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Seven Sisters Pilgrimage to France

Day 1 Monday, July 1: Depart USA Depart Minneapolis-St. Paul for Geneva, Switzerland.

Day 2 Tuesday, July 2: Welcome to Geneva

  • Brief orientation tour of Geneva, where St. Francis de Sales served as a bishop.

  • Continue to Thorens, where St. Francis de Sales was born.

  • Visit the Château de Sales, home of the Sales family, and the chapel built on the location of the room where St. Francis was born.

  • See the cross where St. Francis de Sales was inspired by God to create the order of the Visitation.

  • Visit the parish church where he was baptized and consecrated Bishop of Geneva.

  • Possible meeting with His Excellency Bishop Charles Morerod (subject to confirmation).

  • Continue to the village of Annecy magnificently situated on what is known as the Blue Lake in the heart of the Savoy Alps. Here, St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane Frances de Chantal founded the Congregation of the Visitation at Annecy in 1610.

  • Celebrate Mass in St. Peter’s Cathedral in Annecy. Holy Hour.

Day 3 Wednesday, July 3: Footsteps of St. Francis de Sales

  • Mass at the Basilica of the Visitation, followed by a guided tour of the basilica and museum.

  • Walking tour in the footsteps of St. Francis de Sales

    • Visit to the Church of St. Francis de Sales (the first Visitation Monastery)

    • The Gallery House (where the Visitation order began),

    • Famous statue of St. Francis de Sales (center of town)

    • Cathedral of St. Pierre (where Francis was ordained a priest and officiated as a bishop)

    • Madame de Charmoisy’s House (influential in the writing of the Introduction of the Devout Life)

    • House of President Antoine Favre

    • Places where the miracles attributed to St. Francis de Sales took place.

Day 4 Thursday, July 4: Lyon | Ars | Villefranche sur Saone

  • Travel from Anncey to Lyon to visit the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière, which sits high atop the Fourvière Hill in Lyon.

  • Visit Antiquaille - Cultural Center of Christianity in Lyon.

  • Visit the Museum of Religious Art, a few steps from the house of Pauline Jaricot (House of Loreto).

  • Visit the little town of Ars and the Shrine of St. John Vianney, known as the “Cure of Ars” and patron saint of parish priests. Celebrate Mass in the beautiful church for priests throughout the world.

  • Continue to Villefranche sur Saone and enjoy a festive Fourth of July dinner.

Day 5 Friday, July 5: Paray-Le-Monial | Cluny| Blanot | Vezelay

  • Visit Paray-le Monial, celebrated for the apparitions of our Lord to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, where the devotion to the Sacred Heart of our Lord originated in the Convent of the Visitation. Visit the great medieval church, built as the official basilica to commemorate this event.

  • Celebrate Mass at the Convent.

  • After Mass, we will venerate the Tomb of St. Claude de la Colombière, S.J., the confessor of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. Independent lunch.

  • Continue to Cluny to visit the ruins of the Benedictine Abbey founded by Duke William I, Duke of Aquitaine, in 910. The height of Cluniac influence was from the second half of the 10th century through the early 12th. The abbey was sacked in 1562, and many of its valuable manuscripts were destroyed or removed.

  • We’ll continue to visit the Eucharistic miracle church in Blanot. Holy Hour in the church.

  • Continue to Vezelay.

Day 6 Saturday, July 6: Vezelay, Nevers, Blois, Loire Valley

  • Visit the Basilica of St. Mary Magdalene and celebrate Mass.

  • Continue to Nevers to visit St. Gildard’s Convent and pray before the incorrupt body of St. Bernadette. In the same chapel is the heart of Father Thomas Price, one of the founders of Maryknoll.

  • Holy Hour

  • Continue to Blois in the Loire Valley.

Day 7 Sunday, July 7: Tours, Saint Laurent sur Sevres, Rennes

  • Visit the Basilica of St. Martin in Tours, built over the tomb of this popular French saint. Martin, along with his contemporary Hilary of Poitiers, was instrumental in the establishment of Christianity in Western Europe, as well as halting the spread of Arianism. Celebrate Mass at the Shrine.

  • After our visit we’ll continue to Saint-Lauren sur Sevres, the town well known for being the burial place of St. Louis de Montfort and Blessed Marie Louise Trichet. On September 19, 1996, St. John Paul II visited the town to meditate and pray near the tombs of St. Louis de Montfort and Blessed Marie Louise. Holy Hour.

  • Continue to Rennes for hotel check-in.

Day 8 Monday, July 8: Saint-Pern, Mont-St.Michel, Lisieux

  • Drive to Saint Pern, the burial place of St. Jeanne Jugan, and location of the motherhouse for the Little Sisters of the Poor.

  • Celebrate Mass in the Chapel of La Tour St. Joseph.

  • Continue to the country’s northwestern coast, at the mouth of the Couesnon River near Avranches. We will approach this tiny island by a causeway built in 1877, and enter the medieval village of 250 inhabitants by three massive stone gates. Upon arrival we will visit the beautiful monastery of Mont-StMichel. Surrounded by the sea and soaring proudly above glistening sands, the silhouette of Mont-St-Michel is one of the most enchanting sights in all of France. The great Benedictine Abbey Fortress that crowns this mass of granite was begun in 1017. A monastery built on three levels was added to the church‘s north side in the early 13th century.

  • Continue to Lisieux, the home of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus.

Day 9 Tuesday, July 9: Lisieux, D-Day Landings

  • Mass in the Basilica of St. Thérèse.

  • Visit “Les Buisonnets,” the humble dwelling of this modern-day saint until she entered the Carmel Convent at the age of 15.

  • Holy Hour at the Carmel Convent.

  • Continue to the normandy Beaches and sites of the D-Day Landings. on June 6, 1944, tens of thousands of American, English, Canadian, Scottish and French soldiers landed on the beaches of the normandy coast to free France from the nazi stronghold. Thousands of young soldiers died that first day in the name of liberty. We’ll then visit omaha beach, the most famous of the normandy landing beaches.

  • Finally, we’ll visit the American cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer where these young soldiers are buried.

Day 10 Wednesday, July 10: Argenteuil, Montmartre

  • Travel from Lisieux to Paris.

  • Visit the Basilica of St. Denis in Argenteuil which houses the seamless garment believed to have been worn by Christ during His Passion. The Tunic is kept in a reliquary in the basilica and is exhibited only twice a century. Celebrate Mass at the Basilica of St. Denis.

  • Visit the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Montmartre with its amazing view of Paris. For over a century, Parisians and pilgrims from all over the world maintain Perpetual Adoration at the Basilica.

  • Visit the Church of St. Pierre de Montmartre and the Chapel where St. Ignatius Loyola founded the Jesuits at the base of Montmarte.

Day 11 Thursday, July 11: Medieval Paris, Dinner Cruise

  • Visit to Rue de Bac.

  • Celebrate Mass at the Shrine of the Miraculous Medal.

  • Continue to the nearby Shrine of St. Vincent DePaul. Although there are many churches in Paris related to Vincent's activities, it is in this Chapel where we will venerate the tomb of the saint renowned for compassion, humility, and generosity to the poor.

  • Continue to the Ile de la Cité and the Cathedral Notre-Dame de Paris, a jewel of gothic art and symbol of Paris and of Christian France.

  • Visit Sainte Chapelle, a masterpiece of Flamboyant Gothic architecture built by Saint Louis in the heart of the Palais de la Cité on the Ile de la Cité in Paris. Discover its unique stained glass windows, symbols of the heavenly Jerusalem.

  • Visit the Blessed Sacrament Fathers’ Corpus Christi Chapel where Father Eymard held the first public Exposition of the Eucharist.

  • Visit the Blessed Sacrament Chapel where the saintly remains of St. Peter Julian Eymard are preserved and venerated. Holy Hour.

  • Enjoy a dinner cruise aboard the famous Parisian "bateaux mouches" for a view of all the most beautiful sites of Paris from the Seine!

Day 12 Friday, July 12: Return to the USA