Day 1. Monday, July 10: Transatlantic flight
Day 2. Tuesday, July 11: Paris
Upon arrival in Paris, enjoy a panoramic sightseeing of this beautiful city. The rest of the day is at leisure, with dinner on your own.
Day 3. Wednesday, July 12: Paris
This morning, visit the Shrine of the Miraculous Medal. Pray before the incorrupt body of St. Catherine Labouré, to whom Our Lady appeared in 1830 and displayed a vision of the miraculous medal. The body of St. Louise de Marillac and the heart of St. Vincent de Paul, founders of the Daughters of Charity, also rest in this church. Continue to 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. Continue to Notre Dame, an icon of Paris, a magnificent example of Gothic architecture. It has been the site of several coronations, and during the French Revolution was desecrated and rechristened as the Temple of Reason. The remains of Our Lord’s Crown of Thorns are now kept in a magnificent reliquary at the treasury, and are shown on the First Friday of each month and every Friday during Lent. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure in this magnificent city. Before a welcome dinner at a typical French restaurant, enjoy a boat ride along the Seine River. (BB, WD)
Day 4. Thursday, July 13: Paris – Amiens
This morning, journey to the city of Amiens, built along the Somme River. Visit Amiens Cathedral, the largest Gothic cathedral in France, built to house the head of St. John the Baptist. Tour the battlefields of Somme, where more than one million people died in World War I. Tonight dinner is on your own. (BB)
Day 5. Friday, July 14: Amiens – Rouen – Lisieux – Caen
This morning, travel through the charming French countryside to the city of Rouen, where St. Joan of Arc was burned at the stake by the English in 1431. Visit the medieval Cathedral with its famous buttresses, towers and beautiful stained glass windows, and containing many tombs of Norman dukes and of the cardinals of Amboise. Also visit the Joan of Arc Museum, housed in a magnificent, 15th-century archbishop’s palace, adjacent to the cathedral, where both of her trials took place. Afterwards, continue to Lisieux the home of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, whom Pope St. Pius X called “the greatest saint of modern times” for her “little way” of simplicity, abandonment in God’s service, and the perfect accomplishment of small duties. Visit Lisieux’s Basilica of St. Therese and the Carmel, where one can pray before her relics, which are enshrined within a figure of the saint on her deathbed in a glass reliquary. Continue to Caen for dinner and overnight. (BB, D)
Day 6. Saturday, July 15: Caen: Excursion to the Normandy Beaches
This morning travel to the Normandy beaches, where the Allied forces invaded France during WWII. Visit Omaha Beach, four miles long, by far the hardest place to land on D-day. Continue to the American Cemetery at Colleville Sur Mer, where 9,387 Americans soldiers are buried; and Pointe du Hoc, the German battery attacked by US rangers. Return to Caen for leisure time. Tonight dinner is on your own. (BB)
Day 7. Sunday, July 16: Caen – Mont Saint-Michel – Le Mans
Travel today to Mont Saint-Michel, encircled by the sea, and one of the most enchanting sights in France. In 709, St. Michael the Archangel appeared to St. Aubert, bishop of Avranches, and told him to build a chapel in his honor on the island. Walk through the Grande Rue, the pilgrims’ route followed since the 12th century, now crowded with restaurants and shops. Visit the Abbey’s three levels, the church and cloisters, the crypts, and the Abbey gardens. Afterwards, transfer to Le Mans for dinner and overnight. (BB, D)
Day 8. Monday, July 17: Le Mans – Loire Chateaux – Blois
This morning, travel to the beautiful Loire Chateaux region and visit the historic and breathtaking Amboise Chateau. Besides being a medieval fortress and afterwards a royal residence, it is also known for its St. Hubert chapel, a masterpiece of extravagant Gothic architecture, which houses the tomb of Leonardo da Vinci, and also for its gardens. Continue to Chenonceau, probably the most romantic chateau in the Loire region. Protected from the hardship of the French Revolution, it kept its original design, the richness of its collections, its furniture, and its decorations. The “Chateau des Dames” was built in 1513 by Katherine Briçonnet, and successively embellished by Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Medici. Finally, enjoy wine tasting at a local winery, before dinner on your own and overnight near Blois. (BB)
Day 9. Tuesday, July 18: Blois – Chartres – Paris
Today, travel to Chartres to enjoy a sightseeing tour of the city. Visit the famous Cathedral of Chartres, one of the crowning achievements of western civilization and France’s best-preserved medieval cathedral. Pray before 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. Continue to Paris for a farewell dinner and overnight. (BB, FD)
Day 10. Wednesday, July 19: Homebound flight
Transfer to Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport for your return flight 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 trip information or to register, please contact Catholic Heritage Tours.