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Visitations of Europe

19 Days / 15 Nights Pilgrimage through Portugal, Spain and France.

Lisbon (1 Night) / Fatima (3) / Avila (2) / Segovia / Santo Domingo de Silos (1) / Loyola / Lourdes (3) / Rocamadour (1) / Ars / Paray-le-Monial (2) / Taize / Nevers / Chartres / Lisieux (2) /

Journey through mountainous villages and holy shrines touched by a profound grace of Mary and some of the Church’s greatest Saints. From the Fatima Anniversary celebrations through Spain and Lourdes, we weave a pilgrim trail north passing through the glorious countryside of France.
 

Saints and Graces Pilgrimage

 
MEAL CODE: B: Breakfast   L: Lunch   D: Dinner     Download Itinerary
ITINERARY
DAY 1: DEPART FOR PORTUGAL
DAY 2: ARRIVE LISBON

After our arrival into Lisbon, we will be transferred to our centrally located hotel. Remainder of the day at leisure to rest or explore the city at your own pace.

Lisbon overnight (D)

DAY 3: LISBON TO FATIMA

This morning we will meet with our local guide and enjoy a tour of Lisbon city. Our first stop is St Anthony’s Basilica where we celebrate our group Mass. Despite what might be assumed from his name, St Anthony was born and grew up in Lisbon and today remains the patron saint of lost articles. 

Visit the World Heritage listed Jeronimo’s Monastery dating back to the 16th century with its stunning combination of flamboyant Gothic, Moorish and early Renaissance influences; see nearby Belem Tower and the Monument to the Discoveries. See Europe’s longest suspension bridge and view the inspiring Statue of Christ the King pointing the way north to Fatima.

En route to Fatima we will visit the Holy Miracle Church of St Stephen at Santarem containing the oldest recorded Eucharistic miracle.

Finally we arrive at Fatima where in 1917 the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to three children as ‘a lady in white’.

Fatima overnight (BD)

DAY 4: FATIMA

This morning we will walk and pray the Stations along the beautiful Way of the Cross (the Sacred Way) culminating in the Chapel of Calvary which overlooks all of Fatima. Continue to Valinhos, the site of Our Lady’s appearance after the children’s return from prison before we proceed onto the little village of Aljustrel to visit the homes where the children lived. Finally we enter the original Parish church and see the Baptismal font where the children were baptised.

Back in Fatima tonight, the Anniversary Vigil ceremonies begin with an International Rosary followed by a candlelight procession and concelebrated Mass on the steps of the Rosary Basilica. From midnight to dawn an optional all night vigil is held for the enrichment of pilgrims.

Fatima overnight (BD)

DAY 5: FATIMA ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS

We awake to the sound of pilgrims from all over the world en route to the morning’s Anniversary celebrations. Commence with a Rosary followed by the procession of Our Lady’s statue to the altar on the steps of the Basilica. Celebrate the International Anniversary Mass followed by the Blessing of the Sick and Consecration. The ceremonies will close around midday with the touching ‘Adios’ spectacle (waving of the white handkerchiefs in tribute to Our Lady) as her statue is carried back to the Capelinha.

We will then enjoy a tour of the Square (the largest square in Christendom) including the site of the Apparitions, Rosary Basilica with the Tombs of the visionaries, the MuseumBlessed Sacrament Chapel and other main sites.

Afternoon at leisure in Fatima.

Fatima overnight (BD)

DAY 6: FATIMA TO AVILA

After breakfast we farewell Fatima and journey inland through Portugal before crossing the border into Spain. Passing through Salamanca, known as the ‘Golden City’ owing to the colour of its historic sandstone buildings, we arrive at Alba de Tormes, the little village where St Teresa died. Her incorrupt heart and arm are enshrined and displayed here at the Carmelite convent. Here too we enter the convent for Mass, where St John of the Cross lived and who companioned St Teresa in her spiritual walk.

We continue on to the historic walled town of Avila, where the atmosphere has changed little since the days of St Teresa to whom the city is dedicated. It was here that she entered the Carmelite convent and encountered many mystical experiences during her time.

Avila overnight (BD)

DAY 7: AVILA

We begin our day with a visit to the Convent of Saint Teresa built over the saint’s birthplace and located just inside the South Gate of the old town. Most of the convent remains in cloister but you can see the very spot where she was born, now a chapel in the Baroque church. We then visit Avila’s Cathedral which was started in the 12th century before entering the Monastery of the Incarnation for Mass where St Teresa’s cell can be seen as well as other relics of her life.

Enjoy an afternoon at leisure.

Avila overnight (BD)

DAY 8: VIA SEGOVIA TO SANTO DOMINGO DE SILOS

This morning we depart Avila, travelling east by coach to Segovia, between the Eresma and Clamores Rivers. We will visit the stunning Segovia Cathedral, the last Gothic cathedral to be built in Spain. Marvel too at the best conserved aqueduct of the Imperial Roman Empire. Outside the walls, we will visit and celebrate Mass at a convent adjacent to the Vera Cruz church, where the mortal remains of Saint John of the Cross are buried. View here the famous Alcazar.

Journey on to the quaint village of Santo Domingo de Silos, home to the great Benedictine Abbey famous for its beautiful Romanesque cloister and for spreading the finest tradition of Gregorian chant throughout the world.

After dinner we will proceed up to the Abbey for evening prayer.

Santo Domingo de Silos overnight (BD)

DAY 9: SANTO DOMINGO DE SILOS TO LOURDES

Seven times a day for over 1,500 years a sweet and sublime sound rises like a fragrance from the hills of Castille. Is it the sound of angels singing? One might be mistaken to think so. Enter the Romanesque cloisters of the sacred monastery of Santo Domingo de Silos and you will discover that this heavenly sound emanates from the Benedictine monks who became world famous after their recordings of Gregorian chant hit number one on the European pop charts.

This morning we will attend the chanted High Mass at the Abbey before visiting the adjacent Monastery and Museum.

We then rejoin our coach and set off on our travel day, journeying north to Loyola where St Ignatius was born and where he later found his conversion. In Loyola pilgrims will have the opportunity to visit the impressive Sanctuary of St Ignatius, including the Casa Santa (Holy House) - 13th century tower house – where he was born and spent many of his early years. Visit also the ornate monastery complete with shrine and relics of the saint and a 65m dome, which can be seen from a great distance. See the sparse room where he lived and recovered from his injuries and developed his spiritual life.

Later we travel through the scenic foothills of the Pyrenees, crossing into Southern France before continuing on to Lourdes. It was in this small town that Our Lady first appeared to St Bernadette in 1858.

Lourdes overnight (BD)

DAY 10: LOURDES

We celebrate an International Mass this morning with pilgrims worldwide in the immense Underground Basilica of Pius X (schedule permitting) followed by a visit to the little village of Bartres, and the farm where St Bernadette was nursed and later returned in adolescence to help her foster mother. We will visit the Sheepfold and the Parish Church where she spent so many hours in prayer.

We will return to Lourdes to enjoy a peaceful afternoon to rest or wander at your own pace or take the time to pray the Stations of the Cross with the life sized copper images which overlook the holy Grotto. Spend some quiet time perhaps reflecting at the Grotto with its chapel built over the place of the apparitions.

Optional Blessed Sacrament Procession and evening candlelight procession.

Lourdes overnight (BD)

DAY 11: LOURDES

This morning we will celebrate a group Mass at the Grotto, before meeting our guide for a walking tour of Lourdes including the Sanctuary area: Upper & Lower Basilicas, the Grotto, and the Baths where hundreds of miraculous cures have taken place. We continue our visit of the main sites associated with St Bernadette including the Boly Mill where she was born in 1844, the original parish church and the Cachot (prison) where the family was forced to live due to misfortune during the time of the apparitions.

Free time this afternoon for a visit and prayers for the sick at the miraculous Baths where the water has continued to flow since 1858. Pilgrims may choose to submerge themselves in the healing waters, or collect the Lourdes water at the taps. During her 9th apparition to Bernadette, Our Lady said “Go drink and wash yourself at the spring”. Optional afternoon Blessed Sacrament Procession and Blessing of the Sick before a final evening candlelight procession after dinner.

Note:  Washing at the baths is a personally rewarding experience and is carried out in a discreet manner with the process being very respectful of one’s privacy. 

Lourdes overnight (BD)

DAY 12: LOURDES TO ROCAMADOUR

We depart Lourdes today travelling north to Rocamadour, the sacred city built stunningly against the side of a cliff. According to legend, Rocamadour was the home of an early Christian hermit named Zaccheus of Jericho. It is believed that he died in about 70 AD and had conversed with Jesus himself. After the hermit’s death and burial in Rocamadour, and even more so after the statue of the Black Madonna was brought here several centuries later, the site became a place of pilgrimage. The shrine is accessible from the town via an elevator or the Grand Escalier, a stairway of 216 weathered steps. From the Middle Ages many pilgrims have made the climb on their knees in penance. Along the way are 14 Stations of the Cross culminating in the Cross of Jerusalem at the top.

On arrival we will visit the Shrine of Rocamadour. Our group Mass will be celebrated at the Chapel of the Black Virgin where we have the opportunity also to pray before the miraculous Black Madonna statue. Other sites we will see include St Michael’s Chapel with its 12th century frescoes and St Amadour’s crypt

Rocamadour overnight (BD)

DAY 13: ROCAMADOUR / ARS / PARAY-LE-MONIAL

Departing Rocamadour we continue our French immersion, travelling north-east to Ars, the little village where St John Vianney known as the Cure of Ars was based and to where pilgrims from all over Europe flocked to see him. We will visit the small church contained within the Basilica that John Vianney built himself, view his incorrupt body and celebrate our group Mass here.

From here we journey north to Paray-le-Monial, the place where St Margaret Mary Alacoque experienced visions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the 17th century. In revealing His Heart to her, Jesus said: “Behold the Heart which has so loved men that it has spared nothing but has been poured out totally and consumed as proof of its love”.

Paray-le-Monial overnight (BD)

DAY 14: PARAY-LE-MONIAL & TAIZE

After breakfast we set off for Taize, the tiny hillside community in which young people from all over the world are drawn. Pope St John Paul II referred to Taize as ‘that little springtime’ as pilgrims join in a common weekly programme of prayer meetings, discussion groups and meals. We join with the community for midday prayer, which is sung beautifully in the large candlelit church.

Returning to Paray-le-Monial, we commence our guided visit featuring the Chapel of Apparitions for Mass, and the relics of St Margaret Mary. Other highlights include the Chapel of St Claude in honour of St Margaret Mary’s Spiritual Director and the Basilica of Sacre Coeur.

Paray-le-Monial overnight (BD)

DAY 15: VIA NEVERS & CHARTRES TO LISIEUX

We farewell the city of the ‘Heart of Jesus’ and journey by coach to the town of Nevers nestled within the picturesque Loire Valley. Here we will celebrate Mass and visit the Convent of St Gildard where St Bernadette’s incorrupt body reposes and may be viewed. After she was blessed with the 18 apparitions of the Virgin Mary at Lourdes, St Bernadette retired to Nevers where she died at the age of only 35.

Our pilgrimage takes us on to the great Cathedral city of Chartres where we enter inside the magnificent 13th century Chartres Cathedral, a medieval architectural wonder and home to the Holy Veil, said to be worn by the Blessed Virgin Mary when she gave birth to Jesus. Pilgrims too will see the most famous labyrinth in the world, built around the year 1200 and sometimes called the “Chemin de Jerusalem” or Road of Jerusalem.

Continue west to Lisieux, one of the world’s premier pilgrimage sites and home to St Therese, the ‘Little Flower’, whom Pope Pius X called ‘the greatest saint of modern times’.

Lisieux overnight (BD)

DAY 16: LISIEUX

Today we enjoy a pilgrimage tour of Lisieux visiting the family home of Les Buissonets, the Carmelite Convent Chapel with its reliquary of the saint and St Therese’s Basilica. Final afternoon at leisure.

Lisieux overnight (BD)

DAY 17: DEPART FRANCE

Today we will be transferred to Paris airport for our homebound flight connections (OR option to extend in Paris by own arrangements). (B)

DAY 18: IN TRANSIT
DAY 19: ARRIVE AUSTRALIA

 
2018 DATES AND PRICES
 
AIR & TOUR PACKAGE COST
Code Depart Australia Arrive Australia AUD
8VE01 9 May 2018 27 May 2018 $7,990
8VE02 9 October 2018 27 October 2018 $7,990
9VE03 9 May 2019 27 May 2019 Price on Application
9VE01 9 October 2019 27 October 2019 Price on Application
Single Room Supplement: AUD $1,390
 
CHAPLAIN OPTIONAL EXTENSIONS
Name Pre Option 1 Pre Option 2
TBA Saints of Italy Malta
TBA Saints of Italy Malta
TBA Saints of Italy Malta
TBA Saints of Italy Malta
     
NB. An additional mandatory prepaid tipping fund of $15 per day per person will be invoiced in advance by Harvest to avoid regular inconvenience to pilgrims on tour.
 
 
Full package based on departure from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth including all airline taxes and levies (subject to change). Tour Only costs include local internal airfares between Start/End dates. Refer to our full price inclusions and Booking Procedures for more information.
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