Portugal & Northern Spain Pilgrimage
Spiritual Director: Msgr. Robert Gibbons
October 16 - 28, 2023
Lisbon · Santarem · Fatima · Porto · Santiago de Compostela · Oviedo · Covadonga · Loyola · Pamplona · Xavier · Sos del Rey Catolico · Zaragoza · Montserrat · Manresa · Barcelona
Your trip includes
- Round-trip airfare from your desired Airport
- All airport taxes & fuel surcharges
- Hotel accommodations (or similar) in double occupancy
- ~ 2 nights: Oct 17 - 19: Hotel Lumen, Lisbon, Portugal
- ~ 2 nights: Oct 19 - 21: Santa Maria Jardim, Fatima, Portugal
- ~ 2 nights: Oct 21 - 23: San Francisco Hotel Monumento, Santiago de Compostela
- ~ 1 night: Oct 23 - 24: Parador Turismo de Cangas de Onis, Covadonga
- ~ 1 night: Oct 24 - 25: Hotel Parador Sos del Rey Catolico
- ~ 1 night: Oct 25 - 26: Abad Cisneros Hotel, Montserrat, Spain
- ~ 2 nights: Oct 26 - 28: Hotel Sercotel Caspe, Barcelona
- Breakfast and Dinner daily
- Wine and mineral water with dinners
- Transfers as per itinerary
- Transportation by air-conditioned motor coach
- Whisper Headsets
- Assistance of a professional local Catholic Guide
- Sightseeing and admissions fees as per itinerary
- Tips to Hotel Staff and Restaurants
- Mass daily & Spiritual activities
- Luggage handling (1 piece per person)
- Lunches and beverages not mentioned, Tips to your guide & driver.
Day 1, Mon, Oct 16: Depart for Lisbon
Make your way to your local airport, where you will board your overnight flight(s). Your meals will be served on board.
Day 2, Tue, Oct 17: Arrive Lisbon
Upon landing at Lisbon Airport, and after claiming your baggage, proceed to the arrival's hall, where you will be greeted by your tour guide and/or driver. This afternoon we will enjoy a sightseeing tour of Lisbon. We will stop at the St. Jerome's Monastery, built to give thanks to the Virgin Mary for guiding Vasco da Gama on his voyage that linked Europe and Asia. Continue to drive by the Belem Quarter that contains the iconic entry way to the Lisbon harbor, the Belem Tower. This important structure of history has many beautiful sculptures, such as depictions of, St. Vincent and Our Lady of Safe Homecoming. Our last stop will be St. Anthony's Church for visit and Mass celebration. Although this patron Saint of lost things is known as St. Anthony of Padua (Italy), he was originally born in Lisbon, Portugal. This Church is built upon the site of St. Anthony's birth and is also where St. John Paul II visited in 1982. Welcome dinner and overnight in Lisbon.
Day 3, Wed, Oct 18: Lisbon - Stay in Lisbon
This morning, take a stroll through the Chiado district to see its charming churches & local shops. We will than pass -by the "25th of April Bridge", inspired by the Golden Gate Bridge of San Francisco, California. The Ponte 25 de Abril is the oldest bridge that connects the Tagus river of Lisbon. Following, we will drive by the Discoveries Monument. This memorial commemorates the Great Explorers who, as a result of their explorations, brought Portugal to a standing of wealth and power during the Age of Discovery. This ship prow shaped structure stands at the point where the Great Explorers began their expeditions. Enjoy a view of the Basilica of the Star, the Rossio Square, Commerce Square, and the Marquee of Pombal Square. We will visit the Lisbon Cathedral and admire its many styles of architecture. Holy Mass celebration and afternoon is at leisure.
Day 4, Thu, Oct 19: Lisbon - Santarem - Fatima
In the morning we will departure towards Fatima. On the way we will stop in the old city of Santarem. In Santarem we will visit and attend Mass at the Church of St. Stephen, which holds the oldest (13th century) recorded Eucharistic Miracle in Portugal. The Miracle occurred when a woman yearned to change the ways of her unfaithful husband and consulted a sorceress. The sorceress agreed that she would cure the husband's infidelity in exchange for a consecrated Host. The woman committed the sacrilege, but when she exited the church, the Host began to bleed. It bled so much that her fellow parishioners thought she had cut her hand. The woman ran home and hid the bleeding Host in a trunk. When her husband arrived home, the wife told him what she had done, and later that night there was a light emanating from the trunk. She and her husband began to kneel before the trunk. The following morning, the husband and wife brought the Host to the parish priest. It was then moved to the Church of St. Stephen where another miracle occurred; the miraculous Host was originally put in a wax container, however, when a priest opened the tabernacle to view the Host, the container was found broken, and the Host was found enclosed in a crystal pyx. Continuation of the journey to Fatima. In the afternoon we will start the visit of the most important places related to the apparitions located in the surroundings of Fatima: Parish Church of Fatima, Cemetery of Fatima (Where we will find the tomb where Saint Francesco and Saint Jacinta were buried after they passed away) and Aljustrel (The hamlet of the three children). In Aljustrel we will visit the houses where the three children lived and also the well where the Angel of Peace appeared in Summer 1916 (second apparition of the Angel). Dinner in the hotel. After dinner we will be able to gather with the rest of the pilgrims in Fatima at the Chapel of the Apparitions, where Our Blessed Mother appeared, to pray the Rosary and to participate in the candlelight procession. Overnight in Fatima.
Day 5, Fri, Oct 20: Fatima
Today will surely be a memorable experience, as you pray and meditate upon one of Our Blessed Mother's apparition sites. Our Lady appeared to three shepherd children; Lucia (age 10), Jacinta (age 7), and Francisco (age 9). These apparitions occurred monthly from May until October of 1917. Historically, as the entire world was in true turmoil, Our Lady's most prominent message during this time was to pray for world peace. The destruction of the world at that point in history was also mentioned by Our Lady in her messages of Fatima, and more specifically, in her second secret to the children. Our profoundly reflective day begins with a visit to the Little Chapel of the Apparitions. This simple, yet modern, chapel is the site where the Virgin Mary first appeared on May 13, 1917. Continue with a visit to the stunning neoclassical church, the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary. This Sacred space contains the tombs of St. Francisco, St. Jacinta, and Sister Lucia. View the monument that commemorates the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in the square. Due to Our Lady's consistency in Her messages to pray the Rosary, this Basilica also features fifteen altars, dedicated to the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary. While in the Basilica, you will be able to feel, through the Love of Our Lord and Lady, the many graces that were received here. Visit the Museum with the exhibition: Fatima: Light and Peace. Continue with a visit to the Holy Trinity Basilica. After free time for lunch, we will experience Christ's unconditional love by participating in the Stations of the Cross along the Via Sacra. The "Sacred Way" marks the path taken by the shepherd children of Fatima to their first apparition with Our Lady. It is composed of fifteen small chapels in commemoration of the Passion of Our Lord. The fifteenth station, the Resurrection, can be found close to the Chapel of Calvary, dedicated to St. Stephen, King of Hungary. The day ends with a visit to Valinhos, the site of Our Lady's August 1917 apparition and the first and third apparition of the Angel. Your night will conclude with private devotions, and a candlelight procession, requested by Our Lady (1917). Enjoy dinner and a comfortable night's rest in Fatima.
Day 6, Sat, Oct 21: Fatima - Porto - Santiago de Compostela
After breakfast we will board the motor coach and drive towards to Porto or Oporto. Porto is a historic and varied city. Famed for the production of Port, which is still stored and matured in the vast cellars that stretch along the banks of the Douro River. After a city tour of Porto and Mass celebration, enjoy some free time for lunch before we continue to the great city of Santiago de Compostela for dinner and a restful overnight.
Day 7, Sun, Oct 22: Santiago de Compostela
This morning, you will walk a few miles of El Camino, and immerse yourselves in the fragrant eucalyptus groves and experience the breathtaking scenery. Later this morning attend the International Pilgrim Mass at the Cathedral of St. James. After Mass there will be free time for lunch. In the afternoon we will visit the Cathedral of Santiago. Formed by Galician granite, this Cathedral is one of the finest architectural examples in Europe as it encompasses Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque styles. Additionally, the Cathedral contains numerous and valuable pieces of art that truly captivate the eye. Upon entering the Cathedral, tradition will lead, as you will hug the dazzling statue of St. James. Following this intimate embrace, you will descent into the crypt where the Patron Saint of Pilgrims' relics are kept. After that, you will enjoy a sightseeing tour of the city. Some stops on your tour include the Obradoiro Square, Fonseca Palace, Gemirez Palace and Franco Street. Remainder of the day is free for prayer, reflection, and relaxation. Dinner and overnight.
Day 8, Mon, Oct 23: Santiago De Compostella - Oviedo - Covadonga
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. Continue to Covadonga and visit 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 Our Lady of Covadonga. This is the gateway to the Picos de Europa National Park. The Basilica, alongside the cave where pilgrims venerate the statue of Our Lady of Covadonga, 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 Our Lady of Covadonga, the tomb of King Pelayo and that of King Alfonso I, are in the Holy 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 Covadonga.
Day 9, Tue, Oct 24: Covadonga - Loyola - Pamplona - Xavier - Sos del Rey Catolico
After breakfast, continue through the scenic countryside of Cantabria, Spain, enjoy the lush green mountains before arriving to Layola, the birthplace of St. Ignatius, founder of the Jesuits. Group will visit the 17th-century Basilica dedicated to St. Ignatius and also visit his family home behind the sanctuary. We will have time to pray at the most venerated room where Ignatius, at age 30, was brought following his serious wounding at the Battle of Pamplona. We then continue south on a scenic drive to the hamlet of Xavier, located nearby Pamplona in the province of Navarra. First stop will be Pamplona where group will be recalling the site where Ignatius received a wound that was to change his life. This event was the starting point for his conversion to Christ. We continue pilgrimage with a visit to Xavier Castle, (a castillo strategically positioned between Navarra and Aragon). We call to mind the life of St. Francis Xavier as we celebrate Holy Mass here. Following Mass group will gather at a local restaurant for our included lunch, followed by a guided tour of the Xavier Castle. Transfer to Sos del Rey Catolico for hotel check in, dinner and overnight.
Day 10, Wed, Oct 25: Sos del Rey Catolico - Zaragoza - Montserrat
This morning we'll continue our journey south on a scenic drive 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. We than continue our way to Montserrat, home to the miraculous 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. Dinner and overnight in Montserrat.
Day 11, Thu, Oct 26: Montserrat - Manresa - Barcelona
Following breakfast, we will visit the complex of the Benedictine Abbey. After visit , 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 Barcelona. Free time this afternoon before dinner and overnight.
Day 12, Fri, Oct 27: Barcelona
This morning, your day will begin with breakfast and a sightseeing tour of Barcelona! Enjoy the stunning panoramic views of the Port of Barcelona, Montjuic, Plaza de Espana, and Plaza de Catalunya. The Port was created 2,000 years ago on the coastal area in order to protect and provide access for ships and goods. Currently, it is home to numerous walking areas, businesses, cultural and sporting events. Plaza de Espana is right outside the center of town and, was 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 that contains 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. Afternoon at leisure. Enjoy a farewell dinner followed by overnight.
Day 13, Sat, Oct 28: Return Home
Your last day in Spain will begin with breakfast at your hotel, followed by a transfer to Barcelona for your return flight(s) home. You will say "hasta luego" (see you later) to your new friends made on this journey.*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.