A Walking Pilgrimage in the steps of St Ignatius of Loyola
From Verdu to Barcelona, Led by Fr Dominic Robinson, SJ, and Josephine Siedlecka, 23rd September - 6th October 2018
It is a great pleasure to invite you on the Ignatian Camino, a walking pilgrimage in the steps of St Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits and author of the now widely used Spiritual Exercises, which propose a way of praying which help us to look for God in the midst of our everyday life. In his autobiography St Ignatius calls himself simply “the pilgrim” and guides us through his own Camino in the year 1522 from his home town of Loyola in the Basque Country across northern Spain to Montserrat and Manresa in the east.
Our own Camino follows the final part of this route along the ancient Camino trail through Catalunya. We start at the Shrine and birth place of St Peter Claver, the 17thcentury Jesuit priest known as the “slave to the slaves” for his work with the slaves of what is modern day Colombia. We then walk through the beautiful green valleys and hills of Catalunya that St Ignatius knew so well, stopping at churches, shrines of Our Lady and in small villages and towns as he did. Then we make our way around the breathtaking mountain of Montserrat, known as a place of profound peace and spirituality, and arrive at the great Abbey of Our Lady of Monserrat, where St Ignatius spent three nights in prayer, laid down his sword at the feet of the Madonna and resolved to follow Christ. Finally we follow the steps of St Ignatius to the town of Manresa, where he settled and lived the life of “the pilgrim” as he composed the Spiritual Exercises.
This pilgrimage, however, is not all walking, although this takes up most of the first ten days until we arrive in Manresa. A Camino is a spiritual as well as physical exercise. During the walk we will stop for prayer at particular places, guided by St Ignatius to reflect on our own response to Christ. St Ignatius in his autobiography charts his own progress as he walks, reflecting on his call to detachment, freedom, indifference. So our prayer will reflect this as we contemplate where God is working in our life. Each day we will celebrate Mass as the high point of the day and eat dinner together.
At the end of our walk we then go on to the beautiful city of Barcelona, home to St Ignatius for several years in two periods of his life. We stay in the Spiritual Exercises Centre to spend a few days of rest, prayer reviewing our Camino experience, and visiting the sites associated with St Ignatius. There will also be time for general sightseeing, shopping and enjoying this wonderful city.
Flight from chosen airport to Barcelona. Coach transfer to Verdu for Mass at the Shrine of St Peter Claver and overnight in Pilgrim Hostel, original family home of St Peter Claver.
We will start the day with Mass at the Shrine of St Peter Claver, and then have a tour of the exhibition. Today we will walk from Verdu to Cervera (16 km). We will visit Tarrega Cathedral and have lunch in the city square. We will return to Verdu for dinner and stay overnight in the Pilgrim Hostel.
We will start the day with Mass at the shrine of St Peter Claver. There will be a short visit to Churches including Shrine of St Antony of Egypt, and the university building and town centre that St Ignatius would have known. We will walk from Cervera to La Panadella (15.2 km). We will return to Verdu for dinner and stay overnight in the Pilgrim Hostel.
We will start the day with Mass at the Shrine of St Peter Claver. We will walk from La Panadella to Igualada (21.8 km). Dinner will be had in Igualada, where St Ignatius shed his worldly garb for that of “the pilgrim”. Accommodation at the Moli Blanc Hotel.
There will be a short visit of Igualada, including the Shrine of St Ignatius the Pilgrim. We will walk from Igualada to St Pau de la Guardia (15.4km). We then return to Igualada for Mass in the Parish Church of Igualada (in the Catalan language). We will have dinner and stay overnight in Moli Blanc Hotel.
Today, we will walk from St Pau de la Guardia to Montserrat (11.4 km). Monastic Vespers followed by Mass in the Basilica of the Abbey of Montserrat. Dinner and overnight in the monastery hotel, Abat Cisneros.
Full day of repose in Montserrat to pray, venerate the statue of Our Lady of Montserrat where St Ignatius spent three nights in prayer and laid down his sword at the feet of the Virgin. For those who wish, climb or take the “cremalleria” train or cable car to the hermitages on the mountain of Montserrat. Mass will be celebrated in the Basilica. Dinner and overnight in the monastery hotel, Abat Cisneros.
Today we will walk to Montserrat to Castellgali (14.3 km) and return to Montserrat for Mass and stay overnight in the monastery hotel, Abat Cisneros.
We will walk from Castellgali to Manresa. Mass will be celebrated in the Cova, where St ignatuis lived during his long pilgrim sojourn in Manresa and where he composed the Spiritual Exercises. Dinner and stay overnight in the Jesuit Spirituality Center, Manresa.
Full day of repose in Manresa to pray. Mass will be celebrated in the Cova, and we will visit the Ignatian sites. Dinner and stay overnight in the Jesuit Spirituality Center, Manresa.
Today we will travel by coach to Barcelona. There will be time to rest, and visit the city. We will celebrate Mass, have dinner and stay overnight in the Spiritual Exercises Center.
Mass will be celebrated in the Spiritual Exercises Center. We will take the Metro to the city centre to visit the Ignatian sites in Barcelona including Santa Maria del Mar where St Ignatius begged and taught catechism, the Cathedral, and the Church of the Sacred Heart where the actual sword of St Ignatius is displayed. There will be time in Barcelona for other sightseeing and shopping. Dinner and stay overnight in the Spiritual Exercises Centre.
Today will be a day of rest, sightseeing, and prayer. Mass will be celebrated in the Spiritual Exercises Centre. There will be an optional visit to the Shrine of “Tibi Dabo” high above the city of Barcelona. Dinner and stay overnight in the Spiritual Exercises Centre.
Mass will be celebrated in the Spiritual Exercises Centre. Return flight to the U.K. from Barcelona Airport.
This tour involves a substantial amount of walking, some of which will be over irregular surfaces such as cobblestones and badly-maintained walking areas. If everyday walking is something you find difficult, this tour may be unsuitable for you.
This itinerary is a guide and subject to change.
Binary Koala, Flickr
Jorge Franganillo, Flikr
Antonio Tajuelo, Flickr
Binary Koala, Flickr
Travel Insurance: £39
Single room supplement: £98
23/0918 - 06/10/18
Scheduled return flight either: London Gatwick/London Stansted/ Manchester/Birmingham/Dublin - Barcelona. One piece of luggage. Accommodation with a twin-bedded room with private facilities at: 23rd - 26th September, Pilgrim Hostel, Verdu. 26th - 28th September, Moli Blanc Hotel, Igualada. 28th September - 1st October, Abat Cisneros, Montserrat. 1st - 3rd October, Jesuit Retreat Centre, Manresa. 3th - 6th October, Spiritual Exercise Centre, Barcelona. 14 breakfasts. ATOL and ABTA financial protection.
Travel insurance currently at £39 per person.· Single room supplement (limited availability) at £98 for 13 nights accommodation (single rooms at the Pilgrim Hostel are not available so you must share for the three nights there). Lunches and drinks. Fuel surcharges if passed on by the airline. U.K transfers. Gratuities to guides, hotel staff and coach drivers.
Terms of Payment:
To reserve your place on the tour you will need to complete a booking form and return it to Pax Travel Ltd with a deposit of £200 (plus the insurance premium if the cover we offer is required) per person. Final payment to be received by Pax Travel, no later than 23rd July 2018.
The above price is guaranteed for the bookings Pax Travel receives before 28th February 2018. Bookings received after this date may be subject to a flight surcharge.