Local News Archive
Print Issue: January 7, 1999
Archbishop To Lead Pilgrimage To Marian Shrines
ATLANTA--Archbishop John F. Donoghue will lead a summer pilgrimage to several major European Marian shrines July 18-29.
The pilgrimage will be sponsored by the archdiocesan newspaper, The Georgia Bulletin, and is intended to help pilgrims fully realize the impact of Our Lady on the Catholic Church.
Pilgrims will leave Atlanta July 18 and fly to Lisbon, Portugal where they will be met by their local guide who will be with them for the balance of the tour. Upon arrival July 19 participants will have the balance of the day free to wander through the Old Moorish Alfama, visit nearby castles and palaces and shop.
On July 20 pilgrims will tour the city of Lisbon, during which they will visit the birthplace of St. Anthony of Padua, the patron saint of Portugal, as well as Lisbon Cathedral, Black Horse Square and Jeronimos Monastery. The tour will then proceed north with a stop in Santarem for Mass at the Church of St. Stephen which is famous for its venerated relic, the Bleeding Host. The day will conclude at the village of Fatima.
The following day will be spent at Fatima where the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to three children six times between May 13 and Oct. 13, 1917. On Oct. 13 the Blessed Mother revealed that she was Our Lady of the Rosary. She requested daily recitation of the rosary, acts of penance, increased devotion to her Immaculate Heart, prayers for peace and the conversion of Russia and asked that a church be built in her honor. As she promised, on Oct. 13, the miracle of the spinning sun was seen by 50,000 people. In 1930 Pope Pius XI authorized devotion to Our Lady of Fatima.
Archbishop Donoghue will celebrate Mass at the Chapel of the Apparitions. Archdiocesan pilgrims will have the opportunity to visit the village of Fatima, the graves of two of the visionaries and participate in the Stations of the Cross along the Via Sacre, the site of the first apparition.
On July 22 participants will leave Fatima by bus and drive through the countryside to Burgos, Spain, a medieval city with a perfectly conserved old town center. The national hero of Spain, El Cid, was born here.
The following day pilgrims will tour Burgos before departing for France and the most prestigious Marian shrine at Lourdes, where in 1858 the Blessed Mother appeared to Bernadette Soubirous in the cave of Massabielle along the River Gave. In the final vision Our Lady identified herself with the words, I am the Immaculate Conception. She instructed Bernadette to drink from a spring under the rock of Massabielle. At first, Bernadettes efforts yielded nothing more than muddy water, but later that day a spring began to flow from that spot down in the River Gave.
The visions, the unaccountable spring and the reports of miraculous healings began to attract many pilgrims. Lourdes was officially approved as a place for pilgrimages in 1862. From the beginning Lourdes has been the site of many reported miracles, so a medical bureau and a hospital have been established to study and authenticate them. A great basilica was dedicated in 1901. The local feast of the apparitions, Feb. 11, was extended to the universal church by Pope St. Pius X in 1907.
On July 24 Archbishop Donoghue will celebrate Mass at the Grotto of Massabielle and pilgrims will have the opportunity to see the Basilica of St. Pius X, the house where Bernadette lived during the apparitions and several of the sites where cures have taken place.
The following day pilgrims will travel by train to Lyons and then board a motor coach to Paray-le-Monial where Jesus appeared to St. Margaret Mary, a Visitation sister, to promote devotions through His most Sacred Heart.
Participants will then travel to Nevers, a town in the Burgundy region of France. It was here St. Bernadette spent her life as a nun following her visions of the Virgin Mary at Lourdes.
On July 26 participants will have the opportunity to visit the convent of St. Gildard where St. Bernadettes incorrupt body may be viewed. The totally intact body of St. Bernadette has lain in the chapel of the motherhouse of the Sisters of Charity since shortly after her beatification in 1925.
Pilgrims will then travel by motor coach through the French countryside to Paris by way of the picturesque Loire Valley.
The following day participants will travel from Paris to the home of St. Therese of the Child Jesus in Lisieux. St. Therese, also known as the Little Flower, was a Carmelite nun whose exemplary life was made famous by her diary, The Story of A Soul. Pilgrims will also visit Les Busiani Notes, the dwelling of the saint before she entered the Carmel Convent at age 15, the Basilica of St. Therese, her crypt and the Cathedral of St. Peter.
On July 28 pilgrims will enjoy a final day of sight-seeing in Paris, including visits to Notre Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower, the Paris Opera House, the Arc de Triomphe and the Montmartre with its Basilica of Sacre-Coeur. The evening will include a farewell banquet hosted by Archbishop John F. Donoghue.
The following day pilgrims will board the plane for their return trip to Atlanta.
The pilgrimage cost of $3,610 includes round-trip airfare from Atlanta, airport departure taxes, accommodations for 10 nights in the best available or superior first class/deluxe hotels, all hotel taxes and service charges, buffet breakfast and dinner daily, sightseeing, professional tour escort, all transfers and baggage handling, land travel by deluxe motor coach and all entrance fees.
Mass will be celebrated daily except on the first and last day of the pilgrimage. For a single room a $675 supplement is necessary. A $300 deposit is required to hold a place with final payment due 60 days prior to departure.
For further information and a brochure call Tom Aisthorpe at (404) 885-7213 or Georges International Tours at (800) 566-7499.