Join our special pilgrimage to CATHOLIC PORTUGAL, presented by Fowler Tours in association with The Southern Cross. Among the great highlights will be visits to Fátima on its feast day, the birthplace of St Anthony in Lisbon, and to the convent in Coimbra where Sr Lucia lived.
The pilgrimage will be led by the popular Fr Russell Pollitt SJ, who also led our pilgrimage to the Holy Land and Rome in 2019. Accommodation will be in 4* hotels (in Fátima located near the sanctuary for easy access) and includes breakfast and dinner. Mass will be celebrated in significant churches or chapels every day.
Wednesday, October 9, 2023
We meet at OR Tambo International in Johannesburg to depart for our journey to Portugal.
Thursday, October 10
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 Sr Anthony 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
Friday, October 11
After breakfast, we go to Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage site, with its national palace, and then see Cabo da Roca, the western-most point in Europe. In beautiful Cascais we visit the Monastery of the Annunciation, another World Heritage site. Before returning to Lisbon, we stop by in glamorous Estoril. Overnight: Lisbon
Saturday, October 12
Today we visit the picturesque hillside town of Óbidos, which is known for its many striking chapels. We then proceed to Nazaré, a town named after Nazareth. There the Chapel of Our Lady of Nazaré stands on a cliff overlooking the ocean. It is one of Portugal’s most important sites of pilgrimage. We then continue to the Monastery of St Mary of Alcobaça, one of Portugal’s most impressive religious monuments. In Batalha we visit the Battle Abbey of Santa Maria da Vitoria, a former Dominican cloister built to pay homage to Our Lady for the Portuguese victory over the Castilians in 1385.
We then drive to Fátima. In the evening we may take part in the Candlelight Procession which brings together Catholics from all over the world Overnight: Fátima
Sunday, October 13
Today we explore Fátima and surroundings on the feast day of Our Lady of Fatima, exactly 107 years after the Miracle of the Sun. We visit the well-preserved homes of the three children in the nearby village of Aljustrel, and see the wall against 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
Monday, October 14
After breakfast in our hotel we drive to the historic city of Coimbra, the site of one of Europe’s oldest universities, and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Here our local expert guide will show us places such as the Old Cathedral, from 1290, and the New Cathedral, built in 1580 as a Jesuit church, and other historical sites. We also visit the Carmelite Convent of St Teresa, where Fátima visionary Sr Lucia dos Santos spent most of her life until her death in 2005. We then return to Fátima where we have opportunity to make use of the spiritual treasures of this holy sanctuary. Overnight: Fátima
Tuesday, October 15
Today we drive through northern Portugal’s beautiful countryside to the historic city of Braga and the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte (Good Jesus of the Mount), one of Portugal’s most important Catholic shrines. Its zig-zagging Baroque stairways symbolise the passage from earth to heaven – “a stairway to heaven”. Inside the church, the Via Sacra follows six chapels dedicated to the Passion of Christ. The Cathedral of Braga was the first cathedral, in Portugal, built before the founding of the country and consecrated in 1089. It is dedicated to Our Lady.
In the evening we have our final opportunity to take part in the candlelight procession at Fátima. Overnight: Fátima
Wednesday, October 16
Today we see one of the most famous and 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 return to Lisbon, where we have time at leisure for shopping or relaxing in its beautiful main square before we transfer to the airport for our flight home.
Thursday, October 17
We arrive in Johannesburg in the morning, tired but fortified by our holy journey which brought us in contact with Our Lady and faith of Catholic Portugal in so many ways.
Breakfasts and Dinners included. Daily Masses in great churches!
Projected price: R49,930 (sharing, ex-Jhb; subject to currency, airport tax fluctuations. Calculated on 31+ passengers, at R19,98 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 as per itinerary
Excludes: Tips (for guides/drivers), hotel taxes, visa (Schengen), personal expenses, travel to and from O.R. Tambo Airport/Jhb.
Download the illustrated itinerary with booking form.