DAY 1: DEPART
We depart en route to Europe
DAY 2: ARRIVE PARIS
Upon arrival in Paris , we are met by our representative and transfer to our hotel in paris (D)
DAY 3 : PARIS: RUE DE BAC, EIFFEL TOWER & SITES OF PARIS
This morning we visit the Shrine of St. Catherine Laboure where the tradition of the Miraculous Medal began. Here we celebrate Mass. The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared 3 times to St. Catherine starting in July of 1830. She asked St. Catherine to have a medal struck and showed her exactly what the medal should look like. She told St. Catherine this message, “All those who carry this will receive Grace in abundance, especially if they wear the medal around their neck and say this prayer (O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee) confidently, they will receive special protection from the Mother of God and abundant graces.” St. Catherine is one of the incorrupt saints and seeing her body, she looks as if she just died yesterday.
We visit as well the nearby sights of the repose of St. Louise de Marilac and St. Vincent de Paul, located in the Motherhouse of the Daughters of Charity. Afterwards we enjoy a panoramic sightseeing tour of some of the sites of Paris, including Invalides, the Champs Elysees, and Eiffel Tower. Dinner is at the hotel. (B, D)
DAY 4: PARIS: EXCURSION TO LISIEUX
St. Therese, the Little Flower of Jesus, is a saint who remains dear to the heart of millions of Catholics. Today we pay a visit to the most important sites relative to her life. Therese came to Lisieux with her family when she was aged 4 ½ years old. St. Therese entered the Carmelite convent at age 15 and stayed until her death at age 24. We visit Les Buissonets where she lived until she entered the Carmel Convent. We also see the Carmel Chapel and Basilica of St. Therese, where we celebrate Mass. We return to Paris today for dinner at our hotel. (B, D)
DAY 5: PARIS: NOTRE DAME & SACRE COEUR
Our visit of Paris today includes two of the city’s most famous churches: the Cathedral of Notre Dame and the Basilica of Sacre Coeur (Sacred Heart). Notre Dame is our first stop, the name synonymous with Paris. Then we are off to Montmartre, an artists’ quarter overlooking Paris. Here we find the Basilica dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, where we celebrate Mass. The afternoon is at leisure for shopping, and we gather at a nearby restaurant for our farewell dinner. (B, D)
DAY 5: PARIS ROCAMADOUR
We depart Paris and make our way to Rocamadour. The Madonna revered in the sanctuary here is one of the most beloved images of the Black Virgin. We are invited to climb the 216 stone steps to her shrine. King Louis, St. Dominic, and other notables have made the trek before us.
DAY 6 – ROCAMADOUR LOURDES
We continue to Lourdes in time for dinner and the candlelight procession (subject to seasonal schedules). (B, D)
DAY 7: LOURDES: VISIT OF THE SHRINE
We begin this morning with Mass. After Mass, we enjoy a walking tour of In the Footsteps of Bernadette. We visit the Cachot (former jail cell that once served as the Soubirous family’s home); the parish church; the Hospice and the Boly Mill. This afternoon at 4:30PM we are welcome to participate in the Procession of the Blessed Sacrament and the Blessed of the Sick. After dinner at the hotel, we return to the Sanctuary this evening for the Rosary and Torchlight Procession, beginning about 8:30PM. After the procession, we return to our hotel. (B, D)
DAY 8: LOURDES / SAN SEBASTIAN / SANTANDER
Early this morning we concelebrate Mass at the Grotto of Lourdes. After Mass, we depart Lourdes by motor coach. For lunch we will stop in the beautiful seaside city of San Sebastian on the Gulf of Vizcaya. We continue to Santander.
Santander is the the capital of Cantabria and a town that Royalty once patronized. It features the beautiful Magdalena Palace, the Paseo de Pereda promenade and the Romanesque and Gothic Cathedral. Another of the cities highlights is the splendid seaside suburb El Sardinero, with a long beach, gardens, elegant cafes and a casino. The city also has a charming Old Quarter known as Puerto Chico. We arrive in the town of Santander, where dinner awaits us at our hotel. (B, D)
DAY 9: SANTANDER/ SANTIAGO
After breakfast, we enjoy Mass at the Cathedral before our journey through northern Spain with its stunning scenery. We will board our motor coach for our ocean view drive to Santiago. We will arrive in time for dinner and a good night’s rest at our hotel. (B, D)
DAY 10: SANTIAGO: VISIT OF THE SHRINE
We will have a full day of sightseeing in the city of Spain’s patron Saint. The name “Compostela” from the Latin “field of the star,” was named after the tradition of St. James (Santiago), the Patron Saint of Spain. This city has been the third major site visited by Christian pilgrims and visitors (after Jerusalem and Rome) and is the present capital of Galicia.
We will delight in our walking tour of this medieval city on labyrinthine cobbled streets. Santiago remains virtually intact, since no man or natural upheavals have produced any damage to the city. It’s a true national monument with its buildings built with practically indestructible granite stone. We will visit the Plaza del Obradoiro and the great Cathedral that dominates the town. Its main entrance is two stories above the plaza. The statue of St. James smiles benignly down upon the faithful. The towers soar into the sky. The Portico de la Gloria, designed by Maestro Mateo and completed in 1188, is the finest example of Romanesque sculpture. We will celebrate Mass.
Inside the Cathedral are more pieces of priceless architecture, statues and religious treasures. Behind the silver and gold main altar are the sarcophagi of St. James and two of his disciples. A statue of St. James towers above and is surrounded by an elaborate display of drapery and sculpture. We shall complete this portion of our pilgrimage by kissing the hem of the jeweled cloak that drapes the statue after the celebration of the Eucharist. There will be time to browse through the quaint narrow streets and plazas, admiring such buildings as the Neoclassical Rajoy Palace, now the city hall, the Romanesque Colegio de San Jeronimo, and the utterly stunning Parador de Los Reyes Católicos – all buildings which surround the other three sides of this magnificent plaza. Dinner at our hotel. (B, D)