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"Rosa Mystica"
Since antiquity the rose was considered a symbol of mystery; for early Christians the rose is a visual expression for paradise but also for martyrdom. The Marian interpretation of this symbol dates to the 5th century A.D., when Mary is first called a "rose among thorns". The same symbolism has been used to express Mary's purity and Her grace. In medieval times, there were special references to the rose and rosebush. Based on these traditions, the expression "Rosa Mystica" (Mystical Rose) came to be used as a reference to the Blessed Mother. The apparitions in Montichiari, Italy remind us to honor the Mystical Rose in modern times.
Rome - Bologna - Milan
10 Days - Regions of Latium, Emilia-Romagna and Lombardy, Italy
Day 1: Depart on an international flight bound for Rome. Meals will be served on the overnight flight.
Day 2: Upon arrival in Italy, we are welcomed in the "Eternal City" by our Tour Director who will transfer us to our hotel. Dinner and overnight in Rome.
Day 3: This morning, participate in the Papal Audience (if this falls on a Wednesday) or Papal Blessing (if this falls on a Sunday), followed by a visit to the Basilica of St. Peter, the largest church in the Christian world, built over the tomb of St. Peter. Inside this wonderful great piece of architecture are works of Bernini and Michelangelo, like the Pieta, his earliest marble sculpture masterpiece of the Madonna and Christ. We continue to the Vatican Museum with its priceless collection of art and treasures, and the Sistine Chapel where you will be amazed by the unique ceiling which is one of Michelangelo’s greatest achievements. Dinner and overnight in Rome.
Day 4: Enjoy a panoramic tour of the classic Roman Empire (the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Arch of Constantine, Circus Maximus and more) on the way to one of the catacombs where the early Christians were buried. In the afternoon, we’ll visit the three major basilicas: St. Mary Major, St. John Lateran and St. Paul Outside the Walls, time permitting. Dinner and overnight in Rome.
Day 5: We travel today to Bologna, the town of St. Catherine of Bologna. We will visit the Basilica of St Petronius which is Bologna's largest house of worship and dominates Piazza Maggiore. It was named after the city's patron Saint. Then, we continue to San Domenico, built in 1251 to house the relics of St Dominic. The Saint's bones rest in the Arca di San Domencio, a 15th century work that was principally the creation of Nicola Pisano, however, a very young Michelangelo contributed the figures of the angel and saints Proculus and Petronius. Dinner and overnight in Bologna.
Day 6: Today, we travel to Milan where the Emperor Constantine issued the Edict of Milan in 313 A.D., which officially recognized Christianity by the Roman Empire. We will have a half-day panoramic city tour before viewing the masterpiece of Leonardo da Vinci, the Last Supper. This particular painting reflects the drama and shock of the moment when Christ said: "But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table." The painting is spread across a surface 29 feet wide and 15 feet high; the work took da Vinci two years, 1495 to 1497. Dinner and overnight in Milan.
Day 7: Today we embark on a day excursion to Montichiari, where we will celebrate Mass. It was in the Spring of 1947 that the Blessed Mother started appearing to nurse Pierina Gilli. She introduced herself as the "Mystical Rose" and requested that an hour of grace should be kept at noon on December 8th in all the Catholic Churches in the world. Pierina noticed that the Blessed Mother's heart was pierced by three swords: the first sword meaning the unworthy celebration of Holy Mass and Communion unworthily received; the second sword meaning being unfaithful to, and giving up, the vocation as a priest or a religious; and the third sword meaning betrayal of the faith. She appeared a total of eleven times and asked for prayer, sacrifice and penance, and that the 13th day of each month be celebrated as a Marian Day, and that July 13th be celebrated each year in honor of the "Rosa Mystica". We then continue to Bergamo, a delightful hilltop town, divided into two districts: Bergamo Alta (Upper Bergamo), crowning the hill with its cluster of medieval and Renaissance buildings and the more modern and airy Bergamo Bassa (Lower Bergamo) below. Dinner and overnight in Milan.
Day 8: A busy day awaits us on our day excursion. We visit Rho, home of the Church of St. Mary of the Miracles, Oropa, with its Sanctuary and the Chiesa Vecchia (Old Church), which houses the venerated "Black Madonna", said to be the work of St. Luke himself, and Turin. Dinner and overnight in Milan.
Day 9: Free day to explore fascinating Milan on our own; don't forget to include a visit to the many shops at the Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle II. Dinner and overnight in Milan.
Day 10: "Arriverderci Italia!" We bid farewell to Italy as we depart for the airport to catch our flight back to the U.S. for a same day arrival.
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FIAT Holidays, Inc. 916 N. Western Avenue, Suite 225, San Pedro, CA 90732
Telephone: 310-832-FIAT (3428) with 24/7 text capability, or 310-328-FIAT (3428) Fax: 310-781-9070
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