DAY 1 – ARRIVE TO CASCIA
Depart Dublin Airport at approximately 06:20hrs. Our Joe Walsh tours representative will meet us on arrival in Rome. After collecting our luggage, we will be transferred by private coach to Cascia. We will have lunch on the way before checking in at the Hotel Meraviglia, where we will be spending the next 5 nights on a Half board basis. Mass in the Lower Basilica at 17:00.
Dinner and overnight in the hotel.
DAY 2: ROCCAPORENTA
Today after breakfast we will make our way to Roccaporena, the birthplace of Santa Rita. One of the many places to visit on your pilgrimage to Cascia, is Roccaporena, a small town in the Italian province of Teramo, lying on the slope of Mount San Benedetto. This alluring village, known to have existed since the Middle Ages, is also believed to be the place where Saint Rita prayed and lived.
The town has several other interesting attractions to see, from Casa Natal de Santa Rita or “The House of Saint Rita” where the Saint was born and her family home, the Orto del Miracolo or “Miracle Orchard”, and Santuario di Saint Rita, a sanctuary dedicated to the Saint. Mass at 12:00
DAY 3: CASCIA
Today after breakfast we will have a full day exploring Cascia. The city of Cascia is ideal for those looking for spiritual peace, tranquillity and beauty. Located in the Italian Province of Perugia in Umbria, Cascia is important in the history of Catholic Christianity and the Roman Catholic Church because it is the birthplace of Saint Rita who lived from 1381-1457. We will be visiting many attractions including the Basilica of Santa Rita da Cascia. The Basilica of Saint Rita or tomb of Saint Rita is one of the most famous shrines in Cascia and a beautiful space for its magnificent architecture and art. Mass in the Lower Basilica at 17:00.
Nowadays Saint Rita is celebrated in May (to coincide with the anniversary of her death) in Cascia with a 10-day celebration that refers to the history and tradition of the Saint.
DAY 4: ASSISI, ST.MARIA DEGLI ANGELI, BASILICA OF ST FRANCIS & BASILICA OF ST CLARE
Today we visit Assisi. Possibly we will have Mass in S.Maria degli Angeli. It will be a privilege as it is the ‘Patron of Assisi’. We have a walking tour of the main sights of the medieval town of Assisi. We visit the impressive thirteenth century Basilica of St. Francis, the mother church of the Franciscan order. Construction of the Basilica started a mere two years after the death of St. Francis. We also visit the Basilica of St. Clare, foundress of the Order of the Poor Clares. Time permitting we will visit the town of Norcia.
DAY 5: FULL DAY IN CASCIA
Today we will have time to relax and spend the day in Cascia. We will have free time for prayers and explore in depth where Saint Rita lived and preached her faith and where the Eucharistic miracle is preserved. Saint Rita is also known as “the Saint of the desperate cases and the seemingly impossible.
Saint Rita of Cascia’s story:
Her holiness was reflected in each phase of her life. Born at Roccaporena in central Italy, Rita wanted to become a nun but was pressured at a young age into marrying a harsh and cruel man. During her 18-year marriage, she bore and raised two sons. Saint Rita was both a physical and a spiritual mother. She was a spouse of Christ—a perfect man, and of her husband—a flawed man. She knew intimately the vocation both to religious and to married life, giving her a certain status, or credibility, with both consecrated and married women, which few others saints enjoy.
DAY 6: TRAVEL TO ROME FOR FLIGHT BACK HOME
Today is our last day of this beautiful pilgrimage. After breakfast and check out from the Hotel Meraviglia we will be picked up at 09:30 and start making our way to Rome for our flight back to Dublin departing at 15:10.