ROME & ST. FRANCIS
Upon arrival in Rome, we will be met by our representative and transferred to the city center.
En route we‘ll visit St. Paul Outside the Walls, the burial place of St. Paul the Apostle. The chapel has numerous relics, the most notable are a set chains said to be the prison chains of St. Paul, used in the last days before his execution.
We will then proceed the Appian Way on our way to visit the Catacombs where early Christians held their forbidden service to escape persecution.
Check-in at the hotel. Overnight in Rome.
Breakfast in the hotel.
We begin the day by visiting the Vatican Museums overflowing with art treasures and admire “the Sistine Chapel,” world famous for Michelangelo’s Ceiling Paintings and “the Last Judgment.” We then visit St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest church in the world, built over the tomb of St. Peter. This is where Peter preached, died, and is buried along with 148 of his papal successors. Upon entering the Basilica, we find Michelangelo’s Pieta and many works of art from Giotto and Bernini.
In the afternoon we visit the Basilica of St. John in Lateran. This is “The Cathedral of Rome”. The first great Christian Church built next to the Lateran Palace and a gift to Emperor Constantine. Next we visit Basilica ofSanta Maria Maggiore, built on the spot where a 3rd century pope witnessed a miraculous midsummer snowfall. Overnight in Rome.
Breakfast at the hotel.
We travel to monumental St. Peter’s Square to attend the Audience with the Pope. Time will be available to explore and shop in the Vatican area.
In the afternoon we continue to the Historic City Centre of Rome and begin a walking tour from the Colosseum including the, Circus Maximus, the Arch of Constantine, and the Mamertine Prison where Peter baptized converts and continued to preach the gospel. We also see the Capitoline Hill, Piazza Venezia with the memorial to King Victor Emmanuel II and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Overnight in Rome.
After breakfast, we visit the Pantheon, the best preserved ancient monument, with the height of the dome equal to the diameter equal of the circular interior. We walk from the Pantheon to the Trevi Fountain. Here we toss a coin or two in the world’s wishing well to ensure our return to Rome.
We continue to Piazza Navona, one of the most beautiful piazzas in Rome, where we find Bernini’s “Fountain of the Four Rivers”.
Afternoon at leisure. Overnight in Rome.
After breakfast, we travel from Rome to Cascia, a small town in the mountains of the Umbrian Valley.
Saint Rita is “the Saint of the Impossible” because of her amazing answers to prayer. Her incorrupt body lies in a chapel in the Major Basilica of the Sanctuary of Cascia.
We see her cell and other relics including The Crucifix from which she received the Stigmata. Below in the Minor Basilica we find a Eucharistic Miracle. A priest was called to administer communion to an ailing peasant. He placed the consecrated host between the pages of his breviary. It turned red with fresh blood.
Overnight in Assis.
After Breakfast, we will begin with exploring the town of St. Francis of Assisi.
Assis is a small Umbrian town in central Italy best known as the birthplace of St. Francis of Assis — patron saint of Italy, founder of the Franciscan order, and one of the most popular Catholic saints in history.
Assisi’s main attraction is the 13th-century Basilica of St. Francis, which contains the sacred relics of Francis and beautiful frescoes of his life.
We will visit St Claire Basilica, which is a 13th-century church that houses the relics of St. Claire, friend and protege of St. Francis of Assisi, as well as the miraculous crucifix that spoke to Francis and other major monuments of the city.
Free time for lunch.
In the afternoon, we continue our visit to Eremo delle Carceri: in the caves on the slope of Monte Subasio just outside the walls of Assisi, St. Francis and his followers established their first home at the Eremo delle Carceri (Carceri Hermitage). He often returned here during his life to pray and contemplate.
Then we continue to San Damiano Convent where St. Francis first received his miraculous calling in 1205 and where St. Clare died in 1253, it is an important stop on the pilgrimage to the Franciscan holy city. We will visit also the Basilica di Santa Maria degli Angeli, much venerated as the place of St. Francis’ death. Inside the grand Baroque basilica are two small, humble structures: the Capella del Transito and the Porziuncola.
Overnight in Assis.
This morning, we check out of our hotel and transfer to Rome Airport for our return flight or extend your stay in Italy.
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