Pilgrimage to the Holy Land - May 8, 2019
Jerusalem | Bethlehem | Tiberias
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 this morning 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. Then proceed to the resort town of
Netanya where we will spend our first night in the Holy Land on
the shores of the Mediterranean.
Leave Netanya for the Sea of Galilee. 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 Megiddo, the
jewel in the crown of biblical archaeology. Strategically perched
above the most important land route in the ancient Near East,
the city dominated international traffic for over 6,000 years
— from 7,000 B.C. through to biblical times. Its Greek name,
Armageddon, is spoken of in the Book of Revelation as a final
apocalyptic battle. Continue to the sparkling port city of Haifa.
Ascend Mt. Carmel, home of the prophets Elijah and Elisha,
for Mass. Visit the Carmelite Monastery, the largest Carmelite
Monastery and world center of the Order. We will find ourselves
in the very cave where the prophet Elijah set up his altar and
triumphed over the false prophets of Baal. Proceed to our hotel
in Galilee, our home for the next three nights.
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. Lastly, we will visit the newly found ruins of
Magdala, home of Mary.
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).
After Mass at the Mount of the Beatitudes, we will travel
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 a short distance to Bethlehem.
After breakfast celebrate 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 to walk around Manger Square.
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. We
then go to Mount Zion to visit the Upper Room, the site where
Jesus celebrated the Last Supper. Last, we pray our Rosary
together in the Church of Dormition, where Mary was assumed
We will drive to Bethany to visit the site of the House of Mary,
Martha & Lazarus and the Tomb of Lazarus where we will
celebrate Mass. Return to Jerusalem where the remainder of
the day will be free to explore the Old City on your own. This
evening we will enjoy a farewell dinner.
Today our Holy Land pilgrimage comes to an end. We will
transfer to the airport for our return flight home.
- Arrangements for daily Mass
- Roundtrip economy class airfare from Indianapolis to Tel Aviv on United Airlines
- 9 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
- Porterage of one piece of luggage at airports and hotels