Suggested Program - 13 Days/12 Nights
Day 01 – BRASÍLIA (D)
Arrival in Brasilia, reception and transfer to hotel. Check in and dinner at Brasília Palace. Overnight.
Day 02 – BRASÍLIA (B,L,D)
After breakfast at hotel, departure for a religious tour in the city. The visit begins with the first work inaugurated in Brasilia, the humble Nossa Senhora de Fátima church. Built in just a hundred days, as a promise made by the former First Lady Sarah Kubitschek to heal her daughter. The chapel was designed by Oscar Niemeyer and it features the unique figurative tile panel of the artist Athos Bucão integrated into its architecture . Then we continue to the Don Bosco Sanctuary, built in honor of Don Bosco, who prophesied the construction of the city. Considered to be the sixteenth wonder of Brasilia, the Don Bosco Sanctuary impresses with its stained glass windows with twelve shades of blue that refer to the starry sky of Brasilia. After the visit, the group will stop to attend a mass in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Our Lady of Aparecida, the Metropolitan Cathedral of Brasilia (please note masses are available from Tuesday to Friday). Also designed by Oscar Niemeyer, it is one of the city's postcards and features a bold architecture that defies the laws of gravity. In addition to the masterpiece of the human creative genius, it exhibits works by the artist Athos Bulcão, stained glass by Marianne Peretti, sculptures by Alfredo Ceschiatti and panels by Di Cavalcanti. Stop for lunch with typical cuisine from the center-west of Brazil. After lunch, the tour will go to the Temple of Good Will - LBV, a pyramid-shaped building, an ecumenical temple for meditation and spiritual elevation that has at its top the pyramid the world's largest pure crystal stone, water sources Meditation circuit, ecumenical prayer room and art gallery. To close the day, we will continue to one of the most special places of the city, the Hermitage of Don Bosco, famous for the unique sunset view. Also erected in honor of Don Bosco, the chapel is designed by Oscar Niemeyer at the banks of Lake Paranoá, it was built at the point of passage of the 15th parallel with which Don Bosco dreamed in 1883, prophesying the site of the city's construction. From there we have a privileged view of the city, the perfect way to end this blessed day. For dinner, enjoy pastas, pizzas and soups. Return to hotel and overnight.
Day 03 – BRASÍLIA / GOIÂNIA / TRINDADE (B,L,D)
After breakfast at hotel, transfer to Goiânia-GO (230km) with a stop for lunch. Religious tour in the city, with the visits to Pope João Paulo II Memorial, São João Evangelista church, N.S. de Fátima church and N.S. do Perpetuo Socorro sanctuary. After the tour, transfer to the city Trindade-GO (20km) and check-in at hotel Liguori. In the evening, mass at Matriz do Divino Pai Eterno sanctuary, dinner and return to hotel. Overnight.
Day 04 – TRINDADE (B,L,D)
After breakfast at hotel, religious tour in Trindade. The city is known as the Capital of the Faith in Goias state and it welcomes pilgrims from all over the world to visit the Sanctuary Basilica of the Divine Eternal Father. From various points of the city, the devotees can see the temple, which draws attention to its architectural beauty and is also part of the history of the city. The Sanctuary Basilica enchants with its beautiful stained glass dome chapels, grotto of miracles and confessional room. There the people can approach the Image of the Divine Eternal Father and the picture of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
In 1943, the foundation stone was set. The celebrations were initiated in 1974 and a complete renovation was made in 1994. In April 2006, the Pope Benedict XVI granted the title of Minor Basilica to the Sanctuary, the only one in the world dedicated to the Divine Eternal Father. The tour will include the main touristic places in the city, lunch and a mass at the Sanctuary in the late afternoon. Dinner and return to hotel. Overnight.
Day 05 – TRINDADE/ BRASÍLIA / SALVADOR (B,L,D)
After breakfast at hotel, transfer to Brasilia airport to board the flight to Salvador. Arrival, reception and transfer to Bahia Othon hotel for check in. The tour will start with a typical lunch at Uaua restaurant in the Historical center, at the mouth of the magnificent Bahia de Todos os Santos (All Saints Bay). After a brief stop for photographs we will continue on to Porto to Barra where the first Governor General of Brazil Tomé de Souza landed in 1549 in three ships, each ship carrying two Jesuit priests. Passing the Fort of Santa Maria we climb the Ladeira da Barra hill passing the 18th century Church of Santo Antonio da Barra. We will then drive along the tree-lined Vitória avenue with its fine homes from the last century to the beautiful Campo Grande Square and its impressive monument to Bahian Independence in 1823. As we leave the square we will pass the pos-modern building of the Municipal Theatre (Teatro Castro Alves) built in the mid 1960's. It is from this square that the carnival processions start and we will follow the same route as we make our way to the Municipal Square passing the thriving Avenida Sete de Setembro Street, Salvador's main street. Half way along this bustling street we will pass the Piedade Square with its Neo-Gothic Portuguese Academy of Letters building and the Church of Our Lady of the Sorrows and its magnificent mosaic dome. We leave the vehicule at the Municipal Square and start the walking section of the tour. It was here that the Portuguese decided to build their fortified city. From the railings beside the famous Lacerda Elevator, we have a dramatic view of the Lower City and a panoramic view of the Bay below. We will stroll through the Praça da Sé to Jesuit Square and visit the magnificent Cathedral, built in the late 17th century and once the church of the Jesuit Order (please note the Cathedral is currently being renovated and is due to reopen in late 2017). It’s a short walk to the equally impressive São Francisco Church (1720). The interior is the most elaborate of the churches in Salvador, leafed in gold reflecting the opulence of the wealthy colonial period. Return to hotel and time at leisure. We suggest the mass at 6pm, at Ressurreição do Senhor church, right in front of the hotel. Dinner at hotel and overnight.
Day 06 – SALVADOR (B,L,D)
After breakfast at hotel, departure for a full day religious tour. The lower city tour takes us to the quiet waters of the Itapagipe Peninsula where the first holiday residences were built. Now a peaceful family district, life moves at a slower pace than the bustling upper city. Fishermen fish from dug out canoes, locals collect shell fish at low tide, schooners are at anchor, all protected by the famous Bonfim church, one of the most important churches of pilgrimage in Brazil and (visit). The recently restored crucifix, originally from Setubal in Portugal is one of the greatest devotions in Brazil. The church itself is the bastion of Brazilian Catholicism and was the only church in Brazil visited by Pope John Paul on both his visits to Brazil. We include a visit to the memorial for Irma Dulce, the legendary nun who cared for Salvador´s improverished sick. Irma Dulce passed away in 1992 after 53 years dedicated to religious life and caring for the poor and ill. Her main legacy was the renowned Santo Antonio Hospital. She was beatifified in 2011 and the process for her canonization is been currrently prioritized by the Vatican.
(please note that this tour shows some of the harsher realities of urban life for the less privileged as we pass through some of the poorer districts of Salvador en route to the Church of Bonfim and Irma Dulce.)
Then continue to the Museum of Sacred Art, the finest museum of its kind in Brazil. The museum is in the Convento de Santa Teresa, dating back to the late 17th century when the Carmelites decided to built their monastery. Amongst the main objects of interest in the museum is the 18th century statue of Santa Teresa on the main altar of the chapel and the terra-cotta statue of Saint Peter. We also include a visit to the nearby Benedictine Monastery which has the largest library of sacred books in Brazil and fine museum of sacred art. A typical lunch is included during the tour. Return to hotel and time at leisure. We suggest the mass at 6pm, at Ressurreição do Senhor church, right in front of the hotel. Dinner at hotel and overnight.
Day 07 – SALVADOR / RIO DE JANEIRO (B,D)
After breakfast at hotel, transfer to Salvador airport to board the flight to Rio de Janeiro. Arrival, reception and transfer to Mirador Rio hotel for check in. Balance of the time at leisure. Suggestion of mass at Paróquia Nossa Senhora de Copacabana church, with daily masses in diverse hours and it is walking distance from the hotel (10 minutes walk). Dinner at hotel and overnight.
Day 08 – RIO DE JANEIRO (B,L,D)
After breakfast at hotel, departure for a full day religious tour including Corcovado and the historic center of Rio. The tour starts at Corcovado, where is the famous statue of Christ the Redeemer, we will attend a mass at the sanctuary at 10am. Tour will continue to the center of Rio where we will first pass by the bucolic neighborhood of Fatima, which has a small Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima. Stop for lunch at the Vila Galé hotel. After lunch, visit the São Sebastião Metropolitan Cathedral and the Nossa Senhora do Carmo Church, the former Cathedral, where some of the most important ceremonies in Brazilian history took place. Across the street is the Church Santa Cruz dos Militares, wich interior has a baroque and neoclassical style and the exterior is inspired by European models, mainly in the Martyrs' Basilica in Lisbon. We will continue to the Church of Our Lady of Candelaria, one of the most famous in the city, wich records date from 1710. The last point of visit is the São Bento Monastery, which was founded in 1590 by monks from Bahia, at the request of the inhabitants of the newly founded city of São Sebastião (previous name of Rio). Return to hotel, dinner and overnight.
Day 09 – RIO DE JANEIRO (B,L,D)
After breakfast at hotel, departure for full day religious tour. The day will start with the visit to the Nossa Senhora de Fatima Sanctuary. The Chapel of the apparitions is a shrine dedicated to the devotion of Our Lady of Fatima, and the only replica in the world identical to the Chapel of the Apparitions of Portugal. We will attend a mass at the Sanctuary. After, we continue for a typical buffet lunch at À Mineira restaurant. After lunch, the tour will depart towards the Basilica Sanctuary of Penha, a famous church that stands on a cliff. There are 382 steps carved on the stone itself and countless people go up the stairs praying and / or paying promise. From the top of the sanctuary you can a beautiful view of the city. Return to hotel, dinner and overnight.
Day 10 – RIO DE JANEIRO / APARECIDA DO NORTE (B,L,D)
After breakfast at hotel, transfer to Aparecida do Norte city in Sao Paulo state (270km). Upon arrival at Aparecida, we will take a guided tour to learn about the history of the National Sanctuary of Our Lady Aparecida, considered the second largest Catholic temple in the world. In addition to knowing the entire history of the building and seeing the image of the Saint, visitors will also visit the Hall of Promises, where countless objects that represent the graces of devotees are gathered, and the Museum of Our Lady (optional), which portrays the full history of the Patroness. Lunch is included at the Seminary and Pousada do Bom Jesus, a place traditionally chosen to host the popes during their visits to Brazil. After lunch, visitors will head to the Mother Church (Basilica Velha), built in 1928, reached through the Passarela da Fé, a 392-meter-long structure that is often crossed on its knees by countless promise-payers and pilgrims. Check in at hotel Rainha do Brasil. Suggestion of mass at the Santuário Nacional church, daily at 6pm (walking distance from the hotel). Dinner at hotel and overnight.
Day 11 – APARECIDA DO NORTE / GUARATINGUETÁ / SAO PAULO (B,L,D)
After breakfast at hotel, transfer to Guaratinguetá city (10km), to visit the Frei Galvão house, the first canonized saint of Brazil, famous for distributing his miraculous pills to people who believe in his intercession. The place presents the Hall of Relics, with pictures, images and belongings that show his history. Then we will visit the Sanctuary of Frei Galvão, at the building formerly occupied by the Church of St. Joseph, belonging to the Our Lady of Fatima. Stop for lunch and transfer to Cachoeira Paulista city (35 km), known as "City of Faith". We will visit Canção Nova, a huge area of 372 thousand square meters dedicated to religious devotion, which includes the Evangelization Center Dom João Hipólito de Moraes; The Corner of My Lord and the São Paulo Auditorium, as well as chapels, medical center, school, restaurant, religious articles stores, etc. Visitors will be able to celebrate a mass there, followed by transfer to the city of Sao Paulo (230km). Check in at hotel Estanplaza Ibirapuera, dinner and overnight.
Day 12 – SAO PAULO (B,L,D)
After breakfast at hotel, departure for a full day religious tour in Sao Paulo. The day will start with a visit to Sé Cathedral, one of the most emblematic places in the city. Among the many other attractions of the Church, we highlight his Crypt, located below the altar, where the bishops and archbishops of São Paulo are buried, as well as several important figures in brazilian history. Then continue to the Monastery of Sao Bento, whose original construction dates back more than 400 years ago and where until now Benedictine monks live in a cloistered regime. The site, home to important historical events, offers Masses with Gregorian chant every day and a shop with articles made by the monks themselves. We will attend a Mass in the monastery (not available on Saturdays). Continue to the Municipal Market to try local delicacies, typical sweets and a variety of exotic fruits (expenses on behalf of clients, food and beverage are not included). Lunch will be served at A Mineira, with a buffet of typical brazilian food. After, there will be a visit to the Monastery of Light, a place founded by Frei Galvão to house the gathering of the Conceptionist Sisters, where the tomb of the Blessed and the Museum of Sacred Art of São Paulo are located. The museum's mission is to collect, classify, catalog and display religious objects, such as a Neapolitan crib of the 18th century, with more than 800 pieces. The tour ends with a visit to the only church in São Paulo build in a brazilian colonial style: The Church of Our Lady of Brazil, whose national identity is a characteristic feature in all the elements that make up its architectural group, from pictures and tiles with images of animals and flowers to the altar sky representing constellations seen in the brazilian sky and the image of Madonna del Brasile. Return to hotel, dinner and overnight.
Day 13 – SAO PAULO (B)
After breakfast at hotel, transfer to Guarulhos airport to board the flight back home.
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