France - The Visitation Pilgrimage 10-13 Days

Paris - Lisieux - Nevers - Dijon - Paray le Monial - Ars - Annecy - Cambery - Lourdes

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Itinerary

Day 1 – DEPART FOR PARIS

Today: Depart for Paris with complimentary meals and beverages served onboard your international flight.

 

Day 2 - ARRIVAL TO PARIS - LISIEUX

Today: Meet with your Catholic English-speaking guide who will be with you during the entire tour.

Drive to Lisieux. (211 km – 2h35)

Visit the Basilica of St. Therese of Lisieux to celebrate Mass and offer prayers for her sister, Sr. Leonie Martin VHM, to be declared "Venerable", the next step on the road to beatification.

Lunch under your arrangements.

Visit the childhood home of Sr. Léonie Martin, also known as Sister Françoise-Thérèse, VHM, a French Roman Catholic nun who led a cloistered life as a member of the Visitation Sisters. She was the daughter of Saints Louis Martin and Marie Azélie Guérin Martin and an elder sister of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux. St. Therese of Lisieux was called the Greatest Saint of modern times by Pope Pius X. Her love for God and service to humanity comes alive as you visit the Basilica Cathedral of St. Peter and Les Buissonnets, her family home. On display are relics, clothing, and personal objects belonging to the Little Flower. View the statue depicting the Blessed Virgin who smiled at St. Therese before curing her illness. Afternoon visit to the Convent of St. Therese of Lisieux if time allows.

Dinner and overnight at Hotel in Lisieux.

 

Day 3 - LISIEUX - PARIS

Today: After breakfast, we visit the Monastery of the Visitation at Caen. Celebrate Mass this morning.

Léonie Martin, the sister of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, was born June 3, 1863. She became Sister Françoise-Thérèse of the Monastery of the Visitation at Caen (northwestern France). Léonie led a challenging life: ill from childhood; abused by a maidservant; expelled from school; isolated within her family. She tried religious life three times before she succeeded: in 1899, at the age of 35, she entered definitively the Monastery of the Visitation at Caen, where she died in 1941 at the age of 78.

Time for Lunch. After lunch, drive to Paris 270km – 3h00) Check-in at Hotel.

 

Day 4 – PARIS

Today: After breakfast, we visit the Shrine of the Miraculous Medal. We view the incorrupt body of St. Catherine Laboure whose guardian angel led her to the chapel where the Blessed Virgin displayed a vision of the miraculous medal and later the green scapular wherein the Blessed Virgin promised bountiful graces for all that wore this medal. We will walk to the Church of St. Vincent de Paul. Where his body rests above the main altar in a solid silver shrine covered by the goldsmith, Odiot.

Lunch under your arrangement.

Departure by coach and enjoy a panoramic sightseeing tour of Paris. On your tour you will see the famous sights of Paris including the Champs-Elysees, L’Arc de Triomphe, and the Eiffel Tower. Photo Stop at Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral. Take the funicular up to visit the Church of the Sacre-Coeur to celebrate Mass. The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, is a Roman Catholic minor basilica, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Sacré-Cœur Basilica is above all a religious building, shown by its perpetual adoration of the Holy Eucharist since 1885. It is also seen as a double monument, political and cultural, both a national penance for the defeat of France in the 1870 Franco-Prussian War and for the socialist Paris Commune of 1871crowning its most rebellious neighborhood. The Sacré-Cœur is publicly dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which was an increasingly popular devotion since the visions of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque in Paray-le-Monial.

Dinner and overnight at hotel.

 

Day 5 – PARIS - NEVERS

Today: We depart by motor coach for Nevers. (242 km – 3h00)

St. Bernadette lived for 12 years as part of the Congregation of the Sisters of Nevers after taking the veil in 1867. Throughout her life she suffered and eventually died from asthma, at age 35.

We will visit the Convent of St. Gildard where St. Bernadette’s incorrupt body reposes. Celebrate Mass.

Dinner and overnight in Nevers.

 

Day 6 – NEVERS - DIJON – PARAY-LE-MONIAL

Today: After breakfast, we drive to Dijon. (179Km 2h30) Visit the birthplace of Jane Frances de Chantal. Jane Frances de Chantal was born in Dijon, France, on 28 January 1572, the daughter of the royalist president of the Parliament of Burgundy. Her mother died when Jane was 18 months old. Her father became the main influence on her education. She developed into a woman of beauty and refinement, lively and cheerful in temperament. She married the Baron de Chantal when she was 21 and then lived in the feudal castle of Bourbilly. Baron de Chantal was accidentally killed by an arquebus while out shooting in 1601. Left a widow at 28, with four children, the broken-hearted baroness took a vow of chastity. Her mother, stepmother, sister, first two children, and now her husband had died. Chantal gained a reputation as an excellent manager of the estates of her husband, as well as of her difficult father-in-law, while also providing alms and nursing care to needy neighbors.

Lunch under your arrangement.

After lunch, we drive to Paray-le-Monial, known as the City of the Eucharist. (149km – 2h00) Celebrate Mass.

This is the site of the Shrine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Margaret Mary Alacoque. Early on, she developed a devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. She refused marriage, and in 1671, she entered the Visitation Convent at Paray-le-Monial and was professed the next year. From the time she was twenty, she experienced visions of Christ, and on December 27, 1673, she began a series of revelations that were to continue over the next year and a half. In them, Christ informed her that she was His chosen instrument to spread devotion to His Sacred Heart, instructed her in a devotion that was to become known as the Nine 1st Fridays and the Holy Hour, and asked that the feast of the Sacred Heart be established.

Dinner and overnight at our hotel.

 

Day 7 – PARAY-LE-MONIAL - ARS - ANNECY

Today: Breakfast at hotel. Visit the Chapel of the Visitation where Jesus exposed His Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque during a number of apparitions and see the chasse of St. Margaret containing her relics.

Lunch under your arrangement.

This afternoon, we drive to Ars (120 km – 1h40) where St. Jean-Marie Vianney, the patron saint of parish priests, spent a great part of his holy life giving powerful sermons. His notoriety as a holy priest grew slowly, and Father Vianney soon became known as, simply, the Curé d’Ars (priest of Ars). There are reports that during the last 10 years of his life, he spent as many as 18 hours a day in the confessional, and that toward the end of his life, he heard confessions of up to 80,000 penitents a year. Ars became famous all over the Christian world. The Pontiff chose June 19, 2009-June 19, 2010 the Year of Priests to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the death of St. Jean-Marie Vianney.

Drive to Annecy for dinner and overnight. (1h47)

 

Day 8 – ANNECY - CHAMBERY

Today: We will drive to the Visitation Monastery of Chambery, home of the Venerable Mary Martha Chambon,  where she was mystically commissioned by Jesus during her lifetime (1841-1907) to renew reverence to His Holy Wounds. She sensed Our Lord Jesus say to her one time, “My heart is wide, My Heart is tender. The wound of My Heart is deep enough to contain all your needs.” St. Francis de Sales in a vision told her “God has chosen you to complete the devotion to the Sacred Heart.”

Devotion to Our Lord’s Holy Wounds received new impetus under the guise of a humble lay Sister of the Visitation, Sister Mary Martha Chambon, V.H.M .  Over a century later, this devotion continues to draw the faithful. Thus, a new organization was established recently in the Visitation Monastery of Marclaz, France, with the title, Sister Mary Martha Chambon and Friends. Celebrate Mass and offer intentions for the canonization process of Venerable Mary Martha Chambon.

Evening back to Annecy for free time.

Dinner and overnight in Annecy.

 

Day 9 – ANNECY - LA ROCHE-SUR-FORON

Today: We will visit all the Churches associated with St. Francis de Sales amid this most beautiful and quaint city of Annecy. We visit the Monastery in Annecy where we will celebrate Mass with our Sisters, if allowed. We will visit the Basilica, reverence the tombs of Holy Father, St. Francis de Sales, and Holy Mother, St. Jane Frances D ’Chantal.

We will visit The Château de Thorens, a castle in the commune of Thorens-Glières in the Haute-Savoie department of France. It is accessible from the north-east of Annecy by a road of about 20 km, going up to the plateau of Glières. It is often confused with the Château de Sales that was formerly its neighbor of a few hundred meters; Sales was destroyed on the order of King Louis XIII in 1630. Since the liberation of France at the end of World War II, the castle has sometimes incorrectly been called Château de Thorens-Glières, based on the current name of the commune, but it has always rightly been just de Thorens. Tour of the Castle.

Time for Lunch

Back to Annecy for free time this afternoon.

In the evening, we will take a boat ride on the Lake of Annecy, viewing the majestic Alps and key historic sites and castles.

Dinner and overnight in your hotel.

 

Day 10 – ANNECY - LYON - USA

Today: After breakfast, departure by coach to Lyon Airport to fly back home to USA.

 

Excursion LOURDES

Day 10 – ANNECY - LYON - LOURDES

Today: After breakfast, departure by coach to Lyon Airport to fly to Lourdes, the birthplace of St. Bernadette to whom our Lady appeared in 1858 near the Grotto of Massabielle. Lunch under your arrangement on the way.

Time at leisure this afternoon before we celebrate Mass in the world famous Shrine. We will participate in nightly candlelight processions requested by Our Lady.

Dinner and overnight at our hotel.

 

Day 11 – LOURDES

Today: We enjoy breakfast at the hotel. Celebrate Mass at the Grotto and walk in the footsteps of St. Bernadette. See Boly Mill where St. Bernadette was born and the ‘Cachot,’ an abandoned prison where Bernadette’s impoverished family lived.

Time at leisure to drink water from the miraculous spring at the base of the grotto. Lunch under your arrangement.

Walk the Stations of the Cross overlooking the Holy Grotto. Kneel in the chapel built on the very rock of the Grotto in obedience to the request of the ‘Immaculate Conception.’ Attend the blessing of the sick and participate in nightly candlelight processions requested by Our Lady.

Dinner and overnight in Lourdes.

 

Day 12 – LOURDES

Today: We enjoy breakfast at the hotel.

Enjoy a free day for your own private devotions or to bathe in the miraculous waters at Lourdes. Possibility to celebrate a Mass.

Dinner and overnight in Lourdes.

 

Day 13 – FLY BACK TO USA

Today: In the morning, departure for Toulouse and flight back to the USA.

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