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Journey to Italy & Medjugorje

16 Day Pilgrimage to Italy and Medjugorje accompanied by Fr Shane Reade.

Departs: 31st August 2018    Highlights: Assisi (3 Nights) • Rome (4) • Dubrovnik (1) • Medjugorje (5)
 
Pilgrimage to Italy and Medjugorje
 
MEAL CODE: B: Breakfast   L: Lunch   D: Dinner


Day 1: Friday 31st August 2018 – Depart for Italy
 

Day 2: Saturday 1st September – Arrive Rome – To Assisi

On arrival at Rome airport we will be met and transferred directly north to the pilgrimage centre of Assisi, where St Francis tended the poor and sick and founded the Franciscan Order. We will proceed to the upper town to check in to our hotel.
Assisi overnight (D)
 
Day 3: Sunday 2nd September – Assisi
Our morning tour begins with a visit to the Basilica of St Rufinus dating back to 1140 and containing the font where Francis and Clare were baptised. It was in the outside forecourt where Francis is said to have stripped off his clothes in the name of holy poverty and passed them (and his money) back to his father declaring that ‘God was now the only father he recognised’.

Continue on to the tranquil Church of San Damiano and the actual chapel where it all began and the voice of Christ spoke to Francis in the year 1205. Here too we find the first monastery of the Order of St Clare where Clare built her community in close friendship with Francis.

Travel then by shared taxis up to the Hermitage (Eremo delle Carceri), an oasis of peace and tranquility in the woods built on the site of a simple cave where St Francis often withdrew to spend many hours in prayer. The cave and the Chapel of Our Lady are preserved in the Hermitage. Afternoon at leisure.

Pilgrims may opt to return to the Basilica of St Clare for evening prayer and listen to the angelic voices of the Poor Clare nuns.
Assisi overnight (BD)
 
Day 4: Monday 3rd September – Assisi
Our morning begins at the buzzing Basilica of St Francis for Mass and a guided visit. The site occupies the entire western end of the upper town. Construction began in 1228, just two years after the death of Francis and was finally completed in 1250. The Upper Basilica houses the famous fresco cycle of the life of St Francis, historically attributed to Giotto. Wander through the marvels of the Upper Basilica before our tour descends to the crypt of the Lower Basilica where Francis was laid in 1230 and where we will take some time to seek the intercession of this spiritual legend.

We end our tour at the Basilica of St Clare where we will proceed to the side chapel to pray before the Holy Crucifix from which God spoke to Francis “Go and repair my Church which as you see is in ruins”. Here too we can also take the stairway down to the crypt where the body of Clare, partially restored, is displayed.

Enjoy the remainder of the afternoon at leisure in this oasis of peace.
Assisi overnight (BD)
 
Day 5: Tuesday 4th September – Assisi to Rome
Before departing this medieval hillside town we will visit the Basilica of St Mary of the Angels down on the plains where St Francis spent most of his life. Here we will see the Portiuncula (meaning ‘small portion of land’) where St. Francis returned for prayer, the thornless rose bush, and the chapel where he died in 1226. On Palm Sunday 1211, Francis received in this church Clare of Assisi and dedicated her to the Lord.

We then travel south towards Rome. En route we will visit the amazing medieval town of Orvieto. This is the home of the famous Eucharistic Miracle of 1263 which led to the establishment of the Feast of the Body of Christ (Corpus Christi) – a wonderful place to celebrate our group Mass.

Finally we arrive in Rome, the Eternal City. We will proceed to our centrally located accommodation for check-in.
Rome overnight (BD)
 
Day 6: Wednesday 5th September – Rome
Papal Event
: We will proceed to St Peter’s Square this morning for a memorable Papal Audience with Pope Francis as we join with pilgrims from around the world. (Subject to the Pope’s presence in Rome)

In the afternoon, visit the impressive St Mary Major Basilica. Onwards to the Basilica of St John in Lateran (First Papal residence) and the adjacent Holy Stairs brought from Jerusalem to Rome in 326AD by St Helena (as a favourite of pilgrims, these steps may only be ascended on the knees).
Rome overnight (BD)
 
Day 7: Thursday 6th September – Rome
Commence our day with a spectacular Mass at St Peter’s Basilica. We then enjoy an informative exploration of this awe inspiring church, the largest in the world. Our guided tour will feature among other highlights Michelangelo’s stunning Pieta, the tomb of Pope St John Paul II, the great Confessional and the Crypt containing the tombs of several Popes.

We then come to the nearby Vatican Museums. Wander the spectacular chambers leading to the Sistine Chapel to view Michelangelo’s masterpieces, including the magnificent fresco of the Last Judgment.

Some free time will be afforded this afternoon to discover the sights of Rome. Strolling through the streets is like walking through the pages of a history book. Indulge in a gelato or enjoy a coffee while absorbing and admiring the history of this ancient city. Marvel at the Pantheon or visit the Church of St Ignatius with its amazing ceiling painted to look like a dome.
Rome overnight (BD)
 
Day 8: Friday 7th September – Rome
This morning we enter into the most visited attraction in Rome – the Colosseum. In 1749, Pope Benedict XIV declared the Colosseum a sacred site, as it was a place where early Christians had been martyred. View also the Circus Maximus and the Roman Forum en route.

Journey this afternoon out to the majestic Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls. Originally consecrated in 324, the saint’s tomb is visible now under the Papal Altar. We will celebrate a wonderful Mass here as a special tribute to the Church’s greatest evangelist.

Continue then to the ancient Catacombs for a memorable guided tour to marvel at these underground burial tunnels for Christians and Hebrews. This evening we will celebrate our final night in Rome at a traditional trattoria.
Rome overnight (BD)
 
Day 9: Saturday 8th September – Rome to Dubrovnik
We depart from Rome today for our flight to Croatia. On arrival we will be met and transferred to Dubrovnik with its magnificent stone walls, churches, palaces and plazas.

In the afternoon, enjoy a guided visit within the walls of the Old City. Visit the Basilica of St Blaise where we will celebrate Mass. In the late afternoon we will check in to our hotel.
Dubrovnik overnight (BD)
 
Day 10: Sunday 9th September – Dubrovnik to Medjugorje
Today we travel across the border into Bosnia-Herzegovina and onto the village of Medjugorje. Prepare for a most extraordinary encounter of grace and peace for the next five days. Here we will be welcomed by a local family in private guesthouse lodgings (all rooms with ensuite). Home cooked dinners and breakfasts will be served daily from your residence.
 
Days 10–14: Sunday 9th to Thursday 13th September – The Medjugorje Pilgrimage
5 Nights / BD daily
“I have come to tell the world that God exists … that peace is necessary for the salvation of the world. Mankind must be reconciled with God and with one another”
. These words came as a soothing balm to a troubled world and were first spoken by Our Lady to six village children in June 1981. Since then, a legacy of remarkable events has turned Medjugorje into one of the world’s most acclaimed pilgrimage places. For more than 30 years up until the present day Our Lady has been appearing on a daily basis to give countless messages to the children. Some of these messages are private, some are for all people and some contain secrets that Our Lady has revealed to the children about future events of the world.

Healings, miracles, wonders and conversions – these have been occurring for so long. Endless streams of pilgrims over the years have come to receive these graces and return to their homelands renewed.

The activities here will be evenly proportioned by our guide throughout the stay to allow time for rest and personal retreat. Each evening we should be advised of the following day’s agenda, as many events in Medjugorje are spontaneous. Here are some of the highlights we hope to include:

• Meet the Visionaries – The visionaries regularly receive groups, give explanations, pray with and answer pilgrims’ questions (subject to spontaneous availability).

• The Hill of Apparitions – Make the journey in prayer up to this sacred site where the first apparitions took place and Our Lady first told the children ‘I have come to tell the world that God exists…. that peace is necessary for the salvation of the world’.

• Climb Mt Krizevac – The Mountain of the Cross dominates the landscape. Pray the Stations of the Cross and ascend the grace-filled path, which rises to the breathtaking summit with its commanding 30-foot cement cross built in 1933.

• Visit Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Retreat House – commonly known as “the Castle”, and hear the amazing testimony of Patrick Latta, a successful businessman and car dealer from Canada, who received a great grace of conversion through the messages of Our Lady. In 1993, he and his wife Nancy left everything behind and moved to Medjugorje during the height of the war.

• Visit the Cenacolo Community – ‘Field of Life’ is the name of the community that Sr Elvira has founded for young men who were once drug addicts. We will be touched to hear their miraculous testimonies of faith.

• Special visionary events – Join Ivan’s prayer group during a special outdoor apparition or be present when Vicka has a special meeting at night on Mt Krizevac (subject to spontaneity).

• Inspiring talks – There is an enriching Franciscan talk most afternoons in English. • Share occasional group gatherings – Optional and led by your Priest, for voluntary sharing, prayer or group rosary.

• Enjoy personal free time daily – All activities listed do remain optional.

EVENING CHURCH PROGRAMME (DAILY)
5.00pm
: The Rosary (Joyful and Sorrowful Mysteries)
5.40pm: Apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary
6.00pm: The local’s Croatian Mass After Mass: Benediction, blessing of objects and prayers for healing.
7.00pm: The Rosary (Glorious Mysteries) Above times are one hour later between mid April and mid September
 
Day 15: Friday 14th September – Depart Medjugorje
Today we travel to the airport for our homebound flight connections. (B)
 
Day 16: Saturday 15th September – Arrive Australia


Indicative Cost: $6,750.00
Departure Australia: 31 August 2018
Tour Code: 8PV55
Single Room Supplement: $880.00
Prepaid Tipping: $210.00


Inclusions


Airfares: Economy class flights from Australia (N.B. Airlines taxes and fees are included and subject to fluctuations).
Accommodation & Meals: Based on moderate standard hotel and Religious accommodation throughout with breakfast and dinner daily.
Miscellaneous inclusions: Internal flights within Europe • Deluxe airconditioned motor coach • Local tour escort/guide • Sightseeing and entrance fees throughout itinerary
Not Included: Passport and Visa Costs (if applicable) • Other meals not stated • Items of a personal nature including phone calls, laundry, beverages, etc. • Travel insurance • Prepaid Tipping Fund

Simpe Booking Steps
• Complete the booking form and return to Harvest with a deposit of AU$800 per person. Cheques to be made payable to Harvest Journeys or nominate Credit Card details where shown.
• Await Harvest’s letter of confirmation containing receipt, visa(s) information (if applicable) and travel insurance detail along with any other specific travel detail. Make balance of payment seven weeks prior to departure.
• Tour documentation including Harvest’s Travel Pack, pilgrims journal and ticket wallet will be available approximately two weeks prior to departure date.

* NB: All costs are in AUD and are based on twin share rooming and are valid as at 1 October 2017 and must remain subject to possible change in the unlikely event of significant exchange rate variations, airfare increases and minimum group size (20) contingencies.


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