FATIMA, LOURDES & SPAIN
MAY 01 - 14, 2023
With Fr. Peter Okojie
Fr. Peter Okojie
Stand on the sites where miracles occurred with visits and moving experiences at the Marian Shrines of Europe. From the spring waters at the grotto of Lourdes to the place where a young girl in Fatima first saw the apparition of the Blessed Mother, join us on inspiring religious pilgrimages to discover the sacred sites where Mary appeared. Walk in the courageous steps of St. Bernadette at Lourdes in France. Wonder at childlike faith in Fátima , where three shepherd children stood in awe at the sight of the Virgin Mary. Fatima is one of only a handful of "Marian Apparitions" that the Church has given its approval to, but it took a while. According to The Fatima Center, it wasn't until 1930 that the Bishop of Leiria-Fatima declared the events of 1917 "worthy of belief." Along with that declaration was an approval to establish the "cult of Our Lady of Fatima". The Miracle of the Sun ushered in a new wave of devotion to Our Lady that remains to this day.
DAY 1 (May 1)
FLIGHTS FROM US TO LISBON
Depart for your overnight flight to Lisbon. Dinner and breakfast will be served on board.
Day 2 (May 2)
ARRIVE LISBON / SANTAREM / FATIMA
After lunch, we depart Lisbon for Fatima. Enroute, we visit Santarem and the Church of St. Stephen, or “Church of the Holy Miracle” in Santarem, site of a 13th century Eucharistic miracle. We continue on to Fatima where in 1917, Mary appeared to the local children and the “miracle of the sun” occurred.
We check-in to our hotel in Fatima and enjoy dinner. We will have the option to join this evening’s International Rosary at 9:30 PM at the Chapel of Apparitions attended by thousands of pilgrims world-wide, followed by the Candlelight Procession. (Note: I will send a special request that one of you will lead the Rosary in Tagalog, they
will have delegates from different countries to lead the
Today we arrive in Lisbon and meet our Tour Director who will accompany us until the end of our tour in Barcelona. We transfer to the city center of Lisbon, Portugal’s capital, and celebrate Mass at the birthplace of St. Anthony of Padua. Following Mass, we will have a motor-coach panoramic city tour of of the city, visit the Tagus River and see the Tower of Belem and the Discoveries Monument, displaying statues of many Portuguese explorers. We also visit inside the Jeronimos Monastery, an impressive symbol of Portugal's power and wealth during the " Age of Discovery".
Day 3 (May 3)
FATIMA/ ALJUSTREL / VALINHOS / COVA DE IRIA
After an early breakfast, we walk to the Chapel of Apparitions to celebrate English mass at 08:30 AM with our priest, as the main celebrant. Following the Holy Mass, we will have a guided tour of the Shrine and the Basilica of Our Lady of Fatima, visit the tombs of the children, followed by a visit of the shrine’s museum, see the bullet that pierced through St. John Paull II and other items of historical significance. Spend free time to explore the sanctuary's grounds.
After lunch, we continue on to Aljustrel to visit the House of Lucia and House of Francisco and Jacinta and also stop for a visit to the pasture in Valinhos where Our Lady once appeared to the children. Then we participate in the Stations of the Cross along the path that the shepherd children used to tend to their flock en-route to the Cova da Iria, where Our Lady appeared to them. We return to Fatima for dinner, we will join again this evening’s International Rosary at 9:30 PM at the Chapel of Apparitions followed by the Candlelight Procession. Return to our hotel in Fatima for the night.
Day 4 (May 4)
Fatima/ Nazare – Alcobaca - Fatima
After breakfast, we will have our Holy Mass in the Sanctuary followed by a rosary. Spend some time for personal prayer and devotions and a free time to explore the sanctuary's grounds. We then depart for Nazare, a striking seaside village. Here, we will visit the Chapel of Our Lady of Nazare situated on a cliff overlooking the ocean. After some time for browsing the local markets of this fishing village, we continue to the Monastery of Saint Mary of Alcobaca, one of Portugal’s most impressive religious monuments.
We depart Alcobaca and return to Fatima. The afternoon is your free time for souvenir shopping or for prayers and devotion. After dinner, we will join again this evening’s International Rosary at the Chapel of Apparitions followed by the Candlelight Procession. Return to our hotel in Fatima for our last night here.
Day 5 (May 5)
Fatima / Braga / Santiago de Compostela
After breakfast, we depart Fatima and we drive to the town of Braga and visit the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte, (its name means Good Jesus of the Mount), where we enjoy the beautiful grounds and incredible views. The first indication of a chapel over the hill dates from 1373. This chapel - dedicated to the Holy Cross - was rebuilt in the 15th and 16th centuries. In 1629 a pilgrimage church was built dedicated to the Bom Jesus (Good Jesus), with six chapels dedicated to the Passion of Christ.
Upon arrival in Santiago de Compostela, we will enjoy a walking tour of the historical center of Santiago, including a visit and celebration of Mass in the Cathedral of St. James the Apostle, housing the remains of the Saint. The Cathedral is one of the finest architectural examples in Europe as it encompasses Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque styles. Additionally, the Cathedral contains
numerous and valuable pieces of art that truly captivate the eye. Upon entering the Cathedral, tradition will lead as we will hug the dazzling statue of St. James. Following this intimate embrace, we will descent into the crypt where the Patron Saint of Pilgrims’ relics are kept. Behind the silver and gold main altar are the sarcophagi of St. James and two of his disciples. A statue of St. James towers above and is surrounded by an elaborate display of drapery and sculpture. The name “Compostela” from the Latin “field of the star,” was named after the tradition of St. James (Santiago), the Patron Saint of Spain. This city has been the third major site visited by Christian pilgrims and visitors (after Jerusalem and Rome) and is the present capital of Galicia. Check-in to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 6 (May 6)
Santiago de Compostela / Burgos / Salamanca
After breakfast, we depart Santiago de Compostela and drive to Burgos, where we will pass through the Arco de Santa Maria, an ornate gateway through the old city walls built to honor Charles V. Visit the interior of the Gothic Cathedral, which began in 1221. This is a pilgrimage church on the Camino de Santiago. After the tour, we will continue our drive to Salamanca, one of Spain's foremost cultural centers, a great university city and a showcase of intricately sculpted Renaissance architecture in golden stone. Visit the Plaza Mayor, which is regarded as one of the most attractive squares in Spain, and visit inside the Cathedrals Vieja and Nueva. Dinner and overnight at our hotel.
Day 7 (May 7)
Salamanca / Alba De Tormes / Avila / Madrid
After breakfast, we drive to Alba de Tormes (about 1 hr) where St. Teresa of Avila died in 1582. We celebrate Mass inside the Church of the Annunciation, where St. Teresa's body is entombed under the main altar and relics of the saint are stored above the altar in a glass reliquary. Following Mass, visit the small museum dedicated to St. Teresa of Ávila, which also holds her incorrupt heart and left arm.
We then travel to Avila, the best-preserved walled city in the world and home to St. Teresa. It is here, with her spiritual director, St. John of the Cross, that St. Teresa reformed the Carmelite Order. We will enjoy a short walking tour of Avila, the ancient city inside its walls, including a visit to the Church of St. Teresa. We will visit these sites: Catedral de Ávila, whose artwork and architecture encompasses the Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance styles; la Basilica de San Vicente, of which stands on the site of the martyrdom of St. Vincent; Monastery of the Incarnation, where St. Teresa became a nun and most interestingly, received advice from St. John of the Cross to reform the Carmelite order; el Convento de Santa Teresa, built upon the home of St. Teresa and contains the relics of hers and of St. John of the Cross & El Convento de San Jose, the first monastery created by St. Teresa.
We depart Avila and drive to Madrid (about 1 hour & 15 mins), where we will have dinner and spend overnight.
Day 8 (May 8)
MADRID / ZARAGOZA / LOURDES
After breakfast, we will enjoy an orientation tour of Spain’s capital that will include a visit and celebration of Mass in the Almudena Cathedral. Following Mass, we arrive at the Plaza Mayor, the main square in Madrid, and also stop at the Royal Palace. Both sites are iconic to Madrid as the palace holds state ceremonies and events; and the Plaza Mayor is the geographic center of Madrid, as well as the social center. We will also visit Retiro Park and a motor coach panoramic city tour of Madrid with short stops at major sites for photo opportunities.
Later in the afternoon, we bid farewell to Madrid and continue on to the town of Zaragoza. Upon arrival, we visit the Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar, the place where Mary appeared to the Apostle James before her Assumption into heaven. The church was built upon the site of where Our Lady appeared to St. James. In 44 A.D. St. James, the Greater was spreading the Gospel in Spain but, making very little progress and questioning his mission. According to Catholic Tradition, the Virgin Mary, who was still living in Jerusalem, bilocated and appeared to St. James the Greater to boost his morale. While inside the Basilica, we will view the pillar that was carried by angels and from atop where Our Lady appeared. After lunch, we depart Zaragoza and we proceed our way to Lourdes (about 3.5 hrs drive). Depending on how tired you are or not, you will have the opportunity to attend the Blessed Sacrament Procession and the Candlelight Procession at 9PM. Dinner and a restful night at our hotel in Lourdes.
Day 9 (May 9)
Today, you will wake up in a small town that is nestled within the Pyrenees Mountains. Famous for its healing waters and miracles, Lourdes is a remarkable place to visit. Pilgrims come here to be cured. After breakfast, our group will have Mass at the Grotto, concelebrated with other priests. After Mass, our group will have a private guided history tour to see Boly Mill, the birthplace of St. Bernadette, and the "Cachot," an abandoned prison where Bernadette's impoverished family lived. Not only will you learn some of the religious history, but you will also see both the Basilica of Saint Pius and the newer Basilica of the Domain. And there are more stories as you visit the Grotto where Bernadette Soubirous experienced 18 apparitions, as well as the fountain and the Healing Baths. After lunch, we will queue for the healing baths. The rest of the afternoon is your free time.
During your time in Lourdes, you will have the opportunity to pray and meditate in yet another site of Our Lady's apparitions. Our Lady first appeared to a young Bernadette Soubirous in 1858, and announced herself as "The Immaculate Conception", near the Grotto of Massabielle. During the first two apparitions, little Bernadette prayed the Rosary with Our Lady and left without any exchange of words. During the following apparitions, Our Lady emphasized God's love for us, penance and the necessity of performing acts of penance for sinners. You can optionally watch a video presentation at the Pilgrim's Center at your own time, that explains, in detail, the story of Lourdes; Don't forget to drink water from the miraculous spring that has healed many (bring empty bottles to fill up with the healing waters to bring home).
Tonight, following dinner, you will have an opportunity to attend the candlelight procession and the Rosary before a restful overnight.
Day 10 (May 10)
This morning after our private Mass, we gather together and walk up the hill to experience Christ’s unconditional love as we meditate upon the “life size” Stations of the Cross that overlook the Grotto of Massabielle. The remainder of the day is free for personal & spiritual exploration at the Lourdes Sanctuary or souvenir shopping. This evening offers another opportunity to participate in the Candlelight Procession. Last night in Lourdes.
Day 11 (May 11)
Lourdes / Carcassonne / Barcelona
After breakfast, we depart Lourdes, drive over the Pyrenees to Barcelona. Enroute we will stop by Carcassonne for lunch, a hilltop town in southern France. It is famous for its medieval citadel, La Cité, with numerous watchtowers and double-walled fortifications which were built in Gallo-Roman times, in the 13th and 14th centuries. After lunch, we proceed our way to Barcelona for another 3 hours. Upon arrival, we proceed with a sightseeing tour of the city, including the stunning panoramic views of the Port of Barcelona, Montjuic Hill, Plaza de España, and Plaza de Catalunya. Plaza de España is right outside the center of town and was formerly known for its old bull-fighting ring. Plaza de Catalunya is located in central Barcelona, and is known for its fountains and statues. Drive to our hotel for check- in and spend 3 nights in Barcelona.
Day 12 (May 12) BARCELONA
After breakfast, we will have mass at Sagrada Familia at the Crypt and then have a guided tour inside the beautiful Basilica. It is the most iconic symbol of Barcelona and the most visited landmark in the whole of Spain. The construction of the structure began in 1882. It was designed initially in a Neo-Gothic style. A year later it was commissioned to a genius Spanish Catalan architect, Antoni Gaudí, who redesigned it entirely. Today, more than 140 years after the laying of the cornerstone, the construction continues on the Basilica.
After lunch, We continue our panoramic city tour to the city center’s Plaza de Cataluña and Paseo de Gracia to admire Gaudi’s eccentric Casa Batllõ and Milà. Our day of touring will continue with a guided walking tour through the Gothic Quarter that contains remains from an ancient Roman village, including the Cathedral of Barcelona, then to the Mercat de la Boqueria. It is a municipal market located on Las Ramblas in Barcelona. Tonight, we enjoy dinner at a restaurant with Flamenco show. Return to our hotel for a restful night.
Day 13 (May 13)
BARCELONA/ MANRESA / MONSERRAT/ BARCELONA
We depart this morning for Manresa, a place of profound conversion for St. Ignatius of Loyola. At Manresa, we have an audiovisual presentation and a tour of the museum and visit the cave on the banks of the Cardoner River where Ignatius received a vision that provided him with insights into the spiritual life and altered the course of his own life. From the initial insights he received here, Ignatius went on to compose the Spiritual Exercises. Ignatius remained in Manresa for about a year and a half before continuing his journey. We then follow Ignatius’ path to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Montserrat (located on a rugged mountainside), and take the
funicular up the Basilica. The Sanctuary is the spiritual heart of Catalonia and home to a dramatically set Benedictine monastery. For 700 years, this Marian shrine has attracted thousands of pilgrims from around the world. We will celebrate Mass here and visit the Black Madonna of Montserrat, probably Spain’s most fervent devotion to the Blessed Mother. According to Catholic tradition, St. Luke carved the statue of the Black Madonna around 50 A.D. and brought it to Spain. While in Spain, it was hidden from the Moors and then, was later rediscovered by shepherds. In 880 A.D., the shepherds and the Bishop of Manresa were drawn to a grotto by a bright light and heavenly music. Upon discovery of the statue of the Black Madonna in the grotto, the Bishop of Manresa suggested that it be moved to Manresa.
However, the statue was too heavy that it could not be lifted. As a result, the Virgin remained on Montserrat and continued to be venerated there for centuries. Watch a video about Our Lady of Montserrat and spend time for prayers and devotion. Return to Barcelona, the rest of the afternoon is at your own leisure. Dinner and a restful night in our hotel.
Day 14 (May 14)
Homebound or Optional Medjugorje
Breakfast at the hotel. We will transfer to Barcelona airport for our flights home to the USA or join the Optional trip to Medjugorje and fly to Dubrovnik.
We bid farewell to our dear friends, and to a pilgrimage which will be in our hearts and memories for a long time to come!
INCLUDED FOR TOUR PACKAGE
Hotel accommodations in 4* hotels
Breakfast Buffet Daily & Dinner
Tour escort through out the entire tour
Sightseeing & Admission fees per itinerary
Experienced & English-Speaking Local guides
Transportation by air-conditioned motor coach
Airport & Hotel Transfers
Free Wi-Fi at hotels
Whispers for entire tour
Porterage of one (1) piece of luggage per person. If you need porterage for 2 -pieces of luggage, please pay a tip
for the additional luggage to the hotel porters (4 euros)
Mass daily & Spiritual activities
Flamenco Show with Dinner in Barcelona
Roundtrip International Flights (Please call Xenia for assistance on flights. Estimated from TPA $1371 roundtrip)
Schengen Visa not included where applicable (US citizens don't need the Schengen Visa)
Travel Insurance (Highly Encouraged) please call Xenia for details
Gratuities: 2 Euro for Tour Director, 2 Euro Tour Guide, 2 Euro Bus Driver + 1 Euro Hotel Dining Staff per day/per person (total of 91 Euros per person)
Love Offering for Priest
Covid-19 Tests (if required)
Personal needs, phone calls, etc.
Church offerings during Mass
OPTIONAL: We offer Travel Insurance Policies 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 for details.