Friday, 27th September
This afternoon we will depart from Dublin to Rome. Upon arrival in Rome we will meet our tour escort and transfer to the four star Hotel Twenty One where we will stay for the following three nights. We will have dinner on arrival and later check into our rooms.
Saturday, 28th September
We will celebrate the opening Mass of our pilgrimage at the Basilica of Santa Sabina in Rome. Perched high above the Tiber river, the Basilica of Saint Sabina is a historic church on the Aventine Hill and mother church of the Roman Catholic Order of Preachers, better known as the Dominicans. We enjoy a tour of the basilica and afterwards have time for prayer.
In the afternoon we will travel to St. Peter’s Basilica. Originally founded by Constantine in 324, St. Peter’s Basilica stands on the traditional site where Peter – the apostle who is considered the first pope – was crucified and buried. We will enjoy a guided tour of the basilica where we will see Michelangelo’s delicate Pietá statue, the canopy altar where the Pope celebrates Mass and the crypt of the Popes.
Sunday, 29th September
This morning we will celebrate Mass at the Basilica of San Clemente and afterwards enjoy a tour of the basilica and have time to admire the spectacular mosaics and frescoes. We will visit the nearby Basilica of St. John Lateran. Known as the ‘Mother of all churches’, the Basilica of St John Lateran is the oldest church in the western world, the cathedral of Rome and the official seat of the Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis.
After free time for lunch we will travel to the Church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, owing its existence to the Dominican friars. After a tour of the church we will have time for private prayer and to venerate the remains of St. Catherine of Siena whose body is buried under the altar.
Monday, 30th September
This morning we will enjoy a drive through the ‘Green Heart of Italy’ arriving in the town of Assisi, birthplace of St. Francis and St. Clare. We will check into the Domus Pacis where we will stay for the following two nights on a half board basis.
This afternoon we will celebrate Mass at the nearby Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli and afterwards have time for prayer in the Chapel of the Porziuncola where the Franciscan Order was born and see the Chapel of the Transito where St. Francis died.
Tuesday, 1st October
This morning we will celebrate Mass at the tomb of St. Francis of Assisi and have time for private prayer. Afterwards we will enjoy a tour of the basilica where we will see the wonderful frescoes and works of the artists Cimabue, Giotto and Simone Martini
We will walk through the medieval town and learn more of the early life of St. Francis. Our tour will finish at the Basilica of St. Clare where we will venerate the San Damiano cross and later visit the crypt. We will have the remainder of the afternoon at leisure for private sightseeing.
Wednesday, 2nd October
This morning we will celebrate Mass at the Church of 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.
We will depart Assisi and travel to the town of Orvieto which sits majestically overlooking the Umbrian plains. After lunch we will visit the cathedral, the town’s most famous landmark and afterwards see the linen bearing the spots of blood which date back to the Eucharistic Miracle that took place in Bolsena in 1263. We will have time at leisure to stroll through the ancient cobbled streets or enjoy some private sightseeing.
Afterwards we will continue onto the four star Hotel Shangri La where we will spend the final night of our pilgrimage.
Thursday, 3rd October
This morning we will check out of our hotel and drive to Fiumicino airport for our return flight as we return to our homes, filled with a sense of tranquility, rejuvenation and peace in our hearts.