France

Lourdes FranceFrance has been at the centre of pilgrimage for centuries. In the twelfth century it was the third most popular pilgrimage destination after Rome and Jerusalem. The main destination was of course Santiago de Compostela. Various routes developed over the centuries through France and across northern Spain - The Ways of St James "Camino Frances" to the tomb of Jesus' apostle Saint James. James the Great was beheaded by Herod and was the first of the apostles to be martyred. His tomb was discovered in the 9th century and rapidly became a major pilgrimage route in the middle ages. UNESCO has now designated the entire route as a World Heritage Site, with 69 monuments along the route being listed as important.

The other more recent destination is Lourdes where well over 6 million pilgrims visit each year. Lourdes was a small insignificant village at the foot of the Pyranees in southwestern France until reports about the Marian apparitions in 1858. Today Lourdes is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in the World after Rome and Jerusalem. Lourdes was the birthplace of St Bernadette to whom Our Lady appeared on many occasions near the Grotto of Massabielle. Sick pilgrims from all over the globe have made their way to Lourdes to either drink or bath in its miraculous healing waters.

Lisieux is the second most important pilgrimage site in France and was home to St Teresa. St Teresa joined the Carmelite order in 1889 at the age of 15. Together with Saint Francis of Assisi, she is one of the most popular saints in the history of the church. Pope Pius X called her "the greatest saint of modern times" and Pope Pius XI accorded her as the Patroness of the Gardens of Vatican, "Sacred Keeper of the Gardens”.

We invite group leaders to contact us for tailor made pilgrimages to Lourdes, travelling on dates of your choice or perhaps our standard tour listed below.


Lourdes

A 5 day Retreat to Lourdes

led by

Example Group Tour

2017

Click here to download example brochure of tour.