World Youth Day 2023
Lisbon Portugal

At the closing mass of World Youth Day 2019, Panama, Cardinal Kevin Farrell, head of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, officially announced the location of the next World Youth Day. That site will be Lisbon, Portugal, and will take place in July 2022.

 

With the rich Catholic heritage of Portugal and the return to the summer for 2022, this next World Youth Day has the potential of being a great success! Faith Journeys, would be proud to serve as your ministry partner in planning and attending this great event with your youth.

Catholic Heritage in Portugal

Braga

One of the oldest Christian cities in Europe. Burial site of the first king of Portugal, Afonso, site of Our Lady of Sameiro (the second-most visited shrine in Portugal) and Bom Jesus do Monte (Good Jesus of the Mountain) where pilgrims can meditate on the Stations of the Cross while climbing stairs to the top of the mountain.

Coimbra

Portugal’s second city and its medieval capital and the home of the Convent of Santa Clara, where Sr. Lucia dos Santos of Fatima lived the last 57 years of her life. Attached to the convent is a small museum that traces the life of Sr. Lucia and the apparitions of the Virgin Mary at Fatima.

Fatima

Considered the most significant Marian apparition of the 20th century, Our Lady appeared monthly to three shepherd children in a field, just outside Fatima, between May and October of 1917. Pilgrims can visit the site of the apparitions, Cova da Iria, the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima and The Church of the Holy Trinity, among many other beautiful sites, chapels and churches.

Lisbon

The capitol and largest city in Portugal and the birthplace of St. Anthony of Padua. The religious and historical sites of this ancient city including Pombal square, Liberty Avenue, Rossio Square, Belem Tower and the cities beautiful Romanesque Cathedral.

Porto

Located on the banks of the Douro River, in Northwestern of the country, Porto is the second largest city in Portugal. With the Gothic Porto Cathedral, the Church of St. Francis, the stunning Sao Bento Train Stations, cobbled streets and lovely bridges, Porto is a wonderful place to visit (or to spend a few days on pilgrimage).

Santarem

This small town in the central part of the country is the site of a great Eucharistic Miracle. Today, the city still contains a castle, a 14th century fountain a medieval tower and several historic churches.

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Other Nearby Catholic Heritage SItes

Sample Itineraries

Day 1: Sunday
Our journey begins as we depart the USA on an overnight flight to Lisbon, Portugal.

 

Day 2: Monday: Arrival in Portugal
Arrival into Lisbon and meet our Faith Journeys representative who will assist us to the awaiting motorcoach and transfer into the city. Half-day guided tour of the city that is rich in art, architecture, spirit, and home to many saints. Visit St. Anthony’s Church, known in Portugal as a marriage saint, because legend has him as a conciliator of couples. Check-in to the hotel for dinner and overnight.

 

Day 3: Tuesday: World Youth Day Opening Mass
Morning at leisure (or guided tour if it did not happen on day of arrival). Afternoon and evening participation in the opening of the World Youth Day in Lisbon.

 

Day 4: Wednesday: World Youth Day
Morning Catechesis and World Youth Day activities. WYD participants, organized by language groups, will have catechesis sessions with bishops from all over the world. The sessions will take place in church, school, auditoriums, and sports centers in Lisbon. Afternoon gathering for all pilgrims from the USA.

 

Day 5: Thursday: World Youth Day & Arrival of Pope Francis
Morning Catechesis and World Youth Day activities. WYD participants, organized by language groups, will have catechesis sessions with bishops from all over the world. The sessions will take place in church, school, auditoriums, and sports centers in Lisbon. Arrival of Pope Frances and Welcoming Mass.

 

Day 6: Friday: World Youth Day & Stations of the Cross
Morning Catechesis and World Youth Day activities. WYD participants, organized by language groups, will have catechesis sessions with bishops from all over the world. The sessions will take place in church, school, auditoriums, and sports centers in Lisbon. Take part in the Stations of the Cross in the afternoon.

 

Day 7: Saturday: World Youth Day & Overnight Vigil 
Young people will arrive at the site for the Overnight Vigil. The pope will arrive and Eucharistic adoration will begin. An address is made by the Holy Father. Overnight Vigil.

 

Day 8: Sunday: World Youth Day, Papal Mass
Pope Francis will concelebrate Mass with thousands of bishops and priests, and he will address the young people, to send them out to the world to witness to their faith, as the Lord did with His Apostles. At the end of the Mass, the Holy Father will announce the place where the next edition of World Youth Day will be held. Culmination of World Youth Day 2023. Return to Lisbon. Enjoy a dinner as a group.

 

Day 9: Monday: Santarem & Fatima
Full-day excursion to Santarem and Fátima. Santarem (Portugal’s third largest city) is a site of many churches, including the Church of the Holy Miracle, which contains a 13th century Eucharistic miracle on continuous display since 1269. Continue to Fatima to Celebrate Mass. Fatima is home to one of the most well-known Marian shrines in the world, the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima. Each year as many as 4 million people visit here because they are drawn by the reports of three local shepherd children who in 1917 saw the Virgin Mary. Visit the Tombs of Francisco and Jacinta, as well as other sites related to the appearances of Mary. We will take time for our own devotions and prayers at the Hungarian Stations of the Cross consisting of fourteen small chapels along walkways leading to a marble monument of Christ on the cross. Return to Lisbon for a farewell dinner as a group and overnight.

 

Day 10: Tuesday: Depart for Home
Following breakfast, transfer to the airport for the return flight home. With renewed faith in Christ and the Church, we share our gifts and strengths in our local community.

Day 1: Saturday
Our journey begins as we depart the USA on an overnight flight to Lisbon, Portugal

 

Day 2: Sunday: Arrival in Portugal
Arrival into Lisbon and meet our Faith Journeys representative who will assist us to the awaiting motorcoach and transfer into the city. Half-day guided tour of the city that is rich in art, architecture, spirit, and home to many saints. Visit St. Anthony’s Church, known in Portugal as a marriage saint, because legend has him as a conciliator of couples. Check-in to the hotel for dinner and overnight.

 

Day 3: Monday: Sintra, Roca Cape, Cascais & Estoril 
Full-day, guided tour to begin by visiting the charming village of Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit Pena Palace, and the historic center to walk through the medieval streets. Continue to Roca Cape, the most westerly point of continental Europe, for a view across the Atlantic Ocean. We’ll proceed to Cascais and Estoril to see the stunning beaches and gardens. Return to our hotel for dinner and overnight

 

Day 4: Tuesday: World Youth Day Opening Mass
Morning at leisure (or guided tour if it did not happen on day of arrival). Afternoon and evening participation in the opening of the World Youth Day in Lisbon.

 

Day 5: Wednesday: World Youth Day
Morning Catechesis and World Youth Day activities. WYD participants, organized by language groups, will have catechesis sessions with bishops from all over the world. The sessions will take place in church, school, auditoriums, and sports centers in Lisbon. Afternoon gathering for all pilgrims from the USA.

 

Day 6: Thursday: World Youth Day & Arrival of Pope Francis
Morning Catechesis and World Youth Day activities. WYD participants, organized by language groups, will have catechesis sessions with bishops from all over the world. The sessions will take place in church, school, auditoriums, and sports centers in Lisbon. Arrival of Pope Frances and Welcoming Mass.

 

Day 7: Friday: World Youth Day & Stations of the Cross
Morning Catechesis and World Youth Day activities. WYD participants, organized by language groups, will have catechesis sessions with bishops from all over the world. The sessions will take place in church, school, auditoriums, and sports centers in Lisbon. Take part in the Stations of the Cross in the afternoon.

 

Day 8: Saturday: World Youth Day & Overnight Vigil
Young people will arrive at the site for the Overnight Vigil. The pope will arrive and Eucharistic adoration will begin. An address is made by the Holy Father. Overnight Vigil.

 

Day 9: Sunday: World Youth Day, Papal Mass
Pope Francis will concelebrate Mass with thousands of bishops and priests, and he will address the young people, to send them out to the world to witness to their faith, as the Lord did with His Apostles. At the end of the Mass, the Holy Father will announce the place where the next edition of World Youth Day will be held. Culmination of World Youth Day 2023. Return to Lisbon. Enjoy a dinner as a group.

 

Day 10: Monday: Santarem & Fatima
Full-day excursion to Santarem and Fátima. Santarem (Portugal’s third largest city) is a site of many churches, including the Church of the Holy Miracle, which contains a 13th century Eucharistic miracle on continuous display since 1269. Continue to Fatima to Celebrate Mass. Fatima is home to one of the most well-known Marian shrines in the world, the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima. Each year as many as 4 million people visit here because they are drawn by the reports of three local shepherd children who in 1917 saw the Virgin Mary. Visit the Tombs of Francisco and Jacinta, as well as other sites related to the appearances of Mary. We will take time for our own devotions and prayers at the Hungarian Stations of the Cross consisting of fourteen small chapels along walkways leading to a marble monument of Christ on the cross. Return to Lisbon for a farewell dinner as a group and overnight.

 

Day 11: Tuesday: Depart for Home 
Following breakfast, transfer to the airport for the return flight home. With renewed faith in Christ and the Church, we share our gifts and strengths in our local community.

Day 1: Tuesday
Our journey begins as we depart the USA on an overnight flight to Toulouse, France

 

Day 2: Wednesday: Arrival in France
Arrival into Toulouse, France and meet our Faith Journeys Tour Manager who will assist us to the awaiting motorcoach and transfer to the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains to picturesque Lourdes, site of the largest Catholic pilgrimage destination in France. It is here that St. Bernadette, to whom Our Lady appeared in 1858 near the Grotto of Massabielle, was born. Check-in to the hotel for dinner and overnight. The more adventurous can attend the evening Torchlight Procession at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes.

 

Day 3: Thursday: Lourdes
I am the Immaculate Conception (Que soi era immaculada concepcion) (Mary to Bernadette).
When Bernadette Soubirous was 14-years of age and out gathering firewood with her sister and a friend at the grotto of Massabielle outside Lourdes, she had an experience that completely changed her life and the town of Lourdes where she had lived. It was on this day in 1858 that Bernadette claimed she had the first of 18 visions of what she termed “a small young lady” (ua petita damisela) standing in a niche in the rock. The contents of Bernadette’s reported visions were simple and mostly focused on the need for prayer and penance. We begin this morning with Mass after which we will walk in the footsteps of Bernadette as we visit the Grotto of Massabielle, the site of St. Bernadette’s visions of the Virgin Mary (The Blessed Virgin is said to have pointed out a previously undiscovered spring in the grotto and instructed Bernadette to drink from it. The spring water from the grotto is believed to possess healing properties, and the Roman Catholic Church occasionally officially recognizes miraculous healings.), the home in which St. Bernadette and her family lived at the time the girl saw visions of the Virgin Mary, the parish church, and other holy shrines and sites related to these miraculous visions. We are welcome to participate in the Procession of the Blessed Sacrament and the Blessing of the Sick (depending on seasonal schedules) in the late afternoon, and will return to the Sanctuary for the Rosary and Torchlight Procession (beginning at about 8:30 p.m. depending on seasonal schedules) after dinner. After the day’s rich events, we return to our hotel for a second night’s stay in Lourdes.

 

Day 4: Friday: Loyola & León
Following breakfast at the hotel, we check-out and transfer to Loyola, Spain, the birthplace of St Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits. St Ignatius of Loyola, a Spanish knight from a Basque noble family, emerged as a religious leader during the Counter Reformation. Loyola’s devotion to the Church was characterized by unquestioning obedience to everything said by her hierarchy. He was much influenced by Ludolph of Saxoney’s De Vita Christi where it is proposed that the reader place himself at the scene of each Gospel story. This is known as a method of prayer called Simple Contemplation and is the basis of the method that St Ignatius set out in his Spiritual Exercises. In Loyola we’ll visit the home of St. Ignatius and the 17th Century Basilica dedicated to him. We will continue to León, Spain, for dinner and overnight.

 

Day 5: Saturday: León to Santiago de Compostela
Following breakfast at the hotel, we check-out and transfer to Santiago de Compostela. We will stop outside of the city and have the opportunity to walk part of the Way of St. James before entering the city. We will then check-in to our hotel for dinner and overnight.

 

Day 6: Sunday: Santiago de Compostela
Know this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience (James 1:3).
Today we will make our way down the narrow streets of the city to the shrine of St. James in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela known in English as the Way of St. James and in Spanish as the Camino de Santiago. The cathedral, built on the spot where the remains of the Apostle James were said to have been found, borders the main plaza of the old and well-preserved city. We’ll enjoy a 4-hour guided tour of the city. The remainder of the day is at leisure to relax or visit the city. We might explore sites near the cathedral including the Praza do Obradoiro, the expansive square named after the workshops set up during the construction of the cathedral in the 11th century, the Colexio de San Xerome, witness to Santiago’s status as a seat of learning since the late middle ages, or the Paxo de Raxoi – an elegant neoclassical palace and former seminary which today houses the regional government of Galicia. On the north side of the square is the Hostal de los Reyes Católicos, a Renaissance building commissioned by Isabella and Ferdinand in 1499 as a pilgrims’ sanctuary. At the end of the day, we will enjoy a dinner and our final overnight stay in Spain.

 

Day 7: Monday: Fatima & Lisbon
Today we depart south, along the Atlantic Ocean to Fatima, Portugal to Celebrate Mass. Fatima is home to one of the most well-known Marian shrines in the world, the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima. Each year as many as 4 million people visit here because they are drawn by the reports of three local shepherd children who in 1917 saw the Virgin Mary. Visit the Tombs of Francisco and Jacinta, as well as other sites related to the appearances of Mary. We will take time for our own devotions and prayers at the Hungarian Stations of the Cross consisting of fourteen small chapels along walkways leading to a marble monument of Christ on the cross. Continue to Lisbon for dinner as a group and overnight.

 

Day 8: Tuesday: World Youth Day Opening Mass
Half-day guided tour of the city that is rich in art, architecture, spirit, and home to many saints. Visit St. Anthony’s Church, known in Portugal as a marriage saint, because legend has him as a conciliator of couples. Afternoon and evening participation in the opening of the World Youth Day in Lisbon.

Day 1: Monday
Our journey begins as we depart the USA on an overnight flight to Madrid, Spain

 

Day 2: Tuesday: Arrival in Spain
Arrival into Madrid and meet our Faith Journeys Tour Manager who will assist us to the awaiting motorcoach and transfer to the city. Although we will find Madrid a modern city, we can’t help but be captivated by its rich history, art and spirit. After arriving at our hotel, a little rest and relaxation might be in order. Or, for the more adventurous and energetic, suggested sights and walking trails can be provided upon request.

 

Day 3: Wednesday: Madrid
Some contend that the original name of Madrid was “Ursaria” (“land of bears”) due to the high number of these animals found in the adjacent forests, which, together with the strawberry tree (madroño), have been emblems of the city from ancient times. We begin our day by visiting many of its remarkable landmarks including the Prado Museum which hosts one of the finest art collections in the world including important Spanish and Flemish paintings, classical statues purchased from Italy, medieval religious treasures and even some Romanesque frescoes. We will also explore Buen Retiro Park, founded in 1631, and the immense Royal Palace of Madrid. Afternoon at leisure with dinner under your own arrangements before returning to the hotel for overnight.

 

Day 4: Thursday: Toledo
Following breakfast, we’ll check-out of the hotel and travel south to Toledo. “Holy Toledo” isn’t just a popular expression! This historic city and notable place of pilgrimage is about 42 miles from Madrid. We’ll begin our journey early this morning because we won’t want to miss anything in this ancient capital that so inspired El Greco in the 16th century and that has remained relatively unchanged since his time. Old churches and houses fill the city where you can still stroll through streets barely wide enough for a man and his donkey. The great monuments left by the three monotheistic religions are most impressive although all are dominated by the Toledo Cathedral which is ranked among the greatest Gothic structures of Europe. Inside the cathedral are many important masterpieces including a spectacular baroque high altar and two paintings by El Greco. Other fascinating churches in Toledo include the Mezquita del Cristo de la Luz (Mosque of Christ of the Light), dated from the 10th century and the only surviving mosque in Toledo (out of ten), and the Church of San Román which has been deconsecrated and now houses the Museo de Arte Visigótico, a collection of Visigothic artifacts includes statuary, illuminated manuscripts, and gold and silver treasures. It is worth noting that “Holy Toledo” is the capital of the Catholic Church in Spain. We will return to Madrid for dinner and overnight.

 

Day 5: Friday: El Escorial to Ávila
This morning we’ll check-out and travel about northwest to a striking memorial to those who died in the Spanish Civil War in the nearby Valley of the Fallen, where we will see a basilica built into the mountain which contains the tombs of many soldiers from both sides of the conflict. We then continue to El Escorial, situated at the foot of Mt. Abantos in the Sierra de
Guadarrama, a semi-forested, wind-swept place that owes its name to nearby piles of slag or tailings (scoria) from old iron mines. El Escorial, built by King Philip II to mark his victory over the French at San-Quentin in 1557, is not only a historical residence of the King (and famous burial site for most of the Spanish kings for the last five centuries) but also functions as a monastery, royal palace, museum, and school. The monastery contains important works of art by famous artists like El Greco and Velazquez, and in the Capitulary and the Sacristy Rooms, paintings such as Joseph’s Coat by Velázquez, The Last Supper by Titian, or The Adoration of the Sacred Host by Charles II by Claudio Coello are on display. In the afternoon we continue to Ávila and visit the fortified 12th-century Basilica of San Vicente, one of the most outstanding works of Romanesque architecture. Ávila was the birthplace of St. Teresa de Jesus, one of the great mystics of the Catholic Church. Admire the convent, which opened in 1636 on her birthplace and the baroque façade and Latin Cross plan. We’ll check-in to the hotel in Ávila for dinner and overnight.

 

Day 6: Saturday: Ávila to Santiago de Compostela
Following breakfast at the hotel, we check-out and transfer to Santiago de Compostela. We will stop outside of the city and have the opportunity to walk part of the Way of St. James before entering the city. We will then check-in to our hotel for dinner and overnight.

 

Day 7: Sunday: Santiago de Compostela
Know this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience (James 1:3).
Today we will make our way down the narrow streets of the city to the shrine of St. James in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela known in English as the Way of St. James and in Spanish as the Camino de Santiago. The cathedral, built on the spot where the remains of the Apostle James were said to have been found, borders the main plaza of the old and well-preserved city. We’ll enjoy a 4-hour guided tour of the city. The remainder of the day is at leisure to relax or visit the city. We might explore sites near the cathedral including the Praza do Obradoiro, the expansive square named after the workshops set up during the construction of the cathedral in the 11th century, the Colexio de San Xerome, witness to Santiago’s status as a seat of learning since the late middle ages, or the Paxo de Raxoi – an elegant neoclassical palace and former seminary which today houses the regional government of Galicia. On the north side of the square is the Hostal de los Reyes Católicos, a Renaissance building commissioned by Isabella and Ferdinand in 1499 as a pilgrims’ sanctuary. At the end of the day, we will enjoy a dinner and our final overnight stay in Spain.

 

Day 8: Monday: Fatima & Lisbon
Today we depart south, along the Atlantic Ocean to Fatima, Portugal to Celebrate Mass. Fatima is home to one of the most well-known Marian shrines in the world, the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima. Each year as many as 4 million people visit here because they are drawn by the reports of three local shepherd children who in 1917 saw the Virgin Mary. Visit the Tombs of Francisco and Jacinta, as well as other sites related to the appearances of Mary. We will take time for our own devotions and prayers at the Hungarian Stations of the Cross consisting of fourteen small chapels along walkways leading to a marble monument of Christ on the cross. Continue to Lisbon for dinner as a group and overnight.

 

Day 9: Tuesday: World Youth Day Opening Mass
Half-day guided tour of the city that is rich in art, architecture, spirit, and home to many saints. Visit St. Anthony’s Church, known in Portugal as a marriage saint, because legend has him as a conciliator of couples. Afternoon and evening participation in the opening of the World Youth Day in Lisbon.

These are very flexible itineraries. Except for confirmed appointments, the places of interest and the sequence of sightseeing might be changed if necessary or desirable
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