Here is where St. Francis spent most of his life. This Basilica is made up of two structures, both of which you will visit. The first structure is the "Porziuncola" which is where St. Francis founded his order of the Friar Minor (Franciscans). The second is the "Capella del Transito" which is the place St. Francis died. During your time here, you will have the opportunity to visit the beautiful Rose Garden where St. Francis and other friars lived, as well as the cave where St. Francis retired to pray. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 10, Fri, May 05: Assisi – Rome - Medjugorje
After an early breakfast and heartfelt farewells, your group will leave by motor coach and transfer to the Rome Fiumicino airport for your short flight to Dubrovnik or Split. Upon arrival, you will find your luggage and exit the baggage claim into the Arrival’s Hall, where you will be greeted by your tour guide and/or driver. You will be escorted to the vehicle which will then take you on the 2.5 hour-drive to the village of Medjugorje. Dinner will be served before retiring for the evening.
Or for Pilgrims who are doing Shrines of Italy only:
Day 10, Fri, May 05: Assisi – Rome - U.S.A
After an early breakfast and heartfelt farewells, your group will leave by motor coach and transfer to the Rome Fiumicino airport for your return flights home.
Day 11 – 15, Sat – Wed, May 06 – May 10: Medjugorje
The most beautiful features of Medjugorje are its simplicity and peace. While in Medjugorje, you will have the opportunity to deepen your faith and share in the spiritual journey of pilgrims from all over the world. A 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 10:00 AM, your group will assemble at St. James Church for Holy Mass (English-Speaking). At the end of each Mass, regardless of language, there is a blessing of religious articles for pilgrims.
Climb Apparition Hill: This mountainous hill is where the visionaries first encountered Our Lady. At the base of this hill is a Blue Cross where Our Lady appeared to the children while they hid from the communist police in the early days of the apparitions. Mirjana also had public apparitions at this holy site on the second of every month. While climbing to the top of Apparition Hill, pilgrims are invited to recite the Rosary, pausing five times to pray each decade of the Rosary in front of huge bronze reliefs depicting each mystery. At the top of the hill, there is a statue of Our Lady in the exact location of her first apparition. Enjoy private time for prayer in this holy place.
Climb Mt. Krizevac (Cross Mountain): In 1933, the Medjugorje villagers built a 30-foot high cross atop the mountain to commemorate Jesus' passion and death on the cross. You will have the opportunity to climb this mountain and venerate that very cross. While climbing, pilgrims pray the Stations of the Cross to meditate on Jesus' suffering, pausing fourteen times for each station at the huge bronze reliefs. Take private time at the top of the mountain in front of the cross, for prayer in this holy place.
Apparitions: Each evening at 5:00 PM or 6:00 PM (depending on daylight savings time), your group will join the villagers and fellow pilgrims of Medjugorje in saying the Rosary, as all await the arrival of Our Lady to the visionaries at 5:40 PM (6:40 PM during Daylight Savings Time). Afterwards, you can 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. In response to her call, pilgrims will have the opportunity to adore the Blessed Sacrament at the altar outside of St. James Church. Adoration is on Tuesdays and Saturdays; Veneration of the Cross is on Fridays inside the church. Additionally, there is an Adoration Chapel on the grounds of St. James Church, where Adoration is held in the afternoon hours. Eucharistic Adoration is one of the most memorable experiences in Medjugorje. God’s grace is so tangible, one feels as though they can reach out and touch the Holy Spirit. During the service, the outside altar is surrounded by several thousand pilgrims and locals, as everyone rests in deep prayer.
Meetings with the Visionaries: Pending their availability, your guide will arrange meetings with the visionaries at their homes.
Visit the Community of Cenacolo: Pilgrims will have the opportunity to visit the Community of Cenacolo, founded by Sr. Elvira Petrozzi, for young men and women who have taken the wrong path and are on the road to recovery. You will be able to listen to their inspirational testimonies about their journeys back to Jesus Christ.
Prayer at the Statue of the Risen Christ: The bronze statue of the Risen Christ, located on the grounds of St. James Church. This statue miraculously seeps droplets of water out of Christ's right knee. Many pilgrims sit and pray on the benches surrounding this statue.
Visit to Tihaljina: Just 20 miles from Medjugorje, you will visit the Immaculate Conception Parish Church, which contains the Our Lady of Grace statue so many pilgrims associate with Medjugorje. Here you will have a private mass for your group and time for prayer.
Visit to Široki Brijeg: Only 18 miles from Medjugorje, you will go to Široki Brijeg after visiting Tihajlina. Here you will visit the Franciscan friary of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This is where on the February 7th, 1945, thirty Franciscan friars were executed for refusing to renounce their faith. Fr Jozo Zovko, the parish priest who was in Medjugorje when the apparitions began, was stationed here as guardian for many years and received thousands of pilgrims at this church.
Day 16, May 11: Medjugorje - USA
After an early breakfast and heartfelt farewells, we leave by motor coach for Dubrovnik, Split, or Sarajevo for 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.