A pilgrimage to honor St. Paul
Ancient Greece & Ephesus
April 20 - May 1, 2020
with Fr. John Brancich, FSSP
Pastor of St. Stanislaus Catholic Church, Nashua, NH
"For he was a veritable lion, a red lion, the great lion of God..."
Nearly two-thousand years ago, inspired by a dream, the Apostle Paul, traveled to Greece & Turkey, preaching the Gospel, establishing the first Christian communities in Europe. As a way to keep in touch with the fledgling congregations, he wrote letters to them that became the foundation of the New Testament. See where the Athenians, Corinthians, Thessalonians, Philippians and Ephesians came from as we trace the route of St. Paul. Continue in his steps as we sail on the turquoise waters of the Aegean Sea to the beautiful Greek islands of Crete, Mykonos, Rhodes, Santorini and Patmos (where the exiled St. John wrote the Book of Revelation). Visit Ephesus, the site that tradition holds to be the final home of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Finally, visit the site of the epic Battle of Lepanto whose victory saved the Christian West!
Cost: $4595.00 from NY JFK in double room occupancy
Sign-up by October 31, 2019 to save $150.00
R/T airfare on Delta from NY JFK
All land transportation by luxury motorcoach
Land travel by luxury coach
Six nights at 4 star hotels
Four night sailing on Celestyal Cruise Line "Olympia" w/ an outside cabin
Breakfast and dinner daily on land
All meals while on board cruise
All touring as on the itinerary
All Entrance Fees
Daily Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form - Traditional Latin Mass
Cost is based on double room occupancy
TO RESERVE A SEAT:
Click here to open a brochure in pdf form. Please fill out the Application Form within and send it to us along with a $500 deposit to the address below.
The Village Centre - P.O Box 509
Bangall, NY 12506
Day 1 - Evening flight departure from NY to Thessaloniki, Greece (via Athens).
Day 2 - Mid-day arrival in the Byzantine city of Thessaloniki (northern Greece). Check-in at the Holiday Inn or similar (2 nights).
Day 3 - A day excursion to the archaeological sites of Philippi and Kavala. Traveling along one of the most important roads of the Roman Empire, the Via Egnatia, to Philippi, a flourishing city of ancient times. Upon a visit from St. Paul, Philippi became the first center of Christianity in Europe. See the ruins of the theatre where St. Paul preached and the church he established. Here he and Silas were imprisoned and miraculously set free by angels. Visit Lydia Springs along the River Gangites, where he preached to his first European flock. Among them was Lydia, a “seller of purple cloth”, who was the first to be baptized. Visit the port city of Kavala (biblical Neapolis) on the Aegean Sea, where St. Paul, along with Timothy and Silas, first landed before going to Philippi.
Day 4 - Morning check-out and tour
of the sites where St. Paul lived and preached in Thessaloniki during the winters of 49-50 AD, writing two epistles. Afternoon departure west to Kalambaka, stopping en-route in Veria where he had a devoted following. Continue on to Metorea, a spectacular area of nearly inaccessible sandstone peaks, where 11th century monks, despite incredible odds, built several peak-top monasteries. Visit one of the monasteries wherein are beautiful 16th century Byzantine frescoes. Late afternoon arrival in Kalambaka (northwestern Greece). Overnight at Hotel Amalia (or similar).
Day 5 – Morning departure south to Nafpaktos on the Gulf of Patros (formerly the Gulf of Lepanto), where the great naval battle of Oct. 7, 1571 was fought between an alliance of Christian forces known as the “Holy League” (under the command of Don Juan of Austria) and the Ottoman Turks who were threatening to control the Mediterranean, the gateway to the West. Despite the Holy Leaugue being greatly outnumbered, a victory was won for them and the Christian West was spared. Attributing the stunning defeat to the intercession of the Blessed Mother through the worldwide recitation of the Holy Rosary, Pope Pius V declared Oct. 7 henceforward to be the feast of Our Lady of Victory. Upon arrival visit the Museum of Botsaris to learn more about the naval battle and have some time along the medieval port. Overnight at the Hotel Nafs (or similar) in Nafpaktos.
Day 6 - Morning departure crossing over the Rio Bridge, traveling along the south side of the Gulf of Corinth, to the ancient cities of Corinth and Athens. Upon arrival in Corinth visit the ruins of the site where St. Paul arrived in 50 AD and spent eighteen months building a thriving Christian community, writing the First Thessalonians, and most likely the Epistle to the Romans. Afternoon arrival at Hotel Metropolitan (or similar) in Athens (2 nights).
Day 7 – A full day in Athens! Considered the cradle of western civilization, Athens has been the leading city of Greece since the first millennium BC and is famous for its rich cultural heritage. Visit the 6th century BC Temple of Apollo, the Acropolis, the Parthenon and Mars Hill where St. Paul was brought before the Council and spoke of the Unknown God. Afternoon to enjoy Athens at leisure.
Day 8 - Morning embarkation on-board Celestyal Cruise Line’s, “Olympia”, for a marvelous four night Aegean Sea sailing to the Greek Isles, continuing in the steps of St. Paul. The first port of call will be in Mykonos with its iconic wind-mills and blue domed churches. Have time at leisure or take an optional island excursion. Overnight sailing to Kuşadasi, Turkey.
Day 9 - Morning arrival at the port of Kuşadasi. Transfer to Ephesus, where St. Paul and the Apostles first began the spread of Christianity (53-57 AD), establishing a strong and vibrant community, before relocating to Rome. See the ruins of the Agora where St. Paul preached, narrowly escaping a riot that erupted over his words in 57AD. Visit the ruins of St. John’s Basilica, built over the grave of the great Evangelist, who spent his last years in this city. Travel to Mt. Koressos to visit a humble chapel built over the original house traditionally believed to be the final home of the Blessed Virgin Mother. Return to the ship to set sail for Patmos, the island of St. John's exile. Upon arrival, visit St. John’s Monastery and the cave where he received the inspiration to dictate the Book of Revelation. Evening sailing southeast for ancient Rhodes.
Day 10 - Morning arrival at St. Paul’s Bay in Rhodes where the Great Traveler stopped in 51AD, at the end of his third missionary journey. See the stone columns on which stood the Colossus of Rhodes, associated with one of seven Miracles of the World. Enjoy a guided shore excursion of Lindos and Old Rhodes. Evening sailing to Crete.
Day 11 - Morning arrival in Heraklion, Crete, where St. Paul was shipwrecked on his way to Rome. Here he met the captain of a ship who warned him of the danger of continuing his journey to Rome. Visit Heraklion at leisure or take an optional island tour. Afternoon sailing to idyllic Santorini; legendary site of the lost city of Atlantis. Anchor in the open sea off the port of Old Fira. Take a cable car ride to the fabled town of Thira. Optional shore excursion offered. Overnight sailing to Piraeus.
Day 12 - Morning arrival in Piraeus. Transfer to the Athens Airport for a flight to NY.