14-Days: The Major Shrines of France

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DAY 1: DEPART USA

We depart USA en route to Paris, with complimentary meals and beverages served aloft.

DAY 2: PARIS/ ROUEN / LISIEUX

We arrive in Paris and are met by our Catholic Travel Centre escort, who will accompany us throughout our journey. We depart to Lisieux, stopping in the city of Rouen, the capital city of Normandy. We continue to our hotel in Lisieux. This afternoon we visit the sites of St. Therese, the Little Flower of Jesus, including the Buissonnets and the Basilica in Lisieux. We will celebrate our opening Mass of our pilgrimage at the Carmel Chapel. Dinner at the hotel. (D)

DAY 3: LISIEUX: MT. ST. MICHEL EXCURSION

This morning we make our way to Mt. St. Michel a major place of pilgrimage during the Middle Ages. The place is so-named after the eighth century Bishop of Avranches who saw St. Michael the Archangel three times in his dreams on this site. The Benedictines constructed a magnificent abbey here in 966, where we celebrate Mass. A local Benedictine community has overseen the religious activities here since 1969. Followed by a visit at the World War II Museum. Dinner at a local restaurant in Lisieux. (B, D)

DAY 4: LISIEUX: NORMANDY EXCURSION

This morning we make our way north to the Normandy Beaches, recalling the D-Day Invasion. After a visit to the museum and the memorial, we return to Lisieux for Mass at the Basilica. The balance of the day at leisure. Dinner at the hotel. (B, D)

DAY 5: LISIEUX / PARIS / LOURDES

This morning we will celebrate Mass and transfer to Paris to board our high speed TGV train this afternoon to Lourdes. Upon arrival in Lourdes, we are met by our representative of Catholic Travel Centre and transferred to our hotel. Dinner at the hotel. (B, D)

DAY 6: LOURDES: WALKING TOUR

We begin this morning with Mass. After Mass, we enjoy a walking tour ‘In the Footsteps of Bernadette.’ We visit the Cachot (former jail cell that once served as the Soubirous family’s home); the parish church; Fr. Peyramale’s Presbytery; the Hospice and the Boly Mill. This afternoon at 4:30PM we are welcome to participate in the Procession of the Blessed Sacrament and the Blessing of the Sick. After dinner at the hotel, we return to the Sanctuary for the Rosary and Torchlight Procession, beginning about 8:30PM. After the procession, we return to our hotel. (B, D)
DAY 7: LOURDES / CARCASSONNE / AVIGNON

After an early Mass, we depart Lourdes this morning by motor coach and make our way across southern France, stopping in the walled city of Carcassonne. We continue our journey and arrive in Avignon for the evening. Dinner at a local restaurant. (B, D)

DAY 8: AVIGNON / ARS

After a brief sightseeing tour of Avignon, we depart to Ars, site of the Shrine of St. John Vianney of Ars, Patron Saint of Parish Priests. Pope John Paul II was a pilgrim here in 1986. We visit the basilica that houses the Saint’s incorrupt body, and then continue to the Chapel of Our Lady of Ars, one of the favorite devotions of St. John. In Ars, we will celebrate Mass and offer special prayers for the priests of our Diocese. Dinner at the hotel. (B, D)

DAY 9: ARS: LYON EXCURSION

This morning in Ars we will visit the museum in honor of St. John Vianney. We then proceed to Lyon where we celebrate Mass and visit the Basilica of Our Lady of Mt. Fourviere, overlooking the city. We have some time for shopping and leisure in Lyon, then return to the hotel in Ars for dinner and the evening. (B, D)

DAY 10: ARS / PARAY / NEVERS / PARIS

We depart Ars and our first stop is the Shrine of the Sacred Heart in Paray Le Monial, where St. Margaret Mary Alacoque received her visions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. We continue to Nevers, site of repose of St. Bernadette of Lourdes. Here we remember Father Thomas Frederick Price of Wilmington, the first native-born North Carolinian to be ordained a priest. Fr. Price asked that his heart be buried at Nevers near the tomb of St. Bernadette to whom he had a great devotion. After a visit and Mass here, we continue to Paris for dinner and the evening. Dinner at a restaurant close to the hotel. (B, D)

DAY 11: PARIS: NOTRE DAME & SACRE COEUR

This Morning we visit two of the great churches of Paris: first, the Cathedral of Notre Dame, possibly the most famous cathedral in the world devoted to the Blessed Mother; and celebrate Mass at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart (Sacre Coeur), offering a spectacular vista of the city. The afternoon is at leisure. The motor coach will return to the hotel and those wishing to stay might want to explore the nearby artist’s quarters of Montmartre and return to the hotel on their own. Dinner at a restaurant close to the hotel. (B, D)

DAY 12: PARIS: CHARTRES EXCURSION

Today we make an excursion to Chartres, home to Our Lady of Chartres Cathedral, long a place of pilgrimage and housing the most remarkable collection of stained glass in the entire world, illustrating the Bible and lives of the Saints. After a visit and Mass here, we return to Paris for the evening. Dinner at a restaurant close to the hotel. (B, D)

DAY 13: PARIS: RUE DE BAC

This morning we visit the Shrine of St. Catherine Laboure where the tradition of the Miraculous Medal began, (and the nearby sights of the repose of St. Louise de Marilac and St. Vincent de Paul). Here, we celebrate Mass. This afternoon is at leisure to enjoy the city. This evening we will enjoy a Seine River cruise and a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. (B, D)

DAY 14: RETURN

This morning we will celebrate the final Mass of our pilgrimage and transfer to the Paris Airport for our flight back to the USA. (B)

NOTE: While no changes are anticipated, there might be occasions when certain alterations become necessary to this itinerary due to changes in airline schedules or for other reasons. All Masses are subject to final church schedules.