The Holy Land of France
Sept. 16-26, 2019
with Fr. Anthony Mastroeni
This very beautiful pilgrimage will highlight the "Holy Land of Provence" where St. Mary Magdalen, her brother Lazarus, and sister Martha, and their companions, spent the last years of their lives, bringing Christianity to Western Europe! Also visit Avignon (site of the Vatican in the 14th-century), Cotignac (the only place in the world where the Holy Family appeared together), Bessilon (site of the only approved apparition of St. Joseph), the Marian Shrine of Lourdes (village of St. Bernadette) and the French capital of Paris!
- Two nights in Lourdes; Grotto of Massabielle, Rosary & Candlelight Processions and the home of St. Bernadette
- Church of St. Martha in Tarascon
- Three nights near Avignon -14th Cent. Papal Palace
-Arles; a Gallo-Roman town on
the Rhone River - Avignon -14th Cent. Papal Palace
- Les-Saints-Maries-de-la-Mer; Mediterranean town where the Friends of Bethany landed
-the Cathedral of Apt wherein are the relics of St. Anne
- Two nights in the town of St. Maximin-Sainte-Baume at hotel connected to the ancient basilica wherein are kept the major relics of St. Mary Magdalene
-Cave where St. Mary Magdalene lived for thirty years on the Holy Eucharist given to her angels daily
- Cotignac; the most visited Marian Shrine in France before the apparitions of Lourdes
- Besillon; the only approved Shrine of St. Joseph
- Marseilles; port city of St. Lazarus
- Paris; Notre Dame, Rue du Bac (Miraculous medal) Sacre Coeur & Notre-Dame-de-Victoires
Cost:$3995 from Newark
Call for the cost from other cities of departure
R/T non-stop airfare from Newark on United Airlines
Land transportation by luxury motorcoach
9 nights at 3 & 4* hotels with private bath
Breakfast & dinner daily and two lunches
Guided touring as indicated on itinerary
Daily Traditional Latin Mass
Cost is based on double room occupancy
Add $695 for a single room
TO RESERVE A SEAT:
Click here for a brochure or call us at 1-800-334-5425 for one. Fill out the small form within and send by mail with a $500 deposit to the address below.
The Village Centre - P.O Box 509
Bangall, NY 12506
Day 1 - Departure Flight
Evening flight departure from Newark to Paris and on to Pau (near Lourdes).
Day 2 - Arrival in Lourdes
Mid-afternoon arrival in Lourdes at the foothills of the beautiful Pyrenees Mountains of southwestern France. Check-in for two nights at a hotel near the holy grounds that hosted the eighteen visits between Our Blessed Mother and St. Bernadette (1858). Enjoy an orientation tour as we walk along the river that young Bernadette Soubirous was crossing over when she first saw the “Beautiful Lady” at the Grotto of Massabielle, her “heaven on earth”. All are welcome to the majestic nightly Rosary & candlelight Procession.
Day 3- Full day in Lourdes
A day in the village of St. Bernadette! Morning opportunity to experience the healing water that has been flowing since the time of the ninth apparition when Our Lady asked Bernadette to “Drink from the spring”. Afternoon walking tour to the sites connected to her twenty-two years in Lourdes; visit the Boly Mill (her birthplace), the Cachot (her family home at the time of the apparitions) and the Parish Church.
Day 4 - Drive to Provence via Carcassone
Morning departure for Western Provence, passing by Toulouse and the medieval fortified city of Carcassonne. Late afternoon arrival in Provence; the Holy Land of France. According to an ancient and uninterrupted tradition, in 47 A.D., after the death of Christ, the "Friends of Bethany", Sts. Mary Magdalen, Martha & Lazarus and companions, were banished from Palestine in hopes of quelling the crowds that were drawn to them by nature of their closeness to the Risen Lord. They were cast into the Mediterranean on a boat without oars or sails, to do away with the fervor they stirred once and for all. Three days later the boat miraculously came to shore on the coast of Gaul (modern day France) in a town now called Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. With great zeal they each went in different directions to evangelize. St. Mary Magdalene’s mystical life of penance in a mountain cave, and the others public evan-gelization, took root so firmly that in a short time the whole region was converted. Early evening arrival and check-in at our hotel on the outskirts of Avignon (three nights).
Day 5 - Arles & Les Saintes- Maries-de-la-Mer
A wonderful day excursion along the Mediterranean Sea first stopping in Arles, a Gallo-Roman city dating as far back as the 7th cent. BC., to visit the Romanesque Cathedral of St. Trophine (12th cent.), starting-point for one of the four main pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela. See a café painted by Vincent Van Gogh in 1888. Then travel into the Camargue, a region of a very specific landscape known for its salted marshes with white farms, wild horses and red flamingoes. Mid-day arrival in the Roman era fishing village of Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, where the Friends of Bethany first landed. St. Mary Salome and St. Mary Jacobe, who along with their servant Sara, made their home here. A church was built over it between the 9th and 12th centuries and to this day their relics are kept within.
Day 6 - Avignon & Tarascon
A morning in the walled city of Avignon, once the home of the Vatican. Seven popes resided here in the 14th century until St. Catherine of Siena convinced Pope Gregory XI to return the papacy to Rome. Afternoon drive to Tarascon, where St. Martha ended up spending the rest of her life. Visit the church built to enclose her relics and see the statue of the beast, that according to legend, she tamed with Holy water and a crucifix.
Day 7 - Apt - St. Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume
Morning departure for eastern Provence stopping in Apt to visit the Basilica of St. Anne, with the major relic of the mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary. When the "Friends of Bethany" were cast into the sea, they hid the body of St. Anne on board, to protect it from profanation. Upon arrival in Provence, her precious remains were taken to this city and buried in a cave for safe-keeping. In the 4th-century a small church was constructed over the site, which eventually was built up over and became the basilica it is today. Continue on to St. Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume for an early evening check-in at our hotel (2 nights) near the 13th-century gothic basilica wherein is kept the major relic of St. Mary Magdalene, along with those of other early Christian saints.
Day 8 - Sainte Baume M0untain - Cotignac - Bessilon
Morning opportunity to climb up Sainte Baume Mountain to the Cave of St. Mary Magdalene, one of the most important sites of Christianity as it is where the beloved penitent, the first to see the Resurrected Christ, spent the last thirty years of her life, nourished only by the "Bread of Angels". Reach the cave by the King's footsteps (50 minute walk) through the forest full of rare and unique plant species. From its cliff-top location the view is absolutely magnificent. In 1295, Pope Boniface VIII entrusted the Dominican Order with this cave and her relics (her tibia & hair) and they have been custodians in the eight hundred years since then. See the spot where she was transported by angels seven times daily to receive heavenly nourishment. In the afternoon, drive to the village of Cotignac (the only place in the world where the Holy family appeared). Up until the Lourdes apparitions, this was the most famous place of pilgrimage in France. Here the Blessed Virgin Mary, under the title, "Our Lady of Graces", appeared twice in 1519, to a local woodcutter asking for a chapel to be built. The 17th-century French monarchs, King Louis XIII & Queen Anne, made a pilgrimage of thanksgiving here, when after 23 years of marriage, an heir was born to them. Next visit the Monastery of St. Joseph in Besillon, where in 1660, the holy "Guardian of Jesus" appeared twice to a thirsty shepherd. Many miracles have been reported at both pilgrimage spots and the latter is the only Church approved apparition of St. Joseph.
Day 9 - Marseille - Paris
Morning departure for the ancient Mediterranean coastal city of Marseille, the starting point for all French pilgrimages to the Holy Land before the age of aviation. Here Mary Magdalene and her brother, Lazarus, first came upon their miraculous landing in Provence, with Lazarus staying and eventually becoming its first bishop. Visit the Basilica of Notre Dame-de-la-Garde topped by a giant copper-gilded statue of Our Lady holding the Child Jesus, keeping watch over the city and port. Also stop at the beautiful Abbey of St. Victor with history dating back to 600 B.C.. Finally take a mid-afternoon fast train to Paris. Late afternoon arrival for check-in at hotel in Paris (2 nights).
Day 10 - Full day in Paris
A day of pilgrimage in Paris beginning at Rue du Bac where Our Lady came to St. Catherine Laboure in 1831 ask-ing her to promulgate what soon became known as the “Miraculous Medal”. The 12th-century Romanesque Cathedral of Notre-Dame housing the major Passion relic of the Crown of Thorns, is next. Walk up Montmartre (Martyrs Hill) to Sacre Coeur Basilica where Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament has taken place since its opening in the late 1880’s. Finally, stop at the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Victories to follow in the steps of Bl. Cardinal John Newman, St. Therese, St. John Bosco and Marie-Alphonse Ratisbonne, who all came here to offer thanksgiving to Our Lady.
Day 11 - Morning flight departure to Newark. Mid-day arrival at Newark Liberty Airport.