The Shrines of Spain Pilgrimage Tour visits some of the most important Shrines on the whole Iberian Peninsula. In the cosmopolitan city of Barcelona, we begin with a visit to the magnificent Basilica de la Sagrada Familia. Dominating the city skyline this yet unfinished masterpiece designed by famed architect, Antonio Gaudi has been under construction for over 135 years. We will have the opportunity to admire its beauty from the outside as well as the inside. We will also walk through the Gothic Quarter to visit the cathedral and explore the colorful markets of Las Ramblas. Located in the mountains just outside the city, we will visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Montserrat to venerate the miraculous statue of the Black Madonna. Over the centuries a steady stream of pilgrims have come here to pray, including St. Ignatius of Loyola. It was in a nearby cave in Manresa that he lived for many months in poverty, prayer, and penitence, and where he wrote his “Book of Spiritual Exercises.” In Zaragoza, we will visit the Shrine to Our Lady of Pilar, the first known Apparition of the Virgin Mary, and it was while she was still living in Jerusalem. Known as Our Lady of Pilar, she was carried on a pillar by Angels to St. James the Apostle who was experiencing great difficulties evangelizing this area of Northern Spain. She assured him of her support in his endeavors and asked that a shrine be built on the site where she appeared and as an expression of her aid, she left the marble column, or pillar, topped by a small statue of herself holding her Infant Son, which can still be seen at the shrine today. The Shrines of Spain Pilgrimage Tour will visit the walled city of Toledo where we will visit the many churches and synagogues, and admire the works of “El Greco,” a master of Spanish painting in the 1600s. Santiago de Compostella is considered to be the most important Shrine of Spain and became a worldwide pilgrimage destination during the Middle Ages. Known as “El Camino” or “The Way of St. James,” pilgrims from all over Europe walked to this small town in Northwestern Spain following a route marked with the symbol of a yellow scallop shell on a blue background, to touch and pray before the tomb of St. James the Greater. During the Shrines of Spain Pilgrimage Tour, we will have the opportunity to walk a small part of this ancient route. We will attend the International Pilgrim Mass at the Cathedral of St. James and visit the crypt where the relics of St. James are preserved. Although it is in Portugal, the Shrines of Spain Pilgrimage Tour will also visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima where the Virgin Mary appeared to three children in 1917. We will pray at the tombs of Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco, and visit their childhood homes. We will celebrate Mass and pray the rosary at the Little Chapel of the Apparitions and join the many pilgrims for the candlelight procession each evening. Other highlights in Portugal include a visit to Santarem to venerate the Eucharistic Miracle and Mass at the Church of St. Anthony of Padua in Lisbon. Why don’t you go ahead and book a Shrines of Spain Pilgrimage Tour today?