Spiritual Director: Fr. Sarath Maddineni, C.Ss.R.
May 03 – 20, 2019

Day 1 – FRI, May 3 – Toronto – Munich

After celebrating the Holy Mass at the Chapel in Toronto Pearson Airport, we take the overnight flight to Munich, Germany.

Day 2 – SAT, May 04 – Munich – Sarajevo – Medjugorje

Arriving Munich in the morning, take the connecting flight to Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina and ride the coach to the village of Medjugorje. Dinner and overnight in Medjugorje. D

Day 3 – 7 – SUN–THURS, May 5 – 9 – Medjugorje

While in Medjugorje we pray the Rosary; participate in sharing; daily Holy Mass; Adoration of Blessed Sacrament (on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays) and Veneration of the Cross (on Fridays) at St. James Church; attend talks by our spiritual director, local priests and visionaries. Follow the path up the Apparition Hill (Mt. Podbrdo) where the visionaries first encountered Our Lady. Touch and pray before the cross that commemorates the spot where Mary first appeared to the visionaries; climb Cross Mountain (Krizevac Mountain) where in 1933 the villagers built a 30′ high cross on the anniversary of Jesus’ crucifixion; visit and pray at “Blue Cross” which is a place of great healings and graces. Attend public apparition with the visionaries (if available); visit Latta’s Castle; Cenacolo; and volunteer at the local communities. B / D (ARRANGED BY HOTEL MERCI MEDJUGORJE, NOT IHT)

Day 8 – FRI, May 10 – Medjugorje – Split – Lyon

After the Holy Mass, we will leave for Split for flight to Lyon, France via Vienna. Upon arrival in Lyon, we will transfer to hotel for dinner and overnight. B / D

Day 9 – SAT, May 11 – Lyon – La Salette

After breakfast, we will have a city tour of Lyon and will visit and celebrate the Holy Mass in the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière. We will depart for La Salette in the heart of the French Alps in late afternoon. La Salette is the second most important pilgrimage destination in France, it was here on the Sept 19, 1846 that Virgin Mary appeared in tears to two local shepherd children, Maximin Giraud and Melanie Calvat, lamenting over the lack of observance of Sundays and the profaning of her Son’s holy name. A spring forever marks the spot where the Virgin appeared and where millions of pilgrims come to drink the fresh spring water and to pray. The stunning mountain scenery and lush mountain trails make La Salette one of the most spectacular pilgrimage sites in France, with a beautiful Basilica built to honor the Virgin Mary. We will stay in the Pilgrim House Hostel which is connected to the church for 24 hr Eucharistic adoration and join the candlelit vigils. Dinner and overnight in La Salette. B / D

Day 10 – SUN, May 12 – La Salette – Avignon

We will join the pilgrims from around the world to celebrate the Holy Mass in the Basilica of Our Lady of La Salette; in prayers and/or explore the surrounding mountain trails. We will leave for Avignon in late afternoon for dinner and overnight. B / D

Day 11 – MON, May 13 – Avignon – Toulouse

After breakfast, we will visit and tour Palais des Papes (Popes’ Palace), an UNESCO World Heritage site, home for Roman Catholic popes for 67 years from 1309 to 1376 during which seven successive popes resided in Avignon. In 1376, Gregory XI abandoned Avignon and moved his court to Rome. But after Gregory’s death in 1378, deteriorating relations between his successor Urban VI and a faction of cardinals gave rise to the Western Schism. This started a second line of Avignon popes, subsequently regarded as illegitimate. The last Avignon antipope, Benedict XIII, lost most of his support in 1398, including that of France; after five years besieged by the French, he fled to Perpignan in 1403. The schism ended in 1417 at the Council of Constance, after two popes had reigned in opposition to the papacy in Rome. We will visit Avignon Cathedral (Cathédrale Notre-Dame des Doms d’Avignon) where we will celebrate the Holy Mass. We will depart for Toulouse after a late lunch. Dinner and overnight in Toulouse. B / D

Day 12 – TUE, May 14 – Toulouse – Lourdes

After breakfast, we will have a walking tour of Toulouse where we will visit Place Du Capitole and celebrate the Holy Mass in the Basilica of St. Sernin, the largest Romanesque church in Europe. After lunch, we will leave for Lourdes. Upon arrival in Lourdes, we will tour the Shrine and visit the Grotto of Massabielle where Blessed Virgin appeared 18 times to Bernadette Soubirous in 1858. Group will visit The Baths where one can immerse in the Lourdes miraculous water. Guided tour will include The Basilica of Immaculate Conception, Crypt, Rosary Basilica and Church of St. Bernadette. In the evening group can participate in the daily candlelight Marian procession at 9:00 pm. Dinner and overnight in Lourdes. B / D

Day 13-15 – WED-FRI, May 15-17 – Lourdes

Guided city tour of Lourdes, visit the places associated with St. Bernadette. The Boly Mill on Rue Bernadette Soubirous where the Saint was born on January 7, 1844; “Cachot” or jail where Bernadette lived with her family in great poverty at the time of the apparitions; the parish church where she was baptized and the chapel in Hospice where the Saint received first Communion and where she was educated for about 8 years by Sisters of Nevers before becoming a nun of the same order. During our stay in Lourdes, we will join the pilgrims from around the world to celebrate Holy Mass at the Grotto; pray for the sick and join the evening candlelight procession, drink water from the miraculous spring, and submerge ourselves in the healing bath. Experience Christ’s love as you walk the life-sized Station of the Cross overlooking the holy Grotto. Dinner and overnight in Lourdes. B / D

Day 16 – SAT, May 18 – Lourdes – Montserrat – Barcelona

Early departure for Montserrat, Spain, upon arrival, we will visit and celebrate the Holy Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Montserrat, located on a rugged mountainside. According to Catholic tradition, St. Luke carved the statue of the Black Madonna around 50 A.D. and brought it to Spain. While in Spain, it was hidden from the Moors and then, was later rediscovered by shepherds. In 880 A.D., the shepherds and the Bishop of Manresa were drawn to a grotto by a bright light and heavenly music. Upon discovery of the statue of the Black Madonna in the grotto, the Bishop of Manresa suggested that it be moved to Manresa. However, the status was too heavy that it could not be lifted. As a result, the Virgin remained in Montserrat and continued to be venerated there for centuries. As years progressed, a number of chapels were built upon the site and in the eleventh century, the abbot-bishop Oliba founded a monastery on Montserrat next to one of these chapels. Dinner and overnight in Barcelona. B / D

Day 17 – SUN, May 19 – Barcelona

After breakfast, we will take a sightseeing tour of Barcelona. Enjoy the stunning panoramic views of the Port of Barcelona, Montjuic, Plaza de España, and Plaza de Catalunya. The Port was created 2,000 years ago on the coastal area in order to protect and provide access for ships and goods. Currently, it is home to numerous walking areas, businesses, cultural and sporting events. Plaza de España is right outside the center of town and, was formerly known for its old bull-fighting ring. Presently, the Plaza is renowned for containing the Museum of Catalan art, situated on the side of Montjuic. Plaza de Catalunya is located in central Barcelona, and is known for its fountains and statues. Your day of touring will continue with a guided walk through the Gothic Quarter that contains remains from an ancient Roman village, including the Cathedral of Barcelona. We will continue to the Eixample quarter to visit Antoni Gaudi’s stunning, unfinished Roman Catholic Basilica, La Sagrada Familia where we will celebrate the Hoy Mass. Farewell Dinner and overnight in Barcelona. B / D

Day 18 – Mon, May 20 – Barcelona – Frankfurt – Toronto

After breakfast, we transfer to the airport for flight to Toronto via Frankfurt. Even though our pilgrimage draws to a close, its blessings will last a lifetime and its graces are certain to draw us closer to the Lord. B

B – Breakfast, D – Dinner