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Walking The Labyrinth
They are magical geometric forms that define sacred space. During the middle ages, pilgrims walked the labyrinths as part of their spiritual walk to God, a searching journey, a substitute for an actual pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and / or repentance. The most famous of these remaining labyrinths can be found in Chartres Cathedral in France, built around 1200. Today, these labyrinths are used for reflection, meditation, repentance, prayer and comfort. Now, you too can walk this eleven-circuit design where each individual's walk is a personal experience.
Lourdes, Chartres and Paris
6 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: Fly to Paris and embark on a journey to Chartres. At Chartres Cathedral, we see the most famous of these remaining labyrinths. The labyrinth at Chartres was built around 1200 and is laid into the floor; this labyrinth was meant to be walked as a pilgrimage, for repentance or both. As a pilgrimage, it became a questing, searching journey with the hope of becoming closer to God. When used for repentance, the pilgrims would walk on their knees. Sometimes this eleven-circuit labyrinth would serve as a substitute for an actual Holy Land pilgrimage to Jerusalem and, as a result, it came to be called the "Chemin de Jerusalem" or Road of Jerusalem. In walking the Chartres-style labyrinth, the walker meanders through each of the four quadrants several times before reaching the goal; expectancy is created as to reaching the center. At the labyrinth's center is a rosette design which has a rich symbolic value including that of enlightenment. The four arms of the cross are readily visible in the labyrinth's design. Dinner and overnight in Chartres.
Day 5: Today, we travel back to Paris. Once there, 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 6: We bid France "Au Revoir" as we board our return flight to the USA, arriving later that day.
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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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