DAY 1 - Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli & Chapel of the Porziuncola
This morning we will depart from Gatwick to Rome. Awaiting us in the arrival�s hall will be our Marian Pilgrimages guide and driver who will remain with us for the duration of our pilgrimage. Stunning views of the Italian countryside will make for an enjoyable drive to the town of Assisi, birthplace of St. Francis and St. Clare and resting place of Blessed Carlo Acutis.
After checking into our hotel there will be time to relax before celebrating the opening Mass of our pilgrimage in the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli, home to the Chapel of the Porziuncola where Francis understood his calling and where on Palm Sunday of 1212, he accepted Clare into the Order - a fitting place from which to begin our Franciscan pilgrimage.
We will have time for private prayer in this special place and afterwards see the Chapel of the Transito where Francis died and the famous Rose Garden where today grow the miraculous roses without thorns.
DAY 2 - Tombs of Carlo Acutis, St. Francis of Assisi & St. Clare of Assisi
The name �Carlo Acutis� became known throughout the world when on the 12th of October 2020, in the presence of his parents and siblings, he was beatified in the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. The young Carlo had the capacity to enjoy life in a simple way, and just like St. Francis of Assisi was not impressed by material things. This morning we will celebrate Mass in the Sanctuary of the Spoliation, the resting place of the first millennial beatified, and where the young Francis of Assisi publicly relinquished his lavish lifestyle, in favour of a life of prayer. After Mass we will hear more of the life of Carlo and have time for private prayer at his Tomb.
Our guided afternoon tour of the medieval town of Assisi will begin at the Basilica of St. Clare where we will venerate the original San Damiano cross and afterwards have time for prayer at the Tomb of St. Clare, founder of the Order of the Poor Clares. As we walk through the native town of both Francis and Clare, we will hear of their childhood years and the events that led to the conversion of Francis, the founding of the Franciscan Order, and indeed that of the Poor Clares. Our afternoon tour will conclude at the Basilica of St. Francis where we will have time for prayer at the tomb of the Poor Man of Assisi.
DAY 3 - Church & Convent of San Damiano
Carlo Acutis had a passion for Information Technology and was fascinated by the potential good it could bring. With a small computer he did extraordinary things, creating a website on the Eucharistic Miracles � the contents of which have formed an exhibition that would travel the world. Amongst the Eucharistic Miracles documented is that of St. Clare of Assisi which took place at the Convent of San Damiano. Located in a beautiful setting just outside the walls of Assisi, this morning we will celebrate Mass at the Church of San Damiano and afterwards have a tour of the convent which will include visits to the Refectory, the Dormitory where St. Clare died and beautiful cloister.
As we return to the town of Assisi, we will visit the Cathedral of San Rufino, and after venerating the heart relic of Blessed Carlo Acutis, we will have time for private prayer. The remainder of the afternoon at leisure will give us the opportunity for shopping and personal sightseeing.
DAY 4 - Greccio
This morning we will depart Assisi and drive to the town of Greccio, birthplace of the nativity scene. The sanctuary that rises straight up from the edge of a sheer cliff sits on the site where Saint Francis of Assisi staged the first-ever nativity scene in 1223, marking the beginning of the tradition of the manger scene which soon spread throughout Catholic Europe.
We will celebrate the closing Mass of our pilgrimage and afterwards see the cell in which St. Francis slept. After time at leisure for lunch we will continue our drive to Rome for our return flight home.