Monday, June 8 Overnight flight to Italy
Our pilgrimage begins with an overnight flight from your local airport to Rome! (Bring a good book, your rosary, and prayer intentions.) Meals and refreshments are served on the plane.
Tuesday, June 9 Arrive & afternoon at leisure
Welcome to Rome! After gathering our bags and meeting our amazing tour manager, Marika, we will enjoy a “get yourself acquainted” bus tour of the eternal city. We then arrive at our hotel where we will have some time to unpack and freshen up for our pilgrimage welcome dinner in the evening. Overnight in Rome.
Wednesday, June 10 A day at the Vatican
After breakfast, we’re off to Saint Peter’s Square for the Papal general audience with Pope Francis (subject to the Pope’s schedule). Following a short lunch break, we’ll tour the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica. Dinner and overnight in Rome.
Thursday, June 11 Papal Basilicas tour
Following breakfast, we will visit the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, the Church of St. Mary Major, as well as the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran where we’ll have an opportunity to prayerfully climb the Lateran Steps. After a short break for lunch, we will travel to the Pontifical North American College for a private tour of the Catholic institute training seminarians to become future priests for U.S. dioceses. Dinner and Overnight in Rome.
Friday, June 12 Basilicas & the Pantheon
After breakfast this morning, we’ll start the day at Saint Cecilia’s Basilica. We’ll continue our sightseeing tour with a visit to the Basilica of St. Bartholomew and the Museum of the Holy Souls in Purgatory. After some leisure time, and a delicious scoop of Italian gelato together at the Piazza Navona, we’ll make our way to visit the Basilica of St. Bartholomew, home to Caravaggio’s The Calling of Matthew, a masterpiece by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, depicting the moment at which Jesus Christ inspires Matthew to follow him. We will continue our tour at the Church of Saint Maria sopra Minerve where we’ll view and pray at the tomb of St. Catherine of Siena, a philosopher and theologian who had a great influence on the Catholic Church. We’ll continue onto the Pantheon, which boasts the largest dome of its kind in the world, and the Church of the Gesù, the mother church of the Jesuit Order. Dinner and overnight in Rome.
Saturday, June 13 Footsteps of Ancient Rome
Following breakfast, we travel back in time with a historic tour of Ancient Rome. Making our way along centuries-old cobblestone streets lined with Rome’s stately stone pines, we arrive at the triumphal Arch of Constantine, built in 315 AD after Constantine’s victory over Maxentius. Under one hundred feet away stands Ancient Rome’s monumental, where we tour the three-tiered Colosseum, an amphitheater once used for gladiatorial games. We continue to the Roman Forum, open grounds now surrounded by the ruins of the ancient government buildings at the center of Ancient Rome. Dinner and overnight in Rome.
Sunday, June 14 Welcome to Assisi
Following breakfast this morning, we transfer by private motor coach to the hilltop village of Assisi, the birthplace of Saint Francis of Assisi and a UNESCO world heritage site known for its magnificent medieval architecture. Upon arriving, Jon and Marika will take you up to the most beautiful view of the city. After our hotel check-in, we will gather for prayer. Dinner and overnight in Assisi.
Monday, June 15 Basilicas of Assisi tour
Following breakfast, we will gather for our guided tour of Assisi. We begin at the Basilica of Saint Clare, one of the first followers of St. Francis. Here, we will descend to St. Clare’s lower crypt, where we will pray before her incorrupt body and reflect before many of her relics that remain with us today. We will also have a chance to pray before the San Damiano cross, the very cross that Christ spoke to St. Francis through, asking Francis to rebuild his Church. Continuing to the Basilica of Saint Francis, we will be guided through the meaning of the many frescoes that surrounds us, depicting his saintly life. We will then have an opportunity to descend to the lower crypt where we will pray before the tomb of St. Francis, and the remains of his first followers. In the afternoon, we will make our way down into the valley of Assisi where we visit the beautiful Basilica of Saint Mary of the Angels, home of the Chapel Portiuncula, where St. Francis lived and worked after founding the Franciscan order, and where Mother Mary appeared to Francis in 1216. We will then visit the miracle garden of the thornless rose bush. Dinner and overnight in Assisi.
Tuesday, June 16 Convents & Catacombs
Breakfast will be served at our hotel this morning. “All roads lead to Rome” (and so does our pilgrimage). We say farewell to Assisi as we arrive back into the Eternal City. On our return, we’ll visit the ancient Catacombs of Rome where Mass will be celebrated in an underground chapel. Dinner on your own this evening and Overnight in Rome.
Wednesday, June 17 Basilica’s & Churches
After we enjoy breakfast, we’re off to the Basilica of Saint Peter in Chains where we’ll have the opportunity to view the chains that held St. Peter while he was in the Mamertine prison in Rome. After some time for prayer, we’ll visit the Church of Saint Alphonsus Ligouri, home of the original icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help. We will then make our way to visit the Saint Gregorio al Cielo Convent, the Roman motherhouse of the Missionaries of Charity. It is here where Saint Teresa of Calcutta resided when she visited her sisters in Rome. Dinner and overnight in Rome.
Thursday, June 18 Farewell & return home
With a renewed sense of pilgrimage, and an invigorated love of our Catholic faith, we transfer to the Rome Fiumicino Airport, say farewell to our fellow pilgrims and new friends, and board our return flight home.