Marian Shrines Pilgrimage

A Pilgrimage to Portugal, Spain, & France With Joan Watson

June 20 - 30, 2024

About

Join Verso Ministries and Joan Watson on a Marian pilgrimage across the Iberian Peninsula. As we travel from Fatima to Lourdes at a contemplative pace, we will have the opportunity to pray at both ancient and modern Marian sites. Specifically curated by Joan with daily focuses and themes, this journey will increase your love of Jesus through his Mother and saints like Anthony, Dominic, and Teresa of Avila.

Trip Details

Group Type

Open to All

Length

11 days, 10 nights

Accommodations

Standard

Cost

As low as

$4,567

Deposit:

$500

What's Included

Dedicated pilgrimage director, supplemented by local guides
Custom booklet for each pilgrim
Private transportation on motor coach
All tickets and donations for included activities listed on itinerary
Standard accommodations
Breakfast daily at hotel, one lunch, six dinners (including wine at dinners)
Gratuities for pilgrimage director, guide(s), driver(s), and meals
Audio headsets for pilgrims

Itinerary

June 20
Depart U.S.
  • Depart U.S. (flights not included in the package)

 

June 21
Lisbon

Theme: Setting the Stage

  • Arrive in Lisbon, transfer to hotel
  • Visit a number of local churches, including the Cathedral and the birthplace of St. Anthony of Lisbon
  • After Mass in a local church, conclude the day with a welcome dinner at local restaurant
  • Overnight in Lisbon
  • Accommodations: Hotel 3K Barcelona or similar 4*
  • Meals included: Dinner
June 22
Lisbon, Santarem, Batalha, Fatima

Theme: The Two Pillars: the Eucharist and Our Lady

  • Depart for Santarem, the site of the Eucharistic Miracle of 1247, to celebrate Mass in front of the Miracle
  • Continue with a visit to the nearby Monastery of Batalha, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of the most important Gothic sites in Portugal, Batalha was built to thank our Blessed Mother for a crucial military victory and was home to Dominicans until 1834.
  • Transfer to Fatima and participate in the evening candlelight rosary procession
  • Overnight in Fatima
  • Accommodations: Hotel Santa Maria or similar 4*
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
June 23
Fatima

Theme: Our Lady of Fatima

  • Spend the full day in Fatima exploring the shrine, including the Chapel of the Apparitions (the cappella that marks the spot of most of Mary’s apparitions), the original Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary, the Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity, the homes of the three children of Fatima, and other surrounding sites
  • Visit Valinhos, the site of Mary’s fourth appearance, as well as Loca do Cabeço and the Well of Arneiro, the sites of the visits from the Angel of Peace
  • Celebrate Mass at the shrine, as well as have free time for personal devotion and shopping at the local storefronts
  • Overnight in Fatima
  • Accommodations: Hotel Santa Maria or similar 4* Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
June 24
Fatima, Alba de Tormes, Avila

Theme: The Holy Family

  • Depart for Spain and head for Alba de Tormes to pray at St. Teresa of Avila’s tomb and relics, including her incorrupt heart, and celebrate Mass
  • Continue to Avila, with time to explore the charming city on your own
  • Overnight in Avila
  • Accommodations: Hotel Palacio de Los Velada or similar 4*
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
June 25
Avila

Theme: Learning from Teresa and Dominic

  • Visit the sites of the beautiful walled city of Avila, including the Cathedral and the convent built on the site of Teresa’s home
  • In the afternoon, pray within the penitential cave of St. Dominic and celebrate Mass (pending)
  • Overnight in Avila
  • Accommodations: Hotel Palacio de Los Velada or similar 4*
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
June 26
Avila, Zaragoza

Theme: Mary and the Early Church

  • Depart for Zaragoza, a city with over 2,000 years of history and where Mary appeared to St. James the Great in 40 AD (the only reported apparition of Our Lady prior to her Assumption)
  • Celebrate Mass at the Cathedral-Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar
  • Finish the day with a tasting at a local winery
  • Overnight in Zaragoza
  • Accommodations: NH Collection Grand Hotel or similar 4*
  • Meals: Breakfast
June 27
Zaragoza, Torreciudad, Lourdes

Theme: Devotion continues: Reconquista and Modern Devotion to Mary

  • Depart for the Sanctuary of Torreciudad, where devotion to Our Lady here dates to the 11th century, but the carving of Our Lady was hidden until the Reconquista of Spain
  • Pray in the modern church which was built by St. Josemaria Escriva, whose life was saved by the Virgin of Torreciudad
  • Mass at the Sanctuary before departing for Lourdes
  • Upon arrival in Lourdes, enjoy free time to explore the town and sanctuary before dinner
  • Overnight in Lourdes
  • Accommodations: Grand Hotel Moderne or similar 4*
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
June 28
Lourdes

Theme: The Immaculate Conception

  • Full day to explore the Lourdes shrine, including an orientation tour of the sites, such as St. Bernadettes’ home
  • Celebrate Mass at Lourdes before having free time in the afternoon for prayer, private devotions, the baths, and shopping
  • Overnight in Lourdes
  • Accommodations: Grand Hotel Moderne or similar 4*
  • Meals included: Breakfast

 

June 29
Lourdes

Theme: Mary, Undoer of All Knots

  • End the pilgrimage with prayer and relaxation, enjoying a free day with time for private devotions throughout the shrine, shopping the local storefronts, visiting the baths, walking the life-size Stations of the Cross, or praying at the Grotto and the basilicas
  • Finish the day and the pilgrimage with a Vigil Mass and farewell dinner in a local restaurant
  • Overnight in Lourdes
  • Accommodations: Grand Hotel Moderne or similar 4*
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
June 30
Toulouse

Theme: We are sent!

  • Transfer to Toulouse airport for flight home to the U.S. (flights not included in the package)
  • Meals included: Breakfast

Led by

ChaplainGroup Leader
Fr. Anselm Rodriguez, O.Praem.
Springfield, IL

Fr. Anselm is a Norbertine priest from St. Michael’s Abbey in CA, sent this past July with seven others to establish Corpus Christi Priory. Ordained for three years, he has taught philosophy and
theology, served as Rector of an elementary school, offers retreats around the country, and recently led a mother-daughter pilgrimage to Rome. After travelling to holy sites in France and Italy, and especially studying theology in Rome for two years, Fr. Anselm sees the Church’s ancient tradition of making pilgrimages as a unique and truly life-changing experience, which can both broaden one’s cultural horizons and spur deep spiritual growth. He is eager to share his love for the Church, the liturgy, the saints, and especially Our Blessed Mother.

Joan Watson
South Bend, Indiana

Joan fell in love with the Church while studying in Rome. Witnessing the funeral of Pope St. John Paul and the election of Pope Benedict instilled in Joan the passion to evangelize, especially through pilgrimage. Joan has worked for the Church and various religious apostolates for seventeen years. In addition to being pilgrim formation manager at Verso, she is a Catholic speaker, writer, and podcaster and loves introducing people to the things she loves.

Pricing

As low as

$4,567

Package Cost (without savings)

$4,967

Trip Savings

Early bird (first 10 to register until September 30, 2023)
$400/person

Optional Add-ons

Single room supplement (limited availability)
$919/person
Travel protection
Quotation provided after registration*

Pricing listed per person in double-occupancy rooms and does not include airfare.
The number of available single-occupancy rooms is limited.

*Travel protection premium is calculated based on a variety of factors and optional plans are provided by Travel Insured International”

Rates assume a minimum of 30 full-paying pilgrims.

  • Roundtrip airfare (optional add-on)
  • Passport, visa, or luggage fees
  • Any personal purchases
  • Meals while traveling, all meals not explicitly listed on the itinerary, and drinks at meals (except for wine at dinners)
  • Recommended travel insurance (optional add-on)
  • Anything else not explicitly mentioned as included

Designated Arrival and Departure Times

Arrival Information

  • Arrive by: June 21, 2023
  • Arrival time: By 11:00 a.m.
  • Arrival airport: Humberto Delgado Lisbon International Airport (LIS)
  • Arrival transfer: Pilgrims arriving by 11:00 a.m. will be transferred to the hotel in one group at noon.

Departure Information

  • Depart on: June 30, 2023
  • Departure time: Anytime after 11:00 a.m.
  • Departure airport: Toulouse-Blagnac Airport (TLS)
  • Departure transfer: Pilgrims departing on June 30 will be transferred to the airport in one group, arriving at the airport by 8:00 a.m.

Standard Accommodations:

  • Lisbon: Hotel 3K Barcelona or similar 4*
  • Fatima: Hotel Santa Maria or similar 4*
  • Avila: Hotel Palacio de Los Velada
  • Zaragoza: NH Collection Grand Hotel or similar 4* Lourdes: Grand Hotel Moderne or similar 4*

Need to get around? Private transfers

  • Please note: If you arrive/depart outside of the designated times, private transfers (fee applies) can be arranged on your behalf. Airport transfers outside of the designated arrival/departure times are not included in the package pricing.
  • Need to book? Contact us at hello@versoministries.com or call us at (574) 383-9396.

Arriving early or staying late? Pre-stay and post-stay options

There is no extension for this pilgrimage. Please contact us at hello@versoministries.com or call us at (574) 383-9396 with any questions or special requests.

Deposit due upon registration – $500/person

Final balance due 120 days prior to departure – Final balance

Please note: Payment plans can be arranged if needed. Please contact us if you would like to pay in several installments.

Final package price is estimated. Prices are based on the current exchange rate (as of July 2023). Any drastic fluctuations in currency exchange rates could affect the final pilgrimage pricing. If you have any questions about pricing and when final pricing decisions will be communicated, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time.

Cancellation Policy

All cancellations must be submitted to Verso Ministries in written form and received via email or mail. Any refunds, as applicable, will be processed based on the date stamp of email or mail received.

Cancellations are possible at any time, but refunds will be subject to the cancellation fees listed on the specific website of the pilgrimage departure and the terms of our suppliers. All suppliers have their own cancellation policies, which apply to your booking. Cancellation fees are for individual pilgrims, and fees will be charged per person per booking.

Typically, the cancellation fee schedule is as follows:

  • Required deposit is fully refundable up to 14 days after payment (if deposit is made more than 180 days prior to departure).
  • Cancellation 14 days after deposit and 91 days or more from departure: deposit retained
  • 90-61 days prior to departure: 25% of the trip cost is non-refundable
  • 60-31 days prior to departure: 50% of the trip cost is non-refundable
  • 30-0 days prior to departure: 100% of the trip cost is non-refundable (no refund given).

The cancellation fee schedule for each particular departure may vary from the typical schedule. Please refer to the exact cancellation fee schedule for each pilgrimage which is listed on the information page for each pilgrimage listed on the www.VersoMinistries.com website.

Any cancellation charges incurred from other suppliers or vendors (flight, lodging, ground transportation, tickets, etc.) may come in addition to the administrative fees listed on the specific website of the pilgrimage departure. All group flight airline tickets, optional excursions, trip options, pre/post extensions, private transfers, and additional hotel nights are non-refundable 100 days or less prior to departure unless otherwise noted. Suppliers may choose to provide a travel voucher or credit in lieu of refund. We are not responsible for a supplier’s failure to pay a refund or for supplier bankruptcy or insolvency.

FAQ

The sooner you register for the pilgrimage, the better! Not only does registering early guarantee you a spot on the pilgrimage before the departure fills up, but you don’t want to miss out on available discounts, including the early bird savings (see “Trip Savings” in the Pricing section above more details). Also, there is no risk for 14-days after you register should you then have to cancel (must register 180 days or more prior to departure). So let’s say you register for a pilgrimage, but then realize you can no longer attend, as long as you cancel your pilgrimage within 14-days of registering and registered more than 180s days prior to the departure, then we will fully refund your deposit no questions asked. Just send us a written confirmation of your cancellation and we will take care of the rest. Plus, the sooner you register the sooner your journey begins. Register today!

There is no risk! Your deposit will be fully refunded as long as you cancel within 14-days of registering and you have registered more than 180 days or more prior to departure. With no risk, why wait? Get registered today!

Registration closes when the pilgrimage reaches the maximum number of pilgrims. If the pilgrimage is filled when you register, you will be added to our waiting list, and contacted in the event that space on the pilgrimage becomes available. Don’t miss your chance, register now and begin your journey.

We highly recommend that all pilgrims buy travel protection. Travel protection is not only for peace of mind, but helps protect you and those you are traveling with from unforeseen emergencies, which always seem to happen at the worst possible time. In the event of emergencies, both before and during your travels, as well other circumstances, like travel delay, lost baggage, missed connection(s), and much more, travel protection can help. Upon registration you will receive a travel protection quotation. If you have any questions regarding your quotation, please call the issuing company. If you need an updated or new quotation, please contact us at hello@versoministries.com or call us at 574-383-9396. We are happy to help!

Including optional add-ons with your pilgrimage can really add to your experience whether it is a private transfer or arranging an extra night stay beforehand so you are rested when the pilgrimage begins. If you would to add on any optional arrangements, as listed above, please email us at hello@versoministries.com or call us at 574-383-9396.

A pilgrimage, at its simplest, is a trip of faith. Which means a pilgrimage can be anything from a walk around your city to an encounter of Jesus in the Holy Land. For Catholics, it’s a trip of faith that people have been taking for hundreds or even thousands of years, many times in the same exact places you can visit today. It’s an opportunity to experience the spots God has made his presence known most in time and space, whether that’s where Jesus walked, where Mary appeared, or where the saints have lived and worked.

At Verso, we believe in crafting pilgrimages that offer you a view of God’s world and his work in it that you can’t get anywhere else. We believe everything from the holy sites, to the meals, to daily Mass, to your fellow pilgrims are ways God can speak to you, which means we’re intentional about it all. We also believe a pilgrimage isn’t just the days you travel, it’s how you prepare from the moment you sign up, to the days and weeks after you arrive home. Which means it’s our intention to shepherd you through the entire process — before, during, and after — so you can have the best, most transformative experience possible. We’re not just travel experts, we’re experts in Catholic pilgrimage.

We know from experience that preparing for a journey is just as important as the journey itself. Our goal is to make sure you’re physically, logistically, and spiritually ready for your pilgrimage. You’ll receive essential emails that will walk you through the process and give you ways to prepare your mind and heart for what you’ll encounter. A pre-trip webinar will make sure you are in touch with the Verso leader of the trip, can get trip-specific info, and can ask questions. We’ll send you a pilgrim kit that contains a comprehensive booklet for your trip along with some Verso swag (such as a bag, pen, and sticker) that you can bring along with you on your pilgrimage. And of course, we’re always available by phone or email if you have any questions or special needs.

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Activity Level

Easy
This trip’s activity level is easy. It’s recommended that travelers be in good health to enjoy this itinerary and be able to walk and climb stairs on their own. Trips at this activity level may include half or full-day itineraries with 1-3 hours of leisurely walking per day on smooth or slightly inclined terrain. The pace is more relaxed, with opportunities to rest throughout the day.

Moderate
This trip’s activity level is moderate. Travelers must be in good health and be in good physical condition to enjoy this itinerary. Travelers must be able to walk and climb stairs on their own. Trips at this activity level may include full-day itineraries of 3-5 hours of walking at a normal to brisk pace per day on varied terrain including uneven surfaces, stairs, and hills. The pace is faster and more demanding, with some breaks throughout the day.

Difficult
This trip’s activity level is difficult. Travelers must be in good health and physically fit to enjoy this itinerary. Trips at this activity level may include full-day itineraries with up to 5-7 hours of walking at normal to brisk pace per day on varied terrain including uneven surfaces, stairs, and steep hills. The pace is vigorous and demanding, with little down time each day.

Accommodation Level

Simple
For the duration of your trip, enjoy a range of lodging accommodations — from quaint guesthouses to simple-styled hotels. Discover a newfound appreciation for each of these locations which often have a unique character of their own. With your private bathroom and sleeping quarters, these locations will provide you with a clean, comfortable, and cozy place to settle into during your journey.

Standard
Venues at this level will provide you with the best accommodations at a reasonable cost. Not only will you have access to modern amenities and services, but special care is taken to ensure hotels are located in close proximity to the area’s local attractions. Expect your stay at this level to provide you with an added feeling of comfortability and convenience as you experience your pilgrimage.

Premium
Your stay at the premium level will ensure that your travel involves the opportunity to experience some of the most unique and luxurious stays that a destination has to offer. You’ll find that traveling at this level will afford you the opportunity to optimize your experience at each spot. From fine dining to scenic views, anticipate that your pilgrimage will provide you with breathtaking experiences no other location could provide.

How will I know what my stay will be like?
Each of our pilgrimage locations come with their own unique accommodations. From simple to luxurious, you can know that the care and satisfaction of each pilgrim is our greatest priority. While specific amenities will vary, we are sure that each of these handpicked locations will leave you rested, rejuvenated, and ready for each day.