Graces of France – Harvest Journeys Catholic Pilgrimages

Graces of France

Pilgrimage on the Footsteps of the Saints, from Lourdes to Paris.

Watch your faith come alive during this absorbing time of pilgrimage to France beginning with a reflective stay in Lourdes, the City of Mary. Journey on through Mountainous villages and holy shrines, weaving a pilgrim trail through the glorious Spanish & French countryside and the sacred villages of our faith.

Itinerary

Lourdes (3) / Montserrat (1) / Manresa / Barcelona (1) / Fly Lyon / Paray le Monial (2) / Chartres (1) / Mont Saint Michel (2) / Paris

Itinerary

Meal Code: (B) = Breakfast (L) = Lunch (D) = Dinner

DAY 1ARRIVE LOURDES

Welcome to Lourdes. It was in this small town that Our Lady first appeared to St Bernadette in 1858. This evening you will join with your fellow pilgrims for our first group dinner.

Lourdes overnight (BD)

DAY 2LOURDES

We celebrate an International Mass this morning with pilgrims worldwide in the immense Underground Basilica of Pius X (schedule permitting) followed by a visit to the little village of Bartres, and the farm where St Bernadette was nursed and later returned in adolescence to help her foster mother. We will visit the Sheepfold and the Parish Church where she spent so many hours in prayer.

We will return to Lourdes to enjoy a peaceful afternoon to rest, wander at your own pace or take the time to pray the Stations of the Cross with the life sized copper images which overlook the holy Grotto. Spend some quiet time perhaps reflecting at the Grotto with its chapel built over the place of the apparitions.

Optional Blessed Sacrament Procession and evening candlelight procession.

Lourdes overnight (BD)

Day 3LOURDES

This morning we will celebrate a group Mass at the Grotto before meeting our guide for a walking tour of Lourdes including the Sanctuary area: Upper & Lower Basilicas, the Grotto, and the Baths where hundreds of miraculous cures have taken place. Continue our visit of the main sites associated with St Bernadette including the Boly Mill where she was born in 1844, the original parish church and the Cachot (prison) where the family was forced to live due to misfortune during the time of the apparitions.

Free time this afternoon for a visit and prayers for the sick at the miraculous Baths where the water has continued to flow since 1858. Pilgrims may choose to submerge themselves in the healing waters, or collect the Lourdes water at the taps. During her 9th apparition to Bernadette, Our Lady said “Go drink and wash yourself at the spring”. Optional afternoon Blessed Sacrament Procession and Blessing of the Sick before a final evening candlelight procession after dinner.

Note:  Washing at the baths is a personally rewarding experience and is carried out in a discreet manner with the process being very respectful of one’s privacy. 

Lourdes overnight (BD)

Day 4LOURDES TO MONTSERRAT

We farewell Lourdes early this morning as we again journey through the Pyrenees, crossing the border back into northern Spain.

We then arrive at stunning Montserrat. The renowned 11th century sanctuary of Our Lady of Montserrat lies at the top of a 4,000 foot high mountain and is one of Spain’s most popular pilgrimage destinations. The shrine is home to a 12th century miraculous statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, lovingly known as the “Black Madonna”, discovered in the Santa Cova or Holy Cave. Here at Montserrat, St Ignatius kept vigil with a coarse sackcloth and a pilgrim staff.

On arrival we will be taken on a private guided tour of the museums.

Continue for a visit and Mass in the Basilica, the construction of which began in the 16th century, and a viewing of the beautiful Holy Image of Our Lady of Montserrat, known affectionately as the “Black Madonna.”  Time permitting, before dinner we will have an opportunity to join the Benedictine monks and the Montserrat Boys Choir (The Escolania) in the Basilica for the beautiful sounds of evening Vespers.

Montserrat overnight (BD)

Day 5MONTSERRAT / MANRESA TO BARCELONA

The spirit of Montserrat is a unique blend of the mountain, the sanctuary, and the life of monasticism. Around the sanctuary you will find many different banners and emblems representing various religious, cultural, social, financial and even sporting organisations.

Those who wish may rise early this morning to enjoy a walk down the sacred path passing modernist sculptures of the Mysteries of the Rosary (all worked on by Llimona and Gaudi among others). Almost hanging from the rock’s edge at the end of the route is the Chapel where the image of Our Lady of Montserrat was found by young shepherds in the 13th century after seeing a bright light which led them to the grotto.

We then travel out to the town of Manresa for Mass where St Ignatius came on retreat for 11 months between 1522 and 1523. Each day he spent seven hours in prayer in a cave and then helped the sick in the village with the time he had left over. Here too, Ignatius began to develop the method for seeking God’s will and where he wrote his renowned Spiritual Exercises. We come as pilgrims to this amazing place with St Ignatius and pray in the actual cave where his life and spirituality developed.

Continue on to Barcelona where we will embark on a panoramic tour of the city followed by a visit to La Sagrada Familia.

Dinner at the hotel

Barcelona overnight  (BD)

Day 6BARCELONA TO PARAY-LE-MONIAL

We depart early this morning by air to Lyon.

We continue our French immersion travelling on to Paray-le-Monial, the place where St Margaret Mary Alacoque experienced visions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the 17th century. In revealing His Heart to her, Jesus said:

“Behold the Heart which has so loved men that it has spared nothing but has been poured out totally and consumed as proof of its love”.

Paray-le-Monial overnight (BD)

Day 7PARAY-LE-MONIAL & TAIZE

After a leisurely breakfast, we set off this morning for Taize, the tiny hillside community in which young people from all over the world are drawn. Pope St John Paul II referred to Taize as ‘that little springtime’ as pilgrims join in a common weekly programme of prayer meetings, discussion groups and meals. We join with the community for midday prayer, which is sung beautifully in the large candlelit church.

Return this afternoon to Paray-le-Monial for a guided visit featuring the Chapel of Apparitions, the room of the relics of St Margaret Mary, the Diorama of St Margaret and the Eucharist Museum. Other highlights include the Basilica of Sacre Coeur and the Chapel of St Claude in honour of St Margaret Mary’s Spiritual Director.

Paray-le-Monial overnight (BD)

Day 8VIA NEVERS TO CHARTRES

This morning we farewell the city of the ‘Heart of Jesus’ and journey to the town of Nevers nestled within the picturesque Loire Valley. Here we will celebrate Mass and visit the Convent of St Gildard where St Bernadette’s incorrupt body reposes and may be viewed. After she was blessed with the 18 apparitions of the Virgin Mary at Lourdes, St Bernadette retired to Nevers where she died at the age of only 35.

Our pilgrimage takes us on to the great Cathedral city of Chartres where we enter inside the magnificent 13th century Chartres Cathedral, a medieval architectural wonder and home to the Holy Veil, said to be worn by the Blessed Virgin Mary when she gave birth to Jesus. Pilgrims too will see the most famous labyrinth in the world, built around the year 1200 and sometimes called the “Chemin de Jerusalem” or Road of Jerusalem.

Chartres overnight (BD)

Day 9CHARTRES TO MONT-SAINT-MICHEL

Departing Chartres, we journey to the lovely island of Mont-Saint-Michel.

According to legend, the archangel Michael appeared to St. Aubert, Bishop of Avranches, in 709 and instructed him to build a chapel on the rocky islet. Soon after, he sent a group of monks to live on the island (since replaced in 966 by the Benedictine Order who soon after constructed the Abbey). From the Middle Ages people have flocked to the abbey and were so struck by its beauty that they called this place “The Wonder Island”. Today it continues to be a major cultural and pilgrimage centre.

What looks like a castle out of a fairy tale is actually one of Christianity’s major pilgrimage sites. Surging from an infinite expanse of sand and waves, Mont-Saint-Michel is a marvellous work of both nature and mankind. In 1979 it was the first location in France to be designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Today more than two million pilgrims and visitors travel to behold this awesome work of the Middle Ages, the Abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel.

Mont-Saint-Michel overnight (BD)

Day 10MONT-SAINT-MICHEL

This morning we will meet our guide for a tour of the island.

A climb up the steep narrow flight of steps called the Grand Degré is a prelude to the tour of the abbey. Once we have admired the construction, we can contemplate the incomparable beauty of the bay by going back down via the rampart walk.

A highlight of our visit here will be the Benedictine Abbey, which during the French Revolution was turned into a prison. We plan to join the community here for an inspiring chanted Mass. During our tour we will also see the Chapelle de Notre Dame sous Terre (Underground Chapel of Our Lady). It was built in the late 10th century in the very place that St Aubert erected the oratory in the 8th century.

Enjoy some free time this afternoon.

Mont-Saint-Michel overnight (BD)

Day 11VIA LISIEUX TO PARIS

After breakfast we travel east to Lisieux, one of the world’s premier pilgrimage sites and home to St Therese, the ‘Little Flower’, whom Pope Pius X called ‘the greatest saint of modern times’. On arrival we enjoy a pilgrimage tour of Lisieux visiting the family home of Les Buissonets, the Carmelite Convent Chapel with its reliquary of the saint and St Therese’s Basilica.

We depart Lisieux, travelling on to Paris this afternoon for homebound flights or onward travels.

(B)

Dates & Prices

Dates
Chaplain
Tour Cost
18 - 28 May 2023
TBA
AUD TBA
More info
BOOK NOW
GF2301
18 - 28 May 2023
More info

Dates

18 - 28 May 2023

Chaplain

TBA

Tour Cost

AUD TBA

Tour Code

GF2301

Single Room

AUD TBA Supplement

Air & Tour

Enquire

Start/Finish

Lourdes/Paris

Prepaid Tips

$14 PPPD**

18 - 28 September 2023
TBA
AUD TBA
More info
BOOK NOW
GF2302
18 - 28 September 2023
More info

Dates

18 - 28 September 2023

Chaplain

TBA

Tour Cost

AUD TBA

Tour Code

GF2302

Single Room

AUD TBA Supplement

Air & Tour

Enquire

Start/Finish

Lourdes/Paris

Prepaid Tips

$14 PPPD**

16 - 26 May 2024
TBA
AUD TBA
More info
BOOK NOW
GF2401
16 - 26 May 2024
More info

Dates

16 - 26 May 2024

Chaplain

TBA

Tour Cost

AUD TBA

Tour Code

GF2401

Single Room

AUD TBA Supplement

Air & Tour

Enquire

Start/Finish

Lourdes/Paris

Prepaid Tips

$14 PPPD**

18 - 28 September 2024
TBA
AUD TBA
More info
BOOK NOW
GF2402
18 - 28 September 2024
More info

Dates

18 - 28 September 2024

Chaplain

TBA

Tour Cost

AUD TBA

Tour Code

GF2402

Single Room

AUD TBA Supplement

Air & Tour

Enquire

Start/Finish

Lourdes/Paris

Prepaid Tips

$14 PPPD**

* Costs are indicative and must remain subject to possible change in the event of significant exchange rate variations, airfare, tax & hotel changes or minimum group size factors beyond Harvest’s control. Refer to Harvest Terms & Conditions.
** Per Person Per Day

What's Included
  • ACCOMMODATION & MEALS: Based on Superior Standard / 4-Star accommodation • Most meals
  • TOURING & TRANSPORTATION: Deluxe Air Conditioned Coach touring • Professional Pilgrimage Escort / Local Guides • Sightseeing and Entrance Fees
  • OTHER: Fully Escorted by Pilgrimage Chaplain • Porterage at hotels • Harvest Backpack, Pilgrims Journal and Tour Wallet
What's Not Included
  • Other meals not listed
  • Passport and Visa Costs (if applicable)
  • Items of a personal nature including phone calls, laundry, beverages, etc.
  • Travel insurance - ask Harvest about its preferred World Assist Travel Insurance
  • Prepaid Tips
Pre-Tour Optional Extension

Visitations & Saints Pilgrimage: Lisbon to Lourdes

Lisbon (1 Night) / Fatima (3) / Alba de Tormes / Avila (2) / Segovia / Caleruega / Santo Domingo de Silos (1) / Loyola / Lourdes

Our Lady of the Rosary, Fatima
Segovia. Ancient Roman aqueduct

DAY 1ARRIVE LISBON

Welcome to Lisbon. Join with fellow pilgrims this evening for a Welcome Dinner.
Lisbon overnight (D)

DAY 2LISBON TO FATIMA

Theme: St Anthony of Padua

This morning we will meet with our local guide and enjoy a tour of Lisbon city. Our first stop is St Anthony’s Basilica where we celebrate our group Mass. Despite what might be assumed from his name, St Anthony was born and grew up in Lisbon and today remains the patron saint of lost articles.

Visit the World Heritage listed Jeronimo’s Monastery dating back to the 16th century with its stunning combination of flamboyant Gothic, Moorish and early Renaissance influences; see nearby Belem Tower and the Monument to the Discoveries. See Europe’s longest suspension bridge and view the inspiring Statue of Christ the King pointing the way north to Fatima.

En route to Fatima we will visit the Holy Miracle Church of St Stephen at Santarem containing the oldest recorded Eucharistic miracle.

Finally we arrive at Fatima where in 1917 the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to three children as ‘a lady in white’.

Mass Setting: St Anthony’s Basilica.
Fatima overnight (BD)

Day 3FATIMA

Theme: St Francisco & St Jacinta of Fatima

This morning we will walk and pray the Stations along the beautiful Way of the Cross (the Sacred Way) culminating in the Chapel of Calvary which overlooks all of Fatima. Continue to Valinhos, the site of Our Lady’s appearance to three peasant children Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta. Proceed on to the little village of Aljustrel to visit the homes where the children lived. Finally we enter the original Parish church and see the Baptismal font where the children were baptised.

Back in Fatima tonight, the Anniversary Vigil ceremonies begin with an International Rosary followed by a candlelight procession and concelebrated Mass on the steps of the Rosary Basilica. From midnight to dawn an optional all night vigil is held for the enrichment of pilgrims.

Mass Setting: Apparition Chapel.
Fatima overnight (BD)

Day 4FATIMA ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS

Theme: Our Lady of Fatima

We awake to the sound of pilgrims from all over the world en route to the morning’s Anniversary celebrations. Commence with a Rosary followed by the procession of Our Lady’s statue to the altar on the steps of the Basilica. Celebrate the International Anniversary Mass followed by the Blessing of the Sick and Consecration. The ceremonies will close around midday with the touching ‘Adios’ spectacle.

We will then enjoy a tour of the Square (the largest in Christendom) including the site of the Apparitions, Rosary Basilica with the Tombs of the visionaries, the Museum, Blessed Sacrament Chapel and other main sites.

Afternoon at leisure in Fatima.

Mass Setting: International Anniversary Mass.

Fatima overnight (BD)

Day 5FATIMA TO AVILA

Theme: St John of the Cross

After breakfast we farewell Fatima and journey inland through Portugal before crossing the border into Spain. Visit Salamanca, known as the ‘Golden City’ owing to the colour of i s historic sandstone buildings. Arrive at Alba de Tormes,  the little village where St Teresa died and where her incorrupt heart and arm are enshrined and displayed in the Carmelite convent. Here too we enter the convent for Mass, where St John of the Cross lived and who companioned St Teresa in her spiritual walk.

We continue on to the historic walled town of Avila, where the atmosphere has changed little since the days of St Teresa to whom the city is dedicated.

Mass Setting: Alba de Tormes Convent.

Avila overnight (BD)

Day 6AVILA

Theme: St Teresa of Avila

We begin our day with a visit to the Convent of Saint Teresa built over the saint’s birthplace and located just inside the South Gate of the old town. Most of the convent remains in cloister but you can see the very spot where she was born, now a chapel in the Baroque church. We then visit Avila’s Cathedral which was started in the 12th century before entering the Monastery of the Incarnation for Mass where St Teresa’s cell can be seen as well as other relics of her life.

Enjoy an afternoon at leisure.

Avila overnight (BD)

Day 7VIA SEGOVIA & CALERUEGA TO SANTO DOMINGO DE SILOS

Theme: St Dominic

This morning we depart Avila, travelling east by coach to Segovia, between the Eresma and Clamores Rivers. We will visit the stunning Segovia Cathedral, the last Gothic cathedral to be built in Spain. Marvel too at the best conserved aqueduct of the Imperial Roman Empire. Outside the walls, we will visit and celebrate Mass at a convent adjacent to the Vera Cruz church, where the mortal remains of Saint John of the Cross are buried. View here the famous Alcazar.

From here we journey north to Caleruega, the home of Bl Jane of Aza and Felix Guzman and birthplace of their sons, St Dominic, Bl Mannes and Anthony.

On arrival we commence our tour of Caleruega. A highlight includes the Dominican Nuns Convent, formerly the home of the Guzman family. A highlight here is the Crypt where a well marks the spot where Dominic was born around 1170. It is now the centrepiece of a chapel which is adorned with exquisite mosaics depicting scenes from Dominic’s life.

Enter the Church of San Sebastian where Dominic was baptised. The original twelfth century apse is still preserved, even though the church has undergone numerous reconstructions.

Journey nearby to the quaint village of Santo Domingo de Silos, home to the great Benedictine Abbey famous for its beautiful Romanesque cloister and for spreading the finest tradition of Gregorian chant throughout the world.

After dinner we will proceed up to the Abbey for evening prayer.

Santo Domingo de Silos overnight (BD)
Mass Setting: Vera Cruz Church.

Day 8SANTO DOMINGO DE SILOS TO LOURDES

Theme: St Ignatius of Loyola

Seven times a day for over 1,500 years a sweet and sublime sound rises like a fragrance from the hills of Castille. Is it the sound of angels singing? One might be mistaken to think so. Enter the Romanesque cloisters of the sacred monastery of Santo Domingo de Silos and you will discover that this heavenly sound emanates from the Benedictine monks who became world famous after their recordings of Gregorian chant hit number one on the European pop charts.

This morning we will attend the chanted High Mass at the Abbey before visiting the adjacent Monastery and Museum.

We then rejoin our coach and set off on our travel day, journeying north to Loyola where St Ignatius was born and where he later found his conversion. In Loyola pilgrims will have the opportunity to visit the impressive Sanctuary of St Ignatius, including the Casa Santa (Holy House) – 13th century tower house – where he was born and spent many of his early years. Visit also the ornate monastery complete with shrine and relics of the saint and a 65m dome, which can be seen from a great distance. See the sparse room where he lived and recovered from his injuries and developed his spiritual life.

Later we travel through the scenic foothills of the Pyrenees, crossing into Southern France before continuing on to Lourdes. It was in this small town that Our Lady first appeared to St Bernadette in 1858.

Lourdes overnight (BD)
Mass Setting: Benedictine Abbey.

Day 9ARRIVE LOURDES

Arrive Lourdes and begin the Graces of France Pilgrimage

  • “Words simply cannot describe the pilgrimage – you just have to go and experience it for yourself.”

    Anne Burrows-Jung
    Saints of France
  • A great deepening of faith, seeing and hearing of the lives of the saints and celebrating Mass in many special places”

    Stella Teg
    Saints of France

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