Women Saints of Italy

A 12-Day Pilgrimage to Lazio, Umbria and Tuscany
With: Fr. Bryan Ochs
October 21 - November 1, 2019

Father Bryan OchsVery Reverend Bryan Ochs

Fr. Bryan is originally from Bellingham, WA. He began practicing the faith devoutly in college while at Western Washington University, where he studied history but in his spare time studied theology. He was ordained in 2011. After serving as an assistant at St. Anthony’s in Renton for two years, he now serves the people of Longview, Cathlamet, Kelso, and Castle Rock. He enjoys seeing people grow in their knowledge and love of God, and he loves being a priest. This will be Father’s second time to Italy and he is looking forward to leading this pilgrimage!

 

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Itinerary:*

 

Day 1. Monday, October 21: Outbound flight to Rome

 

Day 2. Tuesday, October 22: Rome

Welcome to Italy! Upon arrival into Rome, enjoy a panoramic view of the Eternal City. Visit the Coliseum, the largest amphitheater in the Roman world, built by the Roman emperors between 72 and 80 AD, and where many early Christians were martyred. Continue to the Church of St. Praxedes, in whose house the apostle St. Peter stayed. The church houses the Column of the Flagellation brought from Jerusalem in 1223 and a reliquary containing three thorns from Christ’s crown. Finally, visit the Basilica of St. Mary Major, which houses two of Christianity’s greatest treasures: the manger from Bethlehem in which the Baby Jesus was laid following His birth, and a painting of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Salvation of the Roman people. The basilica was built on the site where a miraculous snowfall occurred in August of 356. Transfer to your hotel for a welcome dinner and overnight. (WD)

 

Day 3. Wednesday, October 23: Rome

Attend the weekly Papal Audience at St. Peter’s Square. In the afternoon, enjoy a guided sightseeing tour beginning with St. Susana, the National Church of American Catholics, built on the house that belonged to the martyr. It was a destination of pilgrimages because of the numerous relics of martyrs and saints. Then, transfer to Rome’s downtown for visits to St. Agnes in Agony at Piazza Navona, where the saint suffered martyrdom; St. Augustine Church to render homage to his mother, St. Monica; and finally, to Santa Maria sopra Minerva, where relics of St. Catherine of Siena, Doctor of the Church and patron saint of Italy, are enshrined. Dinner and overnight in Rome. (BB, D)

 

Day 4. Thursday, October 24: Rome

This morning visit the magnificent Basilica of St. Peter, the largest church on earth, the resting place of St. Peter the Apostle, and many popes, saints, and martyrs. One of the chapels is dedicated to St. Petronilla, spiritual daughter of St. Peter. Afterwards, transfer to Trastevere to visit the church and the crypt of St. Cecilia, built on the house of the saint where she suffered martyrdom. The rest of the day is at leisure and dinner tonight is on your own. (BB)

 

Day 5. Friday, October 25: Rome

Enjoy an entire free day in the Eternal City, with independent dinner. (BB)

 

Day 6. Saturday, October 26: Rome – Cascia – Montefalco – Assisi

Today, journey to Cascia to render homage to the “saint of the impossible cases.” Visit the church where St. Rita’s relics are enshrined and the convent where she used to live. Next, travel to Montefalco, the “balcony of Umbria”, to visit the Church of St. Clare and pray to St. Clare of the Cross, an Augustinian nun and abbess who, holy at a very young age, was a beacon of light to all those who sought God. After a short drive, arrive into Assisi for dinner and overnight. (BB, D)

 

Day 7. Sunday, October 27: Assisi

Enjoy a guided sightseeing of Assisi, including visits to: St. Mary of the Angels Basilica, St. Francis’ favorite place, housing the famous Porziuncola Chapel, and also where he died; St. Clare’s Basilica, which houses her relics; and St. Francis Basilica, where the seraphic saint and his companions are buried. The rest of the day is at leisure in beautiful, medieval Assisi. (BB, D)

 

Day 8. Monday, October 28: Assisi – Siena

Travel to Siena to visit the Church of San Domenico, where the preserved head of the city’s patroness, St. Catherine of Siena, can be seen. Next, visit the Casa di Santa Catarina surrounded by chapels and cloisters. Among them is the Church of the Crucifixion, in front of which she received the stigmata. Continue visiting Siena’s Duomo, one of Italy’s greatest cathedrals. Afterwards, stroll along Piazza del Campo, Italy’s loveliest piazza that occupies the site of the old Roman forum. (BB, D)

 

Day 9. Tuesday, October 29: Siena – Lucca – Montecatini

On way to Montecatini, stop at the Monastery-Sanctuary of St. Gemma Galgani, located outside the walled city of Lucca. St. Gemma was a mystic, received the stigmata, and has been called the Daughter of Passion because of her profound imitation to Christ’s Passion. Next, visit the Church of St. Frediano to pray to St. Zita, patroness of domestic workers, and the Cathedral of San Martino to venerate its miraculous crucifix, the Volto Santo. Dinner and overnight in Montecatini. (BB, D)

 

Day 10. Wednesday, October 30: Montecatini: Excursion to Florence

Spend the day in Florence, cradle of the Renaissance. In Santissima Annunziata Church, render homage to St. Juliana Falconieri, foundress of the Sisters of the Third Order of the Servite Order. Afterwards, visit Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence’s Cathedral, the fourth largest church in Europe and one of the oldest buildings in Florence. Also visit the Convent and Museum of St. Mark, housing the relics of St. Antonino, the convent’s first prior and later archbishop and patron saint of Florence. Admire a series of devotional frescos on cloisters and cells by Fra Angelico. Enjoy a free afternoon in Florence before returning to Montecatini. (BB, D)

 

Day 11. Thursday, October 31: Montecatini – Montepulciano – Viterbo – Rome 

In Montepulciano, render homage to St. Agnes of Montepulciano, whose life was one of quiet, cloistered service to her fellow nuns. Enjoy some leisure time to explore Montepulciano before traveling to Viterbo. In the 17th-century, St. Rose Venerini founded in Viterbo the “Religious Teachers Venerini,” a Catholic institute of women dedicated primarily to the formation of poor girls. Then, visit the sanctuary and house of another Rose, St. Rose of Viterbo, a 13th-century mystic whose body is incorrupt. She had the gift of prophesy and was outspoken in defense of the Pope; she died at age 18. Continue to Rome and enjoy a farewell dinner to celebrate the end of a wonderful pilgrimage. (BB, FD)

 

Day 12. Friday, November 1: Return flight to the USA

Transfer to Rome’s airport for your homebound flight. (Boxed Breakfast)

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, please contact Catholic Heritage Tours.

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