Morning arrival in Rome. Meeting with an English speaking tour manager and with motorcoach. Panoramic tour of Roman sites including the Roman Fora, the Arch of Constantine, the Coliseum and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. We conclude our day at one of the Catacombs, burial place of early Christians. We celebrate Mass here and view the 2nd and 3rd century fresco paintings. Continue to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
After breakfast departure to St. Peter’s for a Mass. after Mass visit at Vatican Museum. We marvel at Michelangelo’s restored frescoes in the Sistine Chapel. Continue to St. Peter’s Basilica to view the “Pieta”. This afternoon we visit the other three of Rome’s major basilicas, St. John Lateran and St. Mary Major. Then we go St. Paul’s Beyond the Walls. This huge, imposing Basilica, second only to St. Peter’s and one of the largest churches in the Christian world, contains an unusual gallery of papal portraits: 265 tablets portraying the popes of the past. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
This morning, we make our way to St. Peter’s for an audience with Pope Benedict XVI if he is in residence. After lunch on our own we depart Rome and drive we drive east towards Ancona and celebrate Mass at Loreto, the site of the Santa Casa or Holy House. Ancient tradition tells us angels carried the house of the Holy Family from Nazareth to Loreto as it was about to be destroyed by Holy Land invaders. We continue to nearby Ancona where we have dinner and board our overnight ferry to Split.
This morning we arrive in Split where we are met and transfer to Medjugorje for dinner and overnight. The balance of the day is at leisure.
DAY 5 – 6
Following breakfast today and tomorrow, we will visit the famous Church of St. James where will join with other English speaking pilgrims to celebrate Mass. Depending upon schedules and if possible, our full time local guide will introduce us to the Medjugorje Visionaries who will share a talk with us and often be open for a time of questions and answers. We will have the opportunity to climb Apparition Hill (Podbrdo) where Our Blessed Mother first appeared to the children. We will pray the Rosary as we make our way up the hill. Later in the week, those who wish can make the more difficult climb up Cross Mountain (Krizevac.) In the evening we return to our guesthouse where our hosts will prepare a delightful dinner.