THE HOLY LAND

St. Paul called the Holy Land “the Fifth Gospel” because it makes scripture come alive. Walk in the footsteps of Jesus, his mother, and his disciples. Leave the ordinary behind and enter the extraordinary story of Christ’s birth, life, death, and resurrection.

CHRISTMAS WILL BE FOREVER CHANGED AFTER YOU MEET THE CHRISTIANS LIVING IN BETHLEHEM AND PRAY AT THE GROTTO OF JESUS’S BIRTH.


Gospel stories will be understood in new ways after you pray on the shores of Galilee.

Easter will never be the same after kneeling in his tomb
at the site of the resurrection.

Day 1: Depart from the U.S.  Our pilgrimage begins today as we depart on our flight to Israel. Meals and drinks served aloft.

Day 2: Arrive Tel Aviv / Haifa  After arrival at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, we will be met at the airport by our local guide. We will then board our motor coach and drive north along the Mediterranean coast to the sparkling port city of Haifa and ascend Mt. Carmel for Mass at Stella Maris.  Overnight in Haifa. (D)

Day 3: Haifa / Tiberias  This morning we will visit the Carmelite Monastery, the largest Carmelite Monastery and world center of the Order.  In the very cave where the prophet Elijah set up his altar and triumphed over the false prophets of Baal, we will renew our scapular promises and be invested in the Society of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Here we will celebrate Mass and then proceed to our hotel in Tiberias. (B/D)

Day 4: Tiberias  Following breakfast, we will drive to Cana of Galilee where Jesus, at the request of Mary, performed His first miracle…changing water into wine.  It was here also that He blessed marriage and raised it to the dignity of a sacrament.  If you wish, you may renew your wedding vows as a lasting remembrance of this holy site.  From there, we go a short distance to Nazareth, the boyhood home of Jesus.  In the Church of the Annunciation we will celebrate Mass.  Just behind the altar, at the Cave of the Annunciation, we will see the actual room in which Mary said “yes” to the angel Gabriel.  From there we will visit St. Joseph’s Carpentry Shop and Mary’s well.  In the afternoon, we will take an excursion to the summit of Mt. Tabor where Jesus transfigured himself and revealed his Divine Glory to the apostles (Matt 17:2). (B/D)

Day 5: Tiberias  This morning, we will enjoy a scenic boat ride across the Sea of Galilee and proceed to the Church of Peter’s Primacy (John 21:16).  Here on the shore of Galilee, Jesus appeared to the Apostles after His Resurrection and confirmed Peter in the role as Vicar of Christ with the words, “Feed My sheep.”  The rock emerging from the center of the church is the actual table at which they ate breakfast.  We will proceed onto Capernaum which for three years was the center of Jesus’ public ministry.  Here our Lord met his first disciples – Peter, Andrew, James, John and Matthew – and worked many miracles.  He healed Peter’s mother-in-law of a fever, brought a child back to life, cured a leper, healed the centurion’s servant, cast out a demon from a young boy and healed all that were sick (Matt 8:16).  We will celebrate Mass, visit the synagogue where Jesus taught, and then drive to Tabgha – the site where Jesus multiplied the Loaves and Fishes and fed over 5000 people (Luke 9:13). Next, we will drive to the Mount of Beatitudes the site of the Sermon on the Mount. Later, ascending the Golan Heights, we will stop at the Banias Spring that rises from under a cave and is one of the sources of the Jordan River. It was here in Banias (ancient Caesarea Philippi) where Peter made his confession of faith in Jesus. (B/D)

Day 6: Tiberias / Jerusalem  After Mass at the Mount of the Beatitudes, we will travel around the Sea of Galilee and stop at Kursi.  Here Jesus met a possessed man and miraculously cast out a legion of demons into the herd of swine (Luke 8:26).  From there we travel to the River Jordan to renew our baptismal vows. The Bible tells us that the Children of Israel crossed the River Jordan opposite Jericho when they came into the Promised Land.  The prophet Elijah divided its waters and crossed with Elisha on dry land.  Naaman the Syrian dipped in the waters seven times and was cured of his leprosy.  And Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan (Mark 1:9).  Each year, pilgrims from far and wide come to the Place of Baptism to immerse themselves in these holy waters.  From here, we will drive through the Judean wilderness to Jerusalem. (B/D)

Day 7: Jerusalem  This morning we will drive to the top of the Mt. of Olives for a spectacular view of Jerusalem. We will visit the Church of Pater Noster where Jesus taught his disciples how to pray, Ascension Chapel the site where Jesus ascended into Heaven, and then walk the “Palm Sunday Road” to Dominus Flevit, where Our Lord wept over Jerusalem. The we will proceed to the Garden of Gethsemane to visit the Church of All Nations for Mass on the Rock of Agony. In the afternoon, we will drive through the New City of Jerusalem to Ein Karem, birthplace of St. John the Baptist, to see the Visitation Church where Mary proclaimed her famous “Magnificat”. (B/D)

Day 8: Jerusalem  This morning we will enter the Old City of Jerusalem through St. Stephen’s Gate to visit the Church of St. Anne, where the Blessed Virgin Mary was born.  Next to this site is the Pool of Bethesda, where Jesus healed the paralytic man.  We will then walk the Via Dolorosa finishing prayerfully in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher where we will have Holy Mass.  There we will climb Mt. Calvary and pray at the site of the crucifixion.  We will venerate the site where Jesus’ body was anointed, the tomb where he was buried and rose from the dead, and the Chapel of St. Helena where the true cross was found.  While in the old city, we will also see Pilate’s Judgment Hall, the Chapel of Flagellation, the Arch of Ecce Homo, the “Wailing Wall”, and the Temple Mount.  Afterwards, we exit the city to visit the Pool of Siloam, where Jesus healed a man born blind.  We then go to Mount Zion to visit the Upper Room, the site where Jesus celebrated the Last Supper.  Last, we pray our Rosary together in the Church of Dormition, where Mary was assumed into heaven. (B/D)

Day 9: Jerusalem  We will drive to Bethlehem and have Mass at the Shepherd’s Fields. Above the traditional Grotto of Jesus’ birth, we will visit the Nativity Church, built by the Emperor Constantine in the 4th century. Also tour the Manger, Grotto of St. Jerome, and the Church of St. Catherine. Then visit the Franciscan Family Center and the Milk Grotto Chapel followed by some free time before returning to Jerusalem. (B/D)

Day 10: Jerusalem  We will drive to Bethany to visit the site of the House of Mary, Martha & Lazarus and the Tomb of Lazarus.  Then drive to ancient Jericho, the oldest known city in the Western world.  In 1250 B.C., Joshua encircled the city and at the blast of the priests’ trumpets, the walls came tumbling down (I Kings 16).  Many times Jesus passed through this city on his way to Jerusalem.  The sycamore fig, the tree which Zacchaeus climbed in order to catch a glimpse of Jesus, still grows in this area.  From the ruins of ancient Jericho, we will ascend the Mount of Temptation where Jesus fasted and prayed forty days to resist the devil. On our way to Jerusalem, we will stop in the village of Sychar, where the Patriarch Jacob dug a well 3000 years ago.  John 4:5 tells the story of how Jesus came to this city and being wearied with his journey, sat at this well and met the Samaritan woman. Return to Jerusalem. (B/D)

Day 11: Jerusalem / Tel Aviv / U.S.  Today our Holy Land pilgrimage comes to an end. We will transfer to the airport in Tel Aviv for our return flight home. (B)


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