Holy Land Pilgrimage - November 7, 2021
A Pilgrimage to the Holy Land | Private Group
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.
Your immersion in ancient Israel where Christ walked begins. After being met by our tour manager, we proceed to the resort town of Netanya where we will spend our ﬁrst night in the Holy Land on the shores of the Mediterranean.
Set out for a morning drive along the Mediterranean Coast to Caesarea, the capital of the Roman Procurators of Judea where St. Peter preached, and St. Paul was imprisoned for two years. We will visit the Roman Theater, Crusader’s Moat and see the stunning architecture and art of the Byzantine Churches. This afternoon we will enter the port city of Haifa to ascend Mt. Carmel, the sacred mountain where the Prophet Elijah contested 450 prophets of Baal proclaiming, “The Lord, He is God,” and Elisha, his disciple, took refuge. We will visit Stella Maris, the church dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary as Star of the Sea, located near the cave in which Elijah lived. Continue on to Tiberias for check-in at our hotel, our home base for the next four nights.
After breakfast, we drive to Cana in Galilee to pray where Jesus performed His first miracle, at the request of His mother, Mary, turning the water into wine. The Catholic Church points to this miracle as establishing the Sacrament of Marriage. If you wish, you may renew your wedding vows here as a lasting remembrance of this holy site. Afterwards, travel a short distance to Nazareth, the childhood home of Jesus. Visit the Basilica of the Annunciation that holds the Cave of the Annunciation which is the actual room where Gabriel appeared to Mary and “the Word was made flesh” (John 1:14) and see St. Joseph’s Carpentry Shop, where the foster father of Jesus worked. Visit Nain, where Jesus raised the son of a widow for whom He had much compassion (Luke 7). Our last excursion of the day is to the summit of Mt. Tabor, the site of the Transfiguration and the culminating point of Christ’s public life. Christ revealed His divinity here to three of His Apostles as He spoke with the prophets Moses and Elijah and where God spoke from Heaven declaring Christ was His beloved Son to whom they should listen (Matthew 17:5).
This morning we ascend the Golan Heights, a fertile plateau with expansive views over Israel. Stop at the Banias Spring, a waterfall that rises from under a cave and is one of the sources of the Jordan River. It was here in Banias (known in Biblical times as Caesarea Philippi) where Peter made his confession of faith in Jesus as the Messiah and where Jesus gave Peter his new name, declaring him the Rock upon which He would build His Church (Matthew 16:16-19). Journey around the Sea of Galilee to Kursi, where Jesus cast out a legion of demons into a herd of swine (Luke 8:26). Continue to Magdala, birthplace of Mary Magdalene, known as “the Apostle to the Apostles” where we will visit the chapel and surrounding ruins. We then return to our hotel, where we will have the balance of the day free for personal prayer and reflection.
Enjoy a scenic morning boat ride across the Sea of Galilee, the setting of so many moments in Christ’s life. Journey to Bethsaida to visit the home of Andrew and Peter and marvel at the humble beginnings of two of the greatest disciples. We continue to Capernaum the center of Jesus’s three-year public ministry where he called his first disciples, Peter, Andrew, James, John and Matthew. Here Christ healed Peter’s mother-in-law of a fever, brought a child back to life, cured a leper, healed the centurion’s servant and cast out a demon from a young boy. After Mass we will visit the synagogue where Jesus taught. At Tabgha, we ponder the site where Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes to feed more than 5,000 people. Visit the Church of Peter’s Primacy, where Peter’s role as the Vicar of Christ was further established as Christ asked him to “Feed my sheep,” (John 21:16). We end our day along the shores of the Sea of Galilee atop the Mount of Beatitudes, site of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. After some quiet prayer time here, we will return to our hotel for our final night in Galilee.
This morning we depart from the region of Galilee and travel south through the Jordan River Valley to the traditional baptismal site of Jesus in the Jordan River. Renew your baptismal vows in the very river where Christ was baptized by John the Baptist (Mark 1:9). Ponder how the children of Israel crossed the River Jordan opposite Jericho when they came to the Promised Land. These are the waters the prophet Elijah divided and crossed with Elisha and in which Naaman the Syrian dipped seven times to cure his leprosy. Pilgrims come every year to immerse themselves in these holy waters. Journey into Jericho, the oldest known city in the Western world. In 1250 B.C., Joshua and the Israelites encircled the city, trumpets blasting, and the walls came tumbling down (Joshua 6). Along the way, view the Mount of Temptation, where Jesus fasted and prayed for 40 days to resist the devil. Continue through the Judean Wilderness along the road Jesus mentioned in his parable of the Good Samaritan and finish our day in Jerusalem, our home for the next five nights.
We begin this morning at one of the most joyous sites connected to the Holy Night Christ was born – the church located in the Shepherd’s Fields in Bethlehem, marking the spot where the shepherds heard the chorus of angels proclaiming Jesus’ birth. In the city of Bethlehem, meaning “House of Bread,” we visit the Nativity Church that sits above the traditional Grotto of Jesus’ Birth. Ponder the Manger, Grotto of St. Jerome and the Church of St. Catherine, the parish church for Bethlehem’s Catholics. This afternoon we drive to Ein Karem, one of the most beautiful sites in the New City of Jerusalem where St. John the Baptist was born. Marvel at the Visitation Church where Mary proclaimed her service to God in her Magnificat prayer and pray the Magnificat together in this holy site.
We will take a morning drive to the top of the Mount of Olives for a panoramic view of Jerusalem and visit two churches located on the mount: the Church of the Pater Noster, built over the caves where Jesus taught His disciples how to pray the “Our Father,” and Ascension Chapel, the site from which Jesus ascended into Heaven. Descend the mount on the path Christ walked on the “Palm Sunday Road” to Dominus Flevit, where He wept over Jerusalem and her future destruction. Then enter into the Garden of Gethsemane where Christ had His agony and was betrayed. Here we will pray in the Church of All Nations at the Rock of Agony, the very rock where Christ prayed and sweated blood before He was crucified.
An exciting day awaits us as we explore Jerusalem further. We 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. Afterwards, is the Pool of Bethesda, where Jesus healed the paralytic man. We will continue to see Pilate’s Judgement Hall, the Chapel of Flagellation, the Arch of Ecce Homo, where Pilate said, “Behold the man,” with Jesus standing before the crowds in His crown of thorns and with His body torn after his scourging. Prayerfully, we will walk the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and have the opportunity to climb the steps up to Mt. Calvary to pray at the site of the Crucifixion. 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 she found the true cross. This afternoon, we travel to Mt. Zion, where Christ celebrated the Last Supper in the Upper Room. Together we will then journey to the Church of the Dormition, the traditional site where Mary was assumed into heaven. Our final stop is at one of the most striking churches in Jerusalem –St. Peter in Gallicantu– that hosts a wide array of art styles. A golden rooster sits atop it recalling the place where Peter denied Jesus three times (Matthew 26). It was the palace of the high priest Caiaphas, where Jesus was brought to jail after his arrest and kept in the dungeon that sits underneath the Church.
We start the morning at the Tomb of Our Lord in the Holy Sepulchre Church with time for private prayer and reflection. After a late breakfast, we will visit Bethany to see the House of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus and the Tomb of Lazarus where Christ raised him from the dead. View the site where Jesus revealed to Martha that He is “the resurrection and the life” (John 11). Continue through the Judean Wilderness to Qumran to see the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. We then drive to the Dead Sea to float and swim in its salty, mineral laden waters before heading back to Jerusalem for some free time on our final afternoon. This evening we head to a local hotel to enjoy a traditional Middle Eastern farewell dinner to celebrate our final night in the Holy Land.
Our time pondering the wonder and awe of the Holy Land comes to an end. We catch our return flight home from Tel Aviv, bringing with us all of the graces and blessings of this pilgrimage.
- Daily Mass at holy sites
- Roundtrip economy airfare from Kansas City on United Airlines
- 10 nights’ accommodation, including taxes and service charges
- Porterage of one piece of luggage at airports and hotels
- Knowledgeable, friendly, Catholic/Christian guides; whisper headsets; deluxe motor coach transportation to holy sites; all entrance fees listed on itinerary
- Breakfast and dinner per itinerary (excluding drinks)
- Farewell dinner on day 11
- These rates are based upon an assumption that the situation in Israel will be free of the government-imposed social distancing restrictions which are currently in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We cannot be held responsible for any increase in these quoted rates in the event that government regulations are not relaxed, or further restrictions are put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic that may result in increased operational costs.