Many Pilgrimage Sites
August 5 to 22, 2018
1. Following the Footsteps of Saint Paul in Greece
2. The lives of “Saint Rita, Padre Pio, Saint Benedict and Saint Francis”
3. The “Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano”
4. “Home of the Holy Family” in Loreto, Italy
5. Blessing from “Our Lady of Fatima” in Portugal
6. AUDIENCE WITH HOLY FATHER POPE FRANCIS IN ROME
August 5 - Sunday: Depart from San Antonio Airport or Raleigh Durham Airport with destination to Athens, Greece and Portugal.
Day 1 – Monday – August 6 – Athens, Greece
Arrival at the beautiful city of Athens – ACROPOLIS & BYZANTINE CHURCHES
We’ll depart to enjoy a panoramic tour of the city of Athens following a meeting with our guide. We’ll hike to the sacred rock of the Acropolis to visit the famous Parthenon, the Erecteion, the Temple of Athens Nike and the Propileos. Afterwards we’ll walk all the way to Agora (ancient market) to see the byzantine church of the Holy Apostles of Solaki, which dates from the 10th century and was constructed to commemorate the sermons which Saint Paul preached to the Athenians in 51 A.D. We’ll continue to the byzantine church of Panagia (Virgen) Kapnikarea, which dates back to the 11th century; from which we’ll arrive at the hotel. Dinner and accommodation in Athens.
Day 2 – Tuesday – August 7 – COMPLETE DAY IN CORINTH
In the morning we’ll drive mostly along the Saronic Gulf, passing by the historic Canal of Corinth to arrive in the ancient city of Corinth (Acts 18: 1-18). Here we’ll see all the findings associated with the ministry of saint Paul: the Agora, the Temple of Apollo, the Roman Odeum, and the Bema (Tribunal) of Galio. We’ll return to Athens for dinner and accommodation.
Day 3 – Wednesday – August 8 – Monastery of Osios Lukas – Delphi
At 8 in the morning, we’ll travel towards Central Greece. Halfway to Delphi, we’ll stop to visit the byzantine monastery of Osios Lukas, which dates back to the XI century. The cathedral is decorated with marvelous mosaics and is architecturally considered one of the most precious byzantine monuments of Greece. The monastery’s terrace offers magnificent views of the green valley.
We’ll continue towards Delphi, the center of the ancient world, the “omphalos” (navel) of the earth- whose prestige extended far beyond the boundaries of the hellenic world. On the slopes of Mount Parnassus, in the middle of a landscape of incomparable beauty and majesty, the archaeological site of Delphi can be found. We’ll visit the Sanctuary of Apollo and the Treasure of the Athenians. Dinner and accommodation at a hotel in Delphi.
Day 4 – Thursday – August 9 – MONASTERIES OF METEROA – KALAMBAKA VERIA – THESSALONIKI
Breakfast and departure towards Kalambaka, where we will visit the imposing Meteora Monasteries, built on strange rock formations ("stone needles") rising perpendicularly in the middle of a wide plain. We will admire its magnificent icons, ancient manuscripts and frescoes.
We will head towards Thessalonica, with a short stop at Veria, formerly called Berea. St. Luke mentions that "immediately the brothers at night sent St. Paul and Silas to Berea, who came directly to the Synagogue of the Jews" (Acts 17: 10-14). Here we will see the monument that commemorates the passage of St. Paul through this city. We will continue to Thessalonica, where St. Paul founded a very active and lively church and where he later sent his parishioners his two celebrated epistles. During the panorama of the city we will see the White Tower, the Galerius arch, the walls that border the city, and the Byzantine churches of St. Demetrius and Hagia Sophia. Dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
DAY 5 - FRIDAY - AUGUST 10 - CRUISE BY MOUNT ATHOS - KAVALA
At 06:00 AM we will leave for the Uranúpolis region, located on the third "finger" of the Chalcidice peninsula, where we will enjoy a 3 hour mini-cruise around Mount Athos. Departure at 10:30. The ship goes to the southwestern part of the peninsula and reaches the maritime borders of the monastic state and its territory. From there, you will pass by the first Russian cloisters and some beautiful beaches, by the Dochiariou monastery and 7 other monasteries as well as by Dafni, the main port of the Holy Mountain, and finally by the cloisters, small villages with houses inhabited by groups of monks. Disembark in Uranúpolis around 14:00. Free time for lunch and transfer to Kavala for dinner and accomodation.
DAY 6 - SATURDAY - AUGUST 11 - KAVALA - PHILIPPIANS - THESSALONY
Departure to the city of Philippi (Acts 16: 12-18), formerly called Crenidas; From this place he wrote his second "Epistle to the Corinthians." We will visit the archaeological site of the city; The amphitheater, the baths, the basilica, the prison of St. Paul and the Forum, as well as the place where the apostle celebrated the Eucharist by the river Gangites and where he converted and baptized the first Christians of the continent. Transfer to Thessaloniki. Dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
DAY 7 - SUNDAY - AUGUST 12 – ATHENS- Rome
After breakfast and the celebration of Holy Mass, we will go to the airport of Athens where we will take our flight to the city of Rome, Italy. On arrival in Rome I will meet the bus that will transfer us directly to the hotel for dinner and rest.
DAY 8 - MONDAY - AUGUST 13 - ROME
After breakfast, we will visit the Basilicas of Rome: St. John Lateran, St. Paul Extramural, St. Mary Major and the Holy Staircase. In the afternoon, we will go to the Center of Rome to visit the Fountain of Trevy, the Spanish and Navona Squares and the Cemetery. Celebration of Holy Mass. Dinner and rest in Rome.
DAY 9 – Tuesday – August 14 – Rome
After breakfast we will go to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. In the afternoon, we will have free time to buy religious items that the Holy Father can bless the day after the Audience. Dinner and accommodation in Rome.
Day 10 – Wednesday – August 15 – Rome – PAPAL AUDIENCE – ASSISI
After breakfast, we will go to Saint Peter’s Plaza to attend the Audience with the Holy Father.
In the afternoon, we will continue to Assisi, where on our arrival we will hike through this beautiful city, visiting the Basilica of San Francisco, where the remains of the Saint are found. We will also visit the Porcíncula where San Francisco died, the Basilica of Saint Clare, founder of the Poor Clare Sisters. Celebration of Holy Mass in the Basilica of San Francis. Dinner and accommodation in Assisi.
Day 11 – Thursday – August 16 – Assisi: Cascia – Loreto – Lanciano
After breakfast we will head towards Cascia, the place that houses the incorrupt body of Saint Rita of Cascia. Later we will go to the Marian Sanctuary of Loreto to visit the Holy House of Nazareth and the beautiful Virgin of Loreto. Celebration of Holy Mass in the Sanctuary. In the afternoon, we will continue along the Adriatic coast towards Lanciano, where the Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano is located. Dinner and accommodation in Lanciano.
Day 12 – Friday – August 17 – LANCIANO – SAINT GIOVANNI ROTONDO
After breakfast, we will visit the Basilica where the Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano is located. Celebration of Holy Mass and tour of this beautiful town. We will continue our journey to San Giovanni Rotondo, a place that houses the incorrupt body of Padre Pio. At night, participation in the Candles Procession.
Day 13 – SATURDAY – AUGUST 18 – SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO – SAINT MICHAEL’S GROTTO
We will take a tour of the sanctuary, admiring the old church and the crucifix from which he (Padre Pio) receives the stigmata in the year 1918. In the afternoon, visit to the grotto of the Archangel St. Michael. Six different Popes, Saint Francis and at least four other saints knelt here while praying, seeking the protection of San Miguel. This sanctuary was blessed by St. Michael himself in 490. Return to San Giovanni for dinner and rest.
DAY 14 – SUNDAY- AUGUST 19 – SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO – MANOPELLO – MONTECASSINO – ROME
After breakfast, we’ll continue our journey towards the small town of Manoppello, a place that shelters the cloth with which St. Veronica wiped the Face of Christ during the walk to Calvary. We will continue our journey, visiting Montecassino, the place where Saint Benedict established the order of the Benedictines.
After lunch, we’ll continue towards Rome. Dinner and rest in Rome.
DAY 15 – MONDAY – AUGUST 20 – ROME – LISBON – FATIMA
In the morning, we will take the flight to Lisbon, Portugal. On our arrival in Lisbon, we will take a panoramic walk through the city and later we will move to the Sanctuary of Fatima. On our arrival in Fatima, we will have a tour of the village. Celebration of the Holy Mass and procession of candles. Dinner and accommodation in Fatima.
DAY 16 – TUESDAY – AUGUST 21 – FATIMA
After breakfast, we will take a tour of the house of the Shepherds Lucía, Jacinta and Francisco. We will visit the Via Crucis where the first apparitions happened. Later we will go to the Church where the Saints Jacinta and Francisco were baptized. Celebration of Holy Mass. Afternoon free time for shopping. At night, we can attend the procession of candles in the Sanctuary.
DAY 17 – WEDNESDAY – AUGUST 22 – FATIMA – LISBON – SAN ANTONIO, TX / RALEIGH, NC.
Transfer to the airport of Lisbon to take our flight back home!
COST PER PERSON $4,700.00 (Double room)
The price includes:
Flight: Raleigh - Athens, Greece- Rome, Italy- Lisbon, Portugal- Raleigh
Breakfasts & Dinners
Top-notch transportation service on all sites
Spanish-speaking guide on all sites
The price DOES NOT include:
Alcoholic beverages during the meals and dinners
Tips and personal expenses
Medical and traveling insurance