2nd April - Good Friday
Day 1 – Arrive Lourdes
Check in at Dublin airport for our Ryanair flight to Lourdes Airport. Following our arrival at Lourdes airport, we will make our way to the baggage claim area and collect our luggage. We will proceed to the arrival’s hall, where our guide will be waiting to bring you to your coach for your transfer to Lourdes. On arrival in Lourdes, we will check-in to the Hotel Astrid and have a light lunch.
Later in the afternoon we will make our way to the sanctuary area where we will have a detailed orientation tour and our guide will explain where and why the Rosary Basilica was built and introduce us to the confessional chapel and the baths area. We will follow this by walking the low Stations of the Cross. The low stations are located across from the baths area and have been designed to facilitate anybody who may have any walking difficulties. Both the high and low stations are an opportunity to experience Christ’s unconditional love for us all as we pray together on His Passion through Our Lady’s eyes.
After dinner we again have an opportunity to participate in the Good Friday ceremonies in St Pius X underground Basilica beginning at 9pm.
3rd April - Holy Saturday
Day 2 – Walking Tour
This morning after breakfast we will depart as a group to embark on the walking tour which follows in the footsteps of St. Bernadette. We begin at the cemetery where her parents are buried and walk back in time to visit the Boly Mill, the birthplace of St. Bernadette and the “Cachot” an abandoned prison where she and her impoverish family lived. During the walking tour we will hopefully get the sense of how the apparitions had such an impact on the family and this small village of Lourdes. We will return to the hotel for lunch which is usually served at noon. After Lunch we will have some free time before dinner in the hotel. After dinner we participate in the Blessing of the new fire and celebration of the Easter Vigil in the Basilica of St. Pius X, starting at 8.30pm.
4th April - Easter Sunday
Day 3 – International Holy Mass
After a restful night’s sleep, we leave the hotel as a group for Easter Mass in the Poor Clare’s church. All our intentions, the intentions we carry from friends and family will be offered up at each Mass. People will also have the option to attend the International Mass in St Pius X Basilica due to commence at 9.30am. After lunch we can visit the baths or take some free time to go back to the sanctuary area for some time of personal prayer and reflection before attending the blessing of the sick procession.
The baths are a major highlight in Lourdes. Don’t worry about feeling nervous. This is a very relaxing and stress-free time. It’s a time to bring our intentions and needs to Our Lady and her Son. The baths are, for many, a place of physical and spiritual healing and a conversion of heart. (The baths may be very busy depending on the day or time and we may need to return on an alternative day. Our guide will advise the group of this.)
Blessed Sacrament Procession
Each day at 5pm we will have an opportunity as pilgrims to walk with the Blessed Sacrament. Th e Blessed Sacrament reminds us all that Jesus is truly walking among us and that Our Lady is always drawing us back to her Son. Th e Procession starts in the Prairie of the Sanctuary and fi nishes in the Basilica of Saint Pius X in time for Adoration and Blessing of all Pilgrims. Th is is an optional part of the programme, and will generally not be accompanied by the guide. After dinner we will take part in the evening programme as part of the sanctuary schedule which is optional for those who wish to attend the Rosary and the candlelight procession, beginning at 9pm.
The candlelight procession begins at 9pm each evening and is a very special part of our pilgrimage where all nations from around the world come together to unite in prayer. On the 18th February 1858, the day of the third Apparition, one of the two people accompanying Bernadette came carrying a candle. Aft er this, Bernadette herself always came with a lit candle. It marks the beginning of this long historical event in Lourdes. During the Procession, and depending on the day, pilgrims recite one of the Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful or Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary. At the beginning of each decade, a few words in several languages are given to direct prayer so that it does not become a monotonous repetition. Th e Ave Maria and other hymns can be heard in many languages. In the serenity of the evening, each pilgrim carries his or her own personal intentions as the prayer gathers the assembly “of all nations, people and languages” with the Virgin Mary. At the end of an evening procession on the 14th August 1983, Pope John Paul II said, “In this peaceful night we keep watch, we pray, no longer in the secret of our hearts, but as a great crowd on the move, following the risen Jesus Christ, each one lighting the way for the other”.
5th April Easter Monday
Day 4 - Depart Lourdes
After our Farewell Mass as a group, we transfer by our luxury coach to Tarbes airport for your flight home form Lourdes airport.
*It is our intention to follow the itinerary as outlined above, however due to many factors like local holidays, traffic or weather conditions it may be necessary to make changes to the order of events or even the cancelation of certain events.