Experience France & Germany
- Explore Castles, Monasteries, and ancient ruins
- Pray before Saints of the Church
- Walk in the footsteps of St. Catherine Laboure and the Wise Men
- Experience the culture and rich heritage of France and Germany
- See magnificent gothic cathedrals
- Pray in the Chapel of the Miraculous Medal
- Share this experience with friends
Round-trip airfare from your city to Europe, Transportation within Europe, two meals per day, hostel or convent lodging, entrance fees, JMJ Youth Pilgrimage Guide from arrival to departure in Europe.
Ste Chapelle was consecrated in 1248 for St. Louis IX to house the Crown of Thorns. It was built in five years by one architect. The donation of the Crown of Thorns cost three times the church. The upper chapel is considered the pinnacle of stained glass. There are 15 panes which have 1100 biblical scenes. The crown of Thorns was housed here until the French Revolution. It was not until 1801 that the Church received the Crown again, but it was then deposited in the Cathedral of Notre-Dame, just around the corner.
Basilica of the Sacre Coeur (Sacred Heart) was built between 1875-1914 and consecrated formally in 1919. During the Franco-Prussian war of 1870, Parisians made a deal with God. If they won the war, they would build a basilica in honor of Jesus’ Sacred Heart and have perpetual adoration until the end of time. They lost the war, but decided to build it anyway. Perpetual adoration has been taking place since 1884 non-stop. It is located on the Mount of Martyrs, formally known as the Mount of Mars.
Catacombs of Paris is an underground cemetery that holds the remains of about 6 million people. There are many caverns and tunnels that are lined with bones 6 feet tall, 6 feet deep and go on for a few kilometers. The tunnels were originally used for a limestone mine but were converted into the Catacombs in the 18th century. The tunnels are located beneath the streets of Paris, making it difficult to build large buildings in this region of the city.
Chartres Cathedral was originally built in the 800’s as a place to house the veil of the Blessed Mother given to the bishop and people of Chartres by the Holy Roman Emperor. In the late 1100’s the Cathedral was mostly destroyed by a fire, because of its wooden structure. Miraculously the veil of the Blessed Mother was not harmed, nor were the stained glass panels with Mary and Jesus that contain the famous ‘Chartres Blue’. The community came together and donated time, materials, food, etc… so that they could build the greatest church in honor of Our Lady ever built. Even the architect completely worked for the glory of God, which is why to this day we do not know his name.
10 Day Itinerary
Day 1 Depart your city for Paris
Day 2 Arrive in Paris, check into lodging walk the ancient center of Paris visiting Notre Dame, Ste. Chapelle, the Holocaust Memorial, evening at the Basilica of Sacre Coeur
Day 3 Pray at the shrine of the Miraculous Medal, witness the incorrupt body of St. Catherine Laboure, walk through the catacombs of Paris, evening at the Eiffel Tower
Day 4 Visit the line of Kings at St. Dennis Church, spend the afternoon admiring the art of the Louvre
Day 5 Day trip to Chartres to experience the most magnificent Gothic Cathedral in France, pray before the relic of Mary's veil
Day 6 Depart Paris for Aachen, visit the Cathedral where Charlemagne is buried, wander the medieval streets of the little city, journey to Cologne this evening.
Day 7 See the 2nd largest Gothic Cathedral in the world, admire the Reliquary created from bones at St. Ursula Church, Great St. Martin Church
Day 8 Marvel at the beauty of the Romanesque Churches, St. Maria im Kapitol, St. Maria in Kyskirchen and St. Apostein am Neumarkt
Day 9 Enjoy the Chocolate fountain at the Chocolate museum & Factory, walk along the Rhine, rest of day free
Day 10 Depart Cologne for home
We always include opportunities for daily Mass.
Specific locations and events within the daily itinerary are subject to change depending on actual travel dates.
Notre Dame Cathedral was constructed between 1163-1345. Vandalism took place a few times throughout the 16th-18th centuries, especially during the French Revolution. In 1793, French Revolutionists rededicated the cathedral to the Cult of Reason and then to the Cult of the Supreme Being. Many of the treasures of the cathedral were destroyed or plundered. The stained glass windows were also broken, but were reconstructed in the 1840s, along with the rest of the church. This is the official church of the Archbishop of Paris. The reliquary houses some Catholic treasures, such as the purported Crown of Thorns, a fragment of the True Cross, and one of the Holy Nails from Christ’s passion.
The Holocaust Memorial is dedicate to the 200,000 individuals who were deported from France to the Nazi concentration camps during World War II. The memorial was built on the site of the former morgue, behind the Basilica of Notre Dame.
Miraculous Medal Shrine is a little chapel within the convent of the Daughters of Charity. Here, in 1830, the Blessed Virgin appeared to St. Catherine Laboure, a novice preparing to enter the order. The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to offer the world a medal that was intended for all people. It is said that in 1832 a deadly cholera epidemic broke out in Paris, claiming more than 20,000 lives. The Sisters began distributing the first medals and many cures were reported, along with protection and conversions. The people of Paris called the medal “miraculous”. St. Catherine Laboure’s body was exhumed in 1933 and found incorrupt. It is now in a glass case at a side altar in the little shrine.
Eiffel Tower is an iron tower named after Gustave Eiffel whose company designed and built it. The tower was built in 1889 as the entrance arch to the 1889 World’s Fair, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Revolution. It stands 1063 feet tall, which is about the same as an 81-story building. There are three levels where visits can view the city. It was contracted that the tower would remain for 20 years and afterwards the city of Paris would dismantle it. The tower proved to be very valuable for communication purposes so they allowed it to remain after the expiration of the permit. It is now a well-known symbol of France and is the most visited paid monument in the world.
Cathedral Basilica of St. Denis is a large medieval abbey church in northern Paris. St. Denis was the first bishop of Paris in the 3rd century and according to legend he was decapitated and afterwards he picked up his head and walked 6 miles to the location of the current church. A martyrium, a building signifying the Christian faith, was built on site just after his death. A church was built in the 5th century and over the centuries it was replaced a couple times with a grander church. An Abbey, a Benedictine Monastery, was built in the 7th century, adjoining to the Basilica. It became the burial place for the French Kings, with nearly every king from the 10th to the 18th centuries buried here.