Pilgrimage Overview:

  • Led By:

    Fr. Laurence Freeman OSB

  • Departure Date:

    September 26, 2024

  • Countries:



  • Roundtrip airport transfers as specifically scheduled
  • Hotel accommodation on twin sharing
  • Meals as specified in the itinerary (B – Breakfast / D – Dinner)
  • Transportation by deluxe air-conditioned motor coach
  • Guided tours with entrances as specified in the itinerary
  • Services of a Tour Leader all throughout the pilgrimage
  • Tip Fund (for guides, coach drivers, restaurants, etc.)
  • Porterage of one (1) piece of luggage at hotels (subject to availability)

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Vision of Beauty: Healing the Soul of the World

This year’s Pilgrimage expresses the WCCM theme, the essential goodness and beauty of the world: “And God saw that it was very good.” All pilgrimage involves moving from place to place with the enjoyment of good company. But the true destination is spiritual, not physical, which means the whole person in harmony with others and their surroundings. Our goal is the “vision of beauty”.

Beauty heals us personally, so we can heal the world. This pilgrimage has to have a significant financial cost, but I believe that if each of us truly sees beauty in new ways, we will be better healers of the world. We will be in beautiful places and contemplate beautiful art, not as tourists rushing from one thing to another, but as contemplatives, taking time to be truly present to the divine gift of beauty as part of God’s own being.

Each day will give priority to prayer, finding the beauty within, sharing our response to the gift of enrichment and peace. I look forward to being in this time of beauty and healing with you for the sake of the world.

 ~ Fr. Laurence Freeman OSB

Note: The spiritual frame of each day will be morning prayer and meditation, contemplative Eucharist and meditation, and evening prayer and meditation

I T I N E R A R Y :

26SEP (Thu). MILAN.

Arrive in Milan Airport.  After immigration and customs formalities, board your coach and check in at your hotel for accommodation.


> Standard hotel check in time is 2:00 p.m.

> A coach will be arranged for the transfer of pilgrims to the hotel. Departure from Milan Malpensa Airport will be at 2:00pm.

> Those who are arriving earlier or later in the afternoon may take a taxi to the hotel or we can arrange for a private transfer.

27SEP (Fri).  MILAN – COMO – VERONA.                       

Check out of the hotel after breakfast.  We visit the great Cathedral of Milan, the 5th largest Christian church in the world.  There are many visible styles of spiritual and devotional beauty which we will have described to us. A famous example of this diversity is one of the nails of the Crucifixion.  Depart for Como.  On arrival, we go to the Old Town for some free time.  After lunch, we meet with a guide for a walking tour of Como’s historical centre including the Duomo and the Romanesque S. Abbondio Church.  We leave for Tremezzo for a peaceful ride on the beautiful Lake Como after which we leave for Verona with time to pray, have dinner and for sharing together.


A full day’s tour of Verona and Lake Garda beginning with a visit to the Cathedral complex.  The Cathedral, which is dedicated to Sta. Maria Assunta, is the central structure of a complex of architectural buildings which include S. Giovanni in Fonte, S. Elena, the Canons’ cloister, the Capitular library, the square in front of the church and the bishop’s residence.  Next, visit the Giardino Giusti Renaissance Italian Garden and a part of the palace called the 20th-century Apartment.  There is a labyrinth which we walk together. Then, we go to one of the villages along the shore of Lake Garda for a leisurely lunch.  Return to Verona and continue the tour.  We visit the Casa di Giulietta, believed to be the inspiration for Juliet’s famous balcony scene.  Here, we will reflect on the beauty of language as well as of place. On to Piazza Bra, renowned for its first century Roman Arena, Verona’s spectacular open air Opera House (a 1st c. AD Roman Arena).  Dinner at a local restaurant before returning to the hotel.


A full day trip to Venice, one of the world’s greatest sources of artistic inspiration, renowned for the unique quality of its light. After a boat ride, we begin a tour starting at the Piazza San Marco, the famous marble square at the heart of Venice. We visit the Doge’s Palace; Bridge of Sighs, and the magnificent Basilica of St. Mark with the mixtures of Byzantine, Romanesque, Gothic styles which reflect the history of Venice. The Basilica was built to honor the body of St. Mark brought from Alexandria in Egypt.  In the late afternoon, we take the boat back to the mainland and return to the hotel for meditation and dinner.


Depart for Lendinara to visit the Sanctuary of Nostra Signora del Pilastrello (Our Lady of the Pilaster). Built in the 16th century, it is Fr Laurence’s official monastery in the Olivetan Benedictine congregation. There, we will spend time with the great works of art and also meet with the abbot who will speak about the spiritual value of art. Its miraculous spring has long been a pilgrimage destination. We continue to Ravenna and after lunch, explore this magical city of art and history, famous for its mosaics dating from the 5th century.  Visit the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia where we will contemplate the ancient mosaic of the two birds on a chalice which is the inspiration for the symbol of the WCCM.  A few steps away is the Basilica of San Vitale, one of the most important monuments of early Christian art in Italy and in the world. Walk at leisure through the historical centre of Ravenna stopping at the tomb of Dante where we will reflect on the timeless beauty of his Divine Comedy.  On to visit the Neonian Baptistery, and see its rich, astonishing mosaics dating back to the 5th century. Nearby is the Archiepiscopal Chapel or St. Andrew Chapel located on the first floor of the Archiepiscopal Museum of Ravenna, the smallest of the famous mosaic sites of the city.  The sacellum is the only example of an early Christian archbishop’s chapel and the only building of Orthodox worship built during Theodorician Arianism.  It’s most notable for the striking mosaics that were created at the time of its construction. Then to Arezzo for evening prayer, dinner and the first of our four nights in this beautiful city of Tuscany.


We begin with a full, peaceful day visiting beauties of Fiesole and Florence. In Fiesole, the hillside village above Florence, we visit the Roman ruins, the museum, and the 11th c. Romanesque Cathedral of St. Romulo. Before lunch, we visit the especially beautiful and peaceful Franciscan convent for midday prayer. After lunch, we leave for Florence. Our first stop is the church of San Miniato Al Monte, also an Olivetan Benedictine monastery and one of the great religious spaces of the world. It stands above the Piazzale Michelangelo, the highest point of Florence and one of the world’s greatest views. We have a guided walk through the city of Florence which includes the Basilica di Santa Croce; Museum of Dante’s House; the small Church of Dante and Beatrice (the real name of this holy place is “Chiesa di Santa Margherita de’ Cerchi”); and the Florence Cathedral and Baptistry with its famous bell tower. We return to Arezzo for meditation, dinner and a quiet evening.


We visit the beautiful 11th c. town of Sansepolcro, birthplace of Piero della Francesca (a pupil of Raphael), one of the luminary artists of the Renaissance. In the museum we will spend time in contemplation of the powerful painting of the Resurrection which is one of the great works of Christian art. We also visit the polyptych of the Madonna della Misericordia; the fresco of St. Julian; and the fresco depicting St. Ludovico. The museum collection in this small town is one of the great treasures of Italian art. After midday meditation and lunch, we return to Arezzo to visit this beautiful historic city with its 1000-year-old Parish Church; Gothic Cathedral; its medieval Dominican and Franciscan churches (the former houses a crucifix painted by the young Cimabue and the astounding frescoes by Piero della Francesca). Evening prayer, dinner and quiet time in Arezzo.


A full day visit to Assisi, one of the most sacred places in the world, birthplace of St Francis, the patron of the environmental movement. Here, we will reflect on the link between contemplation and the change of consciousness needed to save our planet. We visit the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli with the Porzuincula; Church of St. Clare; Church of Santa Maria Maggiore with the tomb of Blessed Carlo Acutis, the inspiring 15-year-old example of contemporary Christian holiness; Chiesa Nuovo, home of St. Francis’ family; and the Old Town. End your tour with a visit to the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi (Lower and Upper Church) and see the famous frescos of Giotto. Return to Arezzo.


In the morning, we leave for Monte Oliveto Maggiore, the 14th century mother house of the Olivetan congregation. It was founded by S. Bernardo Tolomei who began his solitary life here and was soon joined by others when they adopted the Rule of Benedict as their guide. We will be shown the amazing frescos of the life of St Benedict by one of the monks and join the community for mass. After lunch, those who are not staying on for the WCCM Intensive Silent Retreat beginning on 6 October will transfer to Rome for their departure flights or the additional 3-night visit to Rome the cost of which is available upon request.

Laurence Freeman, OSB, is a Benedictine monk and the spiritual successor of John Main, OSB. He is the Director of The World Community for Christian Meditation. Author, retreat leader, and international speaker, Fr. Laurence sees the contemplative as the essential dimension of all spirituality. Join a 9-day Contemplative Pilgrimage to Italy, “the Vision of Beauty” led by Fr. Laurence Freeman on September 26-October 4, 2024.

You are here to kneel / Where prayer has been valid. And prayer is more / Than an order of words, the conscious occupation / Of the praying mind.. Here, the intersection of the timeless moment.. Never and always. (TS Eliot, Little Gidding)

These are places where we go as pilgrims, not tourists, to be rather than to choose to spend our free time as holy days, not just holidays.


Things We Love

  • Milan Cathedral is one of the largest cathedrals in the world and the largest in Italy.
  • The museum collection in the small town of Sansepolcro is one of the great treasures of Italian art.
  • Venice and its lagoon are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. UNESCO has described “the whole city is an extraordinary architectural masterpiece in which even the smallest building contains works by some of the world’s greatest artists!”
  • Explore Assisi by foot, the best way to admire the picturesque panoramic views of the city, absorb its serene atmosphere, and meet the wonderful people that live there.
  • Marvel at the amazing frescoes of the life of St. Benedict at the Monte Oiveto Maggiore.

Things To Do

  • DANTE.

    Stop at the tomb of Dante, located in the historical center of Ravenna, and reflect on the timeless beauty of his Divine Comedy.


    Join the monks in their midday prayer at the Franciscan convent in Fiesole.

  • VISIT.

    In Assisi, visit the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, with the tomb of Blessed Carlo Acutis, the inspiring 15-year old example of contemporary Christian holiness.

  • ROME.

    You may opt to take an additional 3-night extension to Rome after the pilgrimage.

Click below to receive the full price and itinerary

Why are our Pilgrimages different?

Spiritually-focused journeys
Insightful pilgrimage chaplains
Quality accommodations
Expertly-crafted itineraries
Friendly and bonded groups
Senior citizen friendly


The whole pilgrimage is a new and fulfilling moment in my life. It’s a nice feeling being with the Lord in His important day. And also, gaining new friends and becoming my new extended family is something I will treasure. I hope that this is just the beginning and we’ll continue to get in touch with one another despite the distance.


Hello Co-Pilgrims,

It was indeed a wonderful Pilgrimage: very rich in history, a thanksgiving of blessings, a spiritual renewal and nourishment, and finally ending in a test of Faith.

Thank you so much Pilgrim Leader, Ging Igual, for standing beside us up to the last stretch of our 13-day journey - more particularly in the handling of an unexpected situation (cancelled flight in Mexico and re-direction of flights to make sure the 38 Pilgrims reach LA for their respective flight bookings). Ging, you were an angel to us so blessed with energy, passion, love and Milagrosa. We really felt the presence of Our Lady of Guadalupe fielding angels every step of the way.

The Pilgrimage to California Mission Churches and Our Lady of Guadalupe gives me personal inspiration for the work and activities of the next chapter of my lifetime: farming with promotion of agriculture for millennials (inspired by the scenic view of farms in California), tourism (which is a major industry in all places we visited), and support for a favourite major seminary in Tagaytay and a scholarship fund for deserving individuals (thru a non stock non profit institution).

Thank you to my Co-Pilgrims and prayer partners for the prayer support, sharing of life experiences and friendships;  Fr. Tony, thank you for your spiritual reflections and service;  Fr. Jerry Orbos for an overflowing spiritual reflections and enabling us to have the needed personal encounter with Jesus and Mama Mary (it was like a 12-day Holy Retreat); and the Executive Resources for making a very nice pilgrimage package a part of our lifetime.

Ms. Emma

Lord, we cannot find words enough to say how grateful we are to You. Our pilgrimage made us realize that Your love for us is more than what we deserve.

To all our co-pilgrims, thank you for making us feel we belong to this new family. To Fr. Dante, thanks for your prayers and pieces of advice for our spiritual nourishment. To Sis Lea, for taking care of each one of us. To Sis Joy, thanks for the contagious joys and laughters.

To our prayer partners, Sis Maribel, Melvy and Didick and Bro Mon and Sis Jot, thank you for your prayers. We will pray for you, too!

To The Pilgrim’s Center - Executive Resources, thank you for accommodating us in this Eastern Europe Pilgrimage.

God bless us all always!

Albert and Adee

Dear Pilgrims' Center:

My husband Aldo & I would like to praise & commend our Pilgrim Chaplain Fr. Dante Venus & our Tour Leader Bro. Monty for the very successful & memorable pilgrimage to Italy & the Holy Land we were very fortunate to join on March 26-April 8, 2018.

It was very hectic to be sure, but still they managed our time very well that we were able to visit more places than was promised in the itinerary, and we are very appreciative of that. Likewise, the solemnity of the whole pilgrimage experience was still observed despite many of us in the group, myself included, often forgetting that we were pilgrims & not tourists 😉😉, taking photos, selfies, etc. instead of, or before focusing on what the local guide was explaining or on the scripture readings. I cannot fault us pilgrims on this because for many of us seniors, and I speak for my husband & I, that trip might be our first & last time to visit those places, so we made sure they were properly documented. Nonetheless, it was a truly spiritually uplifting & life-changing experience for us. We continue to thank our Lord for making that experience of a lifetime possible. Indeed, nothing is impossible for God! Thank you very much to Fr. Dante, Bro. Monty & to each of us pilgrims in the group for the prayers, love, care & concern shown to each other. Let us continue to pray for and with each other. It is my hope that we meet each other again soon, to strengthen our bonds of friendships.

Most sincerely, Leclec Cabusora

Leclec Cabusora

My husband and I just came back from a wonderful trip to Israel - with Franciscan Fr Reu Galoy. Thank you Pilgrim Center for the arrangements. We are so happy and satisfied with all that you have done for us. Kudos to Yanyan and Monty from Pilgrim Center, and Fr Reu and Ronin for your caring services. It was a spiritual journey and we felt the abiding presence of the Lord all throughout.

Ann Arguelles Cortes

Our pilgrimage was worth all the hardships (I was having leg pains). We had an excellent leader in the person of Adrian, two priests Fathers Val and Ron, who gave us very nice pieces of advice and homilies, and of course the members of the group who were all very nice. Looking forward to join another pilgrimage.

Emily Bautista

It was the most profound experience I had in my whole life....Walking with the Footsteps where Jesus walked made my life more grateful and humble....My faith become stronger as I express it...A growing faith is a sharing faith....TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!! SHALOM!

Carmen Nierra

Vir & I would like to express our gratitude for a wonderful pilgrimage we had from Sept 5-18. From checking-in last Sept 5 & all during the tour, we felt the care from a family. No words can ever describe how thankful we are.

I almost cried last Sept 8, (my birthday) when we (2 of us have the same birthday) were given a surprise mini celebration when after our dinner, we were given a cake. I really felt the love of a family then.

All these things made possible because of your capable coordinator Ms. Ging Igual. She's such a wonderful leader. Kudos to her.

Rest assured that i will refer your company to all my friends who are planning to go on pilgrimage .

Good day & may God always guide & protect all of you in the Pilgrims' Center/ Executive Resources, Inc.

Cora and Vir Franca

I am honored to be included in this pilgrimage. The Pilgrims' Center has very good itineraries worth remembering. No hours wasted. They took very good care of us in spite of our big number of 47 people. The daily mass and homilies of Fr. Manny Cruz held in different shrines and churches were very inspirational and transforming. Accommodations were nice most especially the one on top of the Mountain with an awesome view built in 1909. It's like travelling back in time. I definitely would want to do it again with Pilgrim Center.

Peter Joseph Mapua

The Pilgrims' Center always gives you the best. They let you feel like an Executive in terms of personal service & attention especially during pilgrimage. Their choices of pilgrimages and pilgrim chaplains are outstanding. You go back home very fulfilled and immersed...

Marlene Silvestre

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Simply press the I'm Interested button in any pilgrimage page and complete the form to receive the complete details including price, itinerary and inclusions in your email. You can also contact us at support@pilgrimage.ph or 5238581.
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Visa Requirements

  • Passport with six (6) months validity from date of departure
  • Visa Application Forms
  • Two (2) pcs. passport-size pictures
  • Original and Photocopy of Latest Income Tax Return
  • Original Bank Certificate (both Pesos and/or U.S.Dollars) for each embassy
  • Original and Photocopy of Business Registration (if in business)
  • Original Employment Certificate (if employed)
  • Photocopy of International Credit Cards (if available)
  • Travel Insurance with minimum coverage of Php2.5 Million (valid for 30 days)
  • Affidavit of Support and Consent (signed and notarized by sponsor if financially incapable)
  • If married, copy of Authenticated Marriage Contract
  • Copy of hotel voucher (to be supplied by ERI)
  • Personal appearance by the applicant
  • Processing Time: 15 – 30 days
  • VISA FEE: Php 9,500.00 (Subject to change without prior notice).

Booking Conditions

1)US$ 1,000.00 deposit is required upon reservations together with a recent passport-size photo, a signed photocopy of passport (valid for 6 months from date of departure) and Pilgrim’s Profile. Deposits and full payment may be remitted via bank transfer to:
Address: BDO – Roxas Blvd – Coast Residences Branch Roxas Blvd. corner Dapitan St., Brgy. 7 Pasay City, Manila, Philippines
Savings Account No.: 10447-006129-0
Swift Code: BNORPHMM

Note: Please arrange with your bank to remit in full and email us a copy of the bank transaction.

2) Full payment in U.S. dollars is required before ticketing but in no case shall it be later than 60 days before departure date.

3) All cancellations must be done in writing. The following charges will apply:
> 90 days before departure date – US$1,000.00 deposit is forfeited.
> 60 days before departure date – 50% of the Tour Cost
> 45 days prior to departure date – Full tour cost will be forfeited.

Terms and Conditions

BASIC TOUR COST DOES NOT INCLUDE: Airport taxes, visa fees and documentation expenses, insurance, hospitalization and other medical expenses, tours and transportation during free periods, porterage of extra pieces of luggage in excess of maximum allocation, drinks and beverages taken during meals, items of personal nature such as laundry, telephone, fax, room service, tips for drivers, guides, tour escorts, and other expenses not mentioned in the itinerary terms and conditions.

THE PILGRIMS’ CENTER BY XECUTIVE RESOURCES, INC. has arranged for the various tour services to be performed under the responsibility of various contractors. Executive Resources, Inc., its employees or its sub-agents therefore only act as agents for the contractors providing the various services described in the tour and accept no responsibility or liability in connection with losses or accidental expenses due to delays of schedule, overbooking, defaults or “force majeure.” All tours and arrangements are subject to the general conditions specified by each contractor. Tour itineraries and prices are subject to change without prior notice. When making a tour booking, the passenger acknowledges and accepts the foregoing conditions. When making a tour booking, the passenger acknowledges and accepts the foregoing conditions.


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