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The 12 Promises of Jesus to Saint Margaret Mary
Amour Divin
"Divine Love"
It was in the small town of Paray Le Monial, France, where Christ chose Sr. Margaret Mary Alacoque, Religious of the Visitation Order, to be the instrument that would lead the world back to Him, favoring her with a number of apparitions between 1673 and 1675. He revealed to her the desires of His heart and confided the task of inspiring new life to this devotion, which is believed to have been started in the monasteries of the Benedictines and/or Cistercians in the 11th century. She said, "I could plainly see His heart, pierced and bleeding, yet there were flames, too, coming from it and a crown of thorns around it. He told me to behold His heart which so loved humanity. Then He seemed to take my very heart from me and place it there in His heart. In return He gave me back part of His flaming heart."
Lourdes, Marseille, La Salette, Ars, Paray Le Monial, Nevers and Paris
10 Days - France
Day 1: Depart the USA on an international flight to Lourdes, France. Meals will be served on the overnight flight.
Day 2: Our Tour Director welcomes us and escorts us to Lourdes, one of the greatest pilgrimage shrines in the world. It was here at the Grotto of Massabielle, in February 1858, that Our Blessed Mother appeared 18 times to a young sickly child named Bernadette Soubirous and later proclaimed to her that She was the Immaculate Conception. Dinner and overnight in Lourdes.
Day 3: After breakfast, we celebrate Mass and then participate in the walking tour of Lourdes where we visit the places associated with the life of St. Bernadette. These places include the Boly Mill where she was born, the Locale Mill, residence of her parents, and the Cachot, formerly used as a jail where the Soubirous family lived at the time of the Apparitions. The afternoon may be spent for private devotion at the Way of the Cross, with its life-size statues on the hill, Eucharistic Adoration, confession or take part in the Miraculous Baths to experience the message of Our Lady. After dinner, participate in the Candlelight Procession or simply spend some more private time at the "Grotto". Dinner and overnight in Lourdes.
Day 4: Today, we travel to Marseille to visit the Neo-Byzantine Basilica of Notre Dame de la Garde, perched above the hill overlooking the Mediterranean, known to sailors as a beacon of grace and hope. According to Provencal tradition, Mary Magdalen evangelized Marseille with her brother Lazarus. We then continue with a panoramic city tour which includes a visit to the Cathedral, where the body of St. Eugene de Mazenod, founder of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, lies in repose. Dinner and overnight in Marseille.
Day 5: La Salette We travel north today to the beautiful town of Aix-en-Provence, made famous by Cezanne. Cours Mirabeau, the center of the center and the heart of Aix, is a beautiful tree-lined avenue, lined down one side with wonderful terrace cafés and bookshops. If you can sit at only one French sidewalk café outside of Paris, it should be here, where the air is warm, the light sublime and the sidewalk alive. Large plane trees overhang the length of the avenue, giving day-long shade on hot summer days. We will then continue to St. Maximin Ste. Baume, where Mary Magdalene spent the last years of her life. We proceed to La Salette where on the 19th of September 1846, at about three o'clock in the afternoon in full sunlight, on a mountain about 6000 feet high and about three miles distant from the village, the Virgin Mary appeared to two children, Melanie Mathieu, a shepherdess of fifteen, and Maximin Giraud, a shepherd-boy of eleven. Appearing in a resplendent light as a "beautiful lady" clad in a strange costume, She charged them with a message which they were "to deliver to all her people". After complaining of the impiety of Christians, and threatening them with dreadful chastisements in case they should persevere in evil, She promised them the Divine mercy if they would amend. Finally, She communicated to each of the children a special secret, before disappearing into the sky. Bronze statues erected in 1864 depict the three stages of the apparition. Dinner and overnight in La Salette or the surrounding areas.
Day 6: St. Jean Vianney Today our religious journey takes us first to Ars, in central France, north of Lyon. A French priest named Jean-Marie Vianney was sent there to be pastor in 1818. He set about doing all in his power to preach the Gospel and soon became famous as a holy man who lived an austere life and had great gifts, drawing many pilgrims to him. He died at the age of 73 was named the patron saint of parish priests. St. John Vianney brought the love of God with him and it is still there for us to experience. Later, our journey continues to Paray Le Monial. It was here, from 1673 to 1675, that Jesus apeared to Sr. Margaret Mary Alacoque, a young nun from the Visitation Monastery, showing her "this heart which has loved men so much". Venerated places here include the Chapel of the Visitation, where most of the apparitions to Blessed Margaret Mary Alacoque took place and the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, which is one of the most beautiful monuments of architecture from the 11st century. Dinner and overnight in Paray Le Monial.
Day 7: The road finds us travelling to Nevers, the town where St. Bernadette spent her last years as a nun and where her incorrupt body lies in repose at the Convent of St. Gildard. Afterwards, we continue on to Paris. Dinner and overnight in Paris.
Day 8: Today, we enjoy a city tour of the "City of Light" taking in its many lovely sights. Visit the Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, where Our Lady appeared to St. Catherine Labouré three times and gave her instructions for the Miraculous Medal. Dinner and overnight in Paris.
Day 9: A free day to enjoy Paris. An optional excursion to Lisieux, the town associated with St. Therese, the Little Flower of Jesus, will be offered. Dinner and overnight in Lourdes.
Day 10: We bid farewell to Paris as we board our return flight to the USA, arriving later that day.
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