Monday, September 7: USA – Lyon
Transatlantic flight to Lyon, France.
Tuesday, September 8: Lyon – Ars
Welcome to France! Upon arrival, meet your tour escort and board your private motor-coach for a ride through the French countryside to the historic town of Ars, made famous by its renowned Curé and patron of Catholic priests, St. Jean-Marie Vianney. Enjoy a welcome dinner with fellow pilgrims. Overnight near Ars. (WD)
Wednesday, September 9: Ars – Paray-le-Monial
Begin your sightseeing by visiting the sites related to the holy Curé of Ars, who was Ars’ parish priest for more than 40 years. Visit the old church with the altars where the saint preached and the confessionals where he spent most of his time. In the Basilica, admire the glass reliquary containing his incorrupt body. His incorrupt heart is in the Shrine of the Cure’s Heart nearby. Visit the saint’s house that has been maintained as it was since the day he died. Afterwards, head to Paray-le-Monial, home of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, a religious of the Visitation Order and the apostle of the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Our Lord gave St. Margaret Mary the Twelve Promises of his Sacred Heart and the devotion of the nine First Fridays. Visit the Chapel of the Visitation, where Christ appeared to St. Margaret Mary from 1673 to 1675; the Basilica of the Sacred Heart; the Chapel of the Relics and the Chapel of St. John. Our final visit will be to the Chapel of St. Claude de la Colombiere, to venerate the saint’s relics. His mission was to help spread the practice of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and specifically to act as confessor, friend, and confidant to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. Dinner and overnight in Paray-le-Monial. (BB, D)
Thursday, September 10: Paray-le-Monial – Nevers – Tours
This morning, travel to Nevers to render homage to St. Bernadette Soubirous, to whom Our Lady appeared 18 times in Lourdes in 1858. After taking the veil in 1867, St. Bernadette lived for 12 years as a member of the Congregation of the Sisters of Nevers. Throughout her life, she suffered from asthma and died at the age of 35. Pray before St. Bernadette’s incorrupt body at the Convent of St. Gildard, miraculously preserved since her death in 1879. Afterwards, travel to Tours. Upon arrival, visit St. Martin of Tours Basilica, built in the 19th and 20th centuries above the remains of the pilgrimage church destroyed during the French Revolution. Continue on to visit the miraculous Oratory of the Holy Face. Finally visit the Cathedral of St. Gatien, founding bishop of the See of Tours. Dinner and overnight in Tours. (BB, D)
Friday, September 11: Tours – Loire Chateaux – Chartres
This morning, take a tour of two magnificent historical chateaux on the Loire River, Amboise and Blois known for great historical events and royal guests. Continue to Chartres to visit its cathedral, an architectural wonder and one of the best preserved medieval Catholic monuments in the western world. There, pray before its greatest treasure: the Veil of Our Lady, miraculously preserved during a fire in 1194. Admire the glorious collection of over 150 stained glass windows, illustrating biblical passages and daily life in the 13th century. Dinner and overnight in Chartres. (BB, D)
Saturday, September 12: Chartres – Lisieux – Paris
Today, travel to Lisieux, home of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, the Little Flower. There, enjoy a guided sightseeing tour, which includes a visit to the monumental Basilica of St. Therese, to pray before her relics. Pope Pius X called her “the greatest saint of modern times” for her “little way” of simplicity, abandonment in God’s service, and the perfect accomplishment of small duties. Pray at the Basilica of St. Peter, where St. Therese made her first communion and confession. Visit Les Buissonets, her family home, and the Carmel Chapel, where the relics of St. Therese were brought in 1923 from the town cemetery. Afterwards travel to Paris and enjoy a panoramic sightseeing of the city before reaching the hotel. (BB, D)
Sunday, September 13: Paris
Begin your day in Paris with a visit to the Shrine of the Miraculous Medal. Pray before the incorrupt body of St. Catherine Labouré, whose guardian angel led her to the chapel where the Blessed Virgin displayed a vision of the miraculous medal and later the green scapular. Afterwards visit the Chapel of St. Vincent de Paul, and render homage to this great saint, patron of all charitable associations and father of those who are in misery. Continue to the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at Montmartre, built at the site of the martyrdom of St. Denis and his companions. Afterwards, visit Notre Dame Cathedral, an icon of Paris and a magnificent example of Gothic architecture. It has been the site of several coronations and during the French Revolution, the building was desecrated and used as the Temple of Reason. Today the remains of Our Lord’s Crown of Thorns are kept in a magnificent reliquary at the treasury, and are shown on the First Friday of each month and every Friday during Lent. Finally, visit the Sainte Chapelle, built by St. Louis King of France to house Our Lord’s Crown of Thorns. The building is a magnificent work of art with astounding stained-glass windows. Overnight in Paris. (BB, D)
Monday, September 14: Paris
Today enjoy a full day at leisure in Paris. Dinner is on your own. (BB)
Tuesday, September 15: Paris – Lourdes
This morning, travel by train to Lourdes, where in 1858, Our Lady appeared 18 times to St. Bernadette Soubirous. Enjoy the scenery of the French countryside. Upon your arrival into Lourdes, have a sightseeing tour of the sites related to St. Bernadette and the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary. After dinner tonight, you may join the candlelight rosary procession. Overnight in Lourdes. (BB, D)
Wednesday, September 16: Lourdes
Today take advantage of a free day in Lourdes. Dinner is on your own. (BB)
Thursday, September 17: Lourdes – Toulouse
Enjoy a free morning in Lourdes. You may wish to bathe in the healing waters where hundreds of miraculous cures have taken place. In the afternoon, travel to Toulouse to venerate the relics of St. Germaine of Pibrac in the Church of St. Francis de Sales, and to visit the house where she used to live. Continue to your hotel for a farewell dinner to celebrate the success of such a beautiful pilgrimage. Overnight in Toulouse. (BB, FD)
Friday, September 18: Return to the USA
Early morning transfer to Toulouse airport for your flight back to the USA.
Buffet Breakfast (BB), Dinner (D), Welcome Dinner (WD), Farewell Dinner (FD)
* In case of unforeseen events, this itinerary is subject to change.
For more information or to register, please contact Catholic Heritage Tours or Kimberly Murin, Group Coordinator, at (916) 790-0723 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.