Sacred Heart Pilgrimage to France & Rome – October 2020

Led by Fr Lawrence Mduduzi Ndlovu  •  12 – 23 October 2020

Join Fr Lawrence Mduduzi Ndlovu, spiritual director of the Sacred Heart Sodality in Johannesburg, on this special Sacred Heart Pilgrimage to France with visits to Paray-le-Monial and the tomb of St Margaret Mary Alacoque, Lourdes, Paris (with Miraculous Medal Chapel), and Rome with St Peter’s and the other major basilicas and a papal general audience.

Monday, October 12, 2020
We meet at Johannesburg International Airport to depart on our flight to Rome.

Tuesday, October 13
Today we visit the Vatican! We see St Peter’s Square and are guided through St Peter’s Basilica with its many religious and artistic treasures, including the tombs of Saints John XXIII and John Paul II. After lunch we discover the Rome of the Renaissance with places like the Trevi Fountain, Navona Square, Spanish Steps and so on, as well as the Pantheon, which was built in the second century. We also have a chance to see the famous Colosseum. Overnight: Rome

St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican

Wednesday, October 14
Today we see the pope at his weekly general papal audience (if he is not travelling that day). In St Peter’s Square is driven around in the popemobile, so we can get a good look at him. In the afternoon, we visit the basilicas of St John Lateran, the pope’s cathedral as Bishop of Rome, and St Mary Major, one of the oldest churches in the world, having originally been built in the fifth century. Overnight: Rome

Thursday, October 15
After breakfast we go on the ancient Via Appia, and go into the Catacombs, the long underground cemeteries which the early Christians used as a place of hiding to escape persecution. In the Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls we visit the tomb of St Paul and see his reputed prison chains, as well as every pope in history represented in mosaic medallions. We then proceed to the airport to catch our short flight to Paris. Overnight: Paris

The grotto of the apparition at Lourdes at night.

Friday, October 16
After breakfast in our hotel we take our express train to Lourdes. Travelling through France, we can enjoy the beautiful countryside. On arrival in Lourdes we check into our hotel, which is very 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

Saturday, October 17
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. Overnight: Lourdes

The Miraculous Medal Chapel on Rue de Bac, where St Catherine Labouré had the apparition of Our Lady, instructing her to produce the Miraculous Medal.

Sunday, October 18
In the morning we return by train to Paris. On arrival in Paris, we proceed to the Miraculous Medal Chapel on Rue de Bac, where St Catherine Labouré had the apparition of Our Lady, instructing her to produce the Miraculous Medal. The chapel includes the tombs of St Catherine and St Louise de Marillac, the collaborator with St Vincent de Paul. We then walk to the Lazarist church with the Tomb of St Vincent de Paul. Overnight: Paris

Monday, October 19
Today we have a full day guided tour to see the famous churches of Paris such as Sacred Heart Basilica and (due to the fire, from outside) Notre-Dame Cathedral, and see such famous landmarks as the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, Champs Elysée and so on. Overnight: Paris

St Bernadette’s incorrupt body in her tomb in Nevers.

Tuesday, October 20
After breakfast we depart for 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, where we plan to have Mass. We then proceed to Paray-le-Monial, “The City of the Sacred Heart” of St Margaret Mary Alacoque. Overnight: Paray-le-Monial

Wednesday, October 21
In Paray-le-Monial, we have Mass in the very chapel 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. In the church named after him, we can pray at the tomb of St Claude de la Colombière, the Jesuit confessor of St Margaret Mary. We also see the 12th-century Cathedral of the Sacred Heart. In the beautiful park behind the basilica, we have time for reflection. Of course, there will be time at leisure to explore this lovely town. Overnight: Paray-le-Monial

Fr Lawrence Mduduzi Ndlovu at Mass in Paray-le-Monial’s Chapel of the Visitation, the place where Christ revealed his Sacred Heart to St Margaret Mary Alkacoque.

Thursday, October 22
In the morning we leave Paray-le-Monial to return to Paris. There we visit the magnificent Basilica of St Denis, built in the 12th century on the tomb of St Denis, the patron saint of France. It is also the burial place of almost every French king from the 10th to the 18th centuries. We then proceed to Charles de Gaulle airport to make our way home.

Friday, October 23
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.

 

A deposit of R4,800 secures your place on this unforgettable pilgrimage. Send proof of payment, completed booking form and a clear copy of your passport — and your place will be secured! Booking form and info in the detailed, illustrated itinerary.

Est. Price: R38,540 (sharing, ex-Jhb; subject to currency, airport tax fluctuations. Based on 35 travelling at R16,45 to the Euro)

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

Excludes: Tips and hotel taxes (tba), visas, personal expenses, travel to and from O.R. Tambo Airport/Jhb.

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