Pilgrimage to the Holy Land and Jordan - November 1, 2020
Galilee | Jordan | Jerusalem | Bethlehem | Ein Karem
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. Travel across the border into Jordan and marvel at the Old Testament sites of Mt. Nebo and the desert where the Israelites wandered for 40 years. Delve into hidden Petra and be amazed at this wonder of the ancient world.
Holy Land Pilgrimage Itinerary
Depart on our overnight flight to Israel. Meals and drinks served aloft.
Your immersion in ancient Israel where Christ walked begins.Depending on our flight arrival, wewill proceed to Old Jaffa to visit St. Peter’s Church where Peter stayed when visiting this cityand the House of Simon the Tanner. It was here where Peter brought Tabitha back from the deadand had a vision about broadening the ministry of Christ and bringing the message of salvation tothe Gentiles (Acts 10). Later this afternoon, we will have an opportunity to walk along thewinding cobblestoned streets and explore the charming artists’ colony, art galleries and craftshops. Then we proceed to the resort town of Netanya where we will spend our first night in theHoly Land on the shores of the Mediterranean.
Set out for a morning drive along the Mediterranean Coast to Caesarea, the capital of the RomanProcurators of Judea where St. Peter preached and St. Paul was imprisoned for two years. We willvisit the Roman Theater, Crusader’s Moat and see the stunning architecture and art of theByzantine Churches. This afternoon we will enter the port city of Haifa to ascend Mt. Carmel, thesacred 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 dedicatedto the Blessed Virgin Mary as Star of the Sea, located near the cave in which Elijah lived. Then wewill continue on to ancient Akko (Acre) which played a pivotal role during the Crusader period.Experience the medieval atmosphere and descend into the subterranean city to visit the fortressof the Hospitallers, the Order of the Knights of St. John. Visit the large halls and imagine thepilgrims, the knights, and the Crusaders dining, celebrating, and running the markets therehundreds of years ago. Return to surface and continue on to Tiberias for check-in at our hotel,our home base for the next three nights
Enjoy a scenic morning boat ride across the Sea of Galilee, the setting of so many moments inChrist’s life. We will visit the Church of Peter’s Primacy on the shores of Galilee. A rock at thecenter of the Church is believed to be the actual table where the apostles ate breakfast with Christafter His Resurrection. It is where Peter’s role as the Vicar of Christ was further established asChrist asked him to “Feed my sheep,” (John 21:16) We continue to Capernaum the center ofJesus’s three-year public ministry where he called his first disciples, Peter, Andrew, James, Johnand 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 Masswe will visit the synagogue where Jesus taught. At Tabgha, we ponder the site where Jesusmultiplied the loaves and fishes to feed more than 5,000 people. Finally, in Bethsaida we visit thehome of Andrew and Peter and marvel at the humble beginnings of two of the greatest disciples,
and then drive to Magdala, birthplace of Mary Magdalene, known as “the Apostle to theApostles” where we will visit the chapel and surrounding ruins.
We drive to Cana in Galilee to pray where Jesus performed his first miracle, at the request of hismother, Mary, turning the water into wine. The Catholic Church points to this miracle asestablishing the Sacrament of Marriage. If you wish, you may renew your wedding vows here asa lasting remembrance of this holy site. Afterwards, travel a short distance to Nazareth, thechildhood home of Jesus. Celebrate Mass in the Church of the Annunciation that holds the Caveof the Annunciation just behind the altar. This is the actual room where Gabriel appeared to Maryand “The Word was made flesh.” (John 1:14.). See St. Joseph’s Carpentry Shop, where the fosterfather of Jesus worked and Mary’s Well, where the Virgin Mary drew water with her son for theirdaily living. We will take our last excursion of the day to the summit of Mt. Tabor, the site of theTransfiguration and the culminating point of Christ’s public life. Christ revealed his divinity hereto three of his apostles as he spoke with the prophets Moses and Elijah. It is also the second timeand place where God told people from Heaven that Christ was his beloved Son to whom theyshould listen. (Matthew 17:5)
This morning we celebrate Mass at the Mt. of Beatitudes, where Christ gave his famous Sermonof the Mount, followed by a Holy Hour along the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Depart this regionand travel south towards Jordan, stopping at Kursi, where Jesus met a possessed man andmiraculously cast out a legion of demons into the herd of swine (Luke 8:26). Continue to theSheikh Hussein Bridge where we will cross from Israel into Jordan and drive to Tell Mar Eliasnear Ajloun where we will visit the archaeological site and ruins of Byzantine churches, believedto be the birthplace of the prophet Elijah. Close by is Anjara and Our Lady of the MountainChurch, where tradition says Jesus and his mother Mary stopped with his disciples and rested ina cave when they traveled between Jerusalem and Galilee. Today this cave is a holy place forpilgrims – the site of a miracle validated by the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, in which a statue ofOur Lady of Anjara wept tears of blood in 2010. Continue on to Amman, the capital of Jordan,and proceed to our hotel for check-in.
This morning we will depart Amman and visit Bethany beyond the Jordan, the Baptismal Site ofour Lord (on the Jordanian side of the river.) Renew your baptismal vows in the very river whereChrist was baptized by John the Baptist. (Mark 1:9) Ponder how the children of Israel crossedthe River Jordan opposite Jericho when they came to the Promised Land. These are the watersthe prophet Elijah divided and crossed with Elisha and which Naaman the Syrian dipped in seventimes to cure his leprosy. Pilgrims come every year to immerse themselves in these holy waters.Drive south to Mt. Nebo where Moses viewed the Promised Land, but was not permitted to enter,due to his disobedience (Deut 34). After Mass, drive to Madaba, a Byzantine center of mastermosaics, to see the oldest surviving map of the Holy Land. Continue our descent into themagnificent Petra, one of the Seven Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.Overnight in Petra.
This morning will be spent exploring the “Red Rose City” of Petra which is literally carved intothe sides of a deep gorge. Riding on horseback (the horseback ride is optional, and no ridingexperience is required) between the 100-foot cliffs we will see a remarkable sight: temples,tombs, and dwellings chiseled right into the limestone walls. We’ll be awed as we view themasterpieces of the Treasury, the Monastery, the Triumphal Arch and the Roman Amphitheater. Itwas just outside of Petra where Moses struck the rock to bring forth water (Numb 20). After ourtour of Petra, we will travel north, passing by the burial place of Aaron, brother of Moses andfirst High Priest of the Israelites. Cross the Allenby Bridge from Jordan back into Israel and drivea short distance to Jerusalem for check-in at our hotel, our home base for the next four 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 heardthe 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.We will visit the Milk Grotto Chapel, a place where many couples pray for the Virgin Mary’sintercession to conceive a child.This afternoon, drive to the top of the Mount of Olives for apanoramic view of Jerusalem and visit two churches located on the mount: The Church of thePater Noster where Jesus taught his disciples how to pray the “Our Father” and the AscensionChapel, the site where Jesus ascended into Heaven. Descend the mount on the path Christwalked on the “Palm Sunday Road” to Dominus Flevit, where Christ wept over Jerusalem andher future destruction. Then enter into the Garden of Gethsemane where Christ had his agonyand was betrayed. Here we have Mass in the Church of All Nations at the Rock of Agony, thevery rock Christ prayed at and sweated blood before he was to be crucified. After time for privateprayer, we will return to our hotel.
We start the morning at the Tomb of Our Lord in the Holy Sepulchre Church with Mass,followed by time for private prayer and reflection. After a late breakfast at our hotel, we will goto the Temple Area of the Old City to visit the Wailing Wall, a solemn site for the Jewish peopleand where prayers are inserted between the stones and view the Temple Mount featuring theDome of the Rock and El Aqsa Mosque.While in the Old City, visit the Church of St. Anne,where the Blessed Virgin Mary was born. Next to this site is the Pool of Bethesda, where Jesushealed the paralytic man. This afternoon we travel to Mt. Zion, where Christ celebrated the LastSupper in the Upper Room. Together we will then journey to pray the rosary at the Church of theDormition, the traditional site where Mary was assumed into heaven. Our final stop is at one of themost striking churches in Jerusalem –St. Peter in Gallicantu– that hosts a wide array of art styles. Agolden rooster sits atop it recalling the place where Peter denied Jesus three times (Matthew 26). Itwas the palace of the high priest Caiaphas, where Jesus was brought to jail after his arrest and keptin the dungeon that sits underneath the Church
Prayerfully, this morning we will walk the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre andhave 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 was buried and rose from thedead and the Chapel of St. Helena where she found the true cross.In the afternoon, we drive toEin Karem, one of the most beautiful sites in the New City of Jerusalem where St. John theBaptist was born. Pray at the Visitation Church where Mary proclaimed her service to God in herMagnificat prayer.
Our time pondering the wonder and awe of the Holy Land comes to an end. We catch our return flighthome from Tel Aviv.
- Daily Mass at holy sites
- Roundtrip economy airfare from Omaha to Tel Aviv on United Airlines
- Jordan entry visa (currently free, but subject to change) and border crossing taxes (currently $50, but subject to change)
- 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 (excluding drinks)
- Middle Eastern dinner on day 11