This is one of our most successful tours among Jesuit visitors and visitors who have studied at a Jesuit college or university.
Montserrat is undoubtedly the most popular day trip from Barcelona. The Abbey of Montserrat is a monastery located at the top of the Montserrat mountain that has a rich history and is deeply linked to the spiritual experiences of San Ignacio de Loyola or Saint Ignatius of Loyola. Before his spiritual conversion, St. Ignatius was, in fact, a Spanish knight. He took part in many battles and was wounded at the Battle of Pamplona in 1521. During his recovery, he underwent a spiritual conversion that would take him to the Holy Land. On the way, he overnighted at Montserrat, where he experienced a vision of the Virgin Mary and Jesus. The next day, he left his sword, gave away all his fine clothes, and dressed in rough clothes and sandals. He walked down the mountain and arrived at Manresa, where he stayed for 11 months.
What will the visit entail?
- Departure at 8:30 am for Manresa to make sure we arrive when the church opens.
- In Manresa we’ll visit the Church of St. Ignatius and the Cave where he prayed and underwent an intense spiritual experience that gave him the inspiration to write “The Book of Spiritual Exercises,” a guide for living one’s life according to God and the basis of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).
- The Cave is a place of pilgrimage and worship visited by Jesuits and students from Loyola universities around the world who are interested in visiting all the important places in the life of St. Ignatius.
- After visiting the Cave, we’ll drive to Montserrat, enjoying some exceptional views of the mountain on the way and visiting the Monastery that held so much importance for Saint Ignatius.
If time allows, we’ll listen to La Escolania, the Boys’ Choir, to hear their beautiful voices sing out the Salve Regina and El Virolai, the hymn dedicated to Our Lady of Montserrat.
We’ll then have a snack before heading back to Barcelona; one option is to try some local cheese and honey, referred to as “Mató amb mel.” Montserrat has several places to get food.
Manresa is the town where St. Ignatius of Loyola chose to settle for a period in 1522, remaining for 11 months. He was fascinated by its beauty, its location by the Cardener river, and the kindness of its inhabitants, who took care of that poor pilgrim who had walked down Montserrat without any proper shoes.
You can also find reminders of Saint Ignatius in Barcelona, just take a look at this picture.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR SOLO TRAVELERS
If you would like to visit the Cave of St. Ignatius in Manresa, but the price of the chauffeured tour exceeds your budget, we can organize a tour using public transport; it will take you a little longer, but we can take advantage of the journey to talk about Barcelona, Catalonia, Montserrat and, of course, St. Ignatius. We encourage you to book the tour and specify that you would like to go by public transport.