Basilica of St. Francis | St. Mary Major | St. John Lateran
Our pilgrimage begins as we depart on our overnight flight to Rome. Meals and refreshments will be served aloft.
After our arrival in the “Eternal City”, we will be met by our tour manager at the airport and drive north, stopping in the walled town of Orvieto. In the 13th century, in nearby Bolsena, a priest doubted the Eucharistic Presence during Mass and the host turned to real flesh and the wine to real blood during the consecration. The priest brought the blood-stained Corporal to Pope Urban in Orvieto, and it is now kept in a special reliquary for the faithful to view. It was also in Orvieto where Pope Urban IV called for a world-wide Feast of Corpus Christi. After venerating the sacred Eucharistic miracle, 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, and our home for the next three nights. We will then proceed to our hotel for check-in and dinner. (D)
We begin our day in the heart of Assisi in the Shrine of Renunciation within St. Mary Major church. This shrine was built to commemorate the spot where St. Francis renounced his wealth and family and began his life of poverty and service to the Lord. It is now where the tomb of Bl. Carlo Acutis lies. Bl. Carlo – the first millennial saint – dedicated part of his short life to cataloging Eucharistic Miracles from around the world. After venerating his resting place, journey to the Basilica of St. Francis to venerate this saint’s burial place. Afterwards is the Basilica of St. Clare, which holds the famous San Damiano Crucifix that spoke to St. Francis, and where the golden locks of St. Clare’s hair and St. Francis’ poor patched tunic are kept. The remainder of the day will be free for personal prayer and activities. (B, D)
Witness where the power of the Eucharist turned away an army. The invading Saracen army was about to attack the Convent of San Damiano where St. Clare lived with her nuns in 1241. Even though bed-ridden, St. Clare got up and held the Blessed Sacrament in the air and saw the advancing army flee in terror establishing “The Miracle of the Eucharist of Assisi.” Also in the convent, we will visit the chapel where Jesus spoke to St. Francis from the crucifix, then proceed to the valley below. Here 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. This afternoon we will travel up Mt. Subasio to L’Eremo delle Carceri (the Carceri Hermitage), St. Francis’ favorite retreat center, where he could remain in seclusion and prayer. Enjoy some personal prayer time in this peaceful location before descending back into Assisi for the evening. (B, D)
This morning we will depart Assisi and journey south, stopping in Cascia to visit the Shrine of St. Rita and venerate the Eucharistic Miracle of Cascia. In 1330, a priest bringing the Eucharist to a sick man, placed a consecrated Host in a prayer book. When he opened the book, he saw the Host was transformed into a blood clot and the pages of the book were stained with blood. Afterwards, we will continue our journey to the Adriatic coast and travel south to Lanciano, site of the oldest miracle of the Eucharist, still preserved after twelve centuries. (B, D)
This morning we’ll visit the sanctuary of the 8th century Eucharistic miracle of Lanciano. There will be time for adoration as well as a tour of the museum detailing the history of the miracle. After time for prayer and reflection, we will then drive along the coast to San Giovanni Rotondo, the home of St Padre Pio. Visit his tomb and tour the sanctuary of the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, where this famous Saint said Mass. After visiting this mystical Saint’s cell and the parlor where he greeted the faithful, we proceed to our hotel for the night. (B, D)
Depart San Giovanni early this morning and drive up to Monte Sant’ Angelo for a breathtaking view of the Gargano Peninsula and a visit to the Grotto of Michael the Archangel. Afterwards, stop in Manoppello and visit the church housing the Holy Veil of Manoppello, traditionally believed to be the Veil of Veronica. Venerate this sacred icon and continue to Rome, checking into the hotel which will be our home for the next four nights. (B, D)
Our first full day in Rome is filled with wonder and awe as we steep ourselves in the beauty of St. Peter’s Basilica, which beckons us into its interior through the arms of Bernini’s Colonnade. Marvel at Michelangelo’s Pieta and pray at the Perpetual Adoration Chapel renovated by St. John Paul II. Afterwards, we walk through the Vatican Museums which house artifacts from around the world and Eucharistic art to prepare ourselves for the greatest masterpiece yet: The Sistine Chapel. Painted by Michelangelo, it is the most famous ceiling in the world under which popes are chosen to lead the faithful. The rest of the day will be free for you to explore the grounds of the Vatican, museum, and St. Peter’s. Dinner tonight will be on our own. (B)
Today we visit another of the four major Roman basilicas, St. Paul Outside the Walls, originally built by Constantine in the fourth century over the site of St. Paul’s tomb. Afterwards, tour the Catacombs of St. Callistus and venerate the early martyrs of the Church. In the afternoon, proceed to St. Peter in Chains to view Michelangelo’s magnificent Moses. We then have outside visits of the Forum and Coliseum. In the evening visit the Pantheon, Piazza Navona with the famous Bernini’s fountains, and the Trevi Fountain where a coin thrown over your shoulder will guarantee you another visit to Rome. Dinner tonight will be on our own. (B)
Visit the final two major basilicas of Rome today, but first we climb the Scala Santa (Holy Stairs), which our Lord climbed on His way to His condemnation. Afterwards, enjoy a tour and time for personal prayer and reflection in the Basilica of St. John Lateran, the official seat of the Bishop of Rome. Continue to St. Clement’s Basilica, a minor basilica in Rome, which houses an original fresco depicting St. Clement celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, giving us a picture of Eucharistic worship in the earliest days of the Church. Finally, we proceed to St. Mary Major where we venerate the crib of Christ and view the famous icon attributed to St. Luke. This evening we will celebrate our farewell dinner together at a local restaurant. (B, D)
Today we say “Ciao” to Italia and transfer to the airport for our return flight home, cherishing all the wonderful memories and graces of this pilgrimage. (B)
- Daily Mass at holy sites
- Roundtrip economy class airfare from Omaha to Rome on American Airlines
- 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
- Farewell dinner on day 10
- Breakfast and dinner per itinerary (excluding drinks)
Please note: Air taxes/fuel surcharges and gratuities are subject to change and will be updated on the final invoice. The final invoice will be emailed to you approximately 3 months prior to departure.
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