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Discover the origins of our French Canadian saints: François de Laval and Marie de l’Incarnation, canonized in 2014, as well as Marguerite Bourgeoys. This pilgrimage includes the circuit created in collaboration with the Quebec diocese for the canonisation in 2014, with a few sanctuaries added, such as Mont St-Michel and the Lisieux Carmel. Marvel at the French scenery and take part in the celebrations surrounding the 850th anniversary of Saint Amadour, complete with solemn mass and torchlight procession in Notre-Dame-de-Rocamadour.
MONTREAL – FLIGHT TO PARIS
Evening departure from Montreal-Trudeau airport (Air France or similar).
Arrival at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle Airport. Transfer to Saint Germain des Prés: visit of the abbey church, were François de Laval was appointed as vicar 1658. Meeting point of France’s arts and history, the Abbey of Saint Germain des Prés, founded in 543, is a spectacular building, and each one of the eras it has seen can be relived inside its walls. Mass at Saint Germain des Prés. Dinner and overnight stay in the heart of Paris.
PARIS – TROYES – PARIS (360 km)
Journey to Troyes, town where Marguerite Bourgeoys spent the first 33 years of her life, until her departure for Nouvelle France in 1653. Together, we will discover the places she frequented, through a spiritual missionary itinerary through Old Troyes. We will visit the Espace, a museum dedicated to Marguerite Bourgeoys and attend mass onsite. Free afternoon to explore the medieval streets of Troyes the Magnificent. Dinner on the way back to Paris. Overnight stay in Paris.
PARIS – MONTIGNY SUR AVRE – CHARTRES (180 km)
Transportation to Montigny sur Avre, where François de Laval was born on April 30, 1623. Exploration of Saint-Martin’s Church, followed by Eucharistic celebration. Stop at Montigny Castle, erected on the Montmorency-Laval family domain. Related to the King, the House of Montmorency is one of the oldest and most noble family in France. From there, transfer to Chartres. High place of Christianity in medieval West, Notre-Dame de Chartres Cathedral boasts an exceptional twelfth- and thirteenth-century religious ensemble: more than 176 stained windows, remarkably well-kept, make for a set of images that is unique in the world. Tour of this striking example of French Gothic architecture, followed by Vespers in the cathedral. Dinner and overnight stay in Chartres.
CHARTRES – ALENÇON – LISIEUX (120 km)
This morning, we leave Chartres for Alençon, where Louis et Zélie Martin had their daughter, Saint Thérèse of Lisieux. Meeting with the religious community and visit of the house where Sainte Thérèse was born. Mass in the adjoining chapel. In the afternoon, explore the city’s Theresian and Martinian sites to better understand the Martin family’s daily life. Stop at Notre-Dame Basilica for a prayer. Journey to Lisieux. Check-in at Ermitage Ste Thérèse. Dinner and overnight stay in Lisieux.
Day of pilgrimage in Lisieux in the footsteps of Sainte Thérèse of the Child Jesus to reflect and pray: Lisieux Carmel, the Basilica and Sainte Thérèse’s family house, ‘’les Buissonnets’’. Furthermore, this pilgrimage will allow you to pray to Louis and Zélie Martin, Sainte Thérèse’s parents – beatified in 2008 – and models of a father and a mother who lived a life dedicated to God. Communal prayer at the Carmel. Dinner and overnight stay in Lisieux.
LISIEUX – MONT SAINT MICHEL (190 km)
Day at Mont Saint-Michel. Between sky and sea, overlooking the immense banks of Mont Saint Michel Bay, the abbey is an exceptional set of buildings, representative of various Medieval styles of architecture. Founded, according to legend, after the Archangel Michel appeared three times in the dreams of the bishop of Avranches in 708, the monastery developed around the abbey church between the tenth and fifteenth centuries. Tour of the site and abbey church. Mass at the parish church. Dinner and overnight stay near Mont-Saint-Michel.
SOLESMES – LA FLÈCHE – TOURS (240 km)
Journey to Solesmes Abbey, where monks studied the works of Marie de l’Incarnation. They edited, amongst other things, her correspondance with her son Claude, who became a Benedictine. Take part in Vespers with the community. We will then head to La Flèche. Here, young François de Laval attended the Jesuit College, which had just been founded by Henri IV. Greetings at the Prytanée National Militaire Chapel (previously the Jesuit College) and prayers to reliques of Saint François de Laval, donated in october 2014 by Cardinal Lacroix of Québec. Transfer to Tours : souper et overnight stay in Tours.
Tours, birthplace of Marie Guyart. We will be met by the Ursulines for a visit of the Saint Michel Chapel and the Petite Bourdaisière, two buildings of the Tours Ursulines Nunnery that existed when Marie Guyart enrolled in 1631. She took the name Marie de l’Incarnation and resided there 8 years, before heading to Canada. Walking tour around Tours’s protected area to discover the Palais des Archevêques (17th – 18th centuries), Saint-Gatien Cathedral (12th – 16th centuries), its famous white wooden houses, Place Plumereau and, lastly, Saint-Martin Basilica, which houses the tomb of Saint Martin in its crypt. Vespers, dinner and overnight stay in Tours.
TOURS – CHENONCEAU – ROCAMADOUR (380 Km)
This morning, departure for Chenonceau Castle, an elegant castle with three arcades, overlooking the Cher river. Mass in the parish church. Picnic on site. In the afternoon, transfer to Rocamadour where we will check-in towards the end of the day. It is here that we will celebrate the 850th anniversary of the body of Saint Amadour (1166). Solemn mass in the village. Torchlight procession from the Hospitalet. Dinner and overnight stay.
This morning, explore Rocamadour, which as been a place of pilgrimage since the Middle Ages. Defying gravity, the village is built on the side of a granite cliff, a superposition of brown roofs, quaint houses and churches. Atop this bold installation the fortified castle offers views down the 150-meter drop, at the bottom of which the Alzou River meanders. Our walking tour takes us through the Stations of the Cross and the Grand Escalier (Great Steps), used by millions of pilgrims, all the way to the 7 chapels comprised in the Sanctuary to Notre Dame. Solemn mass in the morning.
Free afternoon to explore the medieval city. Worship at the Relics of St. Amadour. Dinner and overnight stay in Rocamadour.
ROCAMADOUR – TOULOUSE
Mass at the parish church. After lunch, we head to Toulouse, the Pink City, part of the Way of St. James. Check-in at a hotel downtown. Dinner and overnight stay.
Transfer to the airport for our return flight to Montreal (Air France or similar).
**Itinerary subject to change – Exclusive circuit, all rights reserved**
«It is through the pleading of Notre-Dame de Rocamadour and with the help the First Nations, that Jacques Cartier saved his crew in 1536, during his first winter in Nouvelle-France. Inspired by the historical roots of our Faith, we will honour the Virgin for all she has done and still accomplishes in our country.»
Father Julien Guillot, Qc
She has a degree in Tourism and French literature and is passionate about history and architecture, and has extensive experience as a guide in France and a tour escort in Europe. In professional tourism for over 20 years, she has acquired a know-how that enables her to identify the expectations of travelers, to give them good advice, to offer them a sincere look elsewhere, and to share her knowledge with passion.
Priest in the Archdiocese of Quebec, Father Julien Guillot was the general manager for the leadership team for the first Porte Sainte en Amérique, at Notre-Dame de Québec Basilica. Recently named parish priest in Limoilou and Quebec, he his the new chancellor of the Notre-Dame-de-Rocamadour Sanctuary, the first in Canada. Recognized for his work in pastoral tourism, he was name Tourism Personality of 2015 by the Quebec Chamber of Commerce and Industries.
Early booking bonus: 3 690$ per person (based on double occupancy)
(if booked before April 16th, 2016)
Regular price : 3 790$ per person (based on double occupancy)
Nb of participants : min. 15, max. 40
Single room supplement : 545 $ (*Limited availability*)
* We offer the possibility to share the room if you are travelling alone. In case Spiritours is not able to pair you, we assume the additional cost, but the registration must be done at least 60 days before the trip. If needed, we will pair you during the trip.