Itineraries:


1. ITALY AND FORMER YUGOSLAVIA


Dates: August 1, 2007 to August 15, 2008
Price: about $2,570.

Day 1: Leave the United States

Day 2: Arrive at the beautiful, medieval city of Dubrovnik on the Adriatic Sea

Day 3: Explore the fortified town, pray and meditate in its ancient churches, nurse your jet leg or swim in the sea.

Day 4: to Medjugorje, where Our Lady has been appearing daily since 1981. Pray and meditate on Apparition Hill during sunset.


Sunrise on Apparition Hill
Photo by Elisa Holdener
 

Moonrise on Cross Mountain
Photo by Larry Landolphi,
taken with camera
attached to telescope


Day 5: In Medjugorje Mother Mary's birthday is celebrated on this day with lot's of singing and dancing in the streets. Join thousands of pilgrims in the church while Mary appears to the visionaries in their homes in the village.

Day 6: : Sunrise mass on Cross Mountain. Free afternoon.

Day 7: early to Split, explore this Roman and medieval gem of a city. Catch the 10:30 p.m. over night ferry to Ancona, Italy.


Day 8: 7:45 a.m. arrive in Ancona, on to Loreto, historically the center of Marian power in Western Europe. Meditate in "the Holy House of Mary" where the Angel Gabriel announced Jesus' birth to her. Tradition says it was brought from Nazareth to Loreto on Angels' wings in order to be safeguarded from destruction by invading Muslim forces.

Black Madonna of Loreto


Day 9: On to Foligno to meditate at the tomb of Angela of Foligno, perhaps the most enlightened mystic in Christian history. Then spend two days and nights in Assisi at holy sites imbued with the blessings of Sts. Francis and Clare.

Day 10: Hike to the cave-hermitage (Carceri) where St. Francis went into retreat and/or take a shorter walk to San Damiano, the convent of St. Clare and her sisters.

Day 11: : Visit the neighboring village Santa Maria degli Angeli, where St. Francis died and consecrated a beautiful, holy chapel as a "door to heaven". On to Rome; settle into our convent in the big city.

Day 12: Morning meditation in Santa Maria en Trastevere, the first church in Rome to be dedicated to the Madonna in 340 C.E. Midday meditation in Santa Maria in Aracoeli, which holds one of the most venerated images of the Romans: a very holy statue of baby Jesus. From around the corner we'll have beautiful views of the Forum Romanum, the central mall of ancient Rome, with the Colosseum right behind it. Each can explore according to their desire.

Day 13: Morning meditation at Tre Fontane, the apparition site of Our Lady of the Revelation (1947) and at the site of Paul's martyrdom across the street. Midday meditation at the tomb of another great mystic, St. Catherine of Siena. Then visit the Pantheon around the corner.

 
Our Lady of Revelation
 
Apparition site in 1947


Day 14: Morning meditation at Santa Maria Maggiore, (15th century), one of the most grandiose churches dedicated to Our Lady. (This is where you'll find the mosaic of Jesus and Mary depicted on our home page.) Visit the Vatican in the afternoon.

Day 15: Return home.

 

2. MEXICO


Our Lady of Guadalupe-detail


Day 1: Settle into hotel next to the Basilica de Guadalupe and pay a first visit to Our Lady.

Day 2: Explore every corner of Tepeyac, Her sacred hill in Mexico City.

Day 3: See Mexico City.

Day 4: Visit the pyramids of Teotihuacan.

Day 5: Go to Tepotzlan, one hour South of Mexico City.

Day 6: Visit the local pyramid and the church of St. Mary Magdalene.

Day 7: Celebrate Mardi Gras.

Day 8: Join the annual Ash Wednesday pilgrimage of the people of Tepoztlan to Chalma, a miraculous place holy to Christians and native shamans alike. Thousands will walk and pray together all day.

Day 9: Return to Mexico City

Day 10: Return home or hit the beach.

Dates: February 2008, exact dates to be arranged

Price: about $ 1,200.


3. FRANCE : Mary Magdalene and Black Madonnas

 
Left: a French fantasy: Mary Magdalene, the hermitess, dressed only in her hair
Right: her cave made into a church and monastery


Day 1: Leave the U.S.


Day 2: Arrive in Toulon, Provence; wash away your jet lag in the Mediterranean Sea; check into our convent in Sainte Baume for two nights.


Day 3: Beautiful, easy 40 minute hike to the cave-church where Mary Magdalene is said to have lived the last 30 years of her life. Another 40 minute hike to the top of the cliff, where a chapel marks the place where angels used to feed Mary.


Day 4: Visit the Basilica of Mary Magdalene in St. Maximin, where presumably her scull and sarcophagus are kept. Short stop in Aix-en-Provence to see the B lack Madonna. Spend the night in the beautiful city of Arles, sporting everything from a Roman colosseum to a Christian cloister.

Day 5: Visit the church of St. Martha of Bethany with its Black Madonna in Tarascon, and the medieval castle across the street.

On to the black patron saint of the Gypsies, Sainte Sarah. Tradition says she was the Egyptian servent of Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of James, in the town of Saintes Maries de la Mer. Enjoy the beach and the hotel overlooking the Sea.

 
St. Sara la Kali


Day 6: Beautiful but fairly long (5 hours) drive to Lourdes, in the Pyrenees. Here the Virgin Mary, Queen of Heaven, is honored with nightly candle light processions by thousands of her devotees.


Day 7: Bathe in the miraculous spring that Our Lady had St. Bernadette uncover by digging in the dirt. Some say this was symbolic for how we have to dig through the dirt of our subconscious in order to uncover the miraculous well of the divine that dwells in each soul.

Day 8: Long 6 hour drive to Le Puy en Velay in the Auvergne. Check into the monastery right next to the basilica that holds two Black Madonnas and the miraculous "Fever Stone" for two nights.


Day 9: Explore the magic town and sanctuary of Le Puy.

 
the Fever Stone of Le Puy

Day 10: See a couple of Black Madonnas between Le Puy and Clermont-Ferrand, especially Our Lady of the Sacred Spring, whose waters are said to heal depression and apathy. Hotel in Clermont-Ferrand .


Day 11: Visit the Black Madonnas of Clermont-Ferrand, Riom, and Thuret. Check into the seminary in Chartres for two nights.


Day 12: Visit the magic cathedral, built by the Templars, and housing three Black Madonnas, the veil of the Virgin, the world famous labyrinth, and countless other treasures.


Day 13 and 14: Check into our seminary in Paris. Visit the Church of Mary Magdalene, the apparition site of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Black Madonnas, the Louvre.... You'll be free to roam.


Day 15: Return home.


Dates: July 19th - August 2nd, 2008

Price: About 2,500.- including air fare, if you share a room with one person. Staying at convents and 2 star hotels keeps the price down.

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