Exceptional Spiritual Journey in France
Want to know a more unique France beyond her common touristic sites? Excited to explore your spiritual connection and enlightenment through religious history? Looking to gain more knowledge in the history of Christianity, the story and essence of Mary Magdalene? Care to taste some of the finest cuisine in the world? Come join us for this amazing and life-changing cultural and spiritual journey!
By discovering a few outstanding ancient Christian sites, you will experience the other side of France : a wonderful place to deepen and enlarge your spiritual roots.
Mary Magdalene arrived on the shores of the French Mediterranean coasts right after the Roman persecutions of the year 45. From the boat debarked a group of friends united by the same faith in Jesus whose divine dimension they had just experienced a few years prior.
The seafarers, Mary Magdalene, Lazarus, Zacchaeus, Mary-Salome, Sara, and some others, were forced to start a new life there : a life of prayer, meditation, testimony, mercy, and spiritual friendship. By doing so, they transformed the destiny of that then Celtic region of the world called Gallia (Gaul), later known as France. Even today, Mary-Magdalene’s spiritual imprint is unique and a large number of pilgrims still pray to her or rely on her to enlarge their understanding of God’s mysteries and to deepen the conversion of their Heart.
With a touch of French gastronomy, the unique atmosphere of some wonderful ancient sites, and many friendly encounters, you will remember this journey as a true jewel for your soul.
Flight tickets from the USA to Paris & way back need to be purchased individually.
Meeting on Monday the 16th of september in Paris, Gare de Lyon (train station), at 1:15 pm.
From Paris to Arles, Rocamadour, Chamalières and Vezelay, we'll be taken care by Pierre Moniz-Barreto, our special French guide and expert in religious history.
More detailed information to come.
Day 1: Welcome to France!
Arrive in Paris and meet with your French guide, Pierre Moniz-Barreto, also expert in religious history, at the Gare de Lyon train station. Departure by TGV (high-speed train), first class, from Paris to the historic city of Arles in the South of France. There we will dine and repose at the Hotel Volver for the evening.
Day 2: Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer and Arles
After a European-style breakfast at the hotel, we will travel by coach to les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer where Mary Magdalene landed after her escape from the Roman persecutions. Following a guided tour of the city, we will indulge in a typical Southern French lunch and Jessica Mangum will conduct meditation and introduce an intuitive exercise focusing "historical intuition" through time and space. From there we will embark on a guided tour of the National Park of Camargue. We will then return to Arles where we can spend some free time exploring the unique, ancient Roman arenas from the 1st Century A.D.
Day 3: La Sainte-Baume and La Grotte (The cave, Mary-Magdalene's retreat)
Following our morning breakfast and meeting, we will head to La Sainte-Baume and hike (about 45 minutes) to the sacred cave where Mary spent the final 30 years of her life. We will return to the city of Saint-Maximin for lunch and reflect on our experience at the cave. In the town of Saint-Maximin, we will visit the Basilique de Marie-Madeleine where Mary Magdalene's body was buried and her skull remains. We will return to Arles for dinner and to rest for the evening. Last night at the Hotel Volver in Arles.
Day 4: Figeac and Rocamadour, Medieval Villages
After a light breakfast in Arles, we will depart for Rocamadour, stopping for a hearty lunch in Figeac, a typical French medieval city and UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will then take a hike on the St. James Way, the famous "Camino" heading to Santiago de Compostella (about 12 km or approximately 7 miles) to our final destination for the day: Rocamadour. We will indulge in a dinner together and spend the night at the Beau Site Hotel, an old and charming mansion in the heart of the medieval city.
Day 5: Tour of Rocamadour, Visit in Sarlat, Evening in Chamalières
After breakfast we will embark on a guided tour with a focus on the spiritual history of Rocamadour, gaining insight on the "Black virgins" and the discovery of Zacchaeus' grave (one of Mary Magdalene’s companions). After our tour, the group will head to Sarlat where we will have lunch in the historic center of this amazing medieval town. Then onward to the Province of Auvergne where we will have some free time in the small town of Chamalières, known for its ancient thermal baths and mineral water. In the evening we will experience succulent French gastronomy at the restaurant of the Hôtel Radio, where we will stay in for the evening.
Day 6: The Sacred Hill of Vézelay
Our final destination on this amazing journey will be in Vézelay, in Burgundy. There we will experience wine tasting in a nearby vineyard in the countryside and lunch in the village itself. We will be led on a guided tour of the Basilique de Marie-Madeleine at the top of the hill and gain insight into its history via the Visitor's House. We will complete this heart-centered day with an experience of Mary Magdalene's energy through a guided meditation with Jessica. We will spend the night in the charming Le Relais Fleuri Hotel, located in Avallon, 20 minutes outside of Vézelay.
Day 7: The Return
We will have breakfast in Avallon and return by bus back to Paris (airport or downtown) where you will prepare for your departure or continue your European vacation!