Pilgrimage to Ireland - June 17, 2024
Basilica of Knock | Shrine of Knock | Cliffs of Moher | Ring of Kerry | Blarney Castle
A pilgrimage to Ireland is an immersion in faith and culture. Take in the beauty of this small island country as you traverse the lunar landscape of The Burren, view the impressive Cliffs of Moher, and travel across the rolling green hills of “The Emerald Isle.” Walk in the footsteps of numerous saints and be renewed by the centuries-old faith of the Irish people.
Ireland Pilgrimage Itinerary
Our pilgrimage begins today as we depart on our overnight flight to Ireland. Meals and drinks served aloft.
Upon arrival in Dublin, we will be met by our local Irish tour manager, who will remain with us for the duration of our pilgrimage. We proceed into Dublin proper, the vibrant capital of Ireland, with a romantic aura of Old-World Europe, for a city tour. Beginning at the church of Our Lady of Lourdes, we venerate the tomb of Venerable Matt Talbot, 20th century commoner known for overcoming his alcoholism through the power of faith. We continue to St. Mary’s Pro Cathedral – the Catholic Cathedral of Dublin. Our final stop before checking into our hotel will be at Trinity College to see the famous Book of Kells, the 9th century illuminated manuscript of the four Gospels. (D) Mass
Following breakfast, we will head north to see the Celtic crosses in the historic ruins of Monasterboice, the remains of an early Christian monastic settlement. The three high crosses were constructed as early as the 10th century, and other remaining ruins are from the 13th and 14th centuries. Continue on to the Hill of Slane where St. Patrick is said to have lit an Easter fire as a challenge to the pagan High King of Tara. In the afternoon visit St Peter’s Church in Drogheda, famous for its tall west gable, rose window, and for containing the national shrine of St. Oliver Plunkett, the last Roman Catholic to be martyred in England, before returning to Dublin. (B, D) Mass
We depart Dublin this morning for Glendalough. Tucked away in the Wicklow Mountains, Glendalough was established by St. Kevin in the 6th century. Seeking a place where he could commune with God without the distractions of worldly life, the young Kevin lived first in a tree, then in a cave, eventually attracting a following of those who wanted to pursue a similar monastic vocation. Explore the ruins of this ancient monastery and marvel at the faithful asceticism of the medieval monks. Continue our drive south to the charming village of Wexford for dinner and overnight. (B, D) Mass
We begin our day with a visit to the Irish National Heritage Park, an open-air museum that brings to life over 9000 years of Irish history. Continue to the Rock of Cashel, a monumental 12th century complex dominating the surrounding landscape. Tradition holds that it was here where Patrick first used the shamrock as an image of the Trinity and converted the pagan King of Munster. It hosts one of the most remarkable collections of Celtic art and medieval architecture in the region. After exploring this unique and historic location, we proceed to Cork for overnight. (B, D) Mass
This morning we begin at the Cathedral of Saint Mary and Saint Anne in Cork. We continue to Blarney Castle, which dates back to 1446 and is the third castle built on this site. We will climb onto the battlements to reach the Blarney Stone, said to impart the gift of eloquence to all that kiss it. Afterwards, depart for Killarney, situated in a spectacular location amidst mountains, glens and lakes. Sometimes known as the “Best Kept Town” in all of Ireland, Killarney is teeming with history, Irish heritage, and hospitality. The remainder of this afternoon is free to enable us to explore the interesting craft shops, quaint historic buildings and churches, or perhaps sample the traditional form of local transport, the jaunting car (a horse drawn wagon). (B, D) Mass
Today we travel the road that winds around the beautiful Iveragh Peninsula, better known as “The Ring of Kerry.” It is undoubtedly one of the most magical places in all Ireland. Here bogs, mountains, valleys, lakes and sea blend into a landscape that is often breathtaking beyond words. Even the names of the towns seem to whisper their beauty: Cahirciveen, Glenbeigh, Killorglin and Sneem. Visit Muckross House and Abbey before returning to the hotel for an early dinner. Afterwards, enjoy a traditional Irish music, song, and dance show presented by the Celtic Steps. (B, D) Mass
Depart Killarney traveling via the lunar landscape of the Burren to the magnificent Cliffs of Moher, a dramatic great sheer rock face rising 700 feet from the Atlantic Ocean. Continue to Galway, “the City of the Tribes,” and check into our hotel for dinner and overnight. (B, D) Mass
Today we visit the small village of Knock, where on August 21, 1879, witnesses saw three figures on the wall of a church standing raised about two feet off the ground. The central figure, Our Lady, had hands raised to shoulder height and eyes turned heavenward, as if in prayer. With her were St. Joseph and St. John, Apostle and Evangelist. In 1979, one hundred years after the Apparition, Pope John Paul II paid a visit and bestowed the status of Basilica to the Shrine Church of Knock. We have the opportunity to celebrate Mass, recite the rosary, and make the Way of the Cross. Eucharistic devotions and the Sacrament of Reconciliation are also available to conclude this spiritual, peaceful day at the Shrine before returning to Galway. (B, D) Mass
Following breakfast, visit the Galway Cathedral dedicated to Our Lady and St. Nicholas and the Collegiate Church of St. Nicholas with its famous Spanish Arch from where Columbus prayed before sailing for America. Afterwards, depart Galway for Dublin. This afternoon you will be free to enjoy this city once more until our farewell dinner at a local pub featuring traditional Irish music. (B, D) Mass
Today our Irish Pilgrimage comes to an end. Following breakfast, transfer to Dublin Airport for our return flight to the United States.
- Daily Mass at holy sites
- Double-occupancy accommodation, including taxes and service charges
- Porterage of one piece of luggage at hotel
- Knowledgeable, friendly, Catholic/Christian guides; whisper headsets; deluxe motor coach transportation to holy sites; all entrance fees listed on itinerary
- Breakfast and dinner per itinerary (excluding drinks)