Pilgrimage to the Holy Land - 2-18-19
Jerusalem | Tiberias
Experience the Holy LandA pilgrimage to the Holy Land is more than a religious tour. It is an experience of faith, a voyage to deepen one’s desire to know Christ better. It is turning to the places “in which God has chosen to ‘pitch his tent,’ among us,” as St. John Paul II said about his own pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Enter into the sacred spaces of the Annunciation of Mary. See the place of Christ’s birth. Follow the steps Simon of Cyrene took to help Christ carry his cross and of his Apostles who witnessed his first miracles. Journey with us to the land where Christ prayed, suffered, and rose from the dead.
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 guide who will arrange the schedule of our visits and make
the scripture come alive as we follow in the footsteps of Jesus
and the Prophets. After Mass in Jaffa, transfer to our hotel at
the seaside resort of Netanya.
This morning, leave Netanya for Tiberias. Drive along the
Mediterranean coast to Caesarea, capital of the ancient Roman
Procurators of Judea. Here, St. Peter preached and St. Paul
was imprisoned for two years. Visit the Roman Theater,
Crusader’s Moat, and the Byzantine Churches. Continue to the
sparkling port city of Haifa. Ascend Mt. Carmel, home of the
prophets Elijah and Elisha. After Mass continue on to Tiberias,
our home for the next three 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 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.
After Mass, we will depart Tiberias and drive through the Judean
wilderness 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. 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. From here, we will drive
the short distance to our hotel in 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. 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”.
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. Visit the Milk Grotto Chapel followed
by some free time before returning to 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
we will view the Temple Mount. The afternoon will be free to
explore the Old City on your own.
This morning we will drive to Bethany to visit the site of the
House of Mary, Martha & Lazarus and the Tomb of Lazarus.
Then drive 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 in its salty, mineral-laden waters
for those interested.
This morning we will 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 visit 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.
The afternoon is free for personal activities. This evening we
will enjoy a farewell dinner.
Today our Holy Land pilgrimage comes to an end as we arrive back
in the United States following our flight from Tel Aviv.
- Arrangements for daily Mass
- Roundtrip economy class airfare from Phoenix on United Airlines
- 10 nights accommodations
- All hotel taxes and service charges
- Breakfast and dinner daily
- Middle Eastern farewell dinner at the Christmas Hotel in Jerusalem
- Comprehensive sightseeing with a licensed Christian guide
- All entrance fees as per itinerary
- Land transportation by deluxe motor coach
- Whisper headsets
- Arrival and departure transfers; group flights only
- Porterage of one piece of luggage at airports and hotels
- Airline taxes/fuel surcharges (currently $702.72 per person, but subject to change until the time of ticketing)