Society of St. Vincent de Paul Vincentian Heritage Pilgrimage to Paris
From the brochure…
22, Thursday Departure
23, Friday Paris
Bonjour and welcome to Paris, city of our founders and patrons! Several group transfers will be arranged from the Paris CDG Airport to the hotel. In the late afternoon we’ll have a panoramic tour of Paris with photo stops at some of the famous landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe and Paris Opera. At the end of our tour, we’ll have our welcome dinner at a local restaurant before returning to the hotel. (D)
24, Saturday Paris
We begin our pilgrimage walking in the footsteps of Frédéric Ozanam. The morning begins by attending Mass at St. Joseph des Carmes, where he is buried in the crypt below the church.
After Mass we will walk past the boarding house operated by Emmanuel Bailly on our way to the nearby church of St. Sulpice, a majestic classical building. In this church Frédéric’s daughter Marie was baptized and married. It is where his Paris funeral was celebrated. Adjacent to the church we will see the place where the Society was founded (in the office of Emmanuel Bailly) and, nearby, there is an apartment where Frédéric lived as a young professor.
Next we will travel to the venerable Sorbonne University where Frédéric Ozanam earned both his law and literature degrees and where he became Professor of Foreign Literature. After finding lunch in the area, we will tour the nearby Church of St. Étienne du Mont, attended by Frédéric Ozanam as a student and home of our Society’s first conference. On the way we will point out the various locations where Frédéric lived as a student and the place where the Society met in its early years—all in the shadow of the important Paris landmark, the Pantheon. We will end the afternoon with a walk in the Luxembourg Garden, which Frédéric crossed daily between his residence and the University. (B)
25, Sunday Paris (Optional Visit to Chartres)
Today is completely free for independent activities. In addition to the option of attending Mass in one of the many churches in Paris, many of the famous museums offer reduced or even free admission on Sundays. If there is enough interest, our driver/guide will make an excursion to the beautiful Chartres Cathedral. (B)
26, Monday Paris
Another very special day is in store, walking in the steps of St. Louise and Blessed Rosalie Rendu. Our morning begins with a visit to the Motherhouse of the Daughters of Charity at 140, rue du Bac, where the Blessed Mother appeared to St. Catherine Labouré.
Catherine’s tomb is here, as is that of St. Louise de Marillac. While here, we will attend the 10:30 a.m. Mass at the Miraculous
Medal Chapel. After lunch on your own, we will visit Montparnasse Cemetery to visit the graves of Rosalie Rendu and the Ozanam family, then on to St. Médard, parish church of Sr. Rosalie. After visiting the church we will walk up Rue Mouffetard in the steps of Rosalie, to visit Rue de l’ Epee de Bois, site of Sr. Rosalie’s parlor. We will stand with the first members of the Society as they made their first home visits to the poor in the Mouffetard area. This is now one of the liveliest areas of Paris—with many shops, restaurants, cafés, and a permanent open-air market. After the visit you may want to continue exploring this lively and interesting area. (B)
27, Tuesday Paris
It is a blessing to be in Paris on the Feast of St. Vincent de Paul, who died on this day 356 years ago. You will begin the day on the Ile de la Cité with a visit to magnificent Notre-Dame Cathedral, where St. Vincent frequently said Mass for the Ladies of Charity. The vacant area in front of the cathedral was the site of the Hotel Dieu; the foundling orphanage was also located in this area. Our morning on the island will include visits to the Conciergerie (which Vincent visited frequently as chaplain to the galley slaves) and the beautiful Sainte-Chapelle.
You may want to linger a while in the area, branching out on your own for lunch and maybe a visit to one of the many museums and attractions in the area. We will gather in the late afternoon for a tour of the Motherhouse of the Vincentian Priests and Brothers (Congregation of the Mission) at 95, rue de Sèvres, where a small museum containing artifacts from the lives of Vincent and Louise will be open for us. Then we will celebrate Mass in the church where reposes the body of St. Vincent de Paul, just as Frédéric and our founders did on this feast in 1836. (B)
28, Wednesday Paris
Our morning begins with a brief stop at St. Laurent, near St. Lazare, the parish church of St. Louise and the first Daughters of Charity.
It was also often frequented by St. Vincent. A short way from the parish we will point out a significant area, which was the site of the original St. Lazare. From there it is a short trip to Montmartre (“Mount of Martyrs”), more typically known to Parisians as the “Butte.” The Basilica of Sacre Coeur, with its huge white dome and panoramic view of Paris, was erected on Montmartre Hill after the Franco-Prussian War of 1870—with significant leadership provided by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. We’ll attend morning Mass here and then you will have time explore the picturesque Montmartre area and find a café for lunch.
In the afternoon you will be privileged to visit the small museum “Souvenir Ozanam” to see artifacts preserved by his family now under the care of the National Council of France. From there it is a short walk to the International Office of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, where you can meet members of the staff who direct the activities of our worldwide family.
Our farewell dinner will be at Restaurant A La Petite Chaise, the oldest restaurant in Paris, dating back to 1680. (B,D)
29, Thursday Return
For more details and brochure click SVDP Pilgrimage or contact
Sister Kieran Kneaves
National Director of Vincentian Formation
National Council of the United States of St. Vincent de Paul, Inc.
58 Progress Parkway
St. Louis, MO 62043-3706
314-576-3993 Ext. 207
250 28th Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512 616.957.8113 | 800 GO WITTE
firstname.lastname@example.org | wittetours.com