A 13-Day Pilgrimage to France & Italy


France & Italy Pilgrimage Sites, Including:

Paris, Lisieux, Lourdes, Avignon, Nice, Siena, Assisi, Rome & the Vatican.

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Day 1 Monday
Our Pilgrimage Tour departs the U.S. for Paris. Meals are served on-board.

Day 2 Tuesday
After making our way through customs we are welcomed by our Pilgrimage Tours tour director who will remain with us until the end of our tour. We embark on a motor coach tour of Paris to see the Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Elysees and more. Then we go to Rue de Bac where we will celebrate Mass at the Shrine of the Miraculous Medal, where St. Catherine Laboure received her apparitions of Mary. Finally, we will visit the Shrine of Vincent de Paul. Dinner and overnight in Paris.

Day 3 Wednesday
This morning we will celebrate Mass at the cathedral of Notre-Dame, which stands on the banks of the Seine on the site of an early Christian basilica that had in turn been built on the site of a temple from the Roman era. Here we will see the Gallery of the Kings, its Rose Window and its many chapels. When then head to the Montmartre District, the “Artists Quarter” of Paris and visit the Romanesque and Byzantine Sacre Coeur Basilica on top of Montmartre Hill. The basilica with its many domes and arches contain wonderful sculptures, paintings and mosaics. In the rear of the basilica you will see a bell tower that houses the “ Savoyarde”, a bell weighing nearly 19 tons and one of the largest in the world. The remainder of our day is free for reflection and prayer. Dinner and overnight in Paris.

Day 4 Thursday
This morning we go to the town of Lisieux, home of 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 Buissonets, the Carmelite Convent Chapel where St. Therese and her parents are entombed. We celebrate Mass at the Basilica of St. Therese before returning to Paris for dinner and overnight.

Day 5 Friday
This morning we take a short flight from Paris to Lourdes, where, in 1858, Mary appeared to a young Bernadette Soubirous. Upon our arrival in Lourdes, we will celebrate Mass at the basilica. The rest of the afternoon is for reflection, relaxation and prayer before dinner. Following dinner, we join the Candlelight Procession. Overnight in Lourdes.

Day 6 Saturday
This morning after Mass we see the sites of Lourdes where Mary appeared to Bernadette. We visit the Grotto, the Spring and the healing Baths, as well as the Basilica of St. Pius X, the Rosary Basilica and Bernadette’s home. The afternoon is free for Adoration, Confessions, a time of private devotion, reciting the Rosary, and relaxation before dinner. Dinner and overnight in Lourdes.

Day 7 Sunday
This morning we depart Lourdes and arrive in Avignon and visit the Palace of the Popes, where in the 14th century, it served as home to the Papacy during Rome’s tumultuous political conditions of the time. We celebrate Mass here before continuing on with our scenic drive along the French Riviera. Prior to arriving in Nice, we take a motor coach tour through the famous resort of Monte Carlo and the principality of Monaco before going to our Mediterranean seaside hotel. Dinner and overnight in Nice.

Day 8 Monday
This morning we depart Nice and drive along the Riviera with its breathtaking views. We enter Italy and arrive in Pisa where we see the Campo dei Miracoli with its splendid Cathedral, Baptistery and the famous Leaning Tower. After lunch we head for the region of Tuscany and the medieval city of Siena, home of St. Catherine. We visit the historic center of Siena, second only to Florence in its contribution to the Renaissance. We also visit the Sanctuary of Santa Maria in Provenzano and the see the Cross from which St. Catherine received the stigmata. We celebrate Mass in the magnificent dark-green and white striped Cathedral. Here we celebrate Mass and visit the church named after St. Dominic where Catherine prayed. Dinner and overnight in Siena.

Day 9 Tuesday
After breakfast we depart Tuscany for Assisi, home of the gentlest of saints. Here we celebrate Mass in the Lower Basilica of St. Francis. After Mass we explore the basilica with its wonderful frescoes by Cimabue and Giotto. We then visit the Basilica of St. Clare, a friend to St. Francis and foundress of the Poor Clare nuns, whose incorrupt body lies in a crystal casket in the crypt. We will also see the crucifix that spoke to St. Francis at San Damiano. Next we visit the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli that encloses the tiny Chapel of the Porziuncola, St. Francis’ first retreat and place of prayer and where he consecrated St. Clare as the Bride of Christ. Next we arrive in Rome for dinner. Following dinner, a panoramic “illuminated Rome by night” sightseeing tour follows dinner. Overnight in Rome.

Day 10 Wednesday
ROME Papal Audience
This morning we will go to the Vatican for an Audience with the Holy Father. Following the Papal Audience, we enjoy a tour of Imperial Rome where we first visit St. Peter in Chains. Next we see the Colosseum, the Hippodrome, Palatine and Capitoline Hills, the Imperial and Roman Forums and Constantine’s Arch. Our morning ends with a visit to another of Rome’s pilgrimage churches, San Croce in Gerusalemme, which house pieces of the True Cross. The church was built in the era of Constantine for the purpose of housing the relics of Christ’s Passion. Next we will visit one of Rome’s four major basilicas, St. Paul’s Outside the Walls, where the Apostle is buried. Here we celebrate Mass. Dinner and overnight in Rome.

Day 11 Thursday
This morning we will visit another of Rome’s major basilicas with a visit to St. Mary Major, the most important church in the world devoted to Our Lady. Here we celebrate Mass where Mass has been celebrated every day since the 5th century. Next we depart for a visit to St. John Lateran, the Pope’s cathedral church where relics of both Peter and Paul remain under the main altar. We cross the street and find Scala Santa where we see the Holy Staircase of 28 marble steps (now covered in wood) which is believed to be the staircase from Pilate’s palace in Jerusalem and brought to Rome by St. Helen in the 4th century. Here we may climb the steps on our knees in memory of Christ’s Passion. Any remaining time will be spent visiting the basilicas of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme and San Clemente. Dinner and overnight at our hotel in Rome.

Day 12 Friday
After breakfast our day begins with our own celebration of Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica. While at the Basilica we see a young Michelangelo’s masterpiece, the deeply moving, magnificent Pieta. Then we visit one of the great art collections in the world, the Vatican Museums. We see the Tapestries Gallery, the Belvedere with its marvelous statues. We also visit Raphaels Rooms, the Pincio Garden and Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel that has been restored to its original beauty. The rest of the day is free for your choice of activities. Dinner and overnight in Rome.

Day 13 Saturday
After breakfast, we transfer to the airport for the 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.