Pilgrimage to Italy - March 20, 2019
A Pilgrimage to the Saints and Shrines of Italy
Immerse yourself in the culture that gave us some of the greatest Italian saints and Eucharistic Miracles of the Catholic Church. See where the host turned to blood launching the institution of the Corpus Christi Feast. Walk in the footsteps of St. Francis and St. Clare, not only in Assisi, but see where St. Francis created the first Nativity set in the mountains of Italy. Ponder the forgiveness of St. Rita at Cascia, before heading to glorious Rome. Stunning art and beautiful churches await as we pray at the tombs of martyr’s, visit the Sistine Chapel, and attend a possible papal audience.
Italy Pilgrimage Itinerary
Our pilgrimage begins as we depart on our overnight flight to Rome. Meals and refreshments will be served aloft.
After our morning arrival in Rome we will drive north to Orvieto where we’ll visit the Signorelli Chapel in the Cathedral of Orvieto and venerate the sacred Eucharistic miracle. See the steps of the Papal summer residence where Pope Urban IV held up the bloodstained corporal and announced his intention to institute the Feast of Corpus Christi. After Mass we will continue our drive through the beautiful Umbrian countryside to Assisi, a town which welcomes us in the spirit of St. Francis and St. Clare into its peaceful interior. Enjoy a bit of free time in Assisi before dinner.
This morning we will visit St. Mary of the Angels Basilica, site of the Porziuncola, the tiny church in the woods where St. Francis began his ministry and where St. Clare began her religious life. Then enjoy a tour of Assisi including visits to the Convent of San Damiano where the miracle of the Eucharist in 1211 took place, the Basilica of St. Francis where Mass will be celebrated, and the Basilica of St. Clare. Then for those with the stamina, take a walk up Monte Subasio to L’Eremo delle Carceri (the Carceri Hermitage), the Saint’s favorite retreat. There are many caves here that St. Francis and his followers retreated to for seclusion and prayer. Overnight in Assisi.
This morning we will depart Assisi and drive to Cascia where we will visit the Shrine of St. Rita. We will then proceed to the medieval town of Greccio. Greccio itself, set on a beautiful mountaintop, is famous for its cool summer climate and its mineral springs. However, it is even more renowned for its connections with St. Francis of Assisi and as the birthplace of the Christmas crèche. On Christmas Night 1223, St. Francis led shepherds to the top of a nearby hill where they gathered together in a stable sheltering an ox and a donkey. According to legend, the Baby Jesus miraculously appeared in the manger. On this spot the Franciscan convent of Greccio was built, and the Chapel of the Crib was erected in 1228, the year St. Francis was canonized. Continue on to Rome, our home for the next 5 nights.
This morning we will visit the first of the major basilicas of Rome – St. Paul Outside the Walls, originally built by Constantine in the fourth century over the site of St. Paul’s tomb. After our Holy Hour, we will visit the Church of St. Cecilia and celebrate Mass and then visit the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere, a titular minor basilica, and one of the oldest churches of Rome. In the evening, you may visit the Trevi Fountain where a coin thrown over your shoulder will guarantee you another visit to Rome; the Pantheon; Piazza Navona with the famous Bernini’s fountains. Enjoy dinner on your own at one of the many restaurants in Rome.
This morning we will attend the weekly Papal audience given by His Holiness, Pope Francis (depending upon the Holy Father’s schedule). Join thousands of pilgrims from throughout the world to listen to the Holy Father and receive His Blessing. This afternoon, we’ll head to the Mamertine Prison where St. Paul was kept in chains. Proceed to St. Peter in Chains to view Michelangelo’s magnificent Moses followed by a visit to St. Mary Major where we will celebrate Mass.
We’ll begin today with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, followed by a tour including the Pieta and Adoration Chape. Those who want can climb up to the Cupola of St. Peter’s Basilica for a breathtaking view of Rome. Afterwards we will tour the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museum, focusing especially on Eucharistic art and artifacts. After lunch we’ll visit the Holy Stairs and the Basilica of St. John Lateran. Enjoy dinner on your own at one of the many restaurants in Rome.
This morning we will celebrate Mass at the Basilica of San Lorenzo and have some time for adoration. We will then visit the Forum and Coliseum and stop at St. Clement’s to see the second century dwelling of Pope St. Clement, the third successor of St. Peter, and the original fresco depicting St. Clement celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. This fresco gives us a picture of Eucharistic worship at the end of the first century or the beginning of the second. Later we travel to the Catacombs where we will celebrate Mass. This evening we will enjoy a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
Following breakfast, we will transfer to the airport to catch our return flight home.
- Daily Mass at holy sites
- Roundtrip economy airfare from Indianapolis on Delta/Air France
- 7 nights’ accommodation, including taxes and service charges
- Porterage of one piece of luggage at airports and hotels
- Knowledgeable, friendly, Catholic/Christian guides; whisper headsets; deluxe motor coach transportation to holy sites; all entrance fees listed on itinerary
- Breakfast and dinner as per itinerary (excluding drinks)