Join family & friends of the seminarians of the Institute of Christ the King in celebrating their elevation to the diaconate and subdiaconate, Minor Orders & Tonsure, at the Institute’s Baroque church in Florence. See the many treasures of Florence and take excursions to medieval Lucca & Bologna and the Seminary in the Tuscan hills.
Saturday, July 1, 2023 – This afternoon, meet at the Chicago O’Hare Airport for a flight to Florence (with one connection in Zurich).
Sunday, July 2, 2023 – Mid-morning arrival in the Renaissance jewel of Florence. Transfer to our Florentine guesthouse. Late morning Holy Mass at Santi Michele e Gaetano, the Baroque church where most of the Ordinations Week ceremonies for the Minor Orders of the priestly order of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest occur. Afternoon orientation walk to the Piazza del Duomo to marvel at the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral (the Duomo), Brunelleschi’s Dome, San Giovanni Baptistery, and Giotto’s Campanile: artistic jewels of the 15th Century, whose experimental architecture sparked the Renaissance. Here one can easily imagine what the city was like in medieval times.
Monday, July 3, 2023 – A visit to San Marco Museum, the former Dominican monastery of Blessed Fra’ Angelico, will be scheduled this morning. This holy 15th Century monk was an incredible artist; his frescoes adorn each cell’s facade. This monastery was also the home of Savonarola, the famous monk who denounced the decadence of the Renaissance. Also, visit the Basilica della Santissima Annunziata, a Baroque church built in 1250. Tradition tells of a friar commissioned to paint a fresco of the holy virgin for this church. Overwhelmed at the monumental task, he fell asleep, only to wake up finding that Our Lady’s face had been completed and was more mystical and glorious than what seemed humanly possible. He understood it was an angel who finished his work. Later today, attend the first event of Ordinations Week at Santi Michele e Gaetano, a Cassock Reception & Solemn High Mass offered by the Prior General of the ICKSP.
Tuesday, July 4, 2023 – Morning Pontifical Mass at Santi Michele e Gaetano, during which the seminarians will receive Clerical Tonsure and the various Minor Orders of Porter, Lector, Exorcist, and Acolyte, bringing them one step closer to the Holy Priesthood. Afternoon train excursion west to Lucca, a lovely old city near the Mediterranean Sea that once was an important stopover for pilgrims traveling to Rome during the Middle Ages. Pilgrims are drawn here to visit the Shrine of St. Gemma (1878-1903), known for her profound imitation of the Passion of Christ. Another great woman of Lucca is St. Zita, patroness of homemakers, who died in 1272. Her incorrupt body rests in the Basilica of San Frediano. Lucca is also famous for an eight-foot-tall, ancient wooden carving of Jesus crucified, housed in the cathedral of San Martino. Medieval legends state that it is the work of Nicodemus who helped St. Joseph of Arimathea place Christ in his tomb. Early evening return to Florence.
Wednesday, July 5, 2023 – This morning, another magnificent event occurs at Santi Michele e Gaetano. Those called to the Sacred Orders of the subdiaconate and the diaconate will be ordained to their new respective roles, receiving sufficient grace for their new station and progress in their commitment to perpetual celibacy in the service of the Holy Church. The new deacons will receive the Cross of St. Francis de Sales, an essential part of their choir habit. This evening enjoy an excursion to the International Seminary of St. Philip Neri. This former castle is a medieval structure with four towers, a closed middle court, a surrounding moat on three sides, and terraced grapevines. Be a part of a joyous celebration for all of the newly ordained. The evening opens with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament and chanting of the Te Deum, followed by a candlelight dinner. The grand finale is a world-class fireworks show synthesized with classical music.
Thursday, July 6, 2023 – Today, enjoy a train trip north to Bologna, a grand old Italian city. Five hundred years ago, St. Catherine of Bologna, from an aristocratic family, left a promising worldly future behind to join the Poor Clares, becoming a mystic and spiritual writer. St. Dominic de Guzman, the founder of the Dominicans, who first introduced us to the Rosary, died here in 1221, and his remains rest in the Basilica of San Domenico.
Friday, July 7, 2023 – A wonderful day in Florence! Morning visit to the Monastery of Santa Croce, considered the most beautiful Gothic church in Italy, with tombs of Dante, Galileo, and Michelangelo. Discover a hidden leather school tucked away within the Santa Croce Church. Free afternoon.
Saturday, July 8, 2023 – Mid-morning flight from Florence to Chicago (via Zurich). Afternoon arrival in Chicago.
Terms and conditions
TERMS & CONDITIONS
PAYMENT: Full payment is required to hold a reservation. The cost of the tour is based upon payment by personal check (made payable to Sacred Heart Tours). Our website payment portal accepts credit cards with a 3.5% fee.
CANCELLATION & REFUND POLICY: If a cancellation notice is received more than 45 days before departure, a full refund minus $500 will apply. If cancellation in writing is received within 45 days of departure, $500 + any amount the airline, hotels & bus company withhold are non-refundable.
ITINERARIES: Daily pilgrimage itineraries are prepared in advance and are subject to change.
BAGGAGE: Each tour participant is permitted 1 suitcase (max. of 50 pounds) and one carry-on plus a personal item due to airline restrictions.
DOCUMENTATION: All passengers must have a government-issued passport for international travel. Please check with the US State Department for the latest health requirements for travel internationally, as they are subject to change.
SINGLE OCCUPANCY: Tour costs are based on double room occupancy. Accommodation in a single room is available at an additional cost.
TRAVELERS INSURANCE: Travelers Insurance is highly recommended. We do not accept responsibility for loss or damage to property due to handling and/or accidents.
MEALS:The meals during the tour are mostly pre-arranged. We normally cannot accommodate special dietary needs but will do what we can to assist you on a case-by-case basis.
AIR CARRIER RESPONSIBILITY:The airlines cannot be held responsible for any act, omission, or event when passengers are not on board their aircraft. The airlines, as lnt’l. carriers are subject to lnt’l. conventions limiting their liability; the limitations of liability contained on the passenger’s airline ticket shall constitute the sole contract between the airlines and the passenger under the conditions stated on the ticket.The airlines are not responsible for any negligent acts and/or omissions of independent contractors, their employees, agents, or representatives.Tour participants fly by jet service in economy class.
RESPONSIBILITY: St. Olav Enterprises, LLC (dba Sacred Heart Tours) acts only as an agent for the airlines, hotels, & bus companies or owners or contractors providing accommodations, transportation, or other services, and all coupons, exchange orders, receipts, tickets & contracts issued by the company are issued subject to any and all tariffs, terms & conditions under which any accommodations, transportation or any other ser-vices whatsoever are provided by such airlines, hotels or bus companies or owners or contractors, and by the acceptance of such coupons, exchange orders, receipts, contracts and tickets, the tour member agrees to the following and also agrees that neither Sacred Heart Tours nor any of its affiliates or subsidiary companies shall be or become liable or responsible for any loss, injury or damage to any property, person or otherwise in connection with any accommodations, transportation or other services resulting, directly or indirectly, from acts of God, dangers incident to the sea, fire, breakdown, in machinery or equipment, acts of governments, or other authorities, dejure or de facto, wars (declared or undeclared), hostilities, civil disturbances, strikes, riots, thefts, pilferage, epidemics, quarantines, medical or customs regulations, cancellations or delays, of or changes in itinerary or schedule, or from any causes beyond the control of Sacred Heart Tours or for any loss or damage resulting from improper or insufficient documents, and that neither Sacred Heart Tours nor any of its affiliated companies shall be or become liable or responsible for any additional expense or liability sustained or incurred by the tour member as a result of any of the foregoing causes. If illness or other imperative reason compels a member to withdraw after a tour begins, Sacred Heart Tours will refund all savings possible. There is no refund for an absence of fewer than two days for missing occasional sightseeing or meals. Sacred Heart Tours reserves the right to require any individual to withdraw from a tour at any time if his or her conduct is deemed detrimental to or incompatible with the interest, harmony, comfort, and welfare of the tour. The airlines, bus company, or any transportation company whose services are used on this tour are not to be held responsible for any act, omission, or event when passengers are not on board their conveyance. When issued, the passage contract in use by these companies shall constitute the sole contract between the companies and the tour purchaser.