THE GREAT SHRINES OF FRANCE BY MOTORHOME (2 WEEKS)
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NEVERS – PARAY LE MONIAL – ARS LA SALETTE – LOURDES AND LISIEUX
This tour is a two week trip taking us to Lourdes, one of the world’s
greatest pilgrimage sites and the shrine dedicated to the Immaculate
Conception. Our journey takes us initially to Calais where we can
stock up on goodies and fuel and we spend the night near Paris,
170 miles south west of Calais.
From our site we motor down to Nevers, and meet on site in the evening.
On route to Nevers why not stop at Chatres or Orleans to see the splendid
Cathedrals there. Nevers is where St.Bernadette died in 1879 and her
perfectly preserved remains can be seen at her convent in the chapel
of St. Gildard. Night on site Nevers.
From Nevers we travel south to Paray-le-Monial where we visit the birthplace
of the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Between 1673 and 1675 Our
Blessed Lord appeared many times to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque at the
Visitation Convent. We then carry on to Ars and spend the night there.
St. John Mary Vianney was ordained a priest in 1815. Three years later
he was made parish priest of Ars, a remote French hamlet, where his
reputation as a confessor and director of souls made him known throughout
the Christian world. His life was one of extreme mortification.
St. John Vianney, Priest (Patron of priests) Feast day – August 4 Universally
known as the “Cure of Ars),”
From Ars we move to our next night stop at La Salette. Located in a high
alpine pasture in the French Alps, La Salette is the site where the Virgin
Mary appeared in 1846 to two shepherds, Melanie Mathew and Maximin Gird.
Our Lady appeared to these shepherds crying, lamenting over the lack of
observance of Sundays and the profaning of her Son’s holy name.
A spring forever marks the spot where the Virgin appeared and where millions
of pilgrims come in order to drink the fresh spring water and to pray. The stunning
mountain scenery and lush mountain trails make La Salette one of the most spectacular
pilgrimage sites in France, with a beautiful Basilica built to honour the Virgin Mary.
In 1996 La Salette celebrated the 150th anniversary of Our Lady’s first appearance.
Night in La Salette
Our next stop after a days break in La Salette is the coastal town of Sete where
we will spend the night. Finally we arrive at our main destination-Lourdes
for a two night stop.
From Lourdes we go to the ancient city of Poitiers which is steeped in early
Christianity, largely because of its first bishop, the scholarly St. Hilary.
Night stop in Poitiers.
From Poitiers we drive to our final pilgrimage stop-the famous town of Lisieux,
the home of St. Therese, or the “little flower” as she has become known. Pope
Pius X called St. Therese “the greatest saint of modern times.”
From Lisieux we make the final 202 mile run up to Calais to board our ship home.
Don’t forget to call at the large hypermarkets at Calais to stock up on goodies.
You could pay for your whole trip here!
This tour is over 2,500 miles total and can be quite exhausting so please bear
this in mind. You do not, however, need to follow this itinery. You can of course
do your own thing and stay longer on sites if they have vacancies, and miss out
the towns, sites, or overnight stops as you wish.
A very extensive itinery has been prepared with a daily route plan complete with
places of interest. All ferry journeys and top class sites will be pre-booked for
your convenience. Please note campsites are not in the town centres where we are
visiting but often a half hours drive away. Local buses may be available to take us
into the town centres and places of pilgrimage.