GRACES OF EASTERN EUROPE

Visits to Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina,

Travel date: SEPTEMBER 25 – OCTOBER 9, 2017

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With Pilgrimage Chaplain

DAY 01/ SEPTEMBER 25:                           MANILA/FRANKFURT

Depart In the evening and enjoy superb in-flight services.

DAY 02/ SEPTEMBER 26:                          DUBAI/FRANKFURT

Arrive Dubai and take connecting flight to Frankfurt. Upon arrival in Frankfurt and after airport formalities, meet your tour director and have city orientation. Transfer to hotel for check in. Dinner and overnight. (D)

DAY 03/ SEPTEMBER 27:                           FRANKFURT/DRESDEN/PRAGUE

After breakfast drive to Dresden the former capital of Saxony on the Elbe River. Our local guide will show you the city known as the “Florence of the Elbe.” The historic centre of the city on the River Elbe will be explored on foot – from the Zwinger and the Semper Opera House to the Royal Palace, which is under reconstruction, on to the Frauenkirche and to Brühl’s Terrace. Badly damaged by the allied bombing in February 1945, the city has since been restored to its former Baroque splendour. We cross the mighty river Elbe this morning to visit Wittenberg. Here, in 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Schlosskirche and set the Reformation in motion, now Luther himself lies buried in the same church. After visit continue to Czech Republic (B, D)

DAY 04/ SEPTEMBER 28:                          PRAGUE

After breakfast, enjoy the city of Prague which has a wealth of Gothic and baroque architecture that perhaps inspired Dvorak and Smetana, both Prague composers. The included half day guided sightseeing features landmarks such as the National Theatre, Belvedere, Charles Bridge, and the old Town Hall with the Astronomical Clock. Visit St. Vitus Cathedral with its grand chapel studded with semi-precious stones, the Basilica of St. George and the Church of Our Lady of Victorious where the Image of the Infant Jesus (Sto. Nino de Praga) is enshrined. Remainder of the day at leisure. Dinner and overnight in Prague. (B, D)

DAY 05/ SEPTEMBER 29:                           PRAGUE/CZESTOCHOWA

Depart this morning to Jasna Gora Sanctuary in Czestochowa, home to the cherished miraculous icon of Our Lady with the Child Jesus, an object of veneration for centuries (also known as the Black Madonna). Attracting more than five million pilgrims every year, Our Lady of Czestochowa is recognized as one of the most visited places of Christian pilgrimage in the world. This morning we will celebrate a private Mass before the image here in the ancient chapel. Later we will tour the Basilica, Treasury, Museum and Knights Hall. (B, D)

DAY 06/ SEPTEMBER 30:         CZESTOCHOWA/AUSCHWITZ/WADOWICE /KRAKOW

Departing Czestochowa this morning we journey south and enter on a prayerful encounter to Auschwitz where we mourn the millions of people who were put to death in this, the biggest concentration camp of Hitler’s Nazism. Bl. Pope John Paul II has termed this place the Golgotha of the modern world. We pray in the martyrdom bunker of St Maximilian Kolbe and view his cell while reflecting upon his selfless courage. Continue to Wadowice, the birthplace of Karol Wojtyla (the late Pope John Paul II) where we enter his family house and even the grounds where he used to play Football! The central point of the town is the market square with its Parish Church, and the famous Baptismal basin where Karol was baptized. Next to the church we find the Pope’s birthplace and the nearby Museum encompassing the former home of the Wojtyla family. En route to Krakow we visit the celebrated Marian site of Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, which remains the favourite boyhood shrine of Bl. Pope John Paul II. Krakow overnight (B, D)

DAY 07/ OCTOBER 01:                               KRAKOW

Here in Krakow we bask in the two-fold grace of Divine Mercy and Bl. John Paul II who served as the city’s Archbishop. Today we will enter the Wawel Cathedral where in the crypt below Fr Karol was ordained in 1946 and celebrated his first Mass. View St. Florians Church where the young Karol developed a flourishing underground youth ministry at great risk. . Continue visit to the Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Kraków-Łagiewniki which stands the chapel where the miraculous image of Merciful Jesus and the tomb of St. Faustina are to be found. Have our Divine Mercy Sunday mass celebration. Travel on to St Mary’s Church, University and Market Square to experience one of the most beautiful medieval city centers in Europe. Time permitting, visit Wielicka Salt Mine, considered as a UNESCO Heritage site, attractions include dozens of statues and four chapels carved out of the rock salt by the miners. The older sculptures have been supplemented with new carvings made by contemporary artists. Dinner & overnight. (B, D)

DAY 08 / OCTOBER 02:            KRAKOW /BRATISLAVA/BUDAPEST

Depart south this morning towards Bratislava and enjoy a short orientation tour of the city and have lunch. We cross into the Slovak Republic, through magnificent alpine landscape into Hungary and en route to the beautiful city of Budapest. Situated on the opposite banks of the Danube, the former cities of Buda and Pest are linked by a series of graceful bridges. Enjoy a panoramic view of the sprawling city below from Fisherman’s Bastion located on Castle Hill. You’ll also see the 13th century Matthias Coronation Church and the Citadel on Mount Gellert. Budapest overnight (B, D)

DAY 09/ OCTOBER 03:                               BUDAPEST/ZAGREB

This morning after breakfast to your hotel we depart to Zagreb. Upon arrival, continue city tour of the capital of Croatia, featuring Upper Town and Down Town. The Upper Town is Zagreb’s historical center which comprises Church of St. Mark with the famed multi-colored roof, the Parliament building (Sabor), the Stone Gate, Cathedral. Down Town is business and cultural center of Zagreb with its main square of bany6t Josip Jelacic, the Croatian National Theatre and University. Dinner and overnight. (B, D)

DAY 10/ OCTOBER 04:                               ZAGREB/DUBROVNIK

Depart Zagreb for Dubrovnik. The walls of Dubrovnik girdle a perfectly preserved complex of public and private, sacral and secular buildings representing all periods of the city’s history, beginning with its founding in the 7th century. Particular mention should be made of the city’s main street, Stradun, the Rector’s Palace, the church of St. Vlaho, the Cathedral, three large monasteries, and the City Hall. The Republic of Dubrovnik was the centre of a separate political and territorial entity, and was proud of its culture, its achievements in commerce and especially of its freedom, preserved down so many tempestuous centuries. Dinner and overnight. (B, D)

DAY 11/ OCTOBER 05:                               DUBROVNIK/MONTENEGRO

Departure on a full-day excursion to Montenegro. Panoramic drive through Perast to Kotor, one of the best preserved mediaeval cities, surrounded by walls. Sightseeing tour of the lovely Romanesque cathedral of St Trifone from the 12th century. Continue along the old Austro-Hungarian road and Lovcen, which offers spectacular views over the gulf of Boka Kotarska to Cetinje, a city founded at the end of the 15th century and a treasury of the Montenegrin cultural and religious life. A visit to the castle of the last Montenegrin king Nikola I Petrovic and the museum which holds the best-preserved weapon collection in the Balkan. After sightseeing, the group will continue to Budva, the Montenegrin tourism metropolis. Tour through the Old Town with its unique architecture, narrow streets, shops and small churches that have not changed through history. Dinner and overnight in Dubrovnik. (B ,D)

DAY 12/ OCTOBER 06:                               DUBROVNIK/MEDJUOGORJE

Depart for Medjugorje. Throughout your time in this special place of “prayer and Reflection” experience the beauty and peace of this simple village. During your stay you will have the opportunity to share faith with pilgrims from all over the world. Our local guide will accompany us throughout our stay. Here are some of the activities you’ll be sharing with our fellow pilgrims: Each morning at 10am we assemble at St. James Church for the English-language Mass (Feast days and Sundays English Mass is at Noon). Follow the path up Apparition Hill (Podbrdo) where the visionaries first encountered Our Lady. Touch and pray before the cross that commemorates the spot where our Blessed Mother, Our Lady Queen of Peace first appeared to the visionaries. Each evening at 5:00 pm or 6:00 pm daylight savings time, we will join the villagers and pilgrims in the the Rosary. Our Lady comes to the visionaries wherever they may be at 6:40pm daylight savings time, you may then stay on for the Croatian Mass. Don’t miss on Tuesdays and Saturdays Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and on Fridays Veneration of the Cross in the Church. Each evening after the Croatian Mass, there is the Blessing of the Sick and blessing of the holy items you have with you. Our guide will arrange meetings with the visionaries at their own homes provided that they are in Medjugorje during your trip, and pending their availability. We will have the opportunity to climb Mt Krizevac, where in 1933 the villagers built a 30′ high cross on the anniversary of Jesus’ crucifixion. Visit and pray at “Blue Cross”, which is a place of great healings and graces- a very special place at the base of Apparition Hill. Dinner and overnight. (B, D)

DAY 13/ OCTOBER 07:                               MEDJUOGRJE/LJUBLJANA-BLED

Today travel to Slovenia and enjoy a local tour of Ljubljana, including a ride on a funicular to visit the castle and view the famous Triple Bridge. We depart for Bled, and enjoy the scenery as we travel west. Upon arrival in Bled we take a boat ride to the Island in the middle of Lake Bled and visit the Church of the Assumption. We then take a private tour of Bled Castle, one of the most visited tourist attractions in Slovenia, built on top of a 130 meter cliff overlooking Lake Bled. Return to Ljubljana for dinner and overnight. (B, D)

DAY 14/ OCTOBER 08:                               LJUBLJANA/VIENNA

Enjoy your breakfast and drive to the wonderful city of Vienna with visits to St. Stephen Cathedral and Our Lady of Bowed Head. Have our Sunday thanksgiving mass. After late lunch, continue visit to Schönbrunn Palace, the official summer residence in modern Vienna. Remainder of the day to be spent on last minute shopping and dinner prior Transfer to the airport for evening flight back home

DAY 15/ OCTOBER 09:                            VIENNA/MANILA

Arrive Manila in the evening.

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