Vytis

ST. CASIMIR'S PILGRIMAGE OF MERCY AND MARIAN SITES SEPTEMBER 3 - 14 2024

Tour Outline

Depart Los Angeles on LOT FLT 24 at 1005pm

Depart Los Angeles on LOT FLT 24 at 1005pm

After breakfast at the hotel, we will begin our tour of Warsaw and visit the following: Wilanow Palace – former residence of King Jan III in 1677 which consists of courtyards, garden galleries and towers; Old Town Market Square – the oldest part of the city with houses originally built in Gothic style, rebuilt in Renaissance and eventually in Baroque; Krakowskie Przedmieście – the best known and most prestigious district of the city, surrounded with historic palaces, churches and manor houses, on the center is the statue of the Madonna of Passau, an offering of King Jan’s victory over the Turks in Vienna; Benedictine Monastery and St. Casimir Church – the oldest site in Poland for perpetual adoration; and Nowy Swiat Street –one of the most historic thoroughfares with many shops, luxury retailers, restaurants and cafes. Evening Mass at the Church of Holy Cross, across the main campus of Warsaw University. Welcome dinner at a local restaurant.

After breakfast, begin your journey to Vilnius. En route, you will make stop at the Minor Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Bialystok.  During his visit, Pope John Paul II presented the canonical crown to the image of our Lady, Mother of Mercy displayed at the main altar. It was witnessed by Poland’s president Lech Walesa. Brief drive of Bialystok church square and Branicki Palace– the largest city in northeastern Poland. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant. Afterwards, continue to Vilnius, enjoying the ride along the rural countryside of Poland and Lithuania. Arrive at Hotel Novotel or similar late afternoon.

 

After breakfast, we drive to Trakai. It is said to be the first and oldest known in Lithuania. Pray at St. Mary’s Church where the icon of the Mother of God in Trakai is located. In 1409, the Grand Duke Vytautas built a church and donated the portrait, which was his baptismal gift from the Emperor of Constantinople. This picture soon became well-known for its miracles. Pope Clement XI bestowed the canonical crown on September 4, 1718. From the church we will have lunch by the lake of Trakai Castle and enjoy kibinai (traditional pastries filled with mutton or chicken and onion). Back to Vilnius in the afternoon.

Pass by the mission house of St. Faustina, churches of Sts. Peter and Paul, St. Anne and St. Bernardine. Visit the Cathedral Heritage Museum and Our Lady Gate of Dawn. In the 1600s, a painting of Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn was created and placed in a niche above one of the prominent city gates. When Vilnius was captured by the Swedish army, our Lady came to her people’s rescue.  At dawn, the Polish-Lithuanian army successfully defended the city near the gate.  Many miracles are attributed to the image, which was canonically crowned as Mother of Mercy by Pope Pius XI in 1927. Vilnius is often called the City of Mercy. Throughout history, “it is a place in need of mercy and in the last twenty years, a place where we need to show mercy. “Evening Mass at the Shrine of Divine Mercy on Dominikonu Street. Dinner and optional walk at the Senatus Courtyard (across the Shrine) or Old Town Square

 

On the Feast of the Nativity of Mary, all roads lead to the Shrine of Our Lady of Siluva. Two hundred fifty years before Lourdes and Fatima, our Lady appeared to little children while tending their sheep at a village, holding her baby in her arms and weeping bitterly. The townsfolk witnessed the apparition and went to look for the painting of our Lady which they venerated some eighty years ago.  A blind man who helped the Catholic pastor to bury it together with other church artifacts during Communist occupation, pointed to the rock that led to its recovery.  A Papal Decree declaring the authenticity of the apparition was issued by Pope Pius VI on August 17, 1775 and the canonical crown on September 8, 1786. It is the second known apparition of the Mother of God in Europe.  Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Siluva. Check into Hotel Daurgirdas or similar. Enjoy dinner and night life of the Old Town on Rotuses Avenue.

 

Mass at the Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul with Archbishop Kestutis Kevalas. After breakfast, drop by the Priests Seminary and drive to Kaunas Castle, built during the mid-14th century in Gothic Style. It is located where the Nemunas and Neris rivers meet. Tour of Ciurlionis Museum. Mikalojus Ciurlionis was a Lithuanian painter, composer and writer. He contributed to symbolism and art noveau, and was representative of fin de siècle epoch. Pray at the Benedictine Monastery of St. Nicolas, the first woman monastery in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Proceed to Pazaislis Franciscan Monastery, one of the finest masterpieces of Baroque architecture in Northeastern Europe. Today, it is run by the Sisters of St. Casimir. Enjoy apple picking in the monastery grounds. Return to the hotel.

 

Check out of hotel. Drive to Rumsiskes, one of the largest open-air ethnographic museums in Europe. It displays the heritage of Lithuanian rural life in a vast collection of resurrected buildings where the people lived and worked. Drop by the 18th century St. Michael the Archangel Church. Visit the crypt of Blessed Teofilius Matulionis – archbishop and martyr at the Cathedral of Transfiguration in Kaisiadorys.  Mass with Bishop Jonas Ivanauskas. Back to Vilnius and check in the Hotel Vilna.

 

Mass at 8:00 am with Archbishop Gintaras Grusas at the Chapel of Saint Casimir (in the Basilica of St. Stanislaus and Ladislaus). The coronation of Grand Dukes of Lithuania took place here. Many famous people from the Lithuanian and Polish history are buried inside the crypts and catacombs, including unidentified prelates believed to be martyrs during persecution years. Built in 1251, when King Mindaugas converted to Christianity and after his death it became a pagan place of worship. When Lithuania returned to Christianity in 1387, a second gothic cathedral was built but destroyed by fire. A third cathedral was rebuilt and damaged during the Russo-Polish War. The Cathedral was closed (1949-1988) during the Soviet occupation. In 1988, the Cathedral was returned to the faithful. The relics of St. Casimir were also returned to the Cathedral and now venerated in the magnificent Chapel of St. Casimir.

After breakfast, visit Hales Market on Pylimo Street, one of the oldest and largest markets in Vilnius. It has always been popular among the townspeople and guests for its locally grown and very fresh produce. Hales market offers exceptional service and is a good place for travelers to sample local foods, as well as learn about the local culture.

In the afternoon we go to Bernardine Gardens, created in 1469 and a favorite place for romantic strolls. The musical fountain in the center of the park spreads its songs throughout the green space. Climb to Gediminas Castle and from the top, witness some of the most spectacular views of the city with its surrounding rivers. Next to the Presidential Palace and Vilnius University — one of the oldest universities in eastern Europe (founded in 1579) with its St. John’s Church, where professors and students pray, as well as theologians like Blessed Michael Sopocko gave sermons. Back to the hotel.

 

Free day. Shop at the Akropolis on Ozo Street, the largest shopping center in the Baltics. Walk on Pilies Street where you can find local handicrafts and souvenirs. More shopping on Gediminas Prospectas. Enjoy some drinks from the bars in the Old Town. Vigil Mass with Archbishop Emeritus Lionginas Virbalas at St. Casimir Church, the only church in Lithuania that was built like the Church of Gesu in Rome. Farewell dinner and folklore show at a local restaurant.

Check out of your hotel and transfer for your flight on LOT FLT#772 departing at 245pm

Arrive Los Angeles on LOT FLT at 505pm

 

 

Includes

  • Accommodation in 4* hotels sharing double/twin in Hotel Radisson Kaunas or similar, Hotel Gabija in Palanga or similar, Hotel Centrum Artis in Vilnius or similar
  • Welcome and Farewell dinners
  • Buffet breakfast daily
  • Welcome and Farewell dinners
  • Local city guides services as per program: airport assistance on arrival, full day on Day 2-7 and half day on Day 8
  • Entrances: Ciurlionis Gallery, Resurrection Church observation platform, Rumsiskes open air ethnographic museum
  • Amber Museum in Palanga; Pakruojis Manor, Vilnius Cathedral crypts, Cathedral Bell Tower,
  • Vilnius University Ensemble, Trakai Castle, Kernave Archeological Museum, Palace of Grand Dukes
  • Minibus/coach services as per program including arrival /departure transfers as for a group; full days Day 2-7
  • Entrance fee for a vehicle to Rumsiskes Museum
  • Ferry tickets to/from Curonian Spit for pax and coach
  • Ecological taxes
  • City taxes where applicable

2024 Tour Dates and Prices (Per Person, Double Occupancy)

Start DateEnd DatePrice
Jun 27Jul 07€2285 ($2474)
Single Supplement€550 ($595)

 

Our Adventure Awaits Reserve Your Tour

ST. CASIMIR’S PILGRIMAGE OF MERCY

September 3 -14, 2024

Registration From

Air and land fare, hotel overnights with breakfasts, welcome and farewell dinner, entrance fees: $3,650
(additional for single supplement: $499.00)

* Deposit $300.00 by check payable to Vytis Tours is due upon registration and no later than June 14, 2024.

*Final payment is due by July 15, 2024.

Travel insurance is available through Vytis Tours and is strongly recommended. For information and application please call Rimas or Vytis at Vytis Tours 800-778-9847 For tour and flight details, contact Rimas at Vytis Tours 917-796-4535 and St. Casimir’s Church 323-664-4660 or send an email at info@vytistours.com Mail this form to: St. Casimir Church 2718 St. George Street Los Angeles, CA. 90027

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