"If you knew how much I love you, You would cry of Joy" 
Our Lady of Medjugorje



Pilgrimages

for people of all religions, opinions, and inclinations to shrines and apparition sites of Mother Mary in Italy and Medjugorje, Bosnia, Mexico, and France.

Nowadays many non-Christians see Mother Mary as an expression of the feminine face of God, another form of the Great Mother, whom humans have worshipped for 25.000 years.

To Catholics Mother Mary is not a goddess yet more powerful than any goddess or any saint. She is hailed as the Mother of God and of all humans, the Queen of Heaven and Earth, the Queen of Peace, the Queen of the Apostles, the Queen of the Angels, the Seat of Wisdom, the Spouse of the Holy Spirit…. The Bible describes her as the "woman clothed in the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of 12 stars". (Revelation 12,1) She is said to share the throne of Christ and to have been "divinized", i.e. to have become inseparably one with God in complete "divine, mystical union", to have "inherited the kingdom of God" as Paul would call it. Hence Pope Benedikt XVI called her "divine mother" at Pope John Paul II’s funeral.

These pilgrimages are not about who is objectively right, but about who Mary is meant to be for you personally. And only you can determine that. We can help by taking you to her holy sites and sharing her public messages with you, but you will have to find out yourself what she is saying in your heart.

Throughout the centuries Mother Mary has been appearing to people across the globe. She started in the year A.D. 40 and never stopped. (See Roy Abraham Varghese’s book "God Sent: A History of the Accredited Apparitions of Mary") Since 1981 the Mother of God has been appearing daily in Medjugorje, Bosnia, which is now her most powerful holy place. There she has been affirming that she is the Mother of all humans of all faiths and that God is the King of all Religions. She says that all her children are equal in the eyes of God and his Mother, and that we are the ones who like to divide, not God. Hence all are welcomed to come before her, no matter what their faith and opinion.

On these pilgrimages we will go and see what the Queen of Heaven herself has said about who she is. For example in Rome she appeared in 1947 as Our Lady of the Revelation, saying: "I am the one that is of the Divine Trinity: daughter of the Father, the Mother of the Son, and Spouse and Temple of the Holy Spirit." (See: Brother Francis Mary Kalvelage, "Marian Shrines of Italy". A highly recommendable book in preparation for this pilgrimage.)

Our Lady of Revelation dressed in: Green: The Creative love of the Father;
White: The Saving Love of the Son; Pink: The Sanctifying Love of the Spirit

We will also discuss what the Blessed Mother has communicated in other apparitions, whose sites we will not get to. For example: in Paris in 1830, she demanded that a medal be crafted and widely distributed, depicting the cross of Jesus permanently anchored in her initial M and their two hearts underneath it, perfectly equal in size.


In Fatima, Portugal, she said: "Tell everybody that God gives graces through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Tell them to ask graces from her, and that the Heart of Jesus wishes to be venerated together with the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Ask them to plead for peace from the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for the Lord has confided the peace of the world to her." (See: "Our Lady of Fatima’s Peace Plan from Heaven" , p.10)

What to expect on these pilgrimages:

You will be on a traveling meditation retreat, a true pilgrimage, but with the modern comforts of public transportation and skipping the sack and ashes!

More than studying the power of the Blessed Mother in the course of Christian history, you will experience it for yourself through prayer and meditation at her holy places. You will be encouraged and supported in doing what she recommends for the sake of the earth and our own peace and illumination: First, to pray in silence, word, and song three times a day for one hour each. Second, to fast on bread and water on Wednesdays and Fridays or at least to make some kind of sacrifice and offering on those days. (e.g. no alcohol, meat or TV) Our Lady often says that prayer and fasting can stop wars and prevent natural catastrophes, not to mention the spiritual graces it confers.

Don’t worry about this. Experience shows that the rewards of answering her call to fast are so great that one often looks forward to the next opportunity. If you do these practices at her sacred shrines and on her holy mountains, you will surely receive many blessings from the Queen of Heaven and she will let you know herself who she is for you. She herself will be your guide.

Itineraries:

1. ITALY AND FORMER YUGOSLAVIA


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 Angel’s 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.


Dates: August 1, 2008— August 15, 2008
Price: about $2,500. Air fare not included.

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 2009, exact dates to be arranged

Price: about $ 1,000. Air fare not included.

 

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 Marseille, visit the Black Madonna in the cathedral, 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. 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.

Days 5 and 6:

Celebrate the two day festival of the black patron saint of the Gypsies, Sainte Sarah in the town of Saintes Maries de la Mer. One tradition says she was the Egyptian servant of Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of James, another that she was a gypsy queen, yet another that she was the daughter of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. In any case, now she is the Queen of the gypsies and a Christian saint. Enjoy the beach.

 
St. Sara la Kali


Day 7: Visit the Black Madonna of Pézenas


Day 8: arrive in Montserrat

Day 9: Enjoy Montserrat with its world famous Black Madonna and beautiful mountainous setting


Day 10: day trip to the Black Madonna of Solsona

Day 11: See Barcelona


Day 12: Return home.


Dates: May 20th - 31, 2009

Price: About 1,700.- if you share a room with one person. Air fare not included.


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