Wednesday, 14th October
We will depart in the afternoon from Dublin to Mostar. On arrival, we will drive the short distance to this most Blessed village, Medjugorje and meet our host family.
Thursday, 15th October
We start our day with breakfast before attending 10:00am mass, which is intended for English-speaking pilgrims, in the Church of St. James. The Church of St. James is placed under patronage of St. James the Apostle, who is patron saint of pilgrims. We do not move very far and usually meet at the shrine of Our Lady of Peace for our opening meeting where the guides will share with us the history of the place, introduce us to the shrine and take us through the week, and through their words and experiences enlighten us to the messages and intentions of Our Lady. We break for lunch where restaurants are in abundance and boast some of the best steaks and pizza.
The afternoon takes us to Blue Cross, a place of many apparitions of Our Lady. It is situated at the base of Apparition Hill where Our Lady appeared to the children and where they were hiding from the communist police at the beginning of the apparitions. Many pilgrims venture here to bask in the peace that emanates from this special area. From Blue Cross, we walk to Vicka‘s old house. Vicka is one of the six Medjugorje visionaries and we visit her old family house to see and to pray in the room where she had apparitions over a long period.
After dinner, we can attend the evening prayer programme which begins with the rosary followed by Holy Mass and depending on the day, finishing with adoration.
Friday, 16th October
This morning after breakfast, we gather at the statue of Our Lady to walk through the vineyards, to the Hill of Apparitions (Podbrdo). This has been the traditional route taken by millions of pilgrims. The guides regale us with accounts of the first days of the apparitions, especially the first seven days, and tell us of the great spiritual journey the visionaries undertook. We simply climb, in prayer, to the site of the first apparition, the place where Our Lady first appeared to six frightened children in June of 1981.The Joyful Mysteries greet us at several points of our climb where we pray for a short time. This afternoon there is an optional tour to Cenacolo, which is a community for recovering drug addicts. There is a special lesson to be learned from the residents here, by their hard work, perseverance and prayer. After dinner, we attend the evening programme.
Saturday, 17th October
Our day begins with breakfast and we then meet at the base of Cross Mountain (Krizevac) to start our ascent. We pray the Stations of the Cross as we make our way to the summit. Our journey is rewarded by taking time for reflection and prayer by the cross located at the top of the mountain. In 1933, the parish of St. James erected a large concrete cross to commemorate the 1900th Anniversary of Jesus’ passion and death on the Cross. We make our descent in time for holy Mass. In the afternoon, following our climb, we will have some free time.
This evening we have a special treat as our programme director, David Parkes, performs for us in concert with an Evening of prayer through song. David is an internationally acclaimed singer and often travels worldwide singing the word of Our Lord.
Sunday, 18th October
After morning Mass, we will have the day at leisure for private prayer and reflection. In the afternoon we will depart Medjugorje and travel to Split for our overnight sailing to Ancona.
Monday, 19th October
Upon arrival in Ancona we will meet our guide and drive to the town of Loreto. We will celebrate Mass in the Basilica of the Holy House of Nazareth and afterwards enjoy a tour of the basilica, one of the most revered Marian shrines in the world.
We will have time for private prayer and after lunch enjoy wonderful views of the Italian countryside as we travel though the “Green Heart of Italy” to the town of Assisi, birthplace of St. Francis and St. Clare. We will check into our hotel where we will stay for two nights on a half board basis.
This evening we will visit the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli. We will visit the Chapel of the Porziuncola and see the Chapel of the Transito where St. Francis died, and the famous Rose Garden.
Tuesday, 20th October
This morning we will celebrate Mass in the Basilica of St. Clare and afterwards have time for prayer before the Cross of San Damiano. We will enjoy a guided tour of the medieval town of Assisi which will include a visit to the Basilica of St. Francis where we will have time to admire the wonderful works of Giotto, Cimabue and Simone Martini. The remainder of the afternoon we will have at leisure for shopping and personal sightseeing.
Wednesday, 21st October
This morning we will celebrate the closing Mass of our pilgrimage at the Church and convent of San Damiano. Located in a beautiful setting just outside the walls of Assisi, it is the place where St. Francis received his miraculous calling in 1205 and where St. Clare died in 1253 – an important stop on a pilgrimage to the Franciscan Holy City.
After free time for lunch in Assisi we will drive to Rome for our return flight to Dublin returning to our homes, filled with a sense of tranquillity, rejuvenation and peace in our hearts.
*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.