Pilgrimage to Italy - October 20, 2020
Rome | Assisi | Sienna | Florence
A grand spiritual journey throughout Italy begins with a papal audience and visits to some of the greatest churches in Rome. We climb the Holy Stairs that Christ did, journey into ancient Rome, and visit the breathtaking Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo. Visit the towns of the saints who shaped Italy’s spiritual landscape and see the fruits of their prayers. We encounter Eucharistic miracles that have remained unchanged for centuries before ending in remarkable Florence, a wonder of architecture, art, and all that is beautiful.
Italy Pilgrimage Itinerary
Our pilgrimage begins as we depart on our overnight flight to Rome. Meals and refreshments will be served aloft.
After arriving in the “Eternal City,” we will be met at the airport by our tour manager, who will be accompanying us throughout the duration of our pilgrimage. We will transfer to our hotel for check-in and have the remainder of the day free to relax or explore part of the city.
On our first full day in Rome, we will attend the weekly Papal audience given by His Holiness, Pope Francis (depending upon the Holy Father’s schedule). Then we’ll head to the Mamertine Prison where St. Paul was kept in chains, view the Forum and Coliseum from the outside, 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. A stop at St. Peter in Chains to view Michelangelo’s magnificent Moses will round out our day.
We begin our day today with an early Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, followed by a tour including the Pieta and Adoration Chapel. We’ll then visit the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museum. In the afternoon we’ll journey to see the Holy Stairs and the Basilica of St. John Lateran, and end our day with a visit to St. Mary Major.
This morning we travel to St. Paul’s Outside the Walls, originally built by Constantine in the fourth century over the site of St. Paul’s tomb, and pay a visit to the Catacombs. Afterwards, we’ll proceed to the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain, then visit the Pantheon, an ancient Roman structure rebuilt into a Church, where the famous painter Raphael is buried. Continue on to the Piazza Navona and then you will be free for the remainder of the day for shopping or visiting another of Rome’s famous churches or piazzas.
Today we depart Rome and drive north, stopping in Orvieto to visit the Cathedral and venerate the sacred Eucharistic miracle of Bolsena. There will be time for both prayer and adoration. See the steps of the Papal summer residence where Pope Urban IV held up the blood-stained corporal and announced his intention to institute the Feast of Corpus Christi in honor of the Body and Blood of Christ. Then, continue on to Assisi, a town that welcomes us in the spirit of St. Francis and St. Clare into its peaceful interior, and our home for the next 2 nights.
Our day begins with a visit to 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 was consecrated. Continue to the Convent of San Damiano where the miracle of the Eucharist of 1211 took place and visit the chapel where Jesus spoke to St. Francis from the crucifix, and the Basilica of St. Francis. We will visit the Basilica of St. Clare to venerate her incorrupt body and see the Gothic Crucifix that spoke to St. Francis, asking him to “Rebuild my Church.”
Today will be a day of prayer and reflection, as we head up Monte Subasio this morning 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. The remainder of the day will be free for personal activities in this retreat-like setting, before descending once again into Assisi.
This morning we will drive to Siena, home of St. Catherine. Our first stop, and a highlight of our tour, will be the Basilica of St. Francis where we’ll venerate the Eucharistic miracle of Siena: Hosts which have remained incorrupt since 1730. Then we’ll celebrate Mass at St. Dominic’s, St. Catherine of Siena’s parish church where she attended daily Mass and went into ecstasy. Adjacent to the church is her home, which we’ll visit and see the cell where she fasted and prayed. Then we’ll stroll the ancient Gothic streets which converge on the Piazza del Campo, one of the most beautiful squares in the world where we can stop for lunch. Enjoy some free time in this mystical walled city before continuing to Florence, our home for the next 3 nights.
Our full-day tour of Florence today is an artful experience as we take in the Ponte Vecchio, the Duomo, and the Baptistery with its renowned bronze doors, the replica of the famous statue of David by Michelangelo outside the Palazzo Vecchio, the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella Church and the Basilica of Santa Croce where we will celebrate Mass. The balance of the afternoon will be free for personal activities.
Today we say Ciao to Italia and return home, cherishing all of the wonderful memories and graces of this pilgrimage.
- Daily Mass at holy sites
- Roundtrip economy airfare from Cincinnation Delta/Air France
- 9 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 per itinerary (excluding drinks)