A Role Model For Young People Today - Pope Francis
Carlo Acutis during his short lifetime touched the lives of many. Although 17 years since his passing Carlo continues to make an impact, and so it came as no surprise that on the 10th of October 2020 the young boy was beatified in the town of Assisi - a place which always fascinated him, not only as the birthplace of St. Francis and St. Clare but for the beauty of its natural surroundings.
DAY 1 - Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli & Chapel of the Porziuncola
This morning we will depart from Dublin to Rome. Awaiting us in the arrivals hall will be our Marian Pilgrimages guide and driver who will remain with us for the duration of our pilgrimage.
We will catch our first glimpse of the picturesque Italian landscape as we drive through the countryside to the town of Assisi, birthplace of St. Francis and St. Clare.
After checking into our hotel there will be time to relax before celebrating our opening Mass in the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli, home to the Chapel of the Porziuncola where Francis realised his true calling and where on Palm Sunday of 1212, he accepted Clare into the Order - a fitting place from which to begin our Franciscan pilgrimage.
We will have time for private prayer in this special place and afterwards see the Chapel of the Transito where Francis died and the famous Rose Garden where today grows the miraculous roses without thorns.
DAY 2 - Sanctuary of the Spoliation & Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi
The name Carlo Acutis became known throughout the world when on the 10th of October 2020, in the presence of his parents and siblings, he was beatified in the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. The young Carlo had the capacity to enjoy life in a simple way, and just like St. Francis of Assisi was not impressed by material things. This morning we will celebrate Mass in the Sanctuary of the Spoliation, the resting place of the first millennial beatified and where Francis publicly relinquished his lavish lifestyle, in favour of a life of prayer.
Our guided tour of the medieval town of Assisi this afternoon will reveal to us more of the life's of both St. Francis and St. Clare. Our day will conclude at the Basilica of St. Francis where we will have time for prayer at the tomb of the Poor Man of Assisi.
DAY 3 - Feast Day of Blessed Carlo Acutis
The more Eucharist we receive, the more we will become like Jesus, so that on this earth we will have a foretaste of Heaven - Blessed Carlo Acutis
Carlo had a passion for Information Technology and was fascinated by the potential good it could bring. With a small computer he did extraordinary things, creating a website on the Eucharistic Miracles - the contents of which have formed an exhibition that would travel the world, touching the hearts of many. Amongst the Eucharistic Miracles documented is that of St. Clare of Assisi which took place at the Convent of San Damiano, in which she turned away an attack by Saracen soldiers who had broken into the convent cloister by showing them the Sacred Host.
This morning we will celebrate Mass at the Convent of San Damiano. Located in a beautiful setting just outside the walls of Assisi, the Church and Convent of San Damiano is also 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. On this Feast Day of Blessed Carlo Acutis, we will return in the afternoon to the Sanctuary of the Renunciation where we will have time for private prayer before his Tomb.
DAY 4 - Eremo delle Carceri & Cathedral of San Rufino
In the heart of the woods of Mount Subasio, lies Eremo delle Carceri, one of the most precious of the Franciscan Sanctuaries. In this solitary place, surrounded by century-old oak trees, it was here that Francis and his first disciples gathered for common prayer. This morning we will visit the small friary nestled in the intense green woods, the small Oratory where the Saint and his companions met and the cave where St. Francis spent long periods of time meditating on the Passion of Our Lord.
In the afternoon we will return to Assisi. We will celebrate Mass in the Cathedral of San Rufino, and at the altar dedicated to Blessed Carlo Acutis, we will venerate the relic of the young Blessed.
DAY 5 - Greccio
This morning we will depart Assisi and drive to the town of Greccio, birthplace of the nativity scene. The sanctuary that rises straight up from the edge of a sheer cliff sits on the site where Saint Francis of Assisi staged the first-ever nativity scene in 1223, marking the beginning of the tradition of the manger scene which soon spread throughout Catholic Europe.
We will celebrate the closing Mass of our pilgrimage and afterwards see the cell in which St. Francis slept. After time at leisure for lunch we will continue our drive to Rome for our return flight to Dublin.
*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.