Barcelona • Madrid • Montserrat • Lourdes • Burgos • Lugo • Santiago de Compostela • Salamanca • Toledo
Lunches and Insurance
Day 1 - Sept. 9: Depart the USA for Barcelona, Spain. Airport closest to you.
Day 2 - Sept. 10: Upon arrival, you will be greeted by our tour guide. Transfer to the hotel where you will have some free time to rest and refresh before joining Fr. Don for Mass in La Sagrada Familia, the largest unfinished Catholic Church in the world. Dinner and overnight in Barcelona.
Day 3 - Sept. 11: After breakfast, we will enjoy a tour of Barcelona that includes panoramic views of the Harbor area, Montjuic, Plaza de Espana, and Plaza de Catalunya. We take a guided walk through the Gothic Quarter and visit the cathedral to view Gaudi's unique architecture of Sagrada Familia with its impressive proportions. Mass at La Sagrada Familia. Afternoon is leisure exploring in the colorful markets of Las Ramblas. Dinner and overnight in Barcelona.
Day 4 - Sept. 12: After breakfast, we make our way to Montserrat, home to the dramatically set Benedictine monastery where Mass will be celebrated. On a rugged mountainside, we will visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Montserrat.
Since the 12th-century, pilgrims have been drawn to the mountain to venerate the miraculous statue of the Black Madonna. According to Catholic tradition, the statue of the Black Virgin of Montserrat was carved by St. Luke around 50 AD and brought to Spain. It was later hidden from the Moors in a cave, where it was rediscovered by shepherds in 880 AD. They saw a bright light and heard heavenly music that eventually led them to the grotto and the statue. The Bishop of Manresa, present at the discovery, suggested that it be moved to Manresa, but the small statue was discovered to be so heavy it could not be lifted. Thus the Virgin had indicated her will to stay on Montserrat to be venerated there. In the 11th century, the abbot-bishop Oliba founded a monastery on the mountain of Montserrat next to one of the chapels, where the Benedictine Abbey is still preserved. Dinner and overnight in Montserrat.
Day 5 - Sept 13: See the Spanish countryside on your drive to Lourdes, France. Visit Château Fort de Sedan and in it the Pyreneen Museum and La Cachot: It is a tiny jail room where Bernadette and her family were forced to take refuge in 1857 when her family faced hard times. It was during her stay in this jail that Bernadette came across the Grotte de Massabielle while collecting firewood in the outside. Mass in Lourdes. Dinner and overnight in Lourdes.
Day 6 - Sept 14: Spend the day in Lourdes. You will have time to pray with your fellow pilgrims and pilgrims from around the world, attend Mass at the Grotto, watch a video presentation telling the story of Lourdes, and walk in the footsteps of St. Bernadette. Dinner and overnight in Lourdes.
Day 7 - Sept 15: Return to Spain and Burgos. Visit the Catedral de Burgos where Mass will be celebrated: A UNESCO World Heritage Site; the Monasterio de Santa María la Real de Las Huelgas; the Burgos Castle; the Arco de Santa María and the Cartuja de Miraflores. Dinner and overnight in Burgos.
Day 8 - Sept 16: Drive to Astorga and tour the Bishop's Palace built by Antonio Gaudi and the Museum of El Camino. Drive to Cebreiro with an altitude more then 4,500 feet, the first village in the region of Lugo. Visit the iconic Palloza styles houses and the site of a Eucharistic Miracle dating back to the 1300 hundreds. Celebrate Mass in the Lugo Cathedral. Dinner and overnight in Lugo.
Day 9 - Sept 17: Depart to Santiago de Compostela. Mass at the Basilica of Santiago de Compostela. Tour of the city as bus time permitting. Dinner and overnight in Santiago de Compostela.
Day 10 - Sept 18: After breakfast, Mass at the Basilica of Santiago de Compostela. Then we join the walking pilgrims at the Monte del Gozo from which the spires of the Cathedral are first visible. We will walk a little bit on El Camino arriving at the Cathedral, the destination we have been yearning to reach. We will attend the International Pilgrim Mass at the Cathedral of St. James, one of the finest examples of architecture in all of Europe. Tradition invites us to perform some rites. The most important and meaningful one is the hug to the Saint, go under the main altar and visit the crypt where the relics of St. James are preserved. In the afternoon we will visit to the city of Santiago to see Obradoiro Square, Fonseca Palace, Gelmirez Palace, Franco Street, etc. Dinner and overnight in Santiago de Compostela.
Day 11 - Sept 19: After breakfast depart for Salamanca. Upon arrival, celebrate Mass in the Cathedral and then our tour begins at the famous Plaza Mayor with its 88 porticoed arches, continue through the Plaza del Corrillo square and on to the Casa de las Conchas.
Then see the Clerecia church, the Monterrey Palace, the Ursulas Convent, and the College of Archbishop Fonseca. Spend some time in the Plaza de Anaya before we see the new Cathedral with its Gothic construction and detailed carvings on the doors (look for the astronaut, a monkey eating ice cream, a stork, and more), and the old Cathedral. Dinner and overnight in Salamanca.
Day 12 - Sept 20: After breakfast, we celebrate Mass in La Catedral de la Almudena of Madrid and then enjoy a tour of Madrid including the Royal Palace and Plaza Mayor. We then depart for Toledo which sits on a rocky mound isolated on three sides by a looping gorge of the Rio Tajo. Every available inch of this outcrop has churches, synagogues, mosques and houses heaped upon one another in a haphazard spiral, which the cobbled lanes infiltrate as best they can. Toledo is known as the City of the Three Religions or Cultures because for many centuries the Christians, the Moors, and the Jews lived together in relative equality and peace. The city surrounded by walls hides great treasures: its awesome Cathedral, the church of Santo Tome, the Transito Synagogue, Santa Maria La Blanca Synagogue, the superb church of San Juan de los Reyes, Puerta de Bisagras, Puerta del Cambron, Puerta del Sol, etc. Dinner and overnight in Madrid.
Day 13 - Sept 21: Return flight from Madrid with time to reflect on all the special moments.
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Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first time one, we help each other get ready to make the trip. We meet several weeks prior to take off to ensure we’ve answered all of your questions. Contact Diane Valentine at 636-345-0965 or email@example.com.