Fr. Luis Atanacio
September 17, 2018
Portugal, Spain, France and Italy
Lisbon is the capital city of Portugal.
It is a port city, an economic center, a cultural powerhouse and a thriving mix of Portugal’s rich history and vivid contemporary culture.
Lisbon is the political center of the country, as seat of Government and residence of the Head of State.
Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in the world, and the oldest city in Western Europe, predating other modern European capitals such as London, Paris and Rome by hundreds of years. Lisbon has two sites listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site: Belem Tower and Jeronimos Monastery.
Not far from the Catholic shrine of Fatima and 45 miles north of Lisbon is Santarem, home of a number of notable churches.
One of them, the Church of the Holy Miracle is home to a 13th century Eucharistic miracle. After an investigation, the Catholic Church approved the recognition of the miracle. The Church of St. Stephen was renamed the Church of the Holy Miracle, and it is one of Portugal’s most visited sites. St. Francis Xavier visited the Church of the Holy Miracle before setting off for missionary work in India.
Fatima is one of the most important catholic shrines in the world dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
It is a town located 142 km (88 miles) north of Lisbon. Fatima’s Sanctuary welcomes millions of pilgrims and tourists from all over the world. Fatima’s fame is due to the apparitions of Our Lady of the Rosary that appeared to three shepherd children; Lucia dos Santos and her two younger cousins, Francisco and Jacinta. Between May and October of 1917, the three children witnessed several apparitions. The last one, on October 13th, was confirmed by a miracle witnessed by 60,000 people known in the Catholic world as “the day the sun danced”.
Our Lady of Fatima is the title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary by those who believe that she appeared to three shepherd children at Fatima, Portugal on the 13th day of six consecutive months in 1917, starting on 13 May, the Fatima holiday. The title of Our Lady of the Rosary is also used in reference to the same apparition; the children related that the apparition specifically identified herself as “the Lady of the Rosary.” It is also common to see a combination of these titles, i.e., Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima (Portuguese: ”Nossa Senhora do Rosario de Fatima”).
Salamanca is probably best known for having the oldest university in Spain and one of the oldest in Europe.
This university is still what gives ambiance to the town. You can see hundreds of students passing through the streets and enjoying numerous and beautifully decorated bars until late at night.
This charming town is untouched in its architectural purity. In central areas all recent buildings are constructed in Salamanca’s best tradition. The city has been declared “World Heritage Site” by UNESCO.
Burgos is a city in northern Spain and the historic capital of Castile.
Castilian nobleman, military leader, and diplomat El Cid Campeador is a significant historical figure in the city, as he was born a couple of miles north of Burgos and was raised and educated here.
The city forms the principal crossroad of northern Spain along the Camino de Santiago, which runs parallel to the River Arlanzon.
Burgos has been selected as the Spanish Gastronomy Capital of 2013.
The Sanctuary of Loyola or Shrine and Basilica of Loyola stands along the river Urola in the municipality of Azpeitia, Basque Country, Spain.
It consists of a series of edifices built in Churrigueresque Baroque style around the birthplace of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus.
Ignatius of Loyola, whose real name was Iñigo López de Loyola, was the son of the Lord of Loyola, Beltrán Ibáñez de Oñaz and Marina Sánchez de Licona, member of an important Biscayan family. He was born in 1491 in his family house in Loyola.
After he died, his birthplace became a place of veneration. In the seventeenth century the house where he was born was given to the Society of Jesus. The Order built there, near the birthplace of its founder, the Sanctuary of Loyola.
Lourdes is a small town in the Hautes-Pyrenees departement in southwest France . It is the largest Catholic pilgrimage destination in France and one of the most popular Catholic shrines in the world.
On February 11, 1858, the Blessed Virgin Mary revealed herself to a poor shepherd girl, Bernadette Soubirous. Eighteen such apparitions were reported.
The most sacred site of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes is the Grotto of Massabielle, also known as the Miraculous Cave or the Cave of Apparitions. The Grotto of Massabielle is the site of St. Bernadette’s vision of the Virgin Mary where she revealed herself as the Immaculate Concepcion. The Virgin Mary is said to have pointed out a previously undiscovered spring in the grotto and instructed St. Bernadette to “Go and drink at the spring and wash there.” The spring water from the grotto is believed to possess healing properties and to date, sixty seven cures have been officially recognized as miraculous by the Roman Catholic Church.
Zaragoza is a warm and inviting city strategically located between Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao, Valencia and Toulouse. It’s the fifth biggest city in Spain.
Zaragoza is linked by legend to the beginnings of Christianity in Spain. According to legend, the Virgin Mary appeared miraculously to Saint James the Great in the first century, standing on a pillar. This legend is commemorated by a famous Catholic basilica called Nuestra Senora del Pilar (“Our Lady of the Pillar”).The event, called “Las Fiestas del Pilar”, is celebrated on October 12, which is a major festival day in Zaragoza. Since it coincided in 1492 with the discovery of the Americas by Christopher Columbus, that day is also celebrated as El Día de la Hispanidad (Columbus Day) , literally (Hispanic Day) by Spanish-speaking people worldwide.
Montserrat is a mountain top monastery in Catalonia, Spain. Situated atop an unusual rock mountain, it is very popular among Catalans, and Catholic pilgrims come from far and wide to see the Black Madonna.
The monastery is Catalonia’s most important religious retreat and groups of young people from Barcelona and all over Catalonia make overnight hikes at least once in their lives to watch the sunrise from the heights of Montserrat.
At 1236 meters (4055 ft) above the valley floor, Montserrat is the highest point of the Catalan lowlands, and stands central to the most populated part of Catalonia. The stone monolith is ideally located to play an important role in the cultural and spiritual life of Catalonia.
Barcelona is the capital and largest city of Catalonia and Spain’s second largest city.
This city, located directly on the northeastern Mediterranean coast of Spain, has a rich history, having been under Roman, then Frank law before declaring its independence. In 1992, Barcelona gained international recognition by hosting the Olympic games which brought a massive upturn in its tourism industry.
This beautiful city is full of what European cities are known for (outdoor markets, restaurants, shops, museums and churches) and is fantastic for walking with an extensive and reliable Metro system for more far-flung destinations. The core centre of town, focused around the Ciutat Vella (“Old City”) provides days of enjoyment for those looking to experience the life of Barcelona while the beaches the city was built upon providing sun and relaxation during the long periods of agreeable warm weather.
Rome, the Eternal City, is the capital and largest city of Italy. It is the famed city of the Roman Empire, the Seven Hills, La Dolce Vita (the sweet life), the Vatican City and Three Coins in the Fountain.
Rome, as a millennium-long center of power, culture and religion, has exerted a huge influence over the world in its roughly 2,800 years of existence. The historic center of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Rome has an immensely rich historical heritage and cosmopolitan atmosphere, making it one of Europe’s and the world’s most visited, famous, influential and beautiful capitals. Today, Rome has a growing nightlife scene and is also seen as a shopping heaven, being regarded as one of the fashion capitals of the world. With so many sights and things to do, Rome can truly be classified a “global city.”
The Vatican City is a walled enclave within the city of Rome. It is the temporal seat of the Pope, the head of the worldwide Catholic Church. It is also the world’s smallest state.
San Giovanni Rotondo was the home of St. Pio of Pietrelcina from July 28, 1916 until his death on September 23, 1968. It is a city in the province of Foggia, Puglia region in southern Italy.
San Giovanni Rotondo centers on the tomb of St. Padre Pio, a Capuchin friar, priest and mystic known for his devotion to God, care for the sick and supernatural gifts. He was declared a saint in 2002.
The Shrine of Padre Pio in San Giovanni Rotondo receives 7 million pilgrims each year. The large and ultramodern Padre Pio Pilgrimage Church was built in devotion to the saint and to accommodate the increasing throngs of pilgrims that visit the place.
The city is renowned for its hospital and medical research center Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza (Home for the Relief of the Suffering) founded by St. Pio of Pietrelcina and is considered one of the most efficient hospitals in Europe.
The Miracle of Lanciano is officially recognized by the Catholic Church as a Eucharistic miracle.
In the city of Lanciano, Italy, around 700, a Basilian monk was assigned to celebrate Mass in the small church of St. Legontian. Celebrating in the Latin Rite and using unleavened bread, the monk had doubts about the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.
During the Mass, when he said the Words of Consecration (“This is my body. This is my blood”), with doubt in his soul, the priest is said to have seen the bread change into living flesh and the wine change into live blood, which coagulated into five globules, irregular and differing in shape and size (the number supposedly corresponds to the number of wounds Christ suffered on the cross: one in each hand and foot from the nails, and the wound from the centurion’s spear).
The elements can still be seen today. The flesh, which is the same size as the large host used in the Latin Church, is fibrous and light brown in color and becomes rose-colored when lighted from the back. The blood consists of five coagulated globules and has an earthly color resembling the yellow of ochre.
Over the last 12 centuries, different Bishops of the diocese of Lanciano made authentifications of the holy relics. All testified that these facts were miraculous and true.
This Pilgrimage is Fully Booked. We invite you to see our other departures.
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 14-day Pilgrimage to the Marian Shrines of Portugal, Spain, France and Italy with Fr. Luisito Atanacio leaving on September 17, 2018.
Your pilgrimage begins with a visit to the Church of the Holy Miracle in Santarem, Portugal, home to the 13th century Eucharistic Miracle of Santarem. See the host turned into flesh enshrined on a crystal pyx in a silver monstrance atop the tabernacle.
Next stop is Fatima in Portugal where you will spend two nights at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima, one of the most famous Marian shrines in the world. The fame of this place is the result of the apparitions of Our Lady to three shepherd children – Lucia, and her cousins Francisco and Jacinta – between May and October 1917.
Continue your journey to the ancient university town of Salamanca in Spain. Salamanca is best known for having the oldest university in Spain and one of the oldest in Europe. This charming town is untouched in its architectural purity and is included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. Spend the night in Burgos, the historic capital of the Castille-Leon region. Proceed to Loyola, the birthplace of St. Ignatius, founder of the Jesuits. Celebrate Mass at the Chapel of Conversion where St. Ignatius was converted while convalescing after an injury in battle.
Onwards to Lourdes in France, one of the most beloved Marian Shrines in the world. Spend time in prayer and quiet reflection at the Grotto of Massabielle, where the Blessed Virgin appeared 18 times to St. Bernadette Soubirous in 1858 and revealed herself as the Immaculate Conception. Make sure to find time to bathe in the Baths where numerous healings were reported and confirmed by the Catholic Church.
Celebrate Mass in Zaragoza, famed for the grandiose Basilica-Cathedral of Our Lady of the Pillar. Next stop is Montserrat, where a magnificent monastery stands at the center of the beautiful Montserrat mountain range. Offer your petitions before the miraculous image of Our Lady of Montserrat. Depart for Barcelona, to see the city’s cosmopolitan sights.
Leave Spain for Italy for your 2-night stay in Rome, the heart and home of the Catholic Church. Pass an eye over the unique collection of artistic and architectural masterpieces of the Vatican. Visit the awe inspiring St. Peter’s Basilica, erected over the tomb of St. Peter the Apostle, and is considered the largest religious building in the world. See the Pieta, a Renaissance sculpture by Michelangelo, which depicts the body of Jesus on the lap of his mother, Mary, after the Crucifixion.
En route to San Giovanni Rotondo, visit Lanciano where a Eucharistic Miracle took place during the 8th century. Get closer to St. Padre Pio on your visit to San Giovanni Rotondo where he spent most of his life. Visit the Basilica of Our Lady of Grace (Santa Maria delle Grazie) where Padre Pio used to say Mass and hear confessions. See also his cell, his confessional, and the crucifix from which he received his stigmata.
Join a Pilgrimage to the Marian Shrines of Portugal, Spain, France and Italy with Fr. Luisito Atanacio leaving on September 17, 2018. Let this experience help deepen your faith and love for Jesus, the Blessed Mother and the Saints.
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 Franca PilgrimCora and Vir Franca
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
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
with Fr. Manny CruzREAD MORE +
1) A non-refundable US$ 500.00 deposit is required upon reservations together with a photocopy of a passport (valid for 6 months from date of departure) and Pilgrim’s Profile plus the visa fee.
2) Full payment in U.S. dollars is required before ticketing but in no case shall it be later than thirty (30) days before departure date.
3) The following cancellation charges will apply:
> 45 days before departure date – US$ 500.00
> 30 days before departure date – 50% of the Tour Cost
> 20 days prior to departure date – Full tour cost will be forfeited.
BASIC TOUR COST DOES NOT INCLUDE: 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, and other expenses not mentioned in the itinerary terms and conditions.
THE PILGRIMS’ CENTER – EXECUTIVE 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 subagents 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