Make your way to your local airport, where you will board your overnight flight(s). Meals will be served on board.
Arrive in Paris Airport
Upon arrival in Paris this morning we will be met at the airport by our local tour escort. We will then proceed to the Shrine of Saint Vincent de Paul where the saint’s body is on display in a precious reliquary. Then proceed to the Chapel of the Miraculous Medal at Rue de Bac where Our Lady appeared to St. Catherine Laboure in 1830. After Mass we will then transfer to our hotel for check-in and have the remainder of the day free. Dinner and overnight in Paris.
We will enjoy a full-day tour of the “City of Lights”, including inside visits to the famous Notre Dame Cathedral, Sainte-Chapelle which was built to house Our Lord’s Crown of Thorns, and Montmartre (Mount of Martyrs) with its magnificent Basilica of Sacre Coeur. On Montmartre on August 15, 1534, near the Chapel of St. Denis on Rue Antoinette, St. Ignatius of Loyola and his band of six students at the University of Paris, including St. Francis Xavier, made their first vows. We will make also outside visits to the Eiffel Tower, the Opera House, and the Arc de Triomphe. Evening: Dinner and overnight accommodations will be at your hotel.
Paris - La Salette - Lyon
After breakfast, we depart for La Salette located in a high alpine pasture in the French Alps. La Salette is the site where the Virgin Mary appeared in 1846 to two shepherds, Melanie Matthew and Maximin Gird. Our Lady appeared to these shepherds crying, 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, in order 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. In 1996, La Salette celebrated the 150th anniversary of Our Lady's first appearance. We return to Lyon for dinner and overnight.
Lyon - Ars - Lyon
Enjoy a nice breakfast before we start our day. Lyon stands on the site of the ancient Roman city called Lugdunum, founded in 43 BC, which was the capital of Gaul, and later, became a major Christian center. This city is filled with renowned history, culture, and architecture. This morning we will enjoy a tour of Lyon, including a visit to the Basilique Notre-Dame of Fourviere, which was built after the Franco-Prussian War when the people of Lyon had vowed to create a Marian sanctuary if their city was spared. The Basilica is a blend of Gothic and Byzantine styles with a richly decorated interior. Fourviere Hill provides a sensational panoramic outlook onto the city of Lyon. The views extend to the Croix-Rousse and the Terreaux districts, the Quartier Saint-Jean and the Place Bellecour. In the afternoon, we will depart towards Ars where we will visit the Shrine dedicated to Saint Jean Marie Vianney and attend Mass, the patron saint of the priesthood. In Ars, we will be able to visit the presbytery and the Basilica where we will find the incorrupt body of the Cure of Ars, and to enjoy a short documentary about his life. Return to Lyon for a delicious meal and restful overnight.
Lyon - Milan
Departure to Milan with Speed Train, We proceed to visit the Duomo, “the most magnificent Gothic building in Northern Italy”. Tour the Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio and the visit the Tomb of St. Ambrose. We will travel to the Church Santa Maria delle Grazie and attend/celebrate Mass. Stop at Castel Sforzesco to see history and style combined with Milanese flair. Nearby is the famous La Scala Opera House with its ornate stage that glistens under crystal chandeliers. The rest of the day is free to visit the stores and browse the Forza boutiques. Stroll through the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele arcade with its luxury outlets to shop and also admire the chic goods on display. Dinner and overnight in Milan
Milan - Venice
Venice is known as ‘The Queen of the Adriatic’. There is a total absence of wheeled transport which makes Venice the most charming and poetic city in the world. Our visit begins at the Basilica of St. Mark, adorned with golden mosaics and religious icon. It was built to honor the body of St. Mark brought from Alexandria in Egypt. After Mass, we see the Piazza di San Marco and the Palazzo Ducale (the palace of the Doge, the political leader of the Republic of Venice). The balance of our day is free to explore this exotic city. Optional, take a ride on a gondola. Evening: Dinner and overnight accommodations will be at your hotel.
Venice - Florence
Drive to Florence. Tour includes Ponte Vecchio, the Duomo, the Baptistery, and the replica of the famous statue of David by Michelangelo outside the Palazzo Vecchio, Santa Maria Novella Church and Santa Croce Church. Evening: Dinner and overnight will be at your hotel.
Florence - Rome
Early Morning departure to Rome, then We begin our day by traveling to the Basilica of St. Mary Major, the largest church in Rome dedicated to the Blessed Mother. It contains a relic from the manger. From here, we visit the Scala Sancta, the stairs Christ climbed to stand before Pontius Pilate. Those who wish may climb the stairs, as is the custom, on their knees. Nearby we visit the Basilica of St. John Lateran which was once the residents for popes. It is here that St. Francis persuaded Pope Innocent III to give permission to begin the Franciscan Order. We visit the Church of St. Paul Outside the Walls where the body of St. Paul is buried. It is the second largest Basilica in Rome and one of the five largest in the world. Break for lunch. In the afternoon, we drive along the Ancient Appian way to see the Church of Domine Quo Vadis, which is located the spot where tradition says Saint Peter had a vision of the risen Christ while fleeing persecution in Rome. He convinced Peter to turn around and face crucifixion himself in Rome. Christ gave him the courage to follow him to martyrdom, as foretold in the Gospels. Finally, we visit the Catacombs of St. Callixtus which are among the greatest and most important of Rome. Evening: Dinner and overnight accommodations will be at your hotel.
In the morning, we begin by attending a papal audience with Pope Francis. After the audience, we visit the Vatican-Museums to see centuries of beautiful artwork and artifacts. See the artwork of Michelangelo such as the Pieta and then visit the Sistine Chapel. We will explore St. Peter’s Basilica in its entire splendor. It is built over St. Peter’s tomb. Visit the Tomb of St. John Paul II in St. Sebastian’s Chapel. Continue to tour the Coliseum. Evening: Dinner and overnight accommodations will be at your hotel.
Departure to USA
This morning we will transfer to the airport to catch our return flight home.