Fatima & Lourdes Pilgrimage
w/ Fr. Paul Ballien
September 25 - October 6, 2023
Fr Paul invites you on pilgrimage to the most revered Marion shrines in the world - Fatima and Lourdes. In Fatima, between April and October 1916, three children, Lúcia de Jesus, and cousins Francisco and Jacinta Marto, bore witness that they saw the Virgin Mary, “a lady dressed in white, shining brighter than the sun, giving out rays of clear and intense light,” on three occasions with them being invited to join in prayer and penitence. In Lourdes, on February 11, 1858, a 14-year-old peasant girl named Bernadette Soubirous, said she saw a "lady" while playing near the grotto of Massabielle. From February 11 to July 16 1858 Bernadette saw the same vision 18 times. The "lady" eventually introduced herself to Bernadette as the Immaculate Conception, which had been proclaimed as a dogma for the Virgin Mary by Pope Pius IX in 1854.
DAY 1, MONDAY SEPTEMBER 25: DEPART DTW - Begin our pilgrimage with an overnight flight to Lisbon.
DAY 2, TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 26: LISBON - Upon arrival at in Lisbon we will be met by our guide and bus driver. After checking into our hotel, the afternoon is yours to explore Lisbon before our Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant. (D)
DAY 3, WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 27: LISBON – After breakfast we visit the Jerónimos Monastery. Construction was started in 1501 and completed 100 years later. The monastery is one of the most prominent examples of the Portuguese Late Gothic Manueline style in Portugal. We will also visit the Tower of Belem. Built in 1520, the Tower served to defend the Tagus riverbank. The tower had been given different functions such as a customs control point, a telegraph station, a lighthouse and even a political prison. Both the monastery and the Tower were classified as “Cultural Heritage of All Humanity” by UNESCO in 1983. (B|D)
DAY 4, THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 28: LISBON / ÓBIDOS/ BATALHA / FATIMA - Today we depart Lisbon and start our pilgrimage journey to Fatima. On the way we will visit the captivating town of Óbidos for a half day tour. Óbidos became home to Portugal’s queens after Afonso II gifted it to his wife Urraca of León in the 1200s. Many of the buildings and monuments in Óbidos were founded or funded by a queen. On a narrow ridge, the town’s weaving, carless streets are contained by the dominant walls of a medieval castle. After lunch at a local restaurant, we depart for Batalha and a half day tour of the Monastery of the Dominicans. The Monastery of Batalha was built to commemorate the victory of the Portuguese over the Castilians at the Battle of Aljubarrota in 1385. It was to be the Portuguese monarchy's main building project for the next two centuries. Here a highly original, national Gothic style evolved, profoundly influenced by Manueline art, as demonstrated by its masterpiece, the Royal Cloister. We continue on to our hotel in Fatima for dinner and overnight. (B|L|D)
DAY 5, FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 29: FATIMA - At the center of Catholic faith and a place of world pilgrimage, Fatima is visited by thousands of people each year. We will visit the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary where the tombs of Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta, the three children who were visited by Our Lady of Fatima, are located, Holy Trinity Church, as well as the Chapel of Apparitions. We will celebrate Holy Mass and visit the Fatima Sanctuary, where Our Lady of Fatima appeared in 1917. Since then, millions of pilgrims go there to pray or just to feel its mystical strength. The Sanctuary Square is so big that it can only be described by numbers: it can receive simultaneously 300,000 visitors and it's twice the size of St. Peter's Square in Rome. Back to our hotel for dinner before returning to the Sanctuary for the Candlelight Procession. Overnight in Fatima. (B|D)
DAY 6, SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 30: FATIMA / PORTO / SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA - After breakfast we depart Fatima for Porto where we will enjoy a half-day guided tour of one of Europe’s oldest cities. We will visit the city's most emblematic monuments in a colorful urban landscape. With many centuries of history, we will visit the most picturesque corners of Porto and witness the magnificence of the great architectural symbols of the “Cidade Invicta” (The Unvanquished City), like the Cathedral, the neo-Classical Stock Exchange Palace, the Cathedral Quarter and Church of St. Francisco. After lunch on our own, we will continue to the beautiful city of Santiago de Compostela for dinner at a local restaurant and overnight. (B|D)
DAY 7, SUNDAY OCTOBER 1: SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA – This morning will enjoy an incredible half day tour of Santiago de Compostela, Spain. After the morning tour, the rest of the afternoon and evening is ours to explore. (B|L)
DAY 8, MONDAY OCTOBER 2: SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA / LEÓN / BURGOS - Today we depart Santiago de Compostela and make our way east to Burgos, Spain with a stop in Leon. Dinner and overnight in Burgos. (B|D)
DAY 9, TUESDAY OCTOBER 3: BURGOS / BILBAO - Today we will have a half day guided tour of Burgos before continuing on to Bilbao. Dinner at a local restaurant and overnight. (B|L|D)
DAY 10, WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 4: BILBAO / LOYOAL / LOURDES— After breakfast, we drive to the town of Loyola, the birthplace of St Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus. We will visit the Sanctuary of Loyola built over St Ignatius’ birthplace and celebrate Holy Mass. After lunch, we will continue our pilgrimage to Lourdes. Lourdes is where the Virgin Mary appeared in the Grotto of Massabielle to the poor shepherd girl, Bernadette Soubirous, for a total of 18 times between February 11 and July 16, 1858. Upon arrival we will check into our hotel and have the remainder of the day at leisure. Later in the evening you may wish to partake in a candlelight procession. (B|L)
DAY 11, THURSDAY OCTOBER 5: LOURDES —Today we celebrate Holy Mass and enjoy a half-day walking tour of Lourdes, the most important Marian Shrines and pilgrimage sites in the world. Our guide will share with us the history of the Marian apparitions that appeared to St. Bernadette Soubirous during the 18th century. We will visit the main shrine of the Sanctuary, the Grotto, as well as other important sites that built Lourdes' history. On 16 July 1858, Soubirous visited the grotto for the last time and said: "I have never seen her so beautiful before." On 18 January 1860, the local bishop declared: "The Virgin Mary did appear indeed to Bernadette Soubirous.” Lunch on our own and the afternoon at leisure before meeting back at the hotel for our Farewell Dinner. (B|D)
DAY 12, FRIDAY OCTOBER 6: LOURDES / TOULOUSE / DETROIT—Today we say, “Au revoir” to France and Our Lady of Lourdes. After an incredible 10-night pilgrimage across Portugal and France, we fly back home with a deeper love and appreciation of the Mother of God.
* double occupancy (single supplement $775)
Itinerary subject to change