Fatima • Lourdes • Avila and more: 2-15 September

• Led by Fr Paul Beukes OMI •  2-15 September 2024

Join Our Lady of Lourdes community on this wonderful pilgrimage to Portugal, Spain and France, with time to pray in Fatima, Lourdes, Avila, and at the Eucharistic Miracle of Santarém, and many other holy places. Includes tours of Paris, Lisbon and Madrid!

Monday, September 2, 2024
We meet at OR Tambo International in Johannesburg to depart for our journey to Portugal.

Tuesday, September 3
On arrival in Lisbon, we are met by our guide. We then enjoy a tour of the Portuguese capital. We visit the St Mary Major Cathedral (known to locals simply as the Sé) which was built in 1147. It is the seat of the Patriarch of Lisbon. Nearby we may pray at the birthplace of St Anthony of Padua (or St Antonio of Lisbon) in a church that also has relics of the beloved saint. Our tour also includes secular sites such as the famous Belém Tower. Overnight: Lisbon

Wednesday, September 4
After breakfast, we go to see one of the most famous recognised Eucharistic Miracles in the world! In the small town of Santarém, the 16th-century Santissimo Milagre Church marks the site of a 13th-century Eucharistic Miracle, which can be seen above the altar. We then proceed to Fátima. In the evening we may take part in the spectacular Candlelight Procession which brings together Catholics from all over the world. Overnight: Fátima

Thursday, September 5
Today we explore Fátima. We visit the well-preserved homes of the three children in the nearby village of Aljustrel, and see the wall at which the famous photo of the three was taken. We also see Valinhos, where Our Lady appeared in August 1917, and the spot where the angel had appeared to the children in 1916 to prepare them for Our Lady’s coming.

In the Sanctuary of Fátima we may pray at the Little Chapel of the Apparitions and light candles in the adjacent enclosure. We visit the Basilica of Fátima, which contains the tombs of the three children (two of whom died before adulthood), and have time to pray in the Perpetual Adoration Chapel. In the evening we can again take part in the candlelight procession during which the Rosary is recited in different languages. Overnight: Fátima

Friday, September 6
After breakfast we leave Portugal and cross into Spain to reach Alba de Tormes, where St Teresa of Ávila died in 1582. In the church of the Annunciation Convent we can see St Teresa’s tomb. The saint had fallen ill while visiting the convent and asked for her bed to be placed above the altar so that she would not miss the celebration of the Eucharist. This is now her final resting place. In the convent museum we can see relics of St Teresa, including her heart, as well as relics of her fellow Carmelite St John of the Cross. We then drive to her hometown, Ávila. Overnight: Ávila

Saturday, September 7
Today we explore Ávila, the “City of Stones and Saints”, and on a guided tour follow in the steps of the town’s two great Doctors of the Church, St Teresa of Ávila and St John of the Cross. We visit St Teresa Convent, which includes the room in which she was born. We see Incarnation Convent, where she and St John of the Cross were active. In the afternoon we have some time at leisure to explore the impressive city walls and beautiful old city. Overnight: Ávila

Sunday, September 8
After breakfast we drive to Madrid, the capital of Spain. In the company of our expert guide, we see important Catholic sites, such as Almudena Cathedral, home to the miraculous statue of Our Lady of the Wall, and of historical and cultural interest such as the Royal Gardens, the Royal Palace, and the famous Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor squares. Of course we have some time at leisure to enjoy this great city. Overnight: Madrid

Monday, September 9
Today we see visit one of Spain’s most historic cities: Burgos, capital of the region of Castile. There we visit the Gothic St Mary’s Cathedral, one of Spain’s greatest churches. Its construction began in 1221, and it includes the tomb of El Cid, the famous knight from medieval Spain’s history. Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage site. We then proceed to coastal Spain. Overnight: San Sebastian (tbc)

Tuesday, September 10
Today we leave Spain and cross into France to arrive in the town of one of the world’s great sites of pilgrimage. On arrival in Lourdes we check into our hotel, which is near the sanctuary, and then have Mass. In the afternoon we do the magnificent Stations of the Cross. After dinner in our hotel, we have an opportunity take part in the candlelight procession through the sanctuary, a different experience to the one we had in Fatima. We can do so again tomorrow night. Overnight: Lourdes

Wednesday, September 11
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), the church of her baptism, the St Bernadette Museum, and so on. In the afternoon we have ample time at leisure to explore the sanctuary, including its three basilicas, make use of the baths with the healing waters, and so on. Overnight: Lourdes

Thursday, September 12
In the morning we leave Lourdes to take a high-speed train to Paris. There we are met by our guide to visit the magnificent Sacre-Coeur Basilica, where perpetual adoration has been going on uninterrupted, day and night, for almost 140 years. We also have time to explore the famous Montmartre area, with its church of St Pierre and artists’ colony. Overnight: Paris

Friday, September 13
We enjoy a panoramic tour of Paris to see famous landmarks as the Eiffel Tower (of course with a photo op!), the Arc de Triomphe, Champs Elysée, Notre-Dame Cathedral and so on. We visit the Miraculous Medal Chapel in Rue de Bac, where Our Lady appeared to St Catherine Labouré. We then visit the nearby tomb of St Vincent de Paul. After some free time we transfer to Charles de Gaulle airport to begin our way home.

Saturday, September 14
We arrive in Johannesburg in the morning, tired but fortified by our holy journey which brought us in contact with Our Lady and faith in Portugal, Spain and France.

A deposit of R9,600 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: R63,549 (sharing, ex-Jhb; subject to currency, airport tax fluctuations. Calculated on 25+ passengers, at R20,23 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, high-sdpreed train Lourdes-Paris, English-speaking tour guides, entrance fees as per itinerary

Excludes: Tips (for guides/drivers), hotel taxes, visa (Schengen), personal expenses, travel to and from O.R. Tambo Airport/Jhb.

Download Itinerary with booking form

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