*Tentative dates to be confirmed. For additional information, to REGISTER for this pilgrimage, or to customize your own group pilgrimage, contact us at 419.290.8782 or maggie@CatholicFaithJourneys.com
Immerse yourself in the spirituality of St. Benedict and take in the pastoral scenery of the hills that surrounded the Saint and his twin sister, St. Scholastica, in the time of their youth when their Christian formation was nurtured by the monastic tradition of the local monks. This spiritual retreat and pilgrimage will be led by Fr. Cassian Folsom, prior of Monastero di San Benedetto, Norcia, Italy, including vespers and compline with the Monks of Norcia.
***Catholic Faith Journeys, LLC will donate a portion of the pilgrimage profits to the Monastery of San Benedetto and the Monks of Norcia.
Tentative Itinerary (***Subject to change)
Day 1 – Departure from USA for overnight flight to Rome, Italy. Please arrive by 10:45 am.
Day 2 – Upon arrival in Rome set off into the wild hills of Umbria for the medieval walled town of Norcia; birth place of St. Benedict and his twin sister, St. Scholastica, in 480. Upon arrival meet with the Monks of the Monastery of San Benedetto, our hosts for our stay in Italy. While in Norcia, all are invited to join the monks for Vespers and Compline. Overnight in Norcia.
Day 3 – Morning visit to the Monastery of San Benedetto, built over the birthplace of the twin Saints. Afternoon visit to the nearby 12th Century Abbey of Sant’Eutizio and the Church of St. Scholastica. Take in the pastoral scenery of the hills that surrounded the Saints in the time of their youth when their Christian formation was nurtured by the monastic tradition of the local monks. Arrive first at the Abbey of Sant’ Eutizio, build upon the land that St. Spes and his hermits lived on in the years preceding the birth of Benedict & Scholastica. As Benedict often came here to pray during his youth, this abbey has been referred to as the “cradle of the Benedictine Order.” We continue on to the Church of St. Scholastica. Tradition tells of the twin saints sharing a close spiritual bond from childhood, and that after Benedict left for Rome, Scholastica dedicated her life to God by living in community with the other holy women on an area of land near Norcia. It was on this land that the Church of San Scholastica was built centuries later. Overnight in Norcia.
Day 4 – Morning: visit to the future monastery of the Benedictine Monks of Norcia. Afternoon: at leisure in Norcia. Overnight in Norcia.
Day 5 – Today, enjoy an excursion to Assisi, the 12th Century birthplace of St. Francis & St. Clare, who, like Benedict & Scholastica, dedicated their lives to God and changed history. Upon arrival will visit the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels, which houses the Porziuncola. We will continue up and enter the walled city to visit the Church of Santa Chiara, which houses St. Clare’s incorrupt body and then to the Basilica of St. Francis, where his remains are located. Return to Norcia for dinner and overnight.
Day 6 – Morning departure for the Monastery of Sacro Speco in Subiaco. Early afternoon arrival at the monastery built into a mountain cliff overlooking spectacular natural scenery. This monastery enshrines the sacred cave where St. Benedict spent three years living a hermetic life before initiating the beginning of the Western monasticism. We will also visit the Monastery of Santa Scholastica, also founded by St. Benedict. Overnight in Subiaco.
Day 7 – Morning departure for Monte Cassino, where in 529, St. Benedict founded the abbey on the ruins of a pagan fortress. Monte Cassino, world renowned as a beacon of holiness and culture as well as the burial place of its beloved founder. This afternoon we take our departure and head for the Eternal City — Rome. Upon arrival we check into our hotel with time before dinner free.
Day 8 – This morning we will head to St. Peter’s Square (Vatican) for the Papal Audience, pending confirmation, with our Holy Father, Pope Francis. Afternoon walking tour in Rome’s ancient area of Trastevere to visit the Church of San Benedetto in Piscinula, originally a 4th century villa of St. Benedict’s relatives where he lived while studying in Rome, and the Basilica of San Crisogono to see the tomb of 18th Century Bl. Anna Maria Taigi and a fresco of St. Benedict healing a leper. Continue on to visit one of the Catacombs.
Day 9 – Morning tour of Christian Rome to include St. John Lateran, Scala Santa, the Holy Stairs up which Christ walked to meet Pontius Pilate, and St Mary Major. The afternoon is free to explore or shop. Farewell dinner and overnight in Rome.
Day 10 – Morning departure to Fumicino Airport for return flight to USA.