Haifa | Galilee | JerusalemPrivate Group
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, our immersion in ancient Israel where Christ walked begins. We will meet our guide who will be with us for the duration of the pilgrimage and make the scripture come alive as we follow in the footsteps of Jesus and the Prophets. Travel up the Mediterranean coast to the sparkling port city of Haifa. (D)
Following breakfast, we will visit Stella Maris on Mt. Carmel, home of the prophets Elijah and Elisha. 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 is said to have meditated before his encounter with the priests of Baal and visit Muhraqa where he triumphed over them. Then drive to Nazareth, the boyhood 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. Afterwards, travel a short distance to Cana of Galilee to pray where Jesus performed His first miracle, at the request of His mother, Mary, turning the water into wine. If you wish, you may renew your wedding vows here as a lasting remembrance of this holy site. Proceed to our hotel in Galilee, our home for the next two nights. (B, D)
This morning we visit Magdala, birthplace of Mary Magdalene, known as “the Apostle to the Apostles,” where we will visit the chapel and surrounding ruins. Then enjoy a scenic boat ride across the Sea of Galilee, the setting of many moments in Christ’s life. We will visit the Church of Peter’s Primacy on the shores of Galilee. A rock at the center of the Church is believed to be the actual table where the apostles ate breakfast with Christ after His Resurrection. It is where Peter’s role as the Vicar of Christ was further established as Christ asked him to “Feed my sheep” (John 21:16). We proceed to Tabgha to ponder the site where Jesus multiplied the loaves and fish to feed more than 5,000 people (Luke 9:13), then 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. We will visit the synagogue where Jesus taught and then proceed to our last site of this grace-filled day – the Mount of Beatitudes where Christ gave His famous Sermon on the Mount. (B, D)
This morning we summit Mt. Tabor, the site of the Transfiguration and the culminating point of Christ’s public life. Hike up the mount to the place where Christ revealed His divinity to three of His Apostles as He spoke with the prophets Moses and Elijah. We then depart 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). Afterwards, drive through the Judean wilderness to Jerusalem, our home for the next six nights. (B, D)
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. After some free time for personal prayer and shopping in Bethlehem, we drive to Ein Karem, 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 before returning to our hotel. (B, D)
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. Hike across the Kidron Valley to Mt. Zion, where Christ celebrated the Last Supper with His Apostles in the Upper Room and instituted the Sacrament of the Eucharist. Together we journey to Dormition Abbey, the traditional site where Mary was assumed into heaven. Our final stop is at St. Peter in Gallicantu. A golden rooster sits atop, recalling the place where Peter denied Jesus three times (Matthew 26). This was the site of the palace of the high priest Caiaphas, where Jesus was brought to jail after His arrest and kept in the dungeon. (B, D)
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, see the Pool of Bethesda, where Jesus healed the paralytic man. Prayerfully walk the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and climb the steps up 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. We enjoy some free time on our own this afternoon. (B, D)
We begin this morning at the Machane Yehuda market, a bustling marketplace in the midst of a neighborhood. The market dates to the Ottoman period and represents the unique culture and history of Jerusalem. Afterwards, we enter the Old City once more and visit the Wailing Wall, a solemn site for the Jewish people where prayers are inserted between the stones of the last remaining section of the Temple of Jerusalem which was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D. Enjoy a fascinating historical and archaeological tour underneath the Western Wall as you journey through the depths of Jerusalem history. The rest of the afternoon is free to explore the Old City on our own. (B, D)
This morning, we drive to Bethany to see the House of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus and the Tomb of Lazarus where Jesus raised him from the dead. This is where Jesus declared to Martha that he is “the Resurrection and the Life” (John 11:25). Then we will journey through the Judean Wilderness along the Dead Sea to Masada. An exciting cable car ride to the ancient mountaintop fortress of the Jewish Zealots shows where they held out in war with the Romans for three brave years. Travel up to Qumran to see the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered and end our day at the Dead Sea to float and swim in its salty, mineral-laden waters before returning to Jerusalem for our farewell dinner and final night in the Holy Land. (B, D)
Our time pondering the wonder and awe of the Holy Land comes to an end. We catch our return flight home from Tel Aviv.
Please note: Air taxes/fuel surcharges and gratuities are subject to change and will be updated on the final invoice. The final invoice will be emailed to you approximately 3 months prior to departure.