A 14-day Marian Shrines Pilgrimage to Portugal, Spain & France
Including Lisbon, Santarem, Fatima, Avila, Madrid, Zaragoza, Lourdes, Nevers, Chartres, Lisieux, Mont St. Michel & Paris.
Under the spiritual direction of Fr. Mel Bessellieu
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September 10, 2017 – Sunday
USA / LISBON
Today we the USA on our overnight flight to Lisbon, Portugal, arriving the next morning. Meals are served on board.
September 11, 2017 – Monday
LISBON / SANTAREM / FATIMA
This morning we arrive in Lisbon and meet our Pilgrimage Tours’ tour director who will remain with us until the end of our tour. We transfer to the city of Lisbon, where we will have Mass at the birthplace of St. Anthony of Padua, followed by a panoramic tour of the city. En route to Fatima, we stop for a visit at the Church of St. Stephen, or “Church of the Holy Miracle” in Santarem, site of a 13th century Eucharistic miracle. Next we arrive in Fatima. Following dinner we participate in the evening’s Candlelight Procession. Overnight in Fatima.
September 12, 2017 – Tuesday
Morning sightseeing tour in Fatima where in 1917 Mary appeared to local children and the “miracle of the sun” occurred. Included in our visits will be the Basilica of Our Lady and the House of Lucia and House of Francisco and Jacinta. In the afternoon we enjoy some free time to explore the grounds of the Our Lady of Fatima Shrine. Mid-afternoon we gather for Mass in the Sanctuary of Fatima. Following dinner this evening, we have another opportunity to join the Candlelight Procession. Overnight in Fatima.
September 13, 2017 – Wednesday
FATIMA / AVILA
This morning we depart Fatima and travel to Avila, Spain, where St. Teresa lived most of her life. It is here that St. Teresa along with her spiritual director St. John of the Cross, reformed the Carmelite Order. Avila is perhaps the best-preserved walled city in the world. We visit and celebrate Mass at the Carmelite Monastery of the Incarnation. Here we will see the cell where St. Teresa lived as well as relics of St. Teresa and St. John of the Cross. Next we enjoy a walking tour of Avila inside its ancient walls including a visit to the Church of St. Teresa. Dinner and overnight in Avila.
September 14, 2017 – Thursday
AVILA / MADRID / ZARAGOZA
This morning we depart for Madrid where we arrive for an orientation tour of Spain’s capital that will include a visit and celebration of Mass in the city’s Almudena Cathedral. Next we visit the Plaza Mayor where we enjoy some free time for shopping. We bid Madrid farewell and continue on to the town of Zaragoza for dinner and overnight.
September 15, 2017 – Friday
ZARAGOZA / LOURDES
This morning we visit the Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar, the place where Mary appeared to the Apostle James before her Assumption into heaven. We celebrate Mass here at the Basilica. We continue on to Lourdes where in 1858, Mary appeared to a young Bernadette Soubirous. Upon our arrival in Lourdes, we check in to our hotel, followed by a walk to the Grotto and an introduction to the Shrine. We return to our hotel for dinner. Following dinner we participate in this evening’s Candlelight Procession. Overnight in Lourdes.
September 16, 2017 – Saturday
This morning we celebrate Mass in the Crypt of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception (Upper Basilica), followed by free time to explore the Sanctuary of Lourdes. You may choose to visit the Healing Baths and submerge yourself in the healing waters as many pilgrims have done over the years. In the afternoon we enjoy a walking tour of Lourdes where we visit the places important in the life of Bernadette, including the Spring and Grotto where Mary appeared to Bernadette numerous times. We visit the Rosary Basilica (Lower Basilica) as well as the nearby Healing Baths where many pilgrims submerge themselves for its healing properties. We also visit the Basilica of Pius X as well as Bernadette’s home. Following dinner this evening, we have another opportunity to join the Candlelight Procession. Overnight in Lourdes.
September 17, 2017 – Sunday
LOURDES / NEVERS
Early this morning we celebrate Mass across the street from our hotel at the Poor Clares Convent, followed by breakfast before departing Lourdes for Nevers. In the late afternoon we arrive in Nevers and visit the museum and convent of St. Gildard, where Bernadette Soubirous of Lourdes spent the final 13 years of her life. Here you will see the incorrupt body of Saint Bernadette kept in a glass reliquary. Dinner and overnight in Nevers.
September 18, 2017 – Monday
NEVERS / CHARTRES / LISIEUX
This morning we drive to the town of Chartres, situated on top of a hill overlooking the River Eure. In the center of the city stands the Cathedral of Notre Dame, one of the finest and best preserved Gothic buildings in France. We will see its very impressive interior including its magnificent collection of medieval stained glass windows dating back to the early 13th century. We enjoy free time for lunch in Chartres before continuing on to the town of Lisieux, the home to St. Therese, the Carmelite nun known as “The Little Flower” and the Newest Doctor of the Church. Here we will visit the site of the Lisieux family home, Les Buissonnets, and the Carmelite Convent Chapel which contains the remains of St. Therese. Next we arrive at our hotel for dinner and overnight in Lisieux.
September 19, 2017 – Tuesday
LISIEUX / MONT ST. MICHEL
This morning we depart for Mont St. Michel, the celebrated Benedictine abbey on a rocky, cone-shaped island in northwestern France, connected by a causeway with the mainland. Founded in 708, the abbey resisted the assaults of the English during the Hundred Years’ War. Its small houses and shops of 13th century are considered outstanding examples of Gothic architecture. We celebrate Mass at the Mont St. Michel Abbey Church. Following Mass and some free time to explore some of Mont St. Michel’s gift shops, we return to Lisieux for dinner and overnight.
September 20, 2017 – Wednesday
LISIEUX / PARIS
This morning we visit the Basilica of St. Therese, where we will celebrate Mass in its Crypt, where St. Therese’s parents are France entombed. Following Mass, we depart for Paris. Upon our arrival in the “City of Lights” we enjoy an orientation tour of Paris prior to arriving at the Cathedral of Notre-Dame, an architectural marvel, which stands on the banks of the Seine on the site of an early Christian basilica. Here we will have free time for lunch prior to visiting the Cathedral, where we will see the Gallery of the Kings, the beautiful Rose Window and have time to explore the Cathedral’s many chapels. Next we arrive at our hotel for check-in, followed by dinner. This evening we enjoy a motor coach tour of the “City of Lights”, where we will see many of Paris’ landmarks including the Arc de Triomphe, the Champs Elysees and Palais Garnier; Paris’ beautiful opera house. During our tour we will stop at the Trocadero terrace for a wonderful view of the Eiffel Tower. Overnight in Paris.
September 21, 2017 – Thursday
This morning we visit Rue de Bac to visit the Shrine of the Miraculous Medal, where St. Catherine Laboure received her apparitions of Mary. Here we see the incorrupt body of St. Catherine as well as the body of St. Louise de Marillac, who founded the Daughters of Charity with St. Vincent de Paul. Following Mass at the shrine, we visit the nearby St. Vincent de Paul shrine where you can view the saint’s once incorrupt body. Following some free time for lunch and shopping on the Champs Elysees, we arrive at the world famous Louvre Museum to see some of its fine collection of art, including the Mona Lisa. Dinner and overnight in Paris.
September 22, 2017 – Friday
This morning we enjoy a visit to Paris’ lovely Luxembourg Gardens, followed by a cruise on the River Seine. Next we arrive for a visit to Paris’ landmark Galeries Lafayette department store where we enjoy free time for lunch and shopping. Later in the afternoon, we visit the Montmartre District, the “Artists Quarter” of Paris and visit the Romanesque and Byzantine Sacre Coeur Basilica on top of Montmartre Hill. Following Mass at the Basilica, we enjoy free time for shopping on Montmartre before this evening’s dinner at La Bonne Franquette restaurant. Overnight in Paris.
September 23, 2017 – Saturday
PARIS / USA
After breakfast, we transfer to the airport for our return flight home. Though our pilgrimage has come to an end, the blessings of our encounters with the Lord, Our Lady and the saints are certain to strengthen and encourage us throughout our lifelong pilgrimage.