DAY 1: DEPART USA
We depart en route to Europe. Complimentary meals and beverages are served aloft. A dream materializes as our wide-bodied jet thunders off the airstrip, Europe-bound.
DAY 2: ARRIVE ROME
We arrive in Rome and are met by our Catholic Travel Centre representative, who will accompany us throughout our journey. We enjoy a panoramic tour of the city on our way from the airport to the hotel. Dinner tonight is at our hotel. (D)
DAY 3: ROME: PAPAL AUDIENCE & BASILICA OF ST. MARY MAJOR, PLUS JOHN LATERAN
This morning we transfer to the Papal Audience Hall for the general audience with His Holiness Pope John Paul II (subject to the Holy Father’s schedule).
In the afternoon we make a special visit to the Basilica of St. Mary Major, the largest church in Rome dedicated to the Blessed Mother. It is the only Roman basilica which, in spite of several additional decorations, has retained its original shape. It was built, as the legend goes, in 352 B.C. after an appearance of the Blessed Virgin. Nearby, we can pay a visit to the Church of St. Alphonsus, where we can view the original icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Many healings are attributed to Our Lady by pilgrims who have visited and prayed at her shrine within St. Alphonsus, where the icon is located.
Next we visit the Papal Basilica of St. John Lateran where we celebrate Mass. It is here that St. Francis persuaded Pope Innocent III to give permission to begin the Franciscan Order. The night before, the Pope had seen a man in a dream and the man was supporting the tottering building of St. John Lateran. The next day, when Francis appeared before Pope Innocent, His Holiness recognized the face from the dream and consented to Francis’ request. Dinner will be served at our hotel. (B, D)
DAY 4: ROME: ST. PETERS & LEISURE
This morning we begin with Mass at the Basilica of St. Peter, followed by a visit with our local guide. Here we will see Michelangelo’s famous statue of the Blessed Mother holding her crucified Son. We know it as The Pieta. After our visit we will have time for browsing in the excellent religious article shops in the area.
This afternoon we enjoy some time at leisure for shopping, or strolling through the streets of Rome to experience its unique flavor. Dinner tonight is at a local restaurant with music and wine included. (B, D)
DAY 5: ROME: ANCIENT ROME / DEPART FOR MEDJUGORJE
This morning we pack our bags and board our bus and then enjoy atour of some of the sites of Ancient Rome, including the Forum and Coliseum. Its real name was the Flavian Amphitheatre, after the emperors who built it in the first century after Christ. Coliseum refers to the ‘colossal’ statue of Nero that at one time stood at the entrance. We will drive by the Forum and enter into the Coliseum. We stop at the Church of St. Peter in Chains, featuring Michelangelo’s famous statue of Moses.
This afternoon we transfer to the Rome airport for our flight to Split, Croatia. Split, a city where every epoche since antiquity has left its traces, was conceived within the walls of the palace which was built by the Roman Emperor Diocletian as his private residence. The well-preserved palace has been listed on UNESCO’s register of the worlds cultural heritage. Upon arrival our Catholic Travel Centre representative and motor coach will be waiting for us. We enjoy a scenic drive along the beautiful Adriatic Coast on our way to Medjugorje, a small village in Bosnia-Herzegovina. We arrive at the guesthouse of our host family, where we have dinner. (B, D)
DAY 6 – DAY 8: MEDJUGORJE
Our Lady has appeared in Medjugorje every day since June 24, 1981. The Blessed Mother tells us that God has sent her to our world and, these years she is spending with us are a time of Grace granted by God. In her own words she tells us, “I have come to tell the world that God exists. He is the fullness of life, and to enjoy this fullness and peace, you must return to God”.
Our Lady continues to give messages to six young people, now adults: Ivan, Jakov, Marija, Mirjana, Vicka, and Ivanka. Beginning on March 1,
1984, Our Lady began giving Weekly Messages to St. James parish in Medjugorje and to the world. Then, on January 25, 1987, Our Lady began giving these messages on the 25th of each Month. After 21 years, Our Lady still appears to 3 of the visionaries daily (Marija, Vicka, and Ivan). The 25th of the month message is always given by Our Lady to the visionary Marija.
Each morning, after breakfast we’ll attend the Holy Mass in English at 10 a.m. In the evening we’ll take part in the evening Rosary with pilgrims from all over the world. During our stay here we’ll visit MT. PODBRDO (Hill of the Apparitions), where Our Lady first appeared, & MT. KRIZEVAC (Cross Mountain).
Our guide will introduce us to the visionaries to talk and pray with. A special highlight will be an excursion to the Franciscan Monastery at SIROKI BRIJEG to meet and listen to Fr. JOZO ZOVKO (based on his availability) and receive his blessing. Dinner is served daily. (B, D)
DAY 9: MEDJUGORJE / FLIGHT TO ROME
Today we depart Medjugorje for the Split airport to take our flight to Rome. Upon our arrival in Rome we transfer to our hotel near the airport for dinner and overnight. (B, D)
DAY 10: RETURN USA
This morning we transfer to the Rome airport to board 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.