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"The Power of the Healing Touch"
The word health and healingwere formed in Germanic times meaning "the state of being whole". This spiritual journey asks us to examine the "healing touch" of Our Lord's Divine Mercy and the many intercessions of the Blessed Virgin Mary on our behalf in our times of need. From the horrors of the Holocaust to wondrous shrines, we are reminded of the comfort of God's "healing touch" when we welcome Him into our lives and, most importantly, into our hearts, surrendering to His will.
Budapest, Krakow, Czestochowa, Prague,
Salzburg and Oberammergau
14 Days - Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria and Germany
Day 1: Depart the USA on an international flight to Budapest, capital of Hungary. Meals will be served on the overnight flight.
Day 2: Upon arrival in Budapest, we are welcomed by our Tour Director who will transfer us to our hotel. Dinner and overnight in Budapest.
Day 3: We enjoy a half-day city tour of lovely Budapest, widely regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Among its World Heritage Sites are the Buda Castle Quarter, Andrássy Avenue and the banks of the Danube River. Dinner and overnight in Budapest.
Day 4: We bid farewell to fascinating Budapest as we travel to Krakow, Poland. Dinner and overnight in Krakow.
Day 5: Today, we enjoy a half-day city tour of Krakow, one of the most beautiful medieval towns in Europe. Some of its many famous landmarks include the Main Market Square with St. Mary's Basilica and the Sukiennice Cloth Hall, the Zygmunt Bell at the Wawel Cathedral, the Wawel Castle, and the medieval St Florian's Gate with the Barbican along the Royal Coronation Route. In 1978, UNESCO designated Krakow's historic center, which includes the Old Town, Kazimierz and the Wawel Castle, a World Heritage Site. Dinner and overnight in Krakow.
Day 6: After breakfast, we depart for the Nazi Concentration Camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Here, we will also visit the Martyrdom Museum commemorating where millions died in the Holocaust during World War II. Included is the cell of St. Maximillian Kolbe, a Franciscan friar who was imprisoned here in 1941 and volunteered his own life in exchange for the life of his fellow inmate. In the afternoon, we will celebrate Mass in Lagiewniki, site of the Congregation of Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, where Sr. Faustina died on Oct. 5, 1938. We will visit the convent chapel in which her body lies beneath the miraculous image of the Divine Mercy. It was on Feb. 22, 1931 that Jesus had appeared to her, entrusting her with God's mission. Asked by the Lord, Sr. Faustina had undertaken the task of having the picture of His Divine Mercy painted, with the inscription "Jezu, Ufam Tobie" ("Jesus, I Trust In You"). Through her 697 page diary "Divine Mercy In My Soul", she is now known as St. Faustina Kowalska after being canonized by His Holiness Pope John Paul II on April 30, 2000. Dinner and overnight in Krakow.
Day 7: Today, we travel to Czestochowa, the spiritual capital of Poland. Dinner and overnight in Czestochowa.
Day 8: Our day unwinds as we travel to Wadowice, the birthplace of Karol Wojtyla, who would later become Pope John Paul II. Our brief stop will include a visit to their family house which has been turned into a museum. Then we proceed to Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, famous for the "Calvary Paths" which Pope John Paul II used to walk to and from Wadowice. Finally, we continue to Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. Dinner and overnight in Prague.
Day 9: A half-day with a tour of the Golden City of Prague awaits us, sites include the State Opera, National Museum, Wenceslas Square and Prague’s Castle District. Be sure to make time to visit the Hradcany district across the famous Charles Bridge, Old Royal Palace and the Golden Lane, and, of course, the Church of Our Lady of Victory where the original Infant Jesus of Prague is kept. Dinner and overnight in Prague.
Day 10: Our journey continues as we travel to Marktl am Inn, the birthplace of the current Pope Benedict XVI (born Joseph Alois Ratzinger). We next travel to Altötting, a place, according to Pope Benedict XVI, which is "the heart of Bavaria and one of the hearts of Europe". Home to the revered Black Madonna of Altötting, it has been a pilgrimage destination for over 500 years; indeed, its Gnadenkapelle (Chapel of the Miraculous Image), is one of the most visited shrines in Germany. According to the legend, in 1489, a grieving mother laid her drowned three year old child at the foot of the statue and the child was revived; the Altötting Madonna has been credited with miraculous powers since that time. In September, 2006, the Black Madonna was moved from the Gnadenkapelle to the neo-Baroque Basilica of St. Anne in Altötting by order of the Pope. Our day concludes as we arrive in Salzburg and check into our hotel. Dinner and overnight in Salzburg.
Day 11: Enjoy a half-day city tour of charming Salzburg, Mozart's hometown. Among the city's many sites are the Altstadt, or old town, dominated by its baroque towers and churches and the massive Festung Hohensalzburg, the city's fortress, built in 1077 and expanded during the following centuries, the Salzburg Cathedral, the Franziskaner Church and the Nonnberg Abbey, a Benedictine monastery. Dinner and overnight in Salzburg.
Day 12: Our journey continues today as we travel to Oberammergau, Germany. Dinner and overnight in Oberammergau.
Day 13: A free day to explore Oberammergau's sites on our own and perhaps do some souvenir shopping. Dinner and overnight in Oberammergau.
Day 14: We bid farewell to Oberammergau as we depart for the airport to catch our return flight to the U.S. for a same day arrival.
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