Holy Land Pilgrimage - November 12, 2019
Jerusalem | Tiberias | Galilee
Our pilgrimage begins today as we depart on our flight to Israel. Meals
and drinks served aloft.
After a morning arrival at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, we will be met
by our local guide who will arrange the schedules of our visits and
make the scripture come alive as we follow in the footsteps of
Jesus. We drive north along the Mediterranean coast to Caesarea,
the capital of the ancient Roman Procurators of Judea where St. Peter
preached and St. Paul was imprisoned for two years. Here we will visit
the Roman Theater, Crusader’s Moat, and the Byzantine Churches. Then
continue on to the sparkling port city of Haifa where we will ascend Mt.
Carmel, home of the prophets Elijah and Elisha. After celebrating Mass
at Stella Maris we will continue on to our hotel located on the shores of
the Sea of Galilee, our home for the next four nights.
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).
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 believed by many to have been 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.
This morning we will ascend the Golan Heights and stop at the Banias
Spring that rises from under a cave and is one of the sources of the
Jordan River. It was here near Banias at ancient Caesarea Philippi
where Peter made his confession of faith in Jesus. On our return
to Tiberias 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). The remainder of the
day is free for personal activities.
This morning we will depart Tiberias and travel south through the
Jordan valley to the traditional baptismal site on 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 visit 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 (Joshua 6). Many
times Jesus passed through this city on his way to Jerusalem. From the
ruins of ancient Jericho, we will ascend the Mount of Temptation where
Jesus fasted and prayed forty days to resist the devil. Next we will
stop in Bethany to visit the site of the House of Mary, Martha & Lazarus
and the Tomb of Lazarus. After Mass in Bethany we will continue on to
Jerusalem, our home for the next six nights.
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. Then 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”.
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 we will
view the Temple Mount. Afterwards, we exit the city to visit the Pool of
Siloam, where Jesus healed a man born blind.
This morning we will celebrate an early morning Mass at the Tomb of
our Lord. After Mass, we will spend some private time in prayer and
reflection at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre before returning to our
hotel for breakfast. Later in the morning drive through the Judean
Wilderness and along the Dead Sea to Qumran to see the caves
where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. After lunch we will go
to Masada. An exciting ascent by cable car will take you to this last
stronghold of the Jewish Zealots in their war against the Romans.
Then drive to the Dead Sea for a swim in its salty, mineral-laden
waters before heading back to Jerusalem.
This morning we will go to Mount Zion to visit the Upper Room, the site
where Jesus celebrated the Last Supper. We will then pray the Rosary
together in the Church of Dormition, the traditional site where Mary was
assumed into heaven. Our final stop of the day will be at the Church of
St. Peter in Gallicantu where Peter denied Jesus three times.
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 Milk Grotto Chapel followed by some free time before returning
to Jerusalem. This evening we will enjoy a farewell dinner together.
Today our Holy Land pilgrimage comes to an end as we transfer to the
airport in Tel Aviv to catch our return flight home.
- Arrangements for daily Mass
- Roundtrip economy class airfare from Chicago O’Hare to Tel Aviv on Air Canada
- 10 nights accommodations
- All hotel taxes and service charges
- Breakfast and dinner daily
- Middle Eastern farewell dinner at the Christmas Hotel on Day 11
- Comprehensive sightseeing with a licensed Christian guide
- All entrance fees as per itinerary
- Land transportation by deluxe motor coach
- Transfers by motor coach to and from Chicago O’Hare airport from Indianapolis
- Arrival and departure transfers; group flights only
- Whisper headsets
- Porterage of one piece of luggage at airports and hotels