Southern Cross ‘Catholic France’ with Lourdes: October 2019

• FULLY BOOKED • Led by Fr Lawrence Mduduzi Ndlovu

6 – 16 October 2019

Join The Southern Cross on this beautiful pilgrimage to Lourdes, Paray-le-Monial, Paris, Marseilles, Avignon, Orleans and many other holy sites in France.

Join this special pilgrimage through France, dedicated to Our Lady with a memorable visit to Lourdes and to Nevers for the incorrupted remains of St Bernadette. We also visit Paray-Le-Monial, where the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus originated. The pilgrimage is led by FR LAWRENCE MDUDUZI NDLOVU of Johannesburg diocese (read more about the accomplished Fr Lawrence here). We will remember in a special way the late Bishop Joe Sandri, who was going to lead this pilgrimage but died in May 2019.

Sunday, October 6:
We meet at Johannesburg International Airport to depart on our flight to Paris.

Monday, October 7:
On arrival in Paris we are transferred to the railway station to take our train to Lourdes. Travelling through France, we can enjoy the beautiful countryside. On arrival in Lourdes we check into our hotel, which is near the sanctuary, and then have Mass. After dinner in our hotel, we have an opportunity take part in the torchlight procession through the sanctuary or do so tomorrow night. Overnight: Lourdes

The grotto of the apparition at Lourdes at night.

Tuesday, October 8:
Today is our Lourdes day: We have a guided tour of the sanctuary as well as sites connected to St Bernadette, such as Boly Mill (where she was born), the Cachot (the converted jail where her family lived) and so on. In the afternoon we have time at leisure to explore the sanctuary, especially the healing waters. Overnight: Lourdes

Wednesday, October 9:
After breakfast we do the famous Stations of the Cross at Lourdes. We then proceed to Carcassone, a hilltop town which is famous for its medieval citadel, and then to the city of Montpellier, where we visit the famous St Pierre Cathedral and have Mass. Overnight: Montpellier

Thursday, October 10:
We leave Montpellier for Marseilles. In France’s second-largest city we encounter St Eugene de Mazenod, who was the city’s bishop from 1837-61. We see the beautiful Notre-Dame de la Garde basilica in the port, which St Eugene commissioned, and the ancient Abbey of St Victor, one of the oldest places of Christian worship in Europe whose roots go back to the 5th century, as well as other religious and secular sites of this vibrant city. Overnight: Marseilles

Friday, October 11:
After breakfast we take the short drive to Aix-en-Provence, where St Eugene de Mazenod was born in 1782 and where in 1816 he founded the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. We visit the De Mazenod International Centre and see Aux’s cathedral. We then proceed to nearby Avignon, the historical city where the popes resided from 1309-77 where we see the Palais des Papes, where the Avignon popes lived. Overnight: Avignon

The chapel of the Visitation in Paray-le-Monial, where Jesus appeared to Sr Margaret Mary Alacoque.

Saturday, October 12:
We drive north to the shrine of Paray-le-Monial, “The City of the Sacred Heart”. It was here where Jesus appeared to Sr Margaret Mary Alacoque in the Convent of the Visitation between 1673 and 1675, giving rise to the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. We visit the Chapel of the Visitation, in which the apparitions of Jesus to St Margaret Mary actually took place. We also see the 12th-century Cathedral of the Sacred Heart. Overnight: Paray-le-Monial

Sunday, October 13:
After breakfast we proceed to the town of Nevers, where St Bernadette lived as a nun and where she died. Her incorrupt body is preserved in the chapel of the Convent of St Gildard. In nearby Bourges we visit the famous Cathedral of St Etienne, begun at the end of the 12th century, which is a World Heritage Site. Overnight: Bourges

Monday, October 14:
We leave Bourges early to enjoy a half-day tour of Orléans, the city of St Joan of Arc. Among other things, we see the Holy Cross Cathedral and the House of Joan of Arc, where she stayed during the Siege of Orléans. We then proceed to Paris where we have a guided tour of the capital’s famous landmarks. Overnight: Paris

Sacré-Coeur Basilica in Paris.

Tuesday, October 15:
Today we have a full day to see the famous churches of Paris: Notre-Dame Cathedral, Sacred Heart Basilica, the Miraculous Medal Chapel on Rue de Bac, and also St Saint-Sulpice Church, where St Eugene de Mazenod studied for the priesthood. Of course, in our time in Paris we also get to see such famous landmarks as the Eifel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, Champs Elysée and so on. And there will be time for some shopping! In the evening we transfer to Charles de Gaulle Airport to begin our journey home.

Wednesday, October 16:
In the morning we land at OR Tambo Airport in Johannesburg, physically tired but spiritually renewed, with bags full of great memories and souvenirs, and our faith deepened forever.

• Masses will be reserved at holy shrines throughout the pilgrimage.


Est. Price: 37,820 (sharing, ex-Jhb; subject to currency, airport tax fluctuations, calculated on 28 passengers and R14,64 to the Euro)

Includes: All flights ex-Johannesburg (incl. airport taxes), accommodation in 3/4-star hotels or better (sharing) with breakfast and dinner, transfers, travel insurance, travelling on air-conditioned luxury buses, English-speaking tour guides, entrance fees.

Excludes: Tips (these are set and mandatory), hotel taxes, visas, porterage, personal expenses, travel to and from O.R. Tambo Airport/Jhb.

A deposit of R4,300 secures your place on this unforgettable pilgrimage. For account details and booking form, please download the illustrated itinerary with booking forms.

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