Fairfield and Georgetown professors to lead spiritual and cultural tour of Spain and Portugal


Dr. Martin A. Lang, professor of religious studies at Fairfield University, and Rev. Stephen Fields, S.J., professor of theology at Georgetown University, will lead a tour of Spain and Portugal from Tuesday, May 29, to Wednesday, June 13. The tour will include visits to historical and religious sites in Lisbon, Madrid and Barcelona, with special pilgrimage Masses at Loyola, Compostela and Fatima.

The tour begins in Lisbon with stops at the Jeronimos Monastery and the massive Memorial for the Navigators, such as Dias and DaGama, who left these very moorings to discover the new world. A two-day stay in Madrid includes an escorted tour of the city, including the Royal Palace and the famous Prado Museum.

In Barcelona, travelers will enjoy the grand boulevards and busy port, visit the Gothic Cathedral and ascend Montjuic to overlook the spectacular stadium used for the Olympics in 1992.

Midway through the journey, there is a visit to the 12th century monastery of Monserrat, the ancient pilgrimage place where people came to pay homage to the "Black Madonna," a Byzantine statue dating back as early as the sixth century.

Then it is on to Tarragona, Spain's best-preserved Roman city, where Hadrian and Augustus build their summer villas. Mass will be celebrated in the 12th century cathedral where a museum houses priceless art treasures.

The tour continues on to Zaragoza, site of the oldest shrine to Mary in Christendom, Our Lady of the Pillar. The shrine is dramatically situated on the banks of the River Ebro where tradition says the Blessed Mother appeared to St. James.

A pilgrimage in honor of St. Ignatius, founder of the Jesuits, takes the group to Pamplona where Ignatius was wounded serving on the side of Castille against the Navarrese. In Pamplona, the travelers will also visit the Plaza del Castillo and the Calle Estafeta, a lively area known for the "running of the bulls."

The next day, the tenth day of the journey, the tour visits Loyola, the birthplace of St. Ignatius. In the Loyola manor house, now called Santa Casa, it is possible to see where St. Ignatius was born and where he recuperated from his war wounds.

The tour continues on to Leon, with a stop along the way in Burgos, a major resting point for the medieval pilgrims headed to Compostela. The cathedral contains the remains of Spain's greatest epic hero, El Cid and his wife.

In Leon the tour includes stops at the Cathedral Santa Maria de Regla, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture, and the great shrine of St. James where both St. Francis of Assisi and St. Ignatius came as pilgrims.

As the end of the journey nears, the travelers head south through the beautiful countryside of northern Portugal and on to Fatima. Staying overnight there, the group awakens to celebrate Mass at the shrine and there is time for private devotions.

The cost of the trip is $2,887 and includes all airfares, an air-conditioned motor coach throughout the trip, all hotels first class and all breakfasts and 11 dinners.

This tour fills up quickly, so early registration is recommended to ensure space. Please call Dr. Martin Lang at (203) 254-4000, ext. 2420 for additional information.

Bookmark and Share

Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on January 30, 2001

Vol. 33, No. 115