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8 day pilgramage

The Holy Land

"Lord we have come"

I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD!” Our feet have been standing within your gates, O Jerusalem!

Ps 122, 1-2

Day 1: Arrival to the Holy Land

After landing in Tel Aviv, collect your luggage and meet your Tour Guide and driver in the Arrival’s Hall. They will take you to the Bus and transfer you to your Hotel in Jerusalem. Check in at the Lobby and get your Room Key and Welcome Letter. Your luggage will be delivered to your room. Enjoy some free time before dinner and bedtime.

Day 2: Ein Karem and Bethlehem

Prepare your heart for a spiritual journey in Jerusalem, the holy city where Jesus visited continuously (Mark 11:1-11). You will begin your pilgrimage path in Ein Karem, the birthplace of John the Baptist, the voice of one crying in the wilderness. You will visit the two churches that celebrate his birth and his mother's visitation by Mary (Luke 1:39-80). You will meditate on the mysteries of the Rosary as you ascend to the Church of the Visitation, where Mary sang her Magnificat.

After lunch, you will proceed to Bethlehem, the city of David where Jesus was born. You will see the Shepherd’s Fields (Luke 2:8), where the glory of the Lord shone around them. You will enter the 6th century Church of the Nativity and visit he Grotto of the Nativity, where Jesus was born and laid in a manger (Matthew 2:1-18). You will participate in Mass in this holy place and offer your praises and petitions to God. Then, you will return to the Hotel for a peaceful dinner and a restful sleep.

Day 3: Mount of Olives and Mount Zion

After breakfast, get ready for a thrilling day on the Mount of Olives and behold the glorious view of Jerusalem. The Mount of Olives was a special place for Jesus during many pivotal moments. While walking along the route of Palm Sunday (Mark 11:1-11), your group will visit the Pater Noster Shrine, where Jesus taught his disciples the Lord’s Prayer (Luke 11:1-4) and you will stop at Dominus Flevit, where Jesus wept for Jerusalem (Luke 19:41). You will visit the Gethsemane Garden, where Jesus underwent the agony before being arrested and led into the high priest’s house (Luke 22:29-53). Next to the Garden is the Church of All Nations built over the “Rock of Agony”. Here, you will pray and reflect on Christ’s agony.

In the afternoon, you will visit the Upper Room on Mt. Zion. The Upper Room is where Jesus had the Last Supper (Matthew 26:17-30) and your group will visit the Church of the Dormition. The tour includes a visit to the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu, which is built over the remains of the house of the high priest Caiaphas. The church is located on the eastern slope of Mount Zion in Jerusalem and commemorates the denial of St. Peter and the trial of Jesus in front of the high priest and the Sanhedrin (John 18:15-18). Return to the Hotel for dinner and sleep.

Day 4: Jerusalem – Via Dolorosa – Holy Sepulchre and St Anne Church

This morning, you will have an early walk along the Via Dolorosa (The Way of the Cross). Starting from the First Station, where Antonia Fortress once stood and where Jesus was sentenced by Pontius Pilate, you can follow the path that leads to the Holy Sepulchre (John 18:28-19:16). As Jesus carried His cross along the way to His crucifixion, you will meditate on the Stations of the Cross while walking through the Old City of Jerusalem to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Luke 23:26-33). This is where Jesus crucified and gave His life, was buried and resurrected (Luke 23:50-55). You will join in Mass at this sacred place.

The tour continues through the Christian Quarter and the Old City of Jerusalem. You will visit the Church of St. Anne, where Mary was born and lived; and the Pool of Bethesda, where Jesus performed a miracle of healing (John 5:1-9). Finally, you will return to the hotel for some free time before dinner and overnight.

Day 5: Dead Sea – Jordan River and Jericho

After breakfast, you will board our bus and begin our journey east towards the Jordan Valley, to the oldest inhabited city in the world, Jericho (Joshua 6:12-25). In Jericho, Jesus preformed miracles and visited the house of Zacchaeus and was tempted by the Devil during his forty-day fast at the Mount of Temptation (Luke 4:1). Following this visit, we will continue to Jesus’ baptismal site on the Jordan River (Matthew 3:13-17). After some time at the Jordan River, we will travel down the Jordan Valley to Qumran, the site where the Dead Sea Scrolls were written and founded. In the afternoon, you will have the opportunity to take a float in the Dead Sea, which is located at the lowest and saltiest spot-on Earth. We will then travel through the Judean wilderness back to your hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 6: Caesarea Maritima – Nazareth – Cana of Galilee

In the morning, we will depart Jerusalem to the archaeological site Caesarea Maritima, located on the shores of the Mediterranean. In the 1st century BC, Caesarea was founded by King Herod the Great as the capital of the Roman province of Judea and was named after Caesar Augustus of the Roman Empire. In the Bible, Caesarea was mentioned as the place where St. Peter baptized Cornelius and his family, the first gentile convert (Acts 10). It was also where St. Paul sailed on his journeys to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the ancient world and where he was imprisoned for two years (Acts 23- 26).

We will then continue to Nazareth to visit the Annunciation, as well as St. Joseph’s workshop –St. Joseph’s Church. Within the Church of the Annunciation, you will visit and pray at the Grotto of Annunciation where the Angel of the Lord announced the good news to Mary (Like 1.26-38). From there, we will drive to Cana where Jesus performed His first miracle, changing water into wine at His mother’s request (John 2:1). We celebrate Mass here at the Wedding Church, and married couples will have the chance to renew their wedding vows.  Finally, we continue to our hotel by the Sea of Galilee for dinner and overnight.

Day 7: Caesarea Maritima – Nazareth – Cana of Galilee

After breakfast you will enjoy a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee where Jesus performed two miracles: calming the storm and walking on the water (Mathew 8:23-26) (Mathew 14:22-33). Following the Sea of Galilee, you will visit Tabgha, one of Jesus’ miracle sites where he fed the crowd of 5,000 people from five loaves of bread and two fish (Luke 9:10-17). Nearby, is the church of St. Peter’s Primacy where Jesus bestowed church leadership upon Peter (John 21:9). Later, we will drive to the Mount of Beatitudes where Jesus proclaimed His great Sermon on the Mount (Luke 6:20-49).

At lunch time, you will have the opportunity to try the famous St. Peter Fish, named after the disciple St. Peter. Moreover, you will visit an archaeological site Magdala, the birthplace village of Mary Magdalene.  During the time of Jesus, this village was a prosperous fishing village that exported fish and garum (a fish sauce reduction; popular in Roman cooking). Your day concludes at Capernaum, the launching place of Jesus’ ministry. In Capernaum, you will see the house where Jesus stayed for nearly three years and the Synagogue where He taught and gave His sermon on the Bread of Life (Mark 1:21-29).

Day 8: Return Home

After breakfast, your group will leave to Ben Gurion Airport to take the flight back home.