12 days 11 nights Lisbon - Santarem - Fatima - Salamanca - Alba de Tormes - Avila - Segovia - Madrid
A twelve day pilgrimage through Portugal, Spain and France starting in Lisbon and visiting other places including Fatima, Madrid, Lourdes etc., culminating in a sightseeing tour of Paris.
Arrive in Lisbon. Transfer to hotel.
A sightseeing tour. The city is situated on the shores of the river Tagus that witnessed the departure of the caravels during the Age of Discovery. The tour includes places like Rossio ( the historical heart of the city ), Praça do Comercio, Torre de Belém and Mosteiro dos Jerónimos. Visit the church of St. Antony, built on the site where his father’s house once was and where he was born. St. Antony is the most venerated saint in the catholic world. Possibility of celebrating Holy Mass.
Lisbon - Santarém (85 km/1h30min) - Fátima (60km/1h)
Visit Óbidos, a small village with a well preserved medieval atmosphere where visitors can taste a local beverage called ginginha. The next stop is Santárem, capital of the Portuguese province of Ribatejo. Visit the church of the Holy Host miracle. Possibility of celebrating Mass. It was here where one of the most important miracles of the Eucharist occurred, equal in importance with the one of Lanciano in Italy. Proceedto Fátima- “the altar of the world”. Fátima became one of the most attended places in the catholic world when in 1917 the Virgin Mary appeared and was seen by three young shepherds.
The day is fully dedicated to visiting the sanctuary and places related to the apparitions and the life of the three shepherds. Visit the little chapel of the apparitions, the exact place where the Blessed Mother appeared to Lúcia, Fransisco and Jacinta as well as the basilica of the Rosary to see the tombs of the seers and also the brand new Church of the Holy Trinity which is the masterpiece of Tombazis. Its interior is full of works of art by different artists from all over the world.This gives the new basilica a more universal aspect. The new temple can shelter 9000 sit people. In the afternoon, visiting Aljustrel- the birth place of the seers. It is 1 mile away from the Cova da Iria. Visit Loca do Anjo ( apparition of the angel ) and the Hungarian Calvary ( way of the cross ). Free time for personal devotion.
Fátima - Salamanca ( 400 km/4 h )- Alba de Tormes ( 20 km/30 min )- Ávila ( 100 km/1h15 min )
Leave Portugal for Spain. The first stop is the magnificent city of Salamanca. It is a major university center with one of the oldest universities in Europe. From the artistic and architectural point of view the city is also wonderful. Head to Alba de Tormes, the first place on the trip related to St. Teresa de Ávila. St. Teresa was a reformer of the church and also founded numerous convents. She was given the title of Dr. of the Church. The following destination is Ávila. This town is surrounded by ancient walls dating back to the time of the Romans and still carries the charm of the medieval cities.
Ávila- Segóvia (90km/1h)- Madrid (95km/1h30min)
Visit Avila in the morning. Proceed to Segóvia where the tomb of St. John of the Cross, confessor of St. Teresa is located. What stands out in the city is the beautiful and well preserved roman aqueduct. The next step is Madrid. This city was built by order of Felipe II with the aim of being the center of a great empire. The lines and majesty of the buildings and the wide avenues prove that. Sightseeing tour of Madrid going through avenues such as Castellana Visita panorâmica da cidade, the Gran via that is full of theaters, the monument of Cervantes, the Plaza Major and other place that make this capital one of the most elegant in Europe.
Madrid - Burgos ( 250 km/2h30 min - Loyola (180km/2h )- Lourdes(265km/3h)
Departure to Burgos. This is the city of El Cid, the legendary Christian Knight and warrior in the mythic battles between Christians and Muslims in the Iberian Peninsula. This city has one of the most beautiful gothic cathedrals in all of Spain. Head to Azpetia, the place with the manor house of the family of St. Ignacio of Loyola. He brought a different concept to the religious organization he founded- the company of Jesus. Known as the Jesuits, they happen to be one of the most important missionary orders in South Africa and the Far East. Head to the French border in order to visit one of the most important Marian sanctuaries in the world- Lourdes.
The day is fully dedicated to the visit of Lourdes. This Marian sanctuary is attended by millions of pilgrims every year in search of cures and renewal of their faith. It all started with the apparition of the Virgin Mary in the grotto of the rock of Massabiele to a humble shepherd called Bernadette. This apparition confirmed by divine means the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. Visit the holy places related to the life of St. Bernardette such as “Le Moulin de Boully”, “Le Cachôt” ( the old abandoned dungeon where the family was forced to live during hard times ). Possibility of bathing in the pools of the sanctuary filled with water from the river Tarbes. Free time.
Lourdes - Paray-le-Monial (680 km/7h)
Leaving Lourdes head to the beautiful region of Burgundy and reach the town of Paray-le-Monial which is known for its Cistercian monastery that had a historical importance to the region. In fact the origin of its name is related to the monks. It was here with St. Marguerite- Marie Alacoque that the devotion to the sacred heart of Jesus was started. In one apparition Jesus tells Marguerite about His suffering and passes on His message of the Blessed Sacrament:
Paray-le-Monial - Nevers (130km/1h30min) - Paris (250 km,2h30min)
The first stop is Nevers. It was here where St. Bernadette lived as a nun and her incorrupt body can be seen in a glass shrine. Continue to Paris and en route visit Rue du Bac, a place attended by millions of pilgrims in search of the miraculous medal of St. Catherine Labouré. Against her father’s will she always wanted to be a nun. When he finally agreed, she joined the congregation of the sisters of charity of St. Vincent of Paul. She had several apparitions of the Virgin where She explains Her intentions. The Virgin tells her that the light beams coming out of Her hands are graces and cure that She concedes to the believers. At a certain point the Virgin says: “have a medal minted according to this model. The people who will carry it will receive great graces. The graces will be abundant if people will trust.” Not far away from Rue du Bac the church that houses the body of St. Vincent of Paul- founder of the congregation of St. Catherine can be visited.
A sightseeing tour including some of the important places in “the city of light”- Champs- Elysées, Truimphal Arch, Trocadéro and Sacré-Cœur. This is a good scenery point to look over Paris, because Sacré-Cœur is situated on the hill of Montmartre- the highest point of Paris. Free afternoon. Possibility of shopping in Galeries Lafayette or taking a ride in a Bateaux Mouches.
Transfer to the airport.