“Rely on the mighty Lord; constantly seek his face”…1 Chronicles 16:11

Classic Journey Toward The Face of Christ

June 1 – 12, 2024

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Online Booking and Pilgrimage Information

As we pilgrimage along the spiritual byways of Italy, sometimes over time-worn cobblestones in the city, and sometimes over highways through the beautiful countryside, we will encounter truly unique places and people that are today’s living expressions of our 2,000-year-old faith. 

From the ancient rooms where St. Paul lived for seven years, to the bishop’s residence in Assisi; from the treasure trove of art and faith at the Vatican Museum, to the Benedictine monastery of Norcia; we will encounter some of the “living stones” of our Church, as we journey toward the Face of Christ — both spiritually and physically, in the form of the miraculous Face of Manoppello. 

Because of our work for Inside the Vatican magazine over these 35-plus years, we have formed relationships with many people, allowing us rare access to locations and people that an ordinary “tourist” would never see, including:

  • The bishops of Loreto and Assisi, if they are available, and the tomb of Venerable Carlo Acutis, the Italian teenager who died at 15 after cataloging the world’s Eucharistic Miracles
  • The column on which St. Paul was beheaded (microscopic analysis found flecks of blood on the column) is made available by our friend, the gatekeeper, for veneration
  • The Church was built over the home of St. Pudens who is mentioned in the Bible by St. Paul. This home served as the first papal residence, where St. Peter lived for seven years. Access to the oldest parts of this building, dating to the first century, is provided by another of our gatekeeper-friends
  • Sr. Emmanuela, another friend, the nun who wrote the guidebook for the outstanding “Faith and Art” tour at the Vatican Museum, will lead us on our own private tour
  • Our friend, Father Cassian Folsom, the modern re-founder and prior emeritus of the Benedictine community in Norcia, the birthplace of St. Benedict 

And of course, a major highlight of our pilgrimage will be our awe-inspiring visit to the shrine where the mysterious image of the face of a Man — many believe he is the Man of Sorrows — appears on a piece of rare cloth, the Shrine of the Holy Face in Manoppello.

Holy Face of Manoppello, Italy

Pilgrim Pointing Towards City of Assisi

Pope Francis prays inside the Sanctuary of the Holy House (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

Pilgrimage Overview

Day 1:  Assisi

  • Arrive in Rome and travel to Assisi for a welcome Mass and dinner.

Day 2: Assisi

  • Attend Mass at Our Lady of the Angels, the church built over the Porziuncola, which was built by St. Francis; meet with our friend, Brother Allessandro
  • Visit the Santuary of San Damiano
  • Possible meeting with the Bishop of Assisi at his residence
  • Venerate tomb of Blessed Carlo Acutis
  • Dinner in Assisi

Day 3:  Day Trip to Florence

  • Visit many places on our walking tour of Florence: the Baptistery with its elaborate bronze doors by Ghiberti; the Church of the Holy Cross where many nobles are buried, such as Michelangelo, Galileo, and Machiavelli and Santa Maria del Fiore, the famous 13th century cathedral (Duomo) of Florence
  • View on our walking tour of Florence the Piazza Signoria, the Palazzo Vecchio, the Uffizi Gallery, the Ponte Vecchio, and Republic Square.
  • Lunch in the city center and free time to shop and explore the city on your own
  • Dinner in Assisi

Day 4:  Assisi

  • Private Mass at the Basilica of St. Francis followed by a private tour by a Franciscan priest
  • Walking tour through historic center of Assisi

Day 5: Norcia and Loreto

  • After breakfast, depart for Norcia
  • Mass with the monks in their monastery
  • Lunch in a farm-to-table restaurant overlooking the town of Norcia from the hillside of the Sibilini mountains
  • Private reflection with Father Cassian, Prior Emeritus
  • Travel to Loreto for dinner
  • Possible meeting with the Bishop of Loreto

Day 6:  Loreto, Lanciano and Monte Sant’ Angelo

  • Visit the Holy House of Loreto 
  • Venerate the Eucharistic miracle of Lanciano
  • Overnight in Monte Sant’ Angelo and Sanctuary of St. Michael the Archangel

Day 7: San Giovanni Rotondo, Manopello and Rome

  • Visit the Sanctuary of Monte Sant’Angelo (Saint Michael the Archangel)
  • Travel to San Giovanni Rotondo to visit the Church of St. Mary of Grace which houses the mortal remains of St. Padre Pio
  • In Manoppello, venerate the Holy Face of Manoppello
  • Overnight in Rome

Day 8:  Rome

  • Private Mass in the catacombs of St Callistus, followed by a tour
  • Visit St. Paul’s-Outside-the-Walls and Tre Fontane where Paul was martyr  
  • Visit the Grotto of Our Lady of Revelations, a marian apparition where the miracle of the sun occurred

Day 9: Rome 

  • Attend Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica and pray the Angelus with Pope Francis
  • Dine at La Vittoria, a famous restaurant next to the Vatican
  • Walk with Dr. Robert Moynihan through Rome as he explains the centuries of history as you walk pass the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon and the Piazza Navona
  • Visit the church where Mary appeared in the 1800s

 Day 10: Rome 

  • Visit the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica with our friend, Sister Emmanuela for the amazing Faith and Art tour 
  • Free time to shop, explore, or enjoy an espresso in Rome

Day 11:  Rome

  • Travel to the Churches of Sts. Prassedes and Pudentiana
  • Visit two of the patriarchal basilicas in Rome: St. Mary Major and St. John Lateran.  
  • Visit the Holy Stairs near the Basilica of St. John Lateran
  • Venerate sacred relics of Jesus’ Passion at the  Basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme (English: Holy Cross in Jerusalem)
  • Farewell dinner with friends of ITV magazine and pilgrimages  

Day 12:  Depart Rome