GREAT SAINTS PILGRIMAGE
ROME & ASSISI
Sept. 17 - 26, 2023
"This pilgrimage changed our lives and perspective forever."
Fr. Scott Bullock
"I can’t say enough about everything you did to make this a true pilgrimage for us."
Kevin & Amy B.
Sunday, September 17
Overnight flight to Italy: Our pilgrimage begins with an overnight flight from your local airport to Rome! (Bring a good book, your rosary, and prayer intentions.) Meals and refreshments are served on the plane.
Monday, September 18
Arrival: Welcome to Rome! After gathering our bags and meeting our amazing tour manager, Marika, we will check into one of our favorite 5-star hotels in Rome. When everyone is settled, we will enjoy a “get yourself acquainted” bus tour of the eternal city before our pilgrimage welcome dinner in the evening. Overnight in Rome.
Tuesday, September 19
Papal Basilicas tour: Following breakfast, we will visit the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, the Church of St. Mary Major, as well as the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran where we’ll have Mass and an opportunity to prayerfully climb the Lateran Steps. After a short break for lunch, we will travel to the Pontifical North American College for a private tour of the Catholic institute forming seminarians to be priests for Jesus Christ “in the heart of His Church.” Here, we will also enjoy what is universally known as the best view in all of Rome. Dinner/overnight in Rome.
Wednesday, September 20
A day at the Vatican: After breakfast, we’re off to Saint Peter’s Square for the Papal general audience with Pope Francis (subject to the Pope’s schedule) followed by a private Mass nearby. Following a short lunch break, we’ll tour the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica. Dinner/overnight in Rome.
Thursday, September 21
Basilicas & the Pantheon: Following breakfast, we’ll visit the Catacombs of Rome where Mass will be celebrated in an underground chapel. Following the Catacombs, we will visit the Church of St. Augustine and the tomb of St. Monica, the Church of St. Ignatius, and the Church of the Gesù, the mother church of the Jesuit Order. We’ll continue onto the Pantheon before finishing our day visiting the Museum of the Holy Souls in Purgatory. Dinner/overnight in Rome.
Friday, September 22
Footsteps of Ancient Rome: Following breakfast, we travel back in time with a historic tour of Ancient Rome. Making our way along centuries-old cobblestone streets lined with Rome’s stately stone pines, we arrive at Ancient Rome’s monumental three-tiered amphitheater, the Colosseum, once used for gladiatorial games. We will also pass by the Roman Forum, open grounds that are now surrounded by the ruins of ancient government buildings at the center of Ancient Rome. We will then make our way to visit San Gregorio Magno al Cielo Convent, the Roman motherhouse of the Missionaries of Charity. It is here where Saint Teresa of Calcutta resided when she visited her sisters in Rome. Dinner/overnight in Rome.
Saturday, September 23
Welcome to Assisi: Following breakfast this morning, we transfer by private motor coach to the hilltop village of Assisi, the birthplace of Saint Francis of Assisi and a UNESCO world heritage site known for its magnificent medieval architecture. Upon arriving, Jon and Marika will take you up to the most beautiful view of the city. In the afternoon, we will make our way down into the valley of Assisi where we visit the beautiful Basilica of Saint Mary of the Angels, home of the Chapel Portiuncula, where St. Francis lived and worked after founding the Franciscan order, and where Mother Mary appeared to Francis in 1216. We will have Mass and then visit the miracle garden of the thornless rose bush. After our hotel check-in, we will gather for prayer and Mass. Dinner/overnight in Assisi.
Sunday, September 24
Basilicas of Assisi tour: Following breakfast, we will gather for our guided tour of Assisi. We begin at the Basilica of Saint Clare, one of the first followers of St. Francis. Here, we will descend to St. Clare’s lower crypt, where we will pray before her incorrupt body and reflect before many of her relics that remain with us today. We will also have a chance to pray before the San Damiano cross, the very cross that Christ spoke to St. Francis through, asking Francis to rebuild his Church. Continuing to the Basilica of Saint Francis, we will be guided through the meaning of the many frescoes that surround us, depicting his saintly life. We will then have an opportunity to descend to the lower crypt where we will pray before the tomb of St. Francis, and the remains of his first followers. Today we will also visit the Chiesa Nueova and San Francesco Piccolino. Dinner/overnight in Assisi.
Monday, September 25
“All roads lead to Rome:" After a leisurely morning enjoying the peace of Assisi we will venture back at the Eternal City where we will spend one more night. On the way back to Rome, we will enjoy a farewell meal together. Overnight in Rome.
Tuesday, September 26
Return home: With a renewed sense of pilgrimage, and an invigorated love of our Catholic faith, we transfer to the Rome Fiumicino Airport, say farewell to our fellow pilgrims and new friends, and board our return flight home.
Roundtrip Airfare from Des Moines (or your Local Airport)
Deluxe Motorcoach Transportation
4&5-star Hotel Accommodations
Dedicated Tour Manager (Marika is the best!)
Whisper Headsets with Tours
All Breakfast & Dinners
Wine with All Dinners
Sightseeing & Admission Fees per Itinerary
Daily Mass and Opportunities for Confession
Airport Taxes & Fuel Surcharges
Luggage assistance at Hotels
24/7 Travel Emergency Support
Tips for Hotel Staff and Restaurants
YOUR PILGRIMAGE TRIP INCLUDES
The pilgrimage price includes airfare from Des Moines, IA. $4,995
(Similar costs from other U.S. Cities)
Note: Most are traveling from outside of Des Moines. If you are traveling from another city, please select the GROUND-ONLY option during registration and Jon's team will help you book your travel.
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING
"This was truly the very best time of our lives."
"You have opened my eyes to the beauty and
the richness of our faith."
"The information you shared about the saints and each of the locations we visited was appreciated more than you know."
"I truly felt a sense of family with the saints, martyrs, and those in the catacombs; and I still do."
Ray & Ginny S.
"Being in the audience with the Pope, touring the Vatican and many beautiful basilicas, and learning a wealth of knowledge about so many saints and about our relationship with God were some of the many highlights I still carry with me."
"When asked by our family what our favorite part of the trip was, we asked them, "Which day?" We are so thankful we went!"
Richard & Mary Anne S.