Fr. Francis Gustilo, SDB
April 30, 2020
Turkey, Portugal, Spain and France
Venerated in many ways over time, the Blessed Mother is a constant presence for those of us in the Catholic faith. Visit the miraculous sites of her famous apparitions, remarkable churches built for her, as well as the homeland of some of the Saints in this prayerful journey. Join a 16-day Pilgrimage to the Marian Shrines of Turkey, Portugal, Spain and France with Fr. Francis Gustilo, SDB leaving on April 30, 2020.
Begin your pilgrimage in Meryamana, Kusadasi, Turkey to visit and celebrate Mass at the House of the Virgin Mary. The House of the Virgin Mary is believed to be the place where Our Blessed Mother spent her last years with St. John, to whom Jesus entrusted her to his care. Visit famous archaeological sites of Ephesus including the Temple of Artemis, considered as one of the 7 Wonders of Antiquity, the Library of Celsus, the Amphitheatre and others.
Head for the beautiful city of Istanbul in Turkey. Offering a wealth of historical and religious places to visit, Istanbul provides us with a glimpse of Turkey’s proud heritage. Visit the enchanting Sultan Ahmed Mosque, more commonly known as the Blue Mosque for the blue tiles adorning the walls of its interior. Not to be missed is the visit to Hagia Sophia, a great architectural beauty and an important monument both for Byzantine and for Ottoman Empires.
Leave Turkey for Portugal where you will celebrate Mass at the Church of St. Anthony de Padua in Lisbon. Proceed to Fatima, one of the most important Marian shrines in the world. The fame of this place is the result of the apparitions of Our Lady of the Rosary to three shepherd children – Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta. Not to be missed is the evening Rosary and Candlelight procession.
Leave Portugal for Spain and head for medieval city of Avila, the birthplace of St. Teresa, one of the great mystics of the Roman Catholic Church. The Convent of St. Teresa is a 17th century convent built over the house where St. Teresa was born. It contains her relics, along with her friend St. John of the Cross, in a small museum. Travel onwards to Zaragoza, famed for the grandiose Basilica -Cathedral of Our Lady of the Pillar, where Mass will be celebrated.
Next stop is Montserrat. The Basilica, next to the monastery, is home to the revered La Moreneta, or Black Virgin. St. Ignatius of Loyola, made a pilgrimage to Montserrat after he decided to follow Christ, and it was soon after that he wrote his famous Spiritual Exercises. Here, you will have the chance to offer your petitions before the miraculous image of Our Lady of Montserrat. Depart for Barcelona, to visit the city’s most important sights.
Leave Spain for France and head for the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes. Lying in the foothills of the Pyrenees, the sanctuary is the site of an apparition of the Blessed Mother seen by the peasant girl, Bernadette Soubirous, who was later canonized.
Cap off your pilgrimage in Paris, where you will visit and celebrate Mass at the Chapel of Our Lady of the Mirculous Medal in Rue de Bac. Here, our Blessed Mother appeared to St. Catherine Laboure and instructed her to have a medal made , and all who wear it will receive great graces.
See Jesus through the eyes of Mary. Join a 16-day Pilgrimage to the Marian Shrines of Turkey, Portugal, Spain and France with Fr. Francis Gustilo, SDB leaving on April 30, 2020. May this pilgrimage reaffirm your faith that the Blessed Mother is a true mother, who constantly watches over us, her children.
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 CabusoraLeclec 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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