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

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Journey Toward The Face of Christ

May 28 – June 7, 2022

This pilgrimage is part of our boutique line of Classic Pilgrimages – carefully budgeted for couples and single travelers so that they can experience the unique qualities of Inside the Vatican Pilgrimages at our most affordable price, without sacrificing Inside the Vatican Pilgrimages integrity and style.  These are small, private groups, not to exceed 30 pilgrims. To learn more about our Classic pilgrimages, click on the button below.

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 over that time, 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 cataloguing 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
  • Visit the Church 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.

Pilgrim Pointing Towards City of Assisi

Holy Face of Manoppello, Italy

Pilgrimage Overview

Day 1:  Assisi

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

Day 2: Assisi

  • Attend Sunday 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 Basilica of St. Rufino and the Basilica of St. Clare
  • Possible meeting with the Bishop of Assisi at his residence
  • Dinner in Assisi

Day 3:  Assisi – 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 and Norcia

  • Private Mass at the Basilica of St. Francis followed by a private tour by a Franciscan priest
  • Travel to Norica for dinner — all fresh and local ingredients

Day 5: 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

  • Visit the Holy House of Loreto 
  • Travel to Manoppello and drive along the Adriatic coastline of Italy
  • Venerate the Holy Face of Manoppello, attend a private Mass followed by an explanation of the Holy Face by our friend, Sister Petra-Maria
  • Travel to Rome for dinner in the monastery

Day 7: Rome

  • Visit the church of St. Pudentiana where the popes lived till the 3rd century and where Peter lived for 7 years; visit St. Prassedes, visit St John Lateran and St. Mary Major – learn of the devotion of Our Lady of the Snows
  • Venerate the original holy icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help; the Holy Stairs and the holy relics of the passion of Christ in Santa Croce in Gerusalemme  

 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
  • Visit the “Little Lourdes” in the center of Rome

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 
  • Farewell dinner with friends of ITV magazine and pilgrimages