Jubilee Year Pilgrimage for the Youth to Rome, Assisi, Florence & Chartres
May 6-17, 2016
with Fr. Nicholas Gardner

Day 1. Friday, May 6: Transatlantic flight to Rome

 

Day 2. Saturday, May 7: Rome

Upon arrival into the Eternal City, board your private motor-coach and embark on a sightseeing tour of Rome’s downtown. Begin at the Spanish Steps and head to the Church of Sant’Andrea delle Fratte, where St. Maximilian Kolbe celebrated his first Mass and Alphonse Ratisbonne’s conversion took place. Continue to see Rome’s most famous fountain, the Trevi, and the Church of St. Ignatius, where St. Aloysius of Gonzaga and St. John Berchmans are buried. In the Church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, pray before the tomb of St. Catherine of Siena, patron saint of Italy, located beneath the main altar. A few steps away is the Pantheon, the best-preserved monument from ancient Rome, thanks to its transformation into a church in 609. It is said that the day the building was consecrated, 28 wagons of martyrs’ bones were transported here, taken from various city cemeteries. This event is the origin of All Saints’ Day (November 1), instituted by Gregory IV in the 9th century. Then, visit Piazza Navona, a popular gathering place with spectacular fountains, one of Rome’s most well-known attractions. It stands above the ancient Stadium of Domitian (81-96 AD) and it was a place for mocked naval battles. In this Piazza stand the church of St. Agnes in Agony, housing relics of St. Agnes. Your last visit for the day is to Chiesa Nuova built for St. Philip Neri, and dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary and Pope St. Gregory the Great. The Chapel of St. Philip is especially sumptuous since the saint is enshrined here. The saint’s body rests in a crystal urn below the altar. The 13th-century miraculous icon of Our Lady of Vallicella is enshrined above the high altar. Transfer to your hotel in Rome for dinner and overnight. (D)

 

Day 3. Sunday, May 8: Rome

Enjoy a full day of sightseeing, including Tre Fontane Abbey, where St. Paul the Apostle was beheaded, and the impressive Catacombs of Domitilla, the best preserved and one of the most extensive, with more than nine miles of subterranean galleries. These catacombs are unique in that they are the only ones still containing bones, they hold a 2nd-century fresco of the Last Supper, and they are the only catacombs that have a subterranean basilica, which was a center of pilgrimage with the graves of martyrs Sts. Nereus and Achilleus. Continue to the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, originally founded by Emperor Constantine in the 4th century to house the Apostle’s relics. Then, marvel at the Coliseum, Rome’s greatest amphitheater which staged the martyrdom of many early Christians, and the Roman Forum, the ceremonial center of the city under the Empire. Finish the day with a visit to the Church of S. Maria in Aracoeli, which houses a miraculous image of Our Lady and the miraculous statue of the Child Jesus of Aracoeli. Dinner and overnight in Rome. (BB, D)

 

Day 4. Monday, May 9: Rome

Another full day of sightseeing, with a visit to the Basilica of St. Lawrence Outside the Walls, erected directly over St. Lawrence’s tomb and also housing the relics of the first martyr, St. Stephen. Afterwards, visit St. John Lateran Basilica, the mother of all churches and the cathedral of the bishop of Rome, containing exceptional relics, and the Scala Santa, containing the Holy Stairs that Our Lord Jesus Christ ascended during His Passion in Pontius Pilate’s palace. Continue to the Basilica of St. Mary Major, which houses two of Christianity’s greatest treasures: the manger from Bethlehem in which the Baby Jesus was laid following His birth, and a painting of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Salvation of the Roman people. Then, visit the Church of St. Praxedes, which houses the Column of the Flagellation brought from Jerusalem in 1223 and a reliquary containing three thorns from Christ’s crown. In the Church of St. Alphonsus, pray before the most venerated Icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Finally, visit the Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem, built over Jerusalem soil brought by St. Helen. It contains an extraordinary collection of relics associated with Our Lord’s Passion, including the largest relic of the True Cross, a nail from the Crucifixion, two thorns from Christ’s crown, a piece of the sponge that was offered to Him, a fragment of the scroll that hung on the Cross, one of the 30 coins of Judas, part of the Good Thief’s cross, and the finger of St. Thomas. Return to your hotel in Rome for dinner and overnight. (BB, D)

 

Day 5. Tuesday, May 10: Rome

Begin the day with Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica. Afterwards, visit the superb Vatican Museums and admire the vast collection of art gathered by Popes over the ages, displaying more than 4,000 years of civilization. See the Sistine Chapel, glorious masterpiece of Michelangelo’s fresco skills. Then, visit St. Peter’s Basilica, constructed on the site of the hallowed tomb of the apostle, resplendent with mosaics, art treasures, and gold. Among the basilica’s most precious relics include a portion of the wood of the True Cross, and part of the lance that pierced Christ’s side. Walk through the Holy Door to gain the indulgence of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, touch the beloved statue of St. Peter, and admire Michelangelo’s Pieta. Visit the crypt and render homage to the many buried popes. The rest of the day is free to explore the Eternal City; dinner is on your won. (BB)

 

Day 6. Wednesday, May 11: Rome – Assisi – Florence

Today travel to the medieval city of Assisi, home of St. Francis and St. Clare. Visit the imposing 13th-century Basilica of St. Francis, where the great saint is buried. It houses also many of the saint’s possessions and a series of frescos depicting his life. Then, visit the Church of St. Clare to venerate the saint’s relics. She was the foundress of the Order of Poor Clares and followed the teachings of St. Francis by living in poverty and humility. In St. Mary of the Angels Basilica visit the Porziuncola Chapel, where St. Francis spent most of his life; the rose bush; and the cave where the saint retired for prayer. Continue north and admire some of the best-loved scenery in Italy: Tuscany. Arrive into Florence for dinner and overnight. (BB, D)

 

Day 7. Thursday, May 12: Florence – Paris (overnight train)

At the heart of central Tuscany lies Florence, a vast and beautiful monument to the Renaissance. Here, visit the Convent and Museum di San Marco, where the relics of St. Antonino, patron saint of Florence, reside. St. Antonino was the convent’s first prior and later became Archbishop of Florence. While there, one can admire a series of devotional frescos on cloisters and cells by Fra Angelico. Continue to Santissima Annunziata Church to render homage to the Servite St. Juliana Falconieri. Newlyweds visit this church to pray to the Blessed Virgin Mary for a long and fruitful marriage. Next, visit the majestic Duomo, the Gothic cathedral dedicated to Our Lady. To conclude your sightseeing, visit the Piazza della Signoria, the political hub of the city, and walk the most famous bridge across the Arno River, the Ponte Vecchio, the oldest surviving bridge in the city which was built in 1345. This was the city’s only bridge to escape destruction during World War II. The rest of the day is free before transferring to Florence’s train station for your overnight train to Paris. (BB)

 

Day 8. Friday, May 13: Paris – Chartres

Upon arrival into Paris, take a private motor-coach to Chartres to visit its magnificent Cathedral. Pray before its greatest treasure: the Veil of Our Lady, miraculously preserved during a fire in 1194. Admire the glorious collection of over 150 stained glass windows, illustrating biblical passages and daily life in the 13th century. Afterwards, stroll through the streets nearby the cathedral before going grocery shopping for your walking pilgrimage. Dinner and overnight in Chartres. (D)

 

Day 9. Saturday, May 14: Pilgrimage Chartres to Paris

Join thousands of SSPX pilgrims walking from Chartres to Paris. Breakfast is at the hotel. For lunch, bread and water will be provided. For dinner, hot soup, bread, and water. Overnight will be in tents along the way (provided); pilgrims must bring their own sleeping bag, a ground tarp, a soup bowl, and a cup/mug for your coffee/milk. (More details provided upon registration.)

 

Day 10. Sunday, May 15: Pilgrimage Chartres to Paris

Continue on the walking pilgrimage.  Breakfast is bread with coffee or milk. Overnight will be in tents along the way. Meals as described on previous day.

 

Day 11. Monday, May 16: Pilgrimage Chartres to Paris

Walk the last leg of the pilgrimage to Paris. Meals as described above. After the final ceremonies, transfer to your Paris hotel for dinner and overnight.

 

Day 12. Tuesday, May 17: Transatlantic flight to USA

Transfer to Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport for your flight back to the USA. (BB)

 

(BB) Buffet Breakfast; (D) Dinner

 

* In case of unforeseen events, this itinerary is subject to change.

 

 

For more information or to register, please contact Regina Pilgrimages. For sponsorship opportunities, please click here.