Pilgrimage to Italy 12 Day
9/24/17 - 10/6/17
join St Joan of Arc's Choir Group, along with their choir director Joyce and Father Pat Rebel on a 10 day pilgrimage through Italy
Day 1 - Sunday
Today we depart for Rome, Italy. Meals are served on our flight
Day 2 - Monday
Upon our arrival in Rome, we will depart to Orvieto to visit the site of the Eucharistic miracle, including the Blood Stained Stones and the Sanctuary of St Cristina in Bolsena. We will celebrate Mass at a Cathedral with beautiful marble facades, in the Piazza del Duomo. We will visit the Palace of the Popes and the National Archaeologica Museum in the Palazzo Soliano. Then on to the beautiful, medieval toen of Sienna for dinner and overnight.
Day 3 - Tuessday
This morning as we awaken in the hometown of St Catherine. We will visit the historic center of Siena and the Sanctuary of Santa Maria in Provenzano, where we will see the Cross from which Catherine received the stigmata. We will celebrate Mass in the dark-green and white striped Cathedral. As the day draws to an end we depart from Siena to Assisi for dinner and overnight.
Day 4 - Wednesday
This morning we visit the Basilica of St. Clare, Francis's friend and foundress of the Poor Clare nuns. We will see the crucifix that spoke to St. Francis in San Damiano. We will go to San Damiano to pray in the place where Francis wrote the "Canticle of the Sun." We also will visit the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli built to enclose the tiny Church of the Porziuncola, St. Francis' first retreat and place of prayer. Here he consecrated Clare as the Bride of Christ. It is at this spot we celebrate Mass. The afternoon is free for you to explore. We will meet again for dinner and overnight.
Day 5 - Thursday
This morning we depart for Loreto, on our way we will stop to visit Macerata where we pray at the Shrine of Our Lady of Mercy. Place of the Eucharistic Miracle, where in the 14th century, a priest torn by the doubt that Christ was really present in the Eucharist, saw the host bleed into the chalice and some of the blood spilled on the corporal. We will continue to one of Italy's leading pilgrimage sites in Loreto, where local tradition says angels moved the house that had been the Holy Family's home in Nazareth. Here we will stay and visit the Sanctuary of the Holy House and its grounds. Dinner and overnight.
Day 6 - Friday
This morning we depart for Lanciano where another priest, much like the priest in Macerata, was doubtful about the real presence of Christ. During his celebration of Mass, the host turned into flesh and the wine into blood. Here we also will celebrate Mass before departing for our drive along the Adriatic coast of Italy. We arrive in San Giovanni Rotondo, the home to Blessed Padre Pio, who was made a saint in 2002 by Pope John Paul II. Dinner and overnight in San Giovanni Rotondo.
Day 7 - Saturday
SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO/MONTE SANT'ANGELO/SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO
This morning we are in one of the most renowned pilgrimage destinations in Europe because of the extraordinary life of the Franciscan Padre Pio da Pietralcina, who lived and labored here until his death in 1968, WE will hold Mass in the convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie where Padre Pio Lived. Afterwards we will hear about his life and his works from the Franciscan friars. Later we will visit the institutions he helped build. WE will depart for Monte Sant'Angelo that is nearby. This is where one of the most ancient of Christian shrines, dedicated to the Archangel Michael who appeared here in the 5th and 8th centuries. WE will return to Giocanni Rotondo for dinner and overnight.
Day 8 - Sunday
SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO/MONTE CASSINO/ROME
On our departure to Rome we will stop in Monte Cassino the visit the Benedictine Abbey set high atop a mountain. Saint Benedict of Norcia in the 6th century founded this abbey. This is where St. Benedict established his first monastic community. Four times the abbey has been destroyed, most recently in the World War II. However, it still serves as home to the Benedictines. Upon our arrival in Rome, we enter the Eternal City where we visit first of Rome’s major basilicas, St Paul's Outside the Walls, where the Apostle is buried. We will tour the grounds of the amazing basilica as well as celebrate Mass. After Mass, we will enjoy a sightseeing tour of the city with a drive to Palatine and Capitoline Hills including the Imperial and Roman Forums, the Hippodrome and Constantine's Arch. We will stop outside the Colosseum before we check into our hotel and dinner. WE will have a delightful evening as we enjoy a panoramic sightseeing tour of "Rome illuminated by night". We will stop to take a short walk around the world-famous Trevi Fountain. Afterwards returning to our hotel for overnight.
Day 9 - Monday
This morning we will celebrate Mass at St. Mary Major Basilicas, the most important church in the world devoted to Our Lady. Mass has been celebrated here every day since the 5th century. Our next visit will be St. John Lateran, the Pope's cathedral church where relics of both Peter and Paul remain under the main altar. We will also visit the church of Scala Santa, here we see the Holy Staircase of 28 marble steps (now covered in wood) which is believed to be a staircase from Pilate's palace in Jerusalem and brought to Rome by St. Helen in the 4th century. In the afternoon we will visit the Spanish Steps and the Pantheon, followed by a visit to Santa Maria Minerva Church with its tombs of Fra ‘Angelico and St Catherine of Sienna. Our next church that we tour will be the Church of Gesu', mother church of the Jesuit Order, which contains the remains of its founder St. Ignatius of Loyola. Dinner and overnight in Rome.
Day 10 - Tuesday
Our day begins with a visit to one of the great art collections in the world, the Vatican Museums. We see Raphael's rooms, the Tapestries Gallery and the Belvedere with its marvelous statues. Our pilgrimage is not complete without a visit to Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel that has been restored to its original beauty. We will enjoy free time in St Peter's Basilica. Here we will see a young Michelangelo’s masterpiece the deeply moving, Pieta. We celebrate Mass behind the main altar at the altar Chair of St. Peter, below the Holy Spirit window. Dinner @ the famous Alfredo's and overnight in Rome.
Day 11 - Wednesday
ROME/PAPAL AUDIENCE (40 TICKETS AREA VAILABLE TO FIRST DEPOSITERS)
Following Mass, we will go to the Vatican for an Audience with the Holy Father. After our time with Pope Francis, we visit the churches of San Clemente and its Crypt and also San Croce in Gerusalemme, where pieces of the True Cross are kept. The reminder of the day is free at the Vatican to explore at your own pace. Dinner @ Arturo's and overnight in Rome.
Day 12 - Thursday
Following breakfast, enjoy the sights of Rome on your own
Day 12 - Friday
Following breakfast, we will transfer to Rome's Leonardo da Vinci Airport for our return flight home. Even though our pilgrimage draws to a close, it has been a wonderful blessing to keep in our hearts and to share with those who could not be with us on this "Pilgrimage to Italy".