Project Description

 “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page”- St. Augustine

Classic Italy Pilgrimage

Women Saints Through the Centuries” with Barbara Heil!

Rome: October 12 – 20, 2020

We have carefully budgeted our Classic Pilgrimages for families, 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 integrity and style. These pilgrimages are limited to 35 pilgrims, never more! We cap the number of pilgrims because we want to keep each pilgrimage as intimate as possible.

what is a classic pilgrimage?

Join Inside the Vatican Pilgrimages in this unique opportunity with Barbara Heil and our own, Deborah Tomlinson, on a sacred journey through Rome and nearby areas, encountering Our Lady and the feminine genius’ of the female saints, leaders and benefactors of the early Church and Rome.

During our time in Rome we will be staying at the beautiful Villa Serenella, a stately, typically Roman villa-turned-monastery surrounded by 13 acres of olive groves, pine trees, and walking paths. Situated outside of the city, the Villa Serenella is a perfect place to retreat to and relax after a day of touring the city!

what is the villa serenella?

Pilgrimage Overview

October 12 – 20, 2020

  • Spend 8 nights at the Villa Serenella, a Maronite monastery in Rome
  • Attend Mass in Peter’s Basilica
  • Attend a Sunday Angelus with Pope Francis in Peter’s Square
  • Attend a Wednesday Papal Audience as a guest of Inside the Vatican magazine
  • Meet Robert Moynihan, leading Vatican analyst and founder and editor of Inside the Vatican magazine; Deborah Tomlinson, the Chief Operating Officer; and many friends of Inside the Vatican magazine
  • Dine with Dr. Robert Moynihan and special guests and friends of Inside the Vatican magazine
  • Gain insight into the workings of the Vatican from Dr. Moynihan
  • Enjoy a walking tour of Baroque Rome led by Dr. Robert Moynihan to the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon and Piazza Navona
  • Enjoy a private tour of St. Peter’s Square
  • Enjoy a visit to the Basilica of Santo Spirito, the Divine Mercy Sanctuary in Rome
  • Enjoy a guided private Faith and Art Tour of the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums
  • Visit the 4 major Basilicas of Rome: Peter’s, St. Mary Major, St. John Lateran, and St. Paul-Outside-the-Walls
  • Climb the Holy Stairs (on your knees) near the Basilica of St. John Lateran, optional
  • Visit Santa Croce in Gerusalmme, the church containing relics of the passion from Jerusalem
  • Travel along the Appian Way
  • Explore the Catacombs of St. Priscilla with a private Mass in the catacombs
  • Visit the sites of two Marian apparitions: Grotto of our Lady of Revelations and the Basilica of Sant’Andrea delle Fratte where Our Lady appeared to Alphonse Ratisbonne exactly as she appears on the Miraculous Medal
  • View four original Caravaggio paintings
  • View venerated images of Our Lady, Protectress of the Roman People, Our Lady of Confidence, Our Lady of Perpetual Help and Madonna del Popolo
  • Visit the site of the miracle of The Floating Stone Madonna
  • Visit churches of several important women saints: Prassedes, St. Pudentiana, St. Bridgit of Sweden, St. Catherine of Sweden
  • Venerate relics of St. Monica and many more saints
  • Visit Santa Maria Sopra Minirva Basilica where the remains of Catherine of Siena are buried
  • Visit the Church of Three Fountains, Sebastian’s and Domino Quo Vadis and learn of their importance in the lives of Sts. Peter and Paul.

Day Trips:

  • Assisi: Tour Basilica of St. Francis and visit his tomb; tour Basilica of Our Lady of the Angels and St. Francis’ Portiuncula; tour Basilica of St. Clare and pray at her tomb; take walking tour of Assisi
  • Castel di Leva: visit the Shrine of Mother of Divine Love
  • Castel Gandolfo: site of the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo (summer residence and vacation retreat of the Pope) now a museum (which we will tour) and home to one of our favorite restaurants
  • Attend a cooking class with the Italian chef at the Villa and learn to make tiramisu.

While our primary focus during this pilgrimage is women saints of the Church, we have designed it for the enjoyment and spiritual enrichment of both men and women.

A Letter of Invitation …

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I would like to invite you to join Deborah Tomlinson and myself on a Roman pilgrimage in the footsteps of venerable women of the Faith, who call us to enter with them into the Kingdom of Heaven.  From the earliest days of the church, men and women have harkened to the call of holiness exemplified by countless women saints through history, and, of course, by the Mother of Christ herself.

More than a tour, it will be a true pilgrimage – a journey both physical and spiritual – that we will travel through Rome and Assisi, where we will drink of the legacy and lives of many women who were faithful witnesses of the Faith through their lives, leadership, witness and even death.  In Rome, we will visit the shrines of Sts. Prassedes and Pudentiana, early Roman believers, sisters and daughters of St. Pudens, baptized by St. Paul, and women who offered shelter to St. Peter!  We will participate in a Papal audience and then go to Our Lady of Revelations where the Holy Mother Mary appeared.  We will also visit the Vatican museums and the Catacombs of St. Priscilla, with its Marian depictions and mural of an early Christian woman.

We will go to Assisi, to the chapels of St. Clare and of St. Francis, and continue our pilgrimage with special Masses, time for prayer and contemplation, returning to Rome to visit holy sites associated with  St. Bridget, the Blessed Virgin, St. Monica, and more!

Plus, we will see original Caravaggio paintings during our journey, and enjoy an Italian cooking class for good measure! Please read the Information and Registration Packet for the complete schedule and make plans to join us for this unique pilgrimage in the footsteps of women saints through the centuries.

Barbara Heil

for more information about barbara heil