Loyola and Rome Program

Ignatian Year

MAY 20, 2021 / JULY 31, 2022
Footsteps Of Ignatius Pilgrimages
“to see all things new in Christ”

All our itineraries are flexible and customizable.

Day 1: Bilbao / Loyola

Arrival at Bilbao airport, meet our experienced tour manager who will assist and guide us throughout our journey, board our private motorcoach and transfer to Loyola.

Depending on the flight’s arrival time, panoramic tour of Bilbao and free time for own visits or lunch. Transfer to Loyola. After checking in at the hotel, we enjoy an orientation tour of the city.

Dinner will be served at our hotel. Overnight.

Day 2: Loyola / exc. Arántzazu

In the morning we will enjoy a guided visit of the Sanctuary built around the tower house of the Loyola family. We visit the Saint Ignatius’ family house, where he was born in 1491, and the Baroque Basilica built in the 18th century and designed by the Italian architect Carlo Maria Fontana.

We celebrate mass in the Chapel of the Conversion, the heart of the Sanctuary, where Inigo changed his life to devote himself to God. Free time for lunch.

In the afternoon we board our motor coach and follow the Three Temple Route to the beautiful Sanctuary of Arántzazu, a site of Marian devotion and pilgrimage. This is considered the beginning of the Ignatian Trail, which the saint began in 1522, on a pilgrimage that took him to Manresa.

We visit the Sanctuary and have time for meditation and prayers.

Before returning to Loyola we view the famous Posada Goiko-Benta, which is one of the places St. Ignatius stayed during his pilgrimage.

Transfer back to our accommodation in time for dinner. Overnight.

Day 3: Loyola / Javier

After breakfast we depart Loyola and travel to Javier where San Francisco Xavier was born and lived. Upon arrival we enjoy a guided visit of the Sanctuary including the Basilica, the Castle where on April 7, 1506, Francisco de Javier was born, and the Parish of the Annunciation in which Francisco was baptized. We celebrate mass.

After checking-in to our hotel we have the day at our leisure.

Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

Day 4: Javier / Manresa / Montserrat  

Today we depart Javier and travel to Manresa, considered the cradle city of the Jesuit order. Saint Ignatius lived in Manresa eleven months that were decisive in his spiritual transformation. In this site he had the mystical and spiritual experiences that inspired him in the writing of his main work the Spiritual Exercises, a method of seeking the will of God, an aid to guide one’s life according to God : “to love and to serve in all things.” We visit the Cave of St. Ignatius where the Saint retired to meditate and we celebrate our mass.

After lunch we continue to the Benedictine Monastery of Montserrat, where Ignatius left his sword, gave away all his fine clothes, and dressed in rough clothes and sandals. Inside the Abbey, enthroned high above the main altar, sits the legendary Moreneta, the “Black Madonna” holding the Christ Child, patron saint of Catalonia.

The afternoon will be free to visit the Monastery and its beautiful surroundings.

Dinner and overnight at our accommodation in Montserrat.

Day 5: Montserrat / Barcelona

After breafkast we walk to the Abbey and celebrate mass at the Cambril de la Mare de Déu, the Chapel behind the Moreneta.

Morning free in Montserrat. If time allows we’ll listen to La Escolania, the Boys Choir, singing with  their white voices the Salve Regina and El Virolai, the hymns dedicated to Our Lady of Montserrat.

It happens at different times of the day, our tour manager will give all the information you need on the spot.

In the afternoon we transfer to Barcelona and our hotel.

Dinner and overnight.

Day 6: Barcelona

After breakfast we enjoy guided panoramic tour of the city: we view Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia which earned him the name of Architect of God. We then view some of his famous buildings, Casa Battlò and La Pedrera, and continue to Placa de Cataluna and the Ramblas. We then walk through the Barrio Gotico and visit some sites related to S. Ignatius, the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar, where Saint Ignatius asked for alms, and the cathedral of Sant’Eulalia where he spent long hours of prayer.

The balance of the day will be at our leisure for self-exploration or optional visits.

Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

Day 7: Barcelona/Rome

Today we transfer to the Barcelona airport for flight to Rome. (Airfare Barcelona / Rome not included).

On the way to our hotel, we stop at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls for visit and mass celebration. This is one of Rome’s four papal basilicas, and the second largest after Saint Peter’s. The Basilica was founded by the Roman Emperor Constantine over the site where Saint Paul was buried. The Basilica is a special place for Jesuits. Here Ignatius and five of his first companions, who were part of the group that co-founded the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), professed their vows on 22 April, 1541. 

We then continue to our accommodation. After checking-in the balance of the day will be at our leisure.

Dinner and overnight.

Day 8: Rome – Ignatian Rome

Today we enjoy a walking tour following the footsteps of Ignatius and the early Jesuits. We start celebrating mass at the Church of Jesus, the Mother Church of the Order of the Jesuits, which began in 1568. Here is where St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Order of the Jesuits, rests in peace. We then visit the nearby Rooms of Ignatius, where he wrote the Constitution of the Jesuits, and see his desk and chair. Built in 1543 and recently restored, for the occasion of the Ignatian year, they are the same where he lived, worked and died: as we pass through these simple rooms, we have the sense of walking back 5 centuries.

We have some free time for lunch and then continue our tour of Ignatian sites.
We visit the Church of San Ignazio, where St. Aloysius Gonzaga and St. Giovanni Berchmans are buried. We also view the Collegio Romano, established by Ignazio to cover schooling from primary to university education, the pontifical Gregorian university, also established by Ignatius in 1551 as a “free” school of grammar, humanity and Christian doctrine, and the Collegio S. Roberto Bellarmino, whose building was purchased in 1607 by the Society of Jesus to make it the seat of the Roman Seminary. We end our visit with the Pantheon, the Basilica of St. Maria Sopra Minerva and Piazza Navona.

Transfer back to our accommodation.
Dinner and overnight.

Day 9: Rome

After breakfast we transfer to the Vatican City to atted the Papal Audience with Pope Francesco.

We then visit the Basilica of St. Peter and have some free time for lunch.

In the afternoon, while we transfer to the Basilica of St. Mary Major, we enjoy a panoramic tour of Ancient Rome including Piazza Venezia and the Fori Imperiali, the Coliseum and Circo Massimo.

We celebrate mass at the Basilica of St. Mary Major where Ignatius celebrated his first mass.

We end our day with a visit to the Basilica of St. John Lateran.

The balance of the day will be at leisure to explore on our own.

Dinner and overnight.

Day 10: Rome / Dept.

After breakfast we transfer to Fiumicino airport in time for our flight back home.

End of our services.

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