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Special Pilgrimage with the Clarion Herald

Fatima, Avila, Loyola,

Lourdes, Carcassone and Barcelona

              October 19-30, 2015

Proposed Itinerary

Day 1 - USA – Lisbon

Board your connecting flight from New Orleans to Lisbon, Dinner and breakfast served aboard your transatlantic flight.

 Day 2 - Santarem – Fatima

Upon arrival in Lisbon, you will be met by your European Tour Escort and board your private motorcoach for Santarem, one of the oldest cities in the world. Here you will have Mass and visit the Church of St Stephen, which contains the oldest recorded Eucharistic Miracle. Stolen by a woman in payment to a sorcerer, the Host began to emit a brilliant beam of light and then to bleed. Reverently returned to the church of St Stephen, this miracle has been on continuous display since 1269. In the afternoon, you drive to nearby Fatima, the place where the Blessed Mother appeared in 1917 to three simple shepherd children and exhorted mankind to pray for world peace. Tonight you may participate in a candlelight procession. Dinner and overnight in Fatima.

 Day 3 – Fatima

Six times, from the May 13 to October 13, 1917, the Virgin Mary appeared to three novices belonging to the diocese of Leiria. See the basilica was constructed in 1928 and contains Francesco and Jacinta’s graves, and celebrate Mass at the Little Chapel of the Apparitions. Visit the Hamlet of Aljustrel, where the children lived, and Valinhos, the site of Our Lady’s appearance after the children’s return from prison. Follow the Stations of the Cross along the Via Sacra (The Sacred Way) culminating in the Chapel of Calvary, which overlooks all of Fatima. Dinner and overnight in Fatima.

 Day 4 - Alba de Tormes - Avila

Depart for Avila making stopping along the way in  Alba de Tormes, to see where St. Theresa of Avila is buried. Continue on to Avila, arriving in time for dinner and overnight.

 Day 5 - Avila - Segovia - Medina del Campo - Burgos

Begin with a visit to La Encarnacion Convent, the first convent founded by St. Theresa of Avila. Afterward, you will visit Segovia, where you will see the Alcazar, the Roman Aqueduct, and the Carmelite Monastery where St. John of the Cross is buried. Continue on to Medina del Campo, where St. John of the Cross first met St. Theresa of Avila, who was there to found the 2nd of her convents. See the 15th Century castle of La Mota and visit the Carmelite Monastery before continuing on to Burgos, the historic capital of Old Castile. Dinner and overnight in Burgos.

 Day 6- Burgos - Loyola - Lourdes

This morning you will begin with a visit to the Santa Maria Cathedral, the burial place of “El Cid” and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then travel to Loyola, the birthplace of St Ignatius, founder of the Jesuits. See the 17th Century Basilica dedicated to St Ignatius and visit his family home which contains the place referred to as the Room of the Conversion. Here you will have Mass before traveling through the Pyrenees Mountains to Lourdes, the birthplace of St Bernadette, and where Our Lady appeared in 1858 near the Grotto of Massabielle. After dinner, enjoy a candle-light procession. Overnight in Lourdes.

 Day 7 & 8 - Lourdes

See a video presentation telling the story of Lourdes and enjoy a guided tour of Lourdes which will include the sanctuary; the Grotto, where Our Lady appeared under the title of the Immaculate Conception; the Basilica of the Rosary, the Basilica of St Pius X, the world’s largest underground church; Boly Mill where St Bernadette was born and the "Cachot," an abandoned prison where Bernadette’s impoverished family lived; and the baths where hundreds of miraculous cures have taken place. Dinner and overnight in Lourdes.

Day 9 - Lourdes – Carcassonne – Barcelona

This morning you will travel through the French countryside to the medieval walled city of Carcassonne. Here you will have Mass at the Basilica of Saint-Nazaire and Saint-Celse, which is a unique combination of Romanesque and Gothic styles. Afterward the will be time for lunch and to explore the cobblestone streets within the ramparts, castle walls, and the drawbridges that are still well preserved from the Middle Ages. Continue across the Spanish border to Barcelona, the capital on Catalonia. Dinner and overnight in Barcelona. 

 Day 10 – Barcelona

This morning you will have a city tour of Barcelona which will include a visit Gaudi’s famous Basilica de la Sagrada Familia, which is still under construction. When finished it will have eighteen spires, representing in ascending order of height, the Twelve Apostles, the Virgin Mary, the four Evangelists and, tallest of all, Jesus Christ. You will also visit the magnificent Metropolitan Cathedral located in the old Gothic quarter, and stroll along “Las Ramblas”, the most famous avenue in Barcelona. Free time for shopping exploration and shopping before Dinner.  Overnight in Barcelona.

 Day 11 – Montserrat – Manresa

Begin with a journey to Montserrat, the mountain just outside of Barcelona to visit the Monastery and the Shrine to Our Lady of Montserrat. It was here after spending a night praying before the image of “La Moreneta,” or “the Black Madonna,” Our Lady of Montserrat, that St. Ignatius of Loyola began his new life and the founding of Jesuit order. After Mass you will continue on to Manresa, a place of profound conversion for Ignatius. Visit the cave on the banks of the Cardoner River where Ignatius received a vision that provided him with deep insights into the spiritual life from which he went on to compose the “Spiritual Exercises.” Return to Barcelona for special Farewell Dinner and overnight.

 Day 12 – Barcelona – USA

Transfer to the International Airport for your return flights to the USA.

Tour Features

  • Round trip airfare from New Orleans( Includes ALL Airport Taxes & Fuel Surcharges)

  • Accommodations in First Class Hotels, twin-bedded rooms with private facilities

  • 2 nights in Fatima

  • 1 night in Avila

  • 1 night in Burgos

  • 3 nights in Lourdes

  • 3 nights in Barcelona

  • Breakfast and dinner daily

  • Transfers between airport and lodging with porterage at hotels

  • Assistance of Multi-lingual Tour Escort and Guides

  • Sightseeing as specified in itinerary, including all entrance fees

  • Welcome Packet / Document Portfolio

  • Daily Mass and all spiritual activities coordinated.

Optional 3 Day Extension to Madrid

October 30-Nov 2, 2015

Day 12 – Barcelona  – Madrid (Panorama)

After breakfast, transfer to the Train Station and board the High Speed AVE Train to Madrid. Upon arrival we'll meet our bus and guide for a panoramic tour of Madrid's major monuments and landmarks. Once we arrive and check-in at our centrally located First Class Hotel, we will have some free to explore the area. This evening you will have the option to visit the famed Plaza Mayor and sample the delicacies in some of the many Tapas Bars that surround the historical square.  Overnight in Madrid.

 Day 13 – Madrid (Cathedral & Palace)

Today, we'll begin with Mass at the Cathedral dedicated to the Patron Saint of Madrid, Santa María de la Almudena. Plans for a grand new church began in the 16th century after King Philip II made Madrid the capital of Spain, but construction was constantly postponed due to various political issues and opposition from the powerful archdiocese of Toledo. In 1993 the Cathedral was finally finished and consecrated by St. Pope John Paul II.  After Mass we will visit one of the greatest palaces in Europe, with over 2,000 rooms showcasing luxurious tapestries, chandeliers and art. Walk to the Plaza Mayor where you can have time for lunch at one of the many cafes on, and around the square. Afternoon free to shop and explore.  Optional Flamenco Show tonight. Overnight in Madrid.

 Day 14 – Madrid (Masterpieces)

This morning we'll begin with Sunday Mass at San Jeronimo el Real, popularly known as “Los Jeronimos,” which was one of the most important monasteries in Spain. From there we will walk around the corner to the famous Prado Museum, which houses some of Europe’s greatest masterpieces including works by Spanish Masters Velásquez, Goya and El Greco. Continue on to the Reina Sofía, Spain’s premiere modern art museum, home to works by Dali’, Miro’, Picasso and other contemporary artists. The highlight is the 20th century's most famous painting, Picasso's "Guernica". It was commissioned by the Spanish government for a Paris exhibition as a Civil War protest and hung in New York’s Museum of Modern Art until 1981, fulfilling Picasso's wish that it should not be shown in Spain until democracy was established. It was then exhibited at the Prado, and moved to this permanent home in 1992. The rest of the afternoon is yours to stroll through the majestic Retiro Gardens (Madrid's most popular park), do a little shopping at El Rastro flea market, or just relax at a local café in La Latina neighborhood and watch the  world go by. Enjoy a Farewell Dinner together at the La Casa Botin, the world’s oldest restaurant according to the Guinness Book of Records built in 1725, and enjoy their specialty, Roast Suckling Pig and Lamb prepared in the traditional old Castilian way. Overnight in Madrid.

 Day 15 – Madrid - New Orleans

After breakfast, we will transfer to Barajas Airport for our connecting flights back to New Orleans.

Tour Features

One-Way Ticket aboard Spain’s High-Speed AVE Train from Barcelona to Madrid
• 3 nights Accommodation in Centrally Located First Class Hotel in Madrid
• Breakfast daily, and Special Farewell Dinner
• Transfers between train stain, airport and lodging with porterage at hotels
• Assistance of Multi-lingual Tour Escort and Guides
• Sightseeing as specified in itinerary, including all entrance fees
• Daily Mass and all spiritual activities coordinated



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