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BEST SHRINES OF 

France

Fr. Michael Owen
April 16-27, 2024
(12 Days)

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Day 1 (April 16)

DEPART USA

We depart USA en-route to Paris, with complimentary meals and beverages served aloft.

$3,375
 (Person, DBL Occ., based on 25 pax min; Excluding Flights)

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Day 2 (April 17)
PARIS/LISIEUX

Upon our arrival in Paris we meet our Pilgrimage Tours’ tour director who will remain with us until the end of our tour. We depart Charles de Gaulle Airport for the town of Lisieux

The home to Saint Therese, the Carmelite nun known as “The Little Flower” and the Newest Doctor of the Church. Here we will visit the site of the Lisieux family home, Les Buissonnets, and the Carmelite Convent Chapel which contains the remains of Saint Therese. Next we visit the Basilica of Saint Therese and celebrate Mass in its Crypt, where Saint Therese’s parents are entombed. Dinner and overnight in Lisieux.

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Day 3 (April 18)
LISIEUX / MONT SAN MICHEL / PARIS

This morning we depart for a 2-hr drive to Mont St. Michel, a major place of pilgrimage during the Middle Ages. It is the celebrated Benedictine abbey on a rocky, cone-shaped island in northwestern France, connected by a causeway with the mainland. Founded in 708, the abbey resisted the assaults of the English during the Hundred Years’ War. Its small houses and shops of 13th century is considered outstanding examples of Gothic architecture. Legend has it that the Archangel Michael appeared to Aubert, Bishop of Avranches, inspiring him to build an oratory/a church on what was then called Mont Tombe. During the Revolution the abbey was closed and converted into a prison, initially to hold clerical opponents of the republican régime.

High profile political prisoners followed, but by 1836 influential figures, including Victor Hugo, had launched a campaign to restore what was seen as a national architectural treasure.  The prison was finally closed in 1863, and the mount was declared a historic monument in 1874. Mont Saint Michel and its bay were added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1979. Upon our arrival, we transfer to the base of the mountain and ascend to the Mont St. Michel Abbey Church, for a visit and wonderful panoramic view. Following free time to explore some of Mont St. Michel's cafes and shops, we return to Lisieux and continue our visit to the rest of the sites of St. Therese in case we did not complete our visit the previous day. Before returning to our hotel. Return to our hotel for dinner and a restful night.

Day 4 (April 19)
PARIS

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Today we drive to Paris. We visit and celebrate Mass at Saint Stephen’s Church, one of Paris’ “pilgrimage churches”, once visited by Saint John Paul II. The church houses the remains of Saint Genevieve, the patron saint of Paris. Next we enjoy a cruise on the River Seine, followed by free time for pictures at the base of the Eiffel Tower. Next we visit Louvre Museum to visit inside of its fine collection of art, including the Mona Lisa. Following our time at the Louvre, we drive to the Montmartre District, the “Artists Quarter” of Paris and visit the Romanesque and Byzantine Sacre Coeur Basilica on top of Montmartre Hill. Following our visit to the Basilica, we will have free time for exploring the shops on Montmartre Hill before returning for dinner at our hotel.

Day 5 (April 20)
PARIS

This morning we drive to Rue de Bac to visit the Shrine of the Miraculous Medal, where Saint Catherine Laboure received her apparitions of Mary. Here we see the incorrupt body of St. Catherine as well as the body of Saint Louise de Marillac, who founded the Daughters of Charity with Saint Vincent de Paul.  Following Mass and time at the shrine’s gift shop, we enjoy a visit to Paris’ lovely Luxembourg Gardens. Next we arrive at the Cathedral of Notre-Dame, which stands on an island in the middle of the River Seine. Here we will see the Gallery of the Kings, the Portal of the Last Judgment and its famous Rose Window. While here we enjoy free time for lunch next to the Cathedral.

We will then visit the beautiful Sainte- Chapelle, a Gothic royal chapel with impressive stained glass windows. Our sightseeing will continue the panoramic tour via motor coach to the most recognizable symbol of the city of Paris, the Eiffel Tower. Historically, the Tower was to commemorate the centenary of the French Revolution but, later assisted in meteorology, telegraphy of World War I, radio, and television. Pass by the L'Arch de Triomphe, a monument that symbolizes gratitude for those who fought for France. This monument stands at the West end of the Champ-Elysees, one of the world most famous boulevards and another one of our stops on the sightseeing tour. Continue the panoramic drive to the major landmarks of Paris. Tonight, we will enjoy the beauty and romance of Paris with a special evening dinner cruise on the Seine River, seeing the most iconic landmarks of Paris illuminated at night, such as the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, the Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Pont Neuf. You will also admire the architecture and bridges along the river, and discover the history and culture of Paris through the commentary on board. You will also enjoy a delicious meal of classic French cuisine and & live music! After the cruise, return to our hotel for the night.

Day 6 (April 21)
PARIS / CHARTRES / NEVERS

This morning we depart Paris for Nevers, stopping along the way in the town of Chartres, situated on top of a hill overlooking the River Eure. In the center of thecity stands the Cathedral of Notre Dame, one of the finest and best preserved Gothic buildings in France. We will see its very impressive interior including its windows dating back to 1210 that form the most magnificent collection of medieval stained glass inexistence. We also see the cathedral’s south spire, its statuary and its late Gothic choir screens. In the afternoon we arrive in Nevers and visit the Saint Gildard Convent & Museum, where Bernadette Soubirous of Lourdes spent the final 13 years of her life.

We will celebrate Mass in the Chapel of Saint Bernadette, where we will see the incorrupt body of Saint Bernadette kept in a glass reliquary. Following Mass, we arrive at our hotel for dinner and overnight in Nevers.

Day 7 (April 22)
NEVERS/ PARAY Le MONIAL / ARS / LYON

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This morning we depart Nevers and continue on to Paray le Monial, known as the City of the Eucharist, and visit the site of the Shrine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Margaret Mary Alacoque. While here we will visit the Chapel of the Apparitions and enjoy an audio-visual presentation of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Next we drive to Ars, the village of the Holy Cure, Saint John Vianney, the Patron Saint of Priests. Here we visit his home and the Basilica of Saint John Vianney, where the saint’s body is housed in a glass reliquary. Following Mass at the basilica, we continue on to Lyon for dinner and overnight.

Day 8 (April 23)
LYON/ LA SALETTE / LYON

This morning we depart for La Salette located in a high alpine pasture in the French Alps. La Salette is the site where the Virgin Mary appeared in 1846 to two shepherds, Melanie Matthew and Maximin Gird. Our Lady appeared to these shepherds crying, lamenting over the lack of observance of Sundays and the profaning of her Son's holy name. A spring forever marks the spot where the Virgin appeared and where Millions of pilgrims come, in order to drink the fresh spring water and to pray. The stunning mountain scenery and lush mountain trails make La Salette one of the most spectacular pilgrimage sites in France, with a beautiful Basilica built to honor the Virgin Mary. We will celebrate Mass here. After the tour, there will be time for personal prayers and meditation. We return to Lyon for dinner and overnight.

Day 9 (April 24)
LYON / AVIGNON / CARCASSONNE

After breakfast, we check out from our hotel, and visit the beautiful Cathedral of Lyon, where we celebrate Mass. We tour Lyon Cathedral following Mass. After the tour, we drive to Avignon for free time for lunch before our visit to the grand Palace of the Popes, where in the 14th century, it served as home to the Papacy during Rome’s tumultuous political conditions of the time. Following our time in Avignon, we continue on to the largest preserved walled city in Europe, the ancient city of Carcassonne, for dinner and overnight.

Day 10 (April 25)
CARCASSONE / TOULOUSE/ LOURDES 

 

This morning we enjoy a walking tour of Carcassonne. Next we drive to Toulouse for a visit of the Church of Les Jacobins where we will visit the tomb of Saint Thomas Aquinas, a Doctor of the Church. Following Mass, we continue on to Lourdes, where in 1858, Mary appeared to young Bernadette Soubirous. Upon our arrival in Lourdes we check into our hotel prior to walking to the Sanctuary for an introduction to the Shrine. Following dinner, we participate in this evening’s Candlelight Rosary Procession. Overnight in Lourdes.

Day 11 (April 26)
LOURDES

This morning we celebrate Mass at the Grotto, where Mary appeared to Bernadette numerous times. Following Mass, we enjoy a walking tour of Lourdes where we will see the places important in the life and story of Saint Bernadette, including the Healing Baths where many pilgrims submerge themselves for its healing properties, the Rosary Basilica (Lower Basilica),

the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception (Upper Basilica), the Basilica of Pius X, followed by visits to Bernadette’s home and the Museum of Lourdes. Our afternoon is free for personal exploration of Lourdes and time for those who wish to visit the Lourdes’ Baths. Also, while in Lourdes, you will walk in and meditate upon the footsteps of St. Bernadette. In the afternoon, you are encouraged to participate in the Procession of the Blessed Sacrament and the Blessing of the Sick at 4:30 PM. In the evening following dinner, you will have an opportunity again to attend the candle light procession again and the Rosary before a restful overnight. (B, D)

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Day 12 (April 27)
HOMEBOUND

Early this morning after breakfast, we transfer to Pau or Toulouse airport for our connecting flight to Paris to fly home.

 

Though our pilgrimage has come to an end, the blessings of our encounters with the Lord, Our Lady and the saints are certain to strengthen and encourage us throughout our lifelong pilgrimage.

INCLUDED IN TOUR PACKAGE

EXCLUDED IN TOUR PACKAGE

  • Price based on DBL occupancy; Single Room additional cost;

  • Group Price based on 25 min. persons

  • Hotel accommodations in 4* & First class hotels

  • Breakfast Buffet & Dinner Daily

  • Tour escort for the entire tour

  • Entrance/Admission fees per itinerary

  • English-Speaking, Local guides and expert Tour Director

  • Luxury class air-conditioned tourist motor-coach

  • Transfers from and to international Airports

  • Free Wi-Fi at hotels

  • Whispers for entire tour

  • Porterage/ luggage handling for 1 piece of luggage per person in/out hotels; For a 2nd luggage, please pay additional porterage for extra baggage handling to porters at 4 Euro/bag

  • Dinner cruise at Seine River in Paris

  • Daily Mass at Holy Sites

NOTE: Pricing is based on DBI occupancy per person, 25 pax minimum is required; excluding flights if the group is less than 25 pax, the price can go up.

• Schengen Visa not included where applicable
• The new European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) mandated by European countries
• International and/or Domestic Flights
• Lunch Daily & Beverages/Drinks
• Travel Insurance (Highly Encouraged)
• Love Offering For Priest
• Donation/Offering for Daily Mass

• Personal needs, phone calls, etc.


OPTIONAL: We offer Travel Insurance (highly encouraged) providing you coverage for both pre-existing conditions and those that may arise during your trip, including medical and dental emergencies, loss of luggage, trip delay, and so much more. Please call Xenia Maye for details at 813-731-7682.

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