Daily Mass Celebrant: Father Andy Vill, Diocese of Bridgeport, CT
June 1 2020 Our pilgrimage begins as we depart the U.S. for our overnight flight to Spain.
June 2 Arrive early morning in Madrid where you will be met by your tour guide and transferred to Ávila. the City of Kings and of Saints, completely encircled by 11th century walls. This is the birthplace of St. Teresa, one of the greatest mystics. We will visit the Museum of and celebrate Mass at the Convent of La Encarnación where St. Teresa entered religious life. In the museum, we will see various relics and the stairs were Teresa had a mystical encounter with the Child Jesus. We will visit the Cathedral, which contains many of St. Teresa’s relics; the crypt of the Convento of La Santa, built on the site of the house where she was born and home to the most comprehensive museum dedicated to her life, and the Convent of San Jose, the first convent that she founded. We will also visit Los Cuatro Postes, where tradition says little Teresa and her brother Rodrigo were stopped by their uncle as they were heading to martyrdom. This spot provides a spectacular view of the city walls.
Dinner & overnight in Ávila.
June 3 After breakfast at our hotel, we will depart to the town of Fontiveros, birth place of St John of the Cross, to visit the 18th century chapel built on the site of his parents’ home. We will also visit Medina del Campo and visit the Carmelite Monastery there with its chapel and museum – the site where St. Teresa and St. John of the Cross first met. We will then head over to the Shrine of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, guarded by the Discalced Carmelite Fathers. Before heading back to Ávila we will visit the world-famous Monastery of El Escorial.
Dinner & overnight in Ávila.
June 4 Today we visit Segovia for a tour of the medieval city and its ancient Roman Aqueducts. We will visit the Convent of the St. John of the Cross and celebrate Mass where he is buried. We will then walk the same route John of the Cross took into town – “ascending mount Carmel” – going by the nun’s convent to visit the Gothic Cathedral of St Mary and its chapel in honor of St. Teresa’s “half friar.” Dinner & overnight in Ávila.
June 5 We will visit the sight of the first foundation for the friars in Duruelo where important events that impacted the spiritual mission of Saint John of the Cross took place. We will then continue to the city of Alba de Tormes to venerate the relics of St. Teresa of Ávila in the church of the Carmelite Convent where she died and her miraculously pierced heart rests in a glass reliquary. We will then go across the square to visit the first Church dedicated in honor of St. John of the Cross and the museum of the Discalced Carmelite Fathers. Dinner & overnight in Ávila.
June 6 Early morning departure for Toledo, one of Spain’s most ancient and charming cities and Teresa’s paternal ancestral home. Here we will visit the Carmelite Convent where we will venerate the incorrupt body of Blessed Mary of Jesus. After Mass, we will head over to the 13th century Gothic Primate Cathedral of St. Mary, and the Chapel of St Joseph, which housed St. Teresa’s community from 1570-1583.
Dinner & overnight in Toledo.
June 7 Depart in the morning for Barcelona. Enroute we will visit Zaragoza to see the Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar and its connection with St. James and have time to celebrate Mass. Dinner & overnight in Barcelona.
June 8 We spend the day in Barcelona, where we’ll have a guided tour of this beautiful city, including Antoni Gaudí’s breathtaking Sagrada Familia, where we celebrate Mass. Following lunch, we head to Tibidabo and enjoy the view from its beautiful mountaintop Basilica. We enjoy a special farewell dinner together. Overnight in Barcelona.
June 9 Following breakfast, we transfer to Barcelona’s airport. With a renewed sense of pilgrimage, and an invigorated love of our Catholic faith, we’ll board our plane for the return flight home.