Holy Land Pilgrimage - May 10, 2021
Jerusalem | Galilee | Cana
Step into the sandals of the apostles as you stroll the streets of Old City Jerusalem and visit some of the holiest places in Christian history. Visit Nazareth and see the sacred places where our Blessed Mother carried Christ in her womb. Explore the shores of the Sea of Galilee where Christ lived, walked and preached the words of the Gospel.
Holy Land Pilgrimage Itinerary
Our pilgrimage begins today as we depart on our flight to Israel. Meals and drinks served aloft.
Upon arriving at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, we will be met by our local guide, who will arrange the schedule of our visits, and make the Scriptures come alive for us as we follow in the footsteps of Jesus, the Apostles and the Prophets. Transfer to our hotel in Jerusalem.
This morning we will drive to the top of the Mount of Olives for a spectacular view of Jerusalem. Visit the Church of Pater Noster where Jesus taught His disciples how to pray the Our Father and then walk the “Palm Sunday Road” to Dominus Flevit, where Our Lord wept over Jerusalem. We will then proceed to the Garden of Gethsemane to visit the Church of All Nations and to pray at the Rock of Agony. In the afternoon, we will drive to Ein Karem, birthplace of St. John the Baptist, to visit the Church of St. John the Baptist, and the Church of the Visitation, where Mary proclaimed her famous “Magnificat” when she came to visit her cousin Elizabeth.
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 and St. Peter in Gallicantu where Peter denied Jesus three times. Last, we pray our Rosary together in the Church of Dormition, where Mary was assumed into heaven.
We will drive to Bethlehem and celebrate Mass in the Grotto of St. Jerome. 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, the Church of St. Catherine, the Milk Grotto Chapel and the Shepherd’s Fields before returning to 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 down along the Dead Sea to Masada where we will make an exciting ascent by cable car to this last stronghold of the Jewish Zealots in their war against the Romans in 73 A.D. Then proceed to Qumran to see the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. On our return to Jerusalem, stop at the Dead Sea for a short swim for those interested.
This morning we will celebrate an early morning Mass at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. After Mass, we will return to our hotel for breakfast. Then depart Jerusalem and drive to 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 (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. We will continue our journey to the Baptismal Site on the Jordan River where we will have an opportunity to renew our baptismal vows before driving though the Judean wilderness to Tiberias for check-in at our hotel located on the Sea of Galilee.
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. In the afternoon we will drive to the Golan Heights, where we will stop at the Banias Spring, which 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 profession of faith in Jesus, and where Jesus gave Peter his new name, and called him the Rock upon which He would build His Church. Return to Tiberias.
Following breakfast, drive to Cana, where Jesus performed His first miracle, changing water into wine at the wedding feast. Married couples will have the opportunity to renew their wedding vows at this holy site. Then proceed 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).
Depart Tiberias and drive to the sparkling port city of Haifa, home of the prophets Elijah and Elisha. Ascend Mt. Carmel and visit the Carmelite Monastery, the largest Carmelite Monastery and world center of the Order. Visit the cave where the prophet Elijah set up his altar and triumphed over the false prophets of Baal. Then drive along the shores of the Mediterranean Sea to ancient Caesarea, where St. Paul lived for two years before being taken to Rome for trial. Continue to Netanya for our last night in the Holy Land.
Today our Holy Land pilgrimage comes to an end. We will transfer to the airport in Tel Aviv for our return flight home.
- Arrangements for daily Mass
- Roundtrip economy class airfare from Chicago O’Hare to Tel Aviv on Austrian Airlines
- 9 nights accommodation as follows: 5 nights in Jerusalem at the Grand Court Hotel or similar, 3 nights in Tiberias at the Gai Beach Hotel or similar, 1 night in Tel Aviv at the Dan Panorama Hotel or similar
- All hotel taxes and service charges
- Breakfast and dinner daily
- Middle Eastern dinner at the Christmas Hotel on day 6
- Comprehensive sightseeing with a licensed Christian guide
- All entrance fees as per itinerary
- Land transportation by private deluxe motor coach
- Arrival and departure transfers
- Whisper headsets
- Porterage of one piece of luggage at airports and hotels
- Frees as indicated above based upon single occupancy