With Deacon Randy Matters
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Today we depart from Toronto Pearson International Airport for Mexico City. Direct flight.
Meet and greet by our English-speaking guide. If flight arrival is by midday, we will head for the Shrine of Guadalupe, where we have lunch specially prepared by the nuns of a nearby convent, followed by welcome Mass in a private chapel at the Shrine, before checking into our hotel. Relaxing afternoon and welcome briefing and dinner at hotel. (D)
After breakfast, we depart the hotel for a brief stop at the Plaza of the The Three Cultures, where San Diego presented the Tilma with the image of Our Lady to the Bishop as proof of her apparitions. On the way to the Shrine we will be able to view the many different works of art throughout the city that blends the pre-Hispanic and Hispanic culture together. We arrive at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe for Mass at the new basilica and to venerate the ‘Tilma’, the sackcloth bearing the sacred of the Holy Virgin.
After Mass we will have a walking tour of the Old Basilica, Capuchin Nun’s Temple, Pocito Chapel, Tepeyac Hill, and its garden of Roses. There will be time at the Shrine for prayers and to meditate on the beauty of this miracle. In the afternoon we will drive to Teotihuacan one of the best-preserved ancient cities in Mexico and a World Heritage site to see the Pyramid to the Sun and the Moon, the Temple of Quetzal — Butterfly.
A buffet lunch at a Mexican Restaurant with live music and native dancers will follow our visit. There will be time to visit the local craft markets before we return to our hotel for dinner at leisure. (B, L)
Optional: This evening, a surprise in store, as you will have the opportunity to optionally attend the popular Folklore Ballet at the Palace of the fine Arts, Mexico’s exquisite opera house with its Tiffany Glass Curtain (at a surcharge).
After breakfast, we visit Our Lady of Remedies Church, an interesting sanctuary known for miraculous happenings where will witness countless Retablos and “Milagros” elaborated by local parishioners and donated to the church in commemoration of miracles performed.
Mass will be celebrated here. We then continue to Cuautitilan, birthplace of San Juan Diego to see where he grew up. Afterwards, we head for the nearby town of Tepotzotlan to visit the XVlll century Churrigueresque Church and ex-convent of San Francisco Javier to see it exuberant alter done in gold leaf.
Lunch is included at the local restaurant prior to heading back to Mexico City. (B,L)
This morning after breakfast, head for Mass at the Church of the Holy Family where are found the remains of the blessed martyr, Father Miguel Pro. From here, visit the main square of Mexico City (commonly known as the Zocalo) to visit the National Palace with its famous murals by Diego Rivera depicting the history of Mexico. Our walk will take us past the ruins of Templo Mayor to the Metropolitan Cathedral.
Lunch at a nearby restaurant followed by a visit to the world-renowned Museum of Anthropology, a must see for all who visit Mexico City for its pre-Columbian heritage. The museum building itself is an awesome work of art, housing archaeological artifact, one of the which is the famous Aztec Calendar Stone. Dinner at leisure. (B,L)
This morning we head to the south of the city to the beautiful colonial residential section of Coyoacan to the Church of San Jancinto (or similar) where Mass will be celebrated. Next is the Church of St John the Baptist, built on land donated by the conqueror Cortez. His home is nearby.
We continue to Xochimilco, Mexico’s Floating Gardens — another World Heritage site — where you enjoy a leisurely gondola ride along the flower canals, while enjoying a box lunch on board. (B,L)
After an early breakfast we depart for the city of Puebla known as one of Mexico’s most beautiful cities. Along the way we will be stopping at two noteworthy sites — Tlaxcala, to visit the Shrine of San Miguel del Milagro, where St Michael the Archangel appeared to Diego Lazaro in 1631, directing him to the Grotto and the miraculous spring of healing waters. Our next stop is Ocotlan to visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Ocotlan where in 1541, Our Lady appeared to Juan Diego Berniardino, burning her image on an Oak Tree. There will be time to pray and meditate at these Holy sites. Mass will be celebrated at one of these churches.
We will stop for lunch at a local restaurant before to the city of Puebla, commonly known as the ‘City of the Angels’. Before we check into our hotel we will make a stop at the beautiful church of San Francis of Assisi to view the incorrupt body of St Sebastian of Aparicido. Balance of the day at leisure, dinner local and overnight. (B,L)
After breakfast, we celebrate Mass at the beautiful XVll century Rosary Chapel in the Church of Santo Domingo. Later we visit Puebla’s Cathedral dedicated to the Immaculate Conception and other points of interest in town, time to stroll the quaint cobblestone streets, and shop for art, crafts, silver and tile. Lunch prior to departure back to Mexico City, stopping en route for a visit to the Indian church of Sta. Maria Tonazintla in the suburb of Cholula
Arrival back to Mexico City in time for farewell dinner at the hotel. (B,L,D)
In due time and in accordance with group departure flight, transfer to airport for your flight back home. Time permitting, a last stop for farewell Mass at the Shrine of Guadalupe en route. (B)
Enjoy this short video covering some of the sites that we will be visiting on our tour