The Vatican and Norcia

November 5-13, 2012

A Note from Dr. Robert Moynihan:

I would like to share with you some very exciting news. We have always wished to make our pilgrimages unique — so special that people would say they were “once-in-a-lifetime” experiences. Now we are sure we can provide that: our upcoming pilgrimages will enable pilgrims to stay inside the Vatican itself – in the very residence where the cardinals stay during a papal conclave.

This is a great honor and we are grateful to offer our pilgrims this unusual opportunity to stay inside the Vatican itself. We will stay in a residence that is not open to the general public. The front door of our residence is only a short distance – a two-minute walk – from the back entrance to St Peter’s Basilica, usually reserved for diplomats and bishops only.

All of our pilgrimages are planned to be quiet and prayerful. We want your journey with us to be a peaceful, enjoyable, and unforgettable experience which both enriches your life and deepens your faith. Although we will visit many very special places, our journey is a pilgrimage, not a tour. The spiritual dimension, the search for a deeper understanding of God and of the history and life of the Church, is central. This is why the pace of these pilgrimages will be slow and peaceful, not rushed. There will be time to think and to pray.

Our Norcia/Rome pilgrimages will begin in Norcia, in central Italy, about three leisurely travel hours from Rome. Norcia is the birthplace of St. Benedict, founder of western monasticism and Patron Saint of Europe. Norcia is tucked in under the sparkling, snow-capped Apennine mountains in the Umbria region of Italy. Quiet and peaceful, it seems a city that time forgot. In Norcia, we will spend time together with our friends, the Benedictine monks of Norcia, many of whom are Americans (they are refounding the Benedictine abbey in the city center, and using the ancient Latin liturgy in their daily round of prayer). Father Cassian Folsom, the founder and Prior of the monastery, will share a daily reflection with us during our stay in Norcia. So Norcia will allow us, as it were, to “transition” from our busy, modern world to a world of peace, or prayer, and of solitude which today is increasingly hard to find.

We will then leave Norcia for the Eternal City, the city of the Caesars and of Saints Peter and Paul: Rome. We will drive right into the Vatican and spend Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights very close to the tomb of St. Peter. Special visits to the Vatican Museums, to the Sistine Chapel, to the Vatican Gardens and to parts of St. Peter’s Basilica most people never see are on our schedule. We will also have time for personal encounters with some of our friends who are Vatican officials.

Throughout these days, we will take time to pray and reflect on our own spiritual journeys as we see the places of the spiritual journeys of Benedict, Peter, Paul, and so many other saints of the Church. In a sense, we are in the footsteps of these saints, walking in the very places where they walked, and reading and reflecting on their words as we do so.

Please consider joining us on one of our pilgrimages. We may not meet personally with Pope Benedict XVI himself, but we will not be far from him, and we will certainly meet people around and inside the Vatican who work closely with him, and we will have a chance to talk to them. These journeys promise to be a privileged time to watch, to listen, to see, and to grow.

– Robert Moynihan

Founder and Editor of Inside the Vatican magazine

November 5-13, 2012: The Vatican and Norcia

In Norcia (the birthplace of St. Benedict and his sister, St. Scholastica):
  • Daily Mass celebrated at the Monastery of St. Benedict with the Benedictine monks of Norcia in the 14th century Church of San Benedetto, built over the remains of the house in which the Benedict and Scholastica were born.

  • Daily reflections with Father Cassian Folsom, OSB, prior and founder of the restored Benedictine monastery.

  • Afternoon excursion to Cascia to the Basilica of St. Rita, the 14th century saint who was known as a peacemaker and the saint of forgiveness and of desperate and impossible situations. We will also visit Roccaporena, the birthplace of St. Rita.

  • Celebrate evening vespers and the morning offices with the monks – optional

  • Accommodations in Norcia: Hotel Grotta Azzurra

  • A video on the monks of Norcia:Monks in Norcia

In Rome:
  • Daily Mass celebrated in the Domus Santa Martha or in St Peter’s Basilica

  • Private tour of St Peter’s Basilica and Sistine Chapel before crowds enter the Sistine Chapel

  • Tour of Vatican Gardens

  • Tour of the tomb of St Peter, the Scavi Tour

  • All meals inside the Vatican

  • Accommodations inside Vatican City, next to St. Peter’s Basilica

  • $4,995.00 per person – land and air package ($1,000 airfare allowance)

  • $3,995.00 per person – land only

  • No additional fee for a single room

  • Travel insurance is included (including cancellation)

  • All tips are included

  • All meals are included (excluding lunches outside of Rome)

Additional Information:
  • Deposit of $500 by check made payable to Inside the Vatican magazine is required at the time of booking.

  • A map with the places we visit during our pilgrimages

  • Due to private access to sacred areas, we request all pilgrims provide a brief note of recommendation from their bishop or local parish priest.

  • Number of pilgrims is limited for a peaceful and personal experience.

  • This pilgrimage helps to support the monastery of the Benedictine monks of Norcia, the Domus Sanctae Marthae inside the Vatican, and Inside the Vatican magazine.

  • We will make every effort to adhere to the printed program and itinerary. On rare occasions it may be necessary to adjust arrangements due to unforeseen circumstances beyond our control (including such circumstances as the weather, airline schedule change, hotel requisitions, political disturbances, or transportation mechanical problems). Should such adjustment be necessary, substitution will be made to the best of our abilities.

  • For more information or to reserve your spot, email [email protected] or call 202.657.4833