Women of Grace
Lourdes, Paris & Lisieux Pilgrimage
Group Coordinator: Johnnette Benkovic Williams
Spiritual Director: Fr. Darius Misiolek
April 12 - 20, 2019
Your trip includes
- Round-trip airfare from New York
- Airport taxes & fuel surcharges
- Centrally located first class hotels: (or similar)
- ~ 3 nights: Hotel Moderne, Lourdes
- ~ 2 nights: Grand Hotel de l'Esperance, Lisieux
- ~ 2 nights: Pullman Hotel or M Gallery, Paris
- Transfers as per itinerary
- Breakfast and Dinner daily
- Wine and Mineral Water with Dinners
- Transportation by air-conditioned motor coach
- Assistance of a professional local Christian guide
- Sightseeing and admissions fees as per itinerary
- Luggage handling (at Hotels - 1 piece per person)
- Catholic Priest available for Spiritual Direction
- Mass daily & Spiritual activities
- Tips to Hotel Staff, Restaurants, and Luggage Handlers
- Flight bag & portfolio of all travel documents
- Tips to your Guide & Driver, Lunches, Individual transfers.
Friday - April 12th: Depart for Lourdes
Make your way to your local Airport, where you will board your overnight flight(s). Your meals are served on board.
Saturday - April 13th: Arrive in Lourdes
Upon arriving at Pau or Toulouse 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. Embark on scenic drive to Lourdes. Check-in to your hotel, and then relax or explore before dinner. Following dinner, you will have free time to pray the Rosary and to attend the candlelight procession. These processions are lit by candlelight and guided by the Most Holy Rosary. Following this prayerful experience, you will return to your hotel for an overnight.
Sunday and Monday - April 14th and April 15th: Lourdes
Over the next two days, you will stay in a small town, nestled within the Pyrenees Mountains. During your time in Lourdes, you will pray and meditate in a site of Our Lady's apparitions. Our Lady first appeared to Bernadette in 1858, and announced herself as "The Immaculate Conception", near the Grotto of Massabielle. During the first two apparitions, little Bernadette prayed the Rosary with Our Lady and left without any exchange of words. During the following apparitions, Our Lady emphasized God's love for us, penance and the necessity of performing acts of penance for sinners. Throughout your time in Lourdes, you will have the opportunity to attend Mass at the Grotto, where Our Lady appeared to Bernadette; watch a video presentation that explains in detail, the story of Lourdes; drink water from the miraculous spring that has healed many and submerge yourself in the healing baths. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to experience Christ's unconditional love, as you meditate upon the "life size" Stations of the Cross that overlook the Grotto of Massabielle. Also in Lourdes, you will walk in and meditate upon the footsteps of St. Bernadette. Your group will have the opportunity to see Boly Mill, the birthplace of St. Bernadette, and the "Cachot," an abandoned prison where Bernadette's impoverished family lived. Each evening following dinner, you will have an opportunity to attend the candlelight procession and the Rosary, before a restful overnight.
Tuesday - April 16th: Lourdes - Paris - Lisieux (St. Therese - the Little Flower)
Today, you will enjoy breakfast before departing for Pau or Lourdes airport for your short flight to Paris. Upon arrival in Paris, visit and attend Mass at the magnificent, Sacre Coeur Basilica that stands atop Montmartre Hill. The Basilica, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, was originally built in 1914, as an act of penance for infidelity that France was experiencing during that time. While on your visit, in addition to the extraordinary artwork and architecture that forms the Basilica, you will see the beautiful mosaic of the Risen Christ, and the remarkable Grand Organ. Celebrate Mass at the Crypt that contains the Tombs of many notable Cardinals. Time permitting, you may have the opportunity during your free time to ascend a staircase to the Dome, where you will take in a breathtaking panoramic view the city of Paris. Following this visit, you will enjoy lunch on own and depart for Lisieux. According to Pope Pius X, St. Therese of Lisieux was the "greatest saint of modern times." Her extraordinary love for God and service to humanity will come alive, as you walk in the great Saint's footsteps. During your visit, you will see the beautiful Basilica of St. Therese, and the magnificent mosaics and stained glass that are contained within. Dinner and an overnight at your hotel, in Lisieux.
Wednesday - April 17th: Lisieux - Landing Beaches - American Cemetery
Upon waking up in Lisieux and enjoying breakfast, you will pray and reflect upon the life of the beloved Saint and celebrate Mass. After Mass and following the visit to the Basilica, you will have the opportunity to view relics, clothing and personal objects of St. Therese, when you visit her family home, Les Buissonets. Additionally, you will tour the Carmelite Convent, where she entered in 1888, and is currently entombed in with her parents. This afternoon, you will transfer to Normandy Landing beaches. The Normandy landings were the landing operations that took place on Tuesday, 6 June 1944 (termed D-Day) by the Allies, of Normandy, during World War II. As the largest seaborne invasion in history, the operation began the liberation of German-occupied Northwestern Europe from Nazi control, and contributed to the Allies' victory on the Western Front. Continue on to visit The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, a World War II cemetery and memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy, France, honoring the American troops that died in Europe during World War II. Many of the brave American soldiers of World War II are buried here, and it is encouraged to say a prayer in thanksgiving for their courage. Return to Lisieux for dinner and an overnight.
Thursday - April 18th: Lisieux - Chartres - Paris
This morning, your day begins with an early breakfast, before we depart for Chartres, known worldwide for its massive Cathedral Notre Dame, and its incredible stained-glass windows from the 12th and 13th century. The World Heritage site, UNESCO, calls the Cathedral "the high point of French Gothic art" and a "masterpiece". You will have some free time for lunch in the quaint town of Chartres. After lunch, we will continue to Paris for check in at your hotel, followed by some free time before a delicious dinner and an overnight.
Good Friday - April 19th: Paris
Today, you will enjoy a full sightseeing tour of Paris. After breakfast, you will visit and celebrate Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, where you will view the incorrupt body of St. Catherine Laboure. The Saint's guardian angel led her to the chapel, where the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to her. During apparitions, Our Lady repeatedly instructed the making and purpose of the Miraculous Medal, as well as the green scapular. According to the Blessed Virgin Mary, those who wear the Miraculous Medal and scapular will receive special protection and abundant graces. Following your prayerful and reflective experience at this elegant chapel, you will begin your sightseeing tour of Paris. We will walk to Saint Vicent de Paul Church. Your day continues with a visit of the Notre Dame Cathedral, a perfect example of Gothic art. Our panoramic sightseeing tour, via motor coach, continues on to the most recognizable symbol of the city of Paris, the Eiffel Tower. Historically, the Tower's original intent was to commemorate the centenary of the French Revolution, but, later assisted in advancements in meteorology, telegraphy during World War I, radio, and television. Pass by the L'Arch de Triomphe, a monument that symbolizes gratitude for those who fought for France. This monument stands at the West end of the Champ-Elysees, one of the world's most famous boulevards and another one of our stops on the sightseeing tour. We will also pass by the ever famous, Louvre Museum.* This Museum is one of the finest in the world and contains a number of pieces that truly emanate not only French art, but also, European culture. After dinner, we will make our way to a Church to participate in the celebration of the Passion of Our Lord (Church: TBD). After some free time for prayer and reflection, we will return to the Hotel for a restful nights sleep.
Saturday - April 20th: Return Flights Home
After an early breakfast and heartfelt farewells, your group will leave by motor coach and transfer to the Paris airport for return flight(s) home.