DAY 1: DEPART USA
We depart the USA on our overseas flight to Spain, with complimentary meals and beverages served aloft.
DAY 2: ARRIVE MADRID / FLY TO SANTIAGO
We arrive in Madrid where we meet our Catholic Travel Centre tour representative, our multi-lingual tour manager who will accompany us throughout our journey.
We transfer to our flight to Santiago de Compostela, located in the region of Galicia in northwest Spain. During the Middle Ages, the remains of St. James the Apostle were discovered in Spain. Santiago grew to become one of the premier pilgrimage centers in Christendom, rivaled only by the Holy Land and Rome. Millions of pilgrims traversed the continent of Europe to come here, often after great personal and physical sacrifice. Our arrival is much easier, by plane and coach, but no less fervent in devotion. Upon arrival at our hotel, we settle in for dinner and the evening. (D)
DAY 3: SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA: VISIT OF THE SHRINE
We will have our first full day at Spain’s Patron Saint’s and the most famous of the Spanish Shrines. The name “Compostela” from the Latin “field of the star” was named after the tradition of St. James (Santiago), the Patron Saint of Spain.
We will delight in our walking tour on labyrinthine cobbled streets today of this medieval city, virtually intact since no man or natural upheavals have produced any damage to the city, a true national monument with its buildings built with the practically indestructible granite stone. We will visit the Plaza del Obradoiro and the great Cathedral that dominates the town. Its main entrance is two stories above the plaza. The statue of St. James smiles benignly down upon the faithful. The towers soar into the sky. The Portico de la Gloria, designed by Maestro Mateo and completed in 1188, is the finest example of Romanesque sculpture.
Inside the Cathedral are more priceless architecture, statues and religious treasures. Behind the silver and gold main altar are the sarcophagi of St. James and two of his disciples. A statue of St. James stands above surrounded by an elaborate display of drapery and sculpture. We will celebrate Mass in the Cathedral.
There will be time to browse through the quaint narrow streets and plazas, admiring such buildings as the Neoclassical Rajoy Palace, now the city hall, the Romanesque Colegio de San Jeronimo, and the utterly stunning Parador de Los Reyes Católicos – all buildings which surround the other three sides of this magnificent plaza. Dinner is at our hotel. (B, D)
DAY 4: SANTIAGO / COIMBRA / FATIMA
Depart Santiago and make our way to the beautiful university town of
Coimbra, where we will visit the Cathedral and University Library. After some time for strolling, we depart Coimbra and continue to Fatima. Dinner awaits us at our hotel. (B, D)
DAY 5: FATIMA: VISIT OF THE SHRINE
This morning we begin with Mass at the Little Chapel of the apparitions. We will also visit the Tombs of the visionaries Francisco, Jacinto, and Lucia; the Aljustrel where the children lived; and the Valinhos, where Our Lady appeared after the children’s return from prison. We have the option of praying the Stations of the Cross, plus we have time for our own devotions. Tonight we enjoy our group dinner at the hotel. (B, D)
DAY 6: FATIMA / SANTAREM / LISBON
We depart Fatima for Santarem, visiting the gothic Church of the Grace and the site of a traditional Miracle of the Eucharist. We continue to Lisbon, where we begin with a visit to ‘Santo Antonio Da Se’, marking the site where in 1195 St. Anthony of Padua, the patron saint of Portugal, was born. We continue to the Cathedral, housing the Saint’s baptismal font. Here we celebrate the Closing Mass of our pilgrimage Our tour continues to view the Belem Tower and the gothic monastery of St. Jeronimo. This evening we gather at a local restaurant for a festive farewell dinner. (B, D)
DAY 7: RETURN USA
This morning after breakfast we transfer to the Lisbon Airport for our return flight 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.