9 Day Shrines of France
*** DAILY MASSES INCLUDED ***
Day 1: NORTH AMERICA / TOULOUSE. Board your flight to Toulouse, France. Dinner and breakfast are served aboard flight
Day 2: ARRIVAL TO TOULOUSE / LOURDES.
This morning we fly to Toulouse and drive to Lourdes, the birthplace of St. Bernadette to whom our Lady appeared in 1858 near the Grotto of Massabielle. Time at leisure this afternoon before we celebrate Mass in the worlds famous Shrine. Dinner and overnight in Lourdes.
Day 3: LOURDES. Celebrate Mass at the Grotto, and walk in the footsteps of St Bernadette. See Boly Mill where St Bernadette was born and the 'Cachot,' an abandoned prison where Bernadette's impoverished family lived. Time at leisure to drink water from the miraculous spring at the base of the grotto. Walk the Stations of the Cross overlooking the holy Grotto. Kneel in the chapel built on the very rock of the Grotto in obedience to the request of the 'Immaculate Conception.' Attend the blessing of the sick and participate in nightly candlelight processions requested by Our Lady. Dinner and overnight in Lourdes.
Day 4: LOURDES / AVIGNON. After breakfast we drive to Avignon, a small city in the hearth of the Provence region. In 1309, the city of Avignon became the center of religion, art and culture. Before the Vatican, this was the seat of Popes, which is still the centerpiece of the city. Dinner and overnight in Avignon.
Day 5: AVIGNON / ARS / PARAY LE MONIAL. This morning we drive to the town of Ars where St Jean-Marie Vianney, the patron saint of parish priests, spent a great part of his holy life giving powerful sermons but most of all by his prayer and his way of life. His notoriety as a holy priest grew slowly, and Father Vianney soon became known as, simply, the Curé d'Ars (priest of Ars). There are reports that during the last 10 years of his life, he spent as many as 18 hours a day in the confessional, and that toward the end of his life, he confessed up to 80,000 penitents a year. Ars became famous all over the Christian world. On June 19, 2009 the Pontiff chose as the occasion for this jubilee year the 150th anniversary of the death of St. John Mary Vianney, the Year of the Priest. We continue to Paray Le Monial, known as the City of the Eucharist. This is the site of the Shrine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Margaret Mary Alacoque. Dinner and overnight at our hotel.
Day 6: PARAY LE MONIAL / NEVERS / PARIS. This morning we Celebrate Mass in the devotion of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Visit the Chapel of the Visitation where Jesus exposed His Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque during a number of apparitions, and see the chasse of St. Margaret containing her relics. We then depart for Nevers. St. Bernadette lived for 12 years as part of the congregation of the Sister of Nevers after taking the veil in 1867. Throughout her life she suffered and eventually died from asthma, at age 35. Visit the convent of St. Gildard where St. Bernadettes incorrupt body reposes. Then, we continue on to Paris and celebrate mass at the majestic Notre Dame Cathedral. Dinner and overnight in Paris.
Day 7: PARIS. After breakfast, we celebrate mass at the Shrine of the Miraculous Medal. We view the incorrupt body of St. Catherine Laboure whose guardian angel led her to the chapel where the Blessed Virgin displayed a vision of the miraculous medal and later the green scapular wherein the Blessed Virgin promised bountiful graces for all that wore this medal. See the Church of St. Vincent de Paul. Then we tour other sites of Paris including the Champs Elysees, L'Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, and the Church of the Sacre Coeur. In the evening join us for an optional boat trip on Seine river. Dinner and overnight at our hotel.
Day 8: PARIS / LISIEUX. After breakfast, we drive to Lisieux, the home of St. Therese of Lisieux whom Pope Pius X called the Greatest Saint of Modern times. Her love for God and service to humanity comes alive as you visit the Basilica Cathedral of St. Peter and Les Buissonets, her family home. On display are relics, clothing, and personal objects belonging to the Little Flower. View the statue depicting the Blessed Virgin who smiled at St. Therese before curing her illness. Visit the Carmel Chapel for prayer with the Carmelite sisters, just as St. Therese did before her death in 1897. Return to Paris for dinner and overnight.
Day 9: PARIS / NORTH AMERICA. This morning after an early breakfast we transfer to the Airport – the end of a most enjoyable pilgrimage.