9-Day Rome & Italian Shrines

Day 1: NORTH AMERICA - ITALY. Depart North America aboard our trans- Atlantic flight. Dinner and breakfast will be served aloft.

Day 2: ARRIVE Rome. After arrival in Rome we will be picked up and transferred from airport to hotel. Enjoy a panoramic visit of the city on our way to the hotel. Dinner and overnight at our hotel.

Day 3: Rome. Early morning transfer to the Vatican to attend the weekly Papal Audience (Wednesday). After which we visit Moses' Fountain, Roman Forum, Arch of Titus, the Coliseum - site of early Christian martyrdom - and Mamertine Prison, possibly the final place of confinement of the Apostle Paul before his execution. We then visit Capitoline Hill, St. Peter in Chains, the Pantheon and Quirinale Palace (outside). Return to our hotel for time at leisure. Dinner at our hotel tonight.

Day 4: Rome. This morning our sightseeing will include the Vatican City which includes the Museum, the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Square, Church of St. Peter, and the Basilica of St. Paul. This afternoon is for activities of your own. Return to our hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 5: Assisi. Depart Rome after breakfast and travel north to reach Assisi.

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace (attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi)

Upon arrival in Assisi, visit the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli, containing the famous Porziuncola. The very ancient chapel, venerated for an apparition of angels within it, was originally property of the Benedictines of Subasio. It was located on a piece of land known as the Portiuncula; this name became attached to the chapel. After a long period of abandonment, it was restored by St. Francis. Here he was given a dear understanding of his vocation. He founded here the Order of Friars Minor (1209), "establishing here his home". Transfer to hotel for check in. In the afternoon, sightseeing tour includes visits to the Church of St. Clare which houses her incorrupt body. One of the chapels contains the crucifix that bowed its head and ordered St. Francis to “repair God’s Church”. Afterwards, your will tour the Basilica of St. Francis built in 1228 to house the Relics of the saint. The “upper “ basilica houses beautiful frescoes of Giotto. Mass will be celebrated here at the Basilica of St. Francis. Dinner and overnight.

Day 6: Cascia - Loreto. Early morning departure, first stop in Cascia (85 Km ? 1,5 hrs drive) to visit the shrine of Santa Rita and celebrate Mass. Then to Loreto (170 km ? 3 hrs drive) to visit the house of the Virgin Mary, which arrived from the Holy Land. This precious relic was brought to Italy after the fall of the kingdom of the Crusaders in the Holy Land. Recent studies of the stones and graffiti and other documents, purifying the tradition of legendary elements, confirm and certify the authenticity of the Holy House. The shrine of Loreto has been for centuries and is still one of the places of pilgrimage of the most important of the Catholic world. It 'was visited by about 200 saints and blessed, and from above. Dinner and overnight in Loreto.

Day 7: Loreto / Lanciano / San Giovanni Rotondo. Depart Loreto this morning and drive to Lanciano to visit the site of the Eucharistic Miracle. The host that turned to flesh and the wine that turned to visible blood in the 8th century.

"Let us devote ourselves entirely to knowing God. The more we know Him, the more we want to know Him. Since love is generally measured by knowledge, the deeper and more extensive the knowledge, the greater will be the love. And if our love is great, we will love Him equally in pain and consolation." - Brother Lawrence

Mass will be Celebrated at Santuario del Miracolo Eucaristico. Arrive in San Giovanni Rotondo in the late afternoon, for room allocation, dinner and overnight.

Day 8: San Giovanni Rotondo / Rome.

O, Sacred Heart of Jesus, for whom it is impossible
not to have compassion on the afflicted,
have pity on us miserable sinners,
and grant us the grace which we ask of you,
through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary,
your tender mother and ours.

After breakfast, visit the convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie where Padre Pio lived and the modern Padre Pio Pilgrimage Church built in 2004 behind Santa Maria delle Grazie Church. Celebrate Mass on the Tomb of San Pio and depart towards Rome (380 Km ? 5 hrs drive.) Check in at hotel for overnight. Dinner on our own to taste the local flavors.

Day 9: Rome - USA. Early morning transfer to the airport for our flight to home - the end of a mem Early morning transfer to the airport for our flight to home - the end of a memorable pilgrimage.orable pilgrimage.