Join Msgr. Bill Kubacki of the Diocese of Toledo for a pilgrimage in the Footsteps of St. Paul. Bring your Bibles! We will be receiving Biblical and historical teaching throughout. Our pilgrimage includes a 3-day cruise.
Day 2: MON – Thessaloniki – Arrive Thessaloniki, a city that is over 2300 years old. It was built in 316 BC by Kassandros, the Macedonian King, and was named after his wife, Thessalonika, the sister of Alexander the Great. It was here that Paul wrote his letter to the Thessalonians. Later, the city flourished under the Byzantine Empire. Transfer to our hotel, dinner and overnight. D
Day 3: TUE – Philippi, Kavala, Thessaloniki – Drive to Philippi, where Paul delivered his first sermon in Europe, sowing the seeds of Christianity (Acts 16:12-18). Here Paul baptized a woman named Lydia, the first Christian convert in Europe. Visit the Roman forum and the prison in which St. Paul and Silas were thrown. Continue into the modern port city of Kavala, ancient Neapolis, where Paul, accompanied by Silas, Luke, and Timothy, first set foot in Europe. This ancient city was later renamed Christoupolis because it was the first European city to accept Christianity. We celebrate Mass at St Paul’s Baptistery. Dinner & overnight. B, D
Day 4: WED – Thessaloniki tour, Veria, Meteora – We start our day celebrating Mass at Thessaloniki Catholic Cathedral. Our tour includes the Roman Market, theatre of Agora (much visited by St. Paul), and baths. Continue to the Arch of Galerius, City walls, Chain Tower and Citadel, the white tower, Byzantine churches, the cave and well of the Apostle Paul, House of Jason, and the Monastery of Vlattadon. Drive to Berea where Paul established a small church. View the reconstructed steps of the bema (or rostrum) and see the newly placed mosaics of Paul and the plaque of scripture regarding the “more noble” church (Acts 17:1-13). Continue to Kalambaka, at the breathtaking Meteores, check in in our hotel, dinner and overnight. B, D
Day 5: THU – Meteores, Athens – This morning we visit the spectacular Meteora. Here are the famous Cenobitic Monasteries that are perched precariously on top of huge and precipitous columns of rock that rise up out of the ground, thereby giving rise to the name “Meteora,” which means “in the air.” It was in the 11th century that the first hermits sought refuge in the caves of Meteora where the solitude and spectacular vistas enhanced the mystic way of life. Eventually, the hermits began to group together in monasteries whose buildings were decorated with frescoes and icons by the great artists of the day. We continue to Athens with a stop at Thermopylae where Leonidas and his 300 braves fought the Persians! Arrive in Athens, celebrate Mass. B, D.
Day 6: FRI – Cruising Mykonos – Celebrate Mass at St Paul Catholic Church of Pireaus. We sail this morning from Piraeus on board our 3 nights Cruise to the quaint isle of Mykonos, called the Island of Windmills. Experience the waterfront lined with shops and cafes and then stroll the charming walkways through a maze of whitewashed buildings before returning to the ship for dinner and evening entertainment. B, D
Day 7: SAT – Ephesus, Patmos – Docking in Turkey, enjoy a tour of Ephesus, the “City of the Bible,” and one of the largest restorations still in progress with miles of ancient treasures. Ephesus was once a
thriving port town of 250,000 people. Today you can still see the spectacular excavations of the major streets in this ancient city including the Agora, the Odeon, the Library, the marble-paved main Street, the Baths, Trajan’s Fountain, Residences of the Patricians, Prytaneum, and Temple of Hadrian. The Great Theatre, built in the 4th century B.C., could accommodate 24,000 spectators and is famous today for its acoustics. We will celebrate Mass at the house of Virgin Mary. This afternoon we visit the Isle of Patmos, under statutory protection as a historic monument. Here we have a tour to see the fortified monastery of St. John and the cave claimed to be where John received the Book of Revelation. Back on the ship, enjoy the Captain’s dinner before settling in to your cabin for the night. B, D
Day 8: SUN – Crete, Santorini – Crete is the largest and the most rugged of the Greek Islands. Our shore excursion takes you to Knossos for a visit of Minoan Palace! In the afternoon visit the island of Santorini, which is perhaps the most breathtaking of all the Greek Islands. Return to the ship for dinner and entertainment. B, D
Day 9: MONDAY – Corinth, Athens – Morning disembarkation at Piraeus port; depart for Corinth with a brief stop at the Corinth Canal, which separates Peloponnese from the Greek mainland and connects the two seas (Ionian and Aegean). Later visit Corinth which was home for Paul for eighteen months. We visit the Archaeological Museum, the Bema, the Market Place and the Temples. From the Bema at Corinth, Paul spoke to the Corinthians about our Lord and Savior Christ. Celebrate Mass at St Paul Bema. Back in Athens for dinner and overnight. B, D
Day 10: TUE – Athens – Celebrate Mass at Athens Catholic Cathedral. Athens city sightseeing includes a visit to the world-renowned Acropolis, with the ruins of the Parthenon, Erechteum and Propylaea. Then, we ascend Mars Hill, where Paul preached (Acts 17:16, 22). View the Agora (ancient market place, and former center of Athenian public life), the House of Parliament, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Presidential Palace; remainder of afternoon at your leisure. Dinner and overnight. B, D
DAY 11: WED – Depart Athens – Return flight to USA.
*NOTE: While no changes are anticipated, there may be occasions when certain alterations become necessary to this itinerary due to changes beyond our control. All Masses times and locations are subject to final confirmation.
Land Only $ 3,069.00 per person, discounted for Cash/Check payment, based on 26 participants, & double occupancy. (Airfare will be added when airlines announce the prices, approx. 330 from departure.)
**If paying with credit card full price of: $3,191.00 per person.**