A Pilgrimage to the Saints
Over Christmas break 2016/17, nearly 24 Summer Program instructors, two priests, two religious sisters and three adults embarked on a 12 day pilgrimage to the saints of Italy.
"The pilgrimage was life changing, it opened my eyes. The power of the saints and their stories revealed a new hope to me. To be so lost and unfulfilled in life and then to go on a trip where I was surrounded with so much holiness, so much love, and so much of Christ, especially radiating through others, was just truly inspiring." - Emma Thompson
"Going to Italy was one of the greatest and most life changing experiences of my life. It helped me grow even closer to Christ and helped my prayer life. My life will be changed forever because of St. Johns and everything it has been doing for me over the past 9 months." - Matthew Fuller (soon to be Catholic!)
"While on pilgrimage, I experienced a profound growth in my love of God that was supported and nourished by the people around me, both pilgrims and the multitude of saints we met daily. Though the schedule was packed and sleep was hard to come by, there was a peace and joy which encompassed the entire spiritual and physical journey that could only have come from the Holy Spirit. As I reflect on the pilgrimage now, I can only yearn to get back to that place of love, joy, peace, and companionship built in Christ." - Samantha Wilt
"The pilgrimage was an incredible experience because it brought me into closer contact with the Church community – both my friends from St. John’s and those members of the Church in heaven. I was reminded just how many people on earth and in heaven care for me and my salvation as we visited the saints. The trip itself was an incredible experience of new sights and sounds, but the focus that we had on visiting the saints and relics kept me grounded in this idea that wherever we go in life, we should be looking for Jesus Christ, and each action should be united to our prayer. The trip was a wonderful opportunity for me to learn, and also to reflect and think about my life as I try to understand who I was made to be and discern God’s call for me." - Emily Rawson
♦ Day 1 - Mon., Dec. 26: Depart Dulles International Airport. Late morning pilgrim Mass at St. John's, then travel to Dulles by charter bus. Fly overnight with meals served on board.
♦ Day 2 - Tues., Dec. 27: Milan - Turin - Milan
Arrive in Milan. Visit the grave of St. Gianna Barretta Mola at the Cemetary of Mesero (based upon early morning arrival) and then bus to Turin and see Frassati, Bosco, Savio. Mass at the Basilica of Our Lady Help of Christians in Turin. Bus back to Milan for dinner.
♦ Day 3 - Wed., Dec. 28: Milan - Pavia - Bologna - Rome
Visit the Basilica of St. Ambrose (Mass) and then bus down to visit St. Augustine in Pavia, then to Bologna to visit St. Dominic at Basilica of San Domenico and the Church of Corpus Domini to see St. Catherine of Bolgona. Dinner in Bologna and then near Rome for overnight.
♦ Day 4 - Thurs., Dec. 29: Rome
Early Departure. Visit St. Peter in Chains and the Colosseum and then St. John Lateran and Scala Sancta. Break for lunch and then visit the Catacombs. After the Catacombs visit the Basilica of St. Lawrence and head to St. Mary Major for Mass followed by dinner and over-night in Rome.
♦ Day 5 - Fri., Dec. 30: Rome
Early start with Mass at St. Peter’s followed by free time to walk around the Basilica, then tour of the Vatican Museums/Sistine Chapel, followed by free time to shop or to climb to the dome of St. Peter’s and quick lunch. In the afternoon visit St. Bartholomew, the Gesu for Mass and Santa Maria in Aracoeli.
♦ Day 6 - Sat., Dec. 31: Rome
Start the day with St. Paul outside the Walls, then to Piazza Na-vona and the Pantheon, Santa Maria in Vallicella, Santa Maria sopra Minerva, Sant’ Ignazio, St. Monica, Basilica of Sant’ Agostino followed by dinner in the Piazza Navona area, and then a visit to St. Callistus at Mary Magdalene for Divine Mercy Chaplet before heading to the NAC for fireworks.
♦ Day 7 - Sun., Jan., 1: Rome - Nettuno - Monte Cassino - Mugnano del Cardinale - Pompei
Depart Rome by 7:30am. Bus to Maria Goretti in Nettuno and then bus to Monte Cassino to visit Benedict and Scolastica, then to Mugnano del Cardinale to see St. Philomena, then to Pompei to the Madonna del Rosario Sanctu-ary and Bl. Bartolo Longo.
♦ Day 8 - Mon. Jan., 2: Pompei - Pagnani - Salerno - Materdomini - San Giovanni Rotondo
Begin the day with St. Alphonsus Liguori in Pagnani and then travel to see St. Matthew and Salerno, then to St. Gerard Majella in Materdomini, then to San Giovanni Rotondo for dinner and overnight.
♦ Day 9 - Tues., Jan. 3: San Giovanni Rotondo - Lanciano - Manoppello - Loreto
Visit Padre Pio Shrine and Monte San’Angelo (Cave of St. Michael), then bus up the Adriatic Coast to Lanciano, then to the Holy Face Sanctuary in Manoppello and then to Loreto for dinner and overnight.
♦ Day 10 - Wed., Jan. 4: Loreto - Osimo - Assisi
Start the day visiting the Holy House in Loreto, travel to Osimo for St. Joseph of Cupertino (patron saint of students) and lunch at Osteria Moderna (included in cost). Then bus to Assisi to visit St. Mary of the Angels Basilica and spend time in Assisi before and after dinner.
♦ Day 11 - Thurs., Jan. 5: Assisi
Visit the Basilica of St. Clare and the Basilica of St. Francis followed by free time in Assisi and farewell dinner.
♦ Day 12 - Fri., Jan. 6: Departure
Return flight from Rome to Dulles and charter bus from Dulles to St. John's.