Shrines of France - Our itinerary of the Shrines of France includes visits to the towns of Lourdes, Lisieux, Rocamadour, Nevers, Ars, La Salette and Paris. During our trip we will visit numerous cathedrals, basilicas and tombs as well as the incorrupt body of St. Bernadette in Nevers. See the town of Lisieux, home to the little flower of Jesus. Visit La Salette, a small village where Our Lady appeared in 1846, whilst in Paris we will sample some of the finest examples of art, culture and architecture.In Rocamadour, we will see the chapel that was built in honour of Our Lady and of course not forgetting the world famous Marian shrine in Lourdes.
Shrines of France Programme
- Please see below for a details description of the towns we visit in France. The programme below is only a sample programme. For specific dates and a detailed programme please see our price list.
During our tour of Paris we will see some of the finest examples of architecture France has to offer. We will see Paris' most famous landmark, the Eiffel Tower. The tower was built in 1889 for the World Exhibition and when construction was completed in 1889, the Eiffel Tower was the tallest structure in the world. We will take a stroll down the famous Champs Elysees, which is bordered with shops, restaurants and theatres before coming to the L'Arc de Triomphe. See the Sacre Coeur basilica built in the 19th century and dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Visit Notre Dame, a Gothic Roman Catholic cathedral which is still an active Catholic church in Paris today.
In Nevers we will visit the incorrupt body of St. Bernadette. St. Bernadette entered the convent of St. Gildard, the Sisters of Charity of Nevers in 1866 as she wanted to dedicate her life to religion. She worked in the convent hospital even though she suffered illnesses herself including asthma and tuberculosis. St. Bernadette died in 1879 after spending 13 years in the convent of St. Gildard. In 1925 her body was exhumed and was found to be incorrupt, which we see in a crystal coffin in the convent chapel.
St. Therese of Lisieux is known widely as the little flower of Jesus. She declares that her conversion took place on Christmas Eve 1886 and felt a strong calling to become a nun. At the age of 15 she was finally allowed to enter the Carmelite convent. St. Therese embraced convent life with enthusiasm, however she fell ill in 1896. Her last months were painful but she accepted her pain in a spirit of love. She died in 1897 and was canonised in 1925. St. Therese wrote an account of her short life which was published after she died. We will visit her childhood home at Les Buisonnetts. There on display are clothing, and personal objects belonging to the "little flower." We also see the Carmelite convent, where she spent nearly 10 years.
We travel to Rocamadour, a town located approximately 100 miles from Toulouse. It owes its origin to St. Amador who chose this area for his devotion to Our Lady. St. Amador is said to be Zacheus of the gospel, husband to St. Veronica, who wiped the face of Our Saviour as He carried the cross to Calvary. After been driven out of Palestine in persecution, St. Amador finally arrived in France and built a chapel in the province of Quercy in honour of the Blessed Virgin. Perched on a cliff overlooking the Alzou valley, Rocamadour attracts many people to this sanctuary every year.
- La Salette
On the 19th September 1846, Our Lady appeared to two children in the small village of La Salette in the south west of France. The children, Melaine Calvat and Maximin Giraud, were looking after cattle when they first saw a bright light before Our Lady appeared to them. They described Her as very beautiful and noted that She was weeping tears of sadness and expressing Her despair at people disobeying God's law. She gave the children two secrets and requested that people repent. On our pilgrimage we will visit the Basilica and see the Apparition site where Our Lady appeared.
St. John Vianny, the patron saint of priests, was the parish priest of Ars in France in the 19th century. Born in 1786, he became famous for his spiritual direction. He founded an orphanage and delivered powerful sermons in his mass. Living a simple life in Ars he had extraordinary abilities to perform miracles. His ability to heal the sick and read the hearts of penitents attracted thousands of people every year to seek his advice. He died in 1859 and was canonised in 1925. His body was exhumed because of his impending beatification and was found to be in perfect condition.
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