Pilgrimage to the Holy Land - November 4, 2019
Haifa | Cana | Tiberias | Jerusalem
Holy Land Pilgrimage Itinerary
Our pilgrimage begins today as we depart on our flight to Israel. Meals and drinks served aloft.
After 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 ensure that all goes smoothly as we follow in the footsteps of Jesus. We drive north along the Mediterranean coast. We will visit Muhraqa where Elijah had his famous duel with the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18). After our arrival in Haifa we will celebrate Mass at Stella Maris on Mt. Carmel, home of the prophets Elijah and Elisha. Overnight at Stella Maris.
Following breakfast, we visit the largest Carmelite Monastery and world center of the Order, built above the very cave where Elijah lived. Then proceed to Nazareth, the boyhood home of Jesus. In the Church of the Annunciation we will celebrate Mass. Just behind the altar 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 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. Those who wish may renew their wedding vows as a lasting remembrance of this holy site. Next, we will take an excursion to the summit of Mt. Tabor where Jesus was transfigured and revealed his Divine Glory to the apostles (Matt 17:2). We continue on to our hotel located on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, our home for the next three nights.
This morning visit the Tomb of Maimonides followed by a stop in the ancient center of Jewish mysticism – Safed. The narrow cobblestone alleys reveal artists’ galleries, medieval synagogues, private homes and small guest houses. We will tour one of the medieval synagogues, then make a short stop in Chorazin, one of the three towns cursed by Our Lord for their lack of faith (Lk. 10). Later, 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, the ancient Caesarea Philippi, where after Peter made his confession of faith, Jesus said “You are Peter, and on this Rock I will build my church.” (Mt. 16) 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 (Lk. 8:26).
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 church is built around the rock on 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 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 depart Tiberias and travel south to the spot on the Jordan River where John the Baptist baptized Jesus, where we will 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. The sycamore fig, the tree which Zacchaeus climbed in order to catch a glimpse of Jesus, still grows in this area. From Jericho, we will ascend the Mount of Temptation where Jesus fasted and prayed forty days before beginning his public ministry and was tempted by the devil (Mt. 4). Next we will stop in Bethany to visit the site of the House of Mary, Martha, & Lazarus and descend into 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 the Our Father, Ascension Chapel 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 to visit the birthplace of John the Baptist and the site of the Visitation where Mary greeted her cousin Elizabeth and proclaimed her “Magnificat.”
This morning we will celebrate an early morning Mass at the Tomb of our Lord. After breakfast 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 prayerfully, finishing 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.
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, where Mary was assumed into heaven. We will then walk to the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu where Peter denied Jesus three times and have the opportunity to pray in the prison cell in Caiphas’ palace where Jesus passed the night before His crucifixion. We will celebrate Mass and then have the balance of the day free for personal activities.
We will drive to Bethlehem and visit Rachel’s Tomb. Next, we will have Mass at the Shepherd’s Fields. We will visit and pray at the very spot of Jesus’ birth and visit the Basilica of the Nativity, built by the Emperor Constantine in the 4th century. We will also tour the Manger, Grotto of St. Jerome, and the Church of St. Catherine. Then we 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 Newark to Tel Aviv on United Airlines
- 9 nights accommodations
- All hotel taxes and service charges
- Breakfast and dinner daily
- Farewell dinner on Day 10
- Comprehensive guiding with Roy Schoeman
- All entrance fees as per itinerary
- Land transportation by deluxe motor coach
- Arrival and departure transfers
- Whisper headsets
- Porterage of one piece of luggage at airports and hotels