Departing on October 1, 2018 | Join Deacon Michael Russo & Father Dave Peles with St. Benedict's Church of Johnstown, PA on this exciting 10 day pilgrimage to Rome and Assisi. In addition to Rome and Assisi, you will visit the Vatican, Subiaco, Monte Cassino and you will celebrate Mass daily. Tour pricing starts at $3,548* from New York.
*All prices reflect a 4% cash discount
- All Inclusive Pricing
- Breakfast and Dinner Daily
- Deluxe A/C Motor Coaches
- Entrance and Program Fees
- First Class Hotels
- Fuel Surcharges and Gov't Taxes
- Guided Tours
- International Airfare from NY
- Mass Daily
Day 1 Depart the USA
Your Italian adventure begins as you depart the USA on your international flight.
Day 2 Rome, Orvieto, Assisi
On arrival at the Rome airport you will be met and transferred north by coach through the stunning countryside. Pope Nicholas IV laid the cornerstone for the Cathedral of Orvieto in 1290, dedicating it to the Assumption of the Virgin. Orvieto served as a Papal residence through the Middle Ages, Pope Clement VII being one of the last to stay in Orvieto in 1527. Here the Feast of Corpus Christi is celebrated, marching from the Duomo. Celebrate Mass at the Cathedral here. Finish your day checking into your Assisi Hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 3 Assisi
This morning wake up to the atmospheric sounds of chapel bells, cobblestone footsteps and a tangible spirit of St. Francis preserved within the walls of this holy town. In the morning you will visit the lower city. The Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels stands at the foot of the hill of Assisi over the Porziuncola ‐ Saint Francis' Church given him by the Benedictine monks. The Church and Convent of St. Damiano is where in 1205, Saint Francis received his calling to "Rebuild My Church". Saint Claire will later lead her Order of the Poor Ladies from here until her death in 1253. Celebrate Mass at one of these sanctuaries. You will have time for private devotion and leisure before returning to your hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 4 Assisi
After breakfast you’ll walk to the Papal Basilica of St Francis, the mother church of the Franciscan Order and burial place of St Francis. The Basilica, which began construction in 1228, is built into the side on the side of a hill and comprises an Upper and Lower church. These churches are decorated with numerous frescoes by late medieval painters including Giotto. Celebrate Mass here. Continue on your guided pilgrimage of the town’s highlights featuring the Basilica of St. Clare, where you can kneel before the famous crucifix from which Jesus spoke to St Francis. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure in Assisi before returning to your hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 5 Greccio and Rome
After breakfast you’ll begin your journey to Rome. En route, stop in Greccio to visit the Sanctuary. Set within the rock like an eagle’s nest, the Greccio hermitage is an extraordinary fusion of architecture and nature. Saint Francis of Assisi chose the sanctuary as the backdrop to one of the highest and most lyrical moments in his life: the first recreation of the Bethlehem Nativity in Christianity on Christmas Eve, 1223. Celebrate Mass here. Upon your arrival to Rome, enjoy a visit to the Forum and the Colosseum, once the heart of ancient Rome and a place of martyrdom for the early saints. Check into your hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 6 Vatican
Enjoy a guided tour of the Vatican’s Museums and Sistine Chapel. Built by connecting portions of the old Papal residence with newer structures, the museum houses a world renowned collection of art and antiquities. Michelangelo painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel between 1508 and 1512, and later painted The Last Judgment between 1535 and 1541 for Popes Clement VII and Paul III. The primary function of the chapel is the Papal Conclave, providing the place where the College of Cardinals of the church gathers to select a new Pope. Then walk through St. Peter’s Basilica and celebrate Mass here. The present structure completed in 1590 was built over the Byzantine and Middle Ages structures that marked the tomb of Saint Peter. There are more than 100 tombs within the Basilica, including most recently Saint John Paul II. Finish the day at the Pantheon, built by Marcus Agrippa during the reign of Augustus (27 BC to 14 AD). Emperor Hadrian rebuilt it around 126 AD. The building was given to Pope Boniface IV who converted it into a church ‐ Saint Mary and the Martyrs (Santa Maria Rotunda). Mass continues to be celebrated here. Stop at the famous Trevi Fountain. Legend says those who toss a coin into the fountain will one day return to Rome to toss another into the waters of Trevi. Return to your hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 7 Rome
After breakfast, enjoy the opportunity to join in prayer with Pope Francis and receive his greeting, blessing and prayers. Begin your afternoon with a visit to the Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran. Six Popes are entombed here. Next door is the Holy Staircase (Scala Santa), brought from Pilate’s Palace in Jerusalem by Saint Helena in the 4th Century. Climbing the stairs on your knees is a devotion that many pilgrims perform, and a plenary indulgence is granted for completing this feat. Next is the Basilica of Saint Lawrence Outside the Walls (San Lorenzo). Saint Lawrence was one of the first seven deacons of Rome, martyred in 258. The Church is built next to catacombs that lead down to his grave. The relics of Saints Justin Martyr and Stephen are also enshrined here. Continue on your pilgrim journey to the Basilica of Saint Mary Major (Maria Maggiore). This is the largest Marian church in Rome. Its construction began after the Council of Ephesus in 431 proclaimed that Mary was the Mother of God. Saint Jerome, translator of the Bible into the Latin Vulgate, is buried here. Celebrate Mass in one of the Churches here. Return to your hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 8 Pilgrimage in Rome
This morning, begin your final day of pilgrimage at the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls. The present structure stands over the place where Constantine built the first church over Saint Paul’s grave. The church features a portrait of every Pope that has served the church, with the face of Pope Francis I illuminated as the present pontiff. Step beneath the surface into the Catacombs of Callixtus, built along the Appian Way. Here 16 Popes from the 2nd through 4th Centuries were interred, though they have been removed to various churches over the centuries. San Sebastian Outside the Walls is another of the seven Pilgrimage churches, built over the Catacombs of Saint Sebastian. The remains of Peter and Paul were temporarily protected here during the Valerian Persecution of 258. Your seventh and final pilgrimage stop is the Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem. Saint Helena brought Passion relics here, and the floor was covered with soil from Jerusalem. Relics here include the index finger of Thomas that touched the wounds of Christ after His resurrection, and a piece of the Good Thief’s Cross. Those who want to complete the seven church pilgrimage as declared by Saint John Paul II in 2000 can continue on to one more stop at Shrine of Our Lady of Divine Love. Here a pilgrim pursued by dogs appealed to Our Lady and she intervened for his safety. Pilgrims began to frequent the site and a chapel was built here in 1745. Celebrate mass in one of the churches. Return to your hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 9 Subiaco and Monte Cassino
Travel south of Rome to Subiaco, home to the Abbey of St. Scholastica and St. Benedict's Cave. A visit to the Cave of St. Benedict (a few kilometers from the Abbey) includes seeing the oldest fresco of St. Francis of Assisi, made in his lifetime. Continue south to visit the hilltop monastery of Monte Cassino. The abbey was destroyed in 1944 in the latter stages of World War II, but has been rebuilt, with its extensive archives having been restored to the library here. The Benedictine Order was established here in 529 AD. Celebrate Mass at one of these sites before returning to Rome for dinner and overnight.
Day 10 Return to USA
Return home with memories of the people and places of Assisi and Rome.