Fr. Melvin Castro
November 15, 2017
Portugal, France, Spain
Our Lady of Fatima appeared to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal. She revealed herself as Our Lady of the Rosary, and Mary asked the children to pray the rosary for world peace, for sinners and for the conversion of Russia.
On the 13th of each month from May to October 1917, the Blessed Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to three shepherd children – Lucia dos Santos (age 10) and her cousins Jacinta (age 7) and Francisco Marto (age 9) – in the fields outside the village of Aljustrel near Fatima. The children later said that her coming had been preceded by an “angel of peace” who appeared in 1916. Lucia described her vision of Mary as “more brilliant than the sun, shedding rays of light clearer and stronger than a crystal glass filled with the most sparkling water and pierced by the burning rays of the sun.”
The Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal is one of the most famous Marian shrines in the world. Some four million people visit Fatima each year.
Our Lady of Lourdes appeared to Bernadette Soubirous on February 11, 1858 and revealed herself as the Immaculate Conception. Bernadette was led by Our Lady to a sacred spring of water, which still flows into this day. The Sanctuary of the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes remains to be one of the most popular Marian Shrines in the world.
In 1858, Bernadette Soubirous, a 14-year old simple, peasant girl, saw a vision of “lady in white” who spoke to her in the cave of Massabielle, while she was gathering firewood with her sister and a friend. There were 18 apparitions in all. The “Lady” identified herself as “I am the Immaculate Conception” and asked that the local priests build a chapel at the site of the vision. During the 9th apparition, “the Lady” asked Bernadette to scrape the ground, saying to her: “Go to the spring, drink of it and wash yourself there.” This previously undiscovered spring of water from the grotto is believed to possess healing properties because many people have claimed to have been cured by drinking or bathing in it.
The grandiose Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes nestled in the Pyrenees mountains in southwest France, is the largest Catholic pilgrimage destination in France and one of the most popular Catholic shrines in the world.
Later on, Bernadette Soubirous was canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1933.
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.
The town of developed alongside the Monastery of Santa Maria de Vitória, constructed in 1386 to keep a vow by Portuguese King Dom João I to the Virgin Mary that he would build it if Portugal defeated Castile at the Battle of Aljubarrota on 14th August 1385.
The Monastery of Batalha, a masterpiece of Portuguese Gothic, is a magnificent piece of architecture that combines various influences from its lengthy period of construction, which lasted several reigns. Outstanding in the interior are the Founders’ Chapel with its fine stained-glass windows, the cloisters, the Unfinished Chapels with their Manueline and Flemish Gothic features and the Chapter House.
Burgos is a city in northern Spain and the historic capital of Castile. It is situated on the confluence of the Arlanzon river tributaries, at the edge of the Iberian central plateau. It is the capital of the province of Burgos, in the autonomous community of Castile and Leon.
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.
Venerated in many ways over time, the Blessed Mother is a constant presence for those of us in the Catholic faith. Embark on a prayerful journey to two of the most endeared Marian apparition sites, Lourdes and Fatima. Join a 9-day Pilgrimage to the Marian Shrines of Fatima and Lourdes (in commemoration of the 100th year Anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima) with Fr. Melvin Castro leaving on November 15, 2017. Let this unforgettable journey reaffirm our belief that indeed, the Blessed Mother accompanies us throughout our life’s pilgrimage with her maternal love… as a true mother, she walks at our side, she shares our struggles.
Your pilgrimage begins with a Mass at the Church of St. Anthony de Padua in Lisbon, Portugal, built on the site where the saint was born. Well known for his for his love of the word of God and his inspired preaching, numerous miracles and answered prayers have been attributed to St. Anthony’s powerful intercession.
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. Celebrate the once in a lifetime 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady to three shepherd children – Lucia, and her cousins Francisco and Jacinta – between May and October 1917.
Leave Portugal for Spain where you will spend overnight in Burgos, a city steeped in medieval splendor. Celebrate Mass at the Cathedral of St. Mary of Burgos, a masterpiece of Spanish Gothic architecture and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Cap off your pilgrimage at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes in France. This French town is the most famous healing shrine in the world and one of the most visited of all pilgrimage sites. 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. During her 9th apparition, St. Bernadette was directed to a spring that exists until today. Miraculous cures have been associated with Lourdes ever since and today the town welcomes more than five million pilgrims a year.
Accept God’s invitation and spend nine sacrosanct days in the places where Mary’s prayerful presence has touched lives of countless pilgrims. Join a Pilgrimage to the Marian Shrines of Fatima and Lourdes (in commemoration of the 100th year Anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima) with Fr. Melvin Castro leaving on November 15, 2017. Let this time be a moment of grace that will change your life forever.
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
VISA FEE: Php 7,000.00 (Subject to change without prior notice)
CONDITIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
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.
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), Pilgrim’s Profile, and the visa fee (if applicable).
2) Full payment in U.S. dollars is required before ticketing but in no case shall it be later than one month 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.
> US$300.00 Admin Fee will be charged for any visa denial