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A Pilgrimage to the Holy Land (Catholic)

Day 01 – Welcome to the Holy Land
Arrival at Ben Gurion airport. Meeting and assistance through customs by our representative and transfer to your hotel in Tel Aviv.

 

Day 02 – On to Galilee

We start by visiting the port city of Jaffa, one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world. See the house of Simon the Tanner and St. Peter’s Church. We then drive along the coast to the archaeological ruins of Caesarea, built by Herod the Great in honor of Augustus Caesar.

Continue to Haifa to view the golden domed Baha’i Temple and its beautiful Persian gardens. Proceed to the "Horns of Carmel" (Muhraka), to the site where Elijah slaughtered the false prophets. Then drive toward the Sea of Galilee.

Continue through the Jezreel Valley to Megiddo, the site of the Biblical Armageddon. Finally drive to Tiberias for dinner and overnight.

  • Mass opportunity in the Carmelite’s Monastery Stella Maris in Muhraka.

 

Day 03 – Around the Lake

Today follow His steps. Start the day with a magnificent boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, and then visit Capernaum on the north shore, where Jesus spent most of his ministry and chose his first disciples, and visit the synagogue located on a spot where Jesus once preached.

Next is Tabgha, just north of Tiberias, the site of Christ’s miracle of feeding the 5,000 where, at the Church of Multiplication, the mosaic floor depicts a basket with loaves and two fishes. Then north to the Mount of Beatitudes, the site of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus’ most famous sermon.

Your next stop is Mount Tabor, site of the Transfiguration of the Lord. Visit the Church of the Transfiguration atop the mount and enjoy a moment for contemplation.

End the day with a memorable boat ride on the Sea of Galilee in a replica of the fishing boats used at the time of Jesus.  Return to Tiberias for dinner and overnight.

  • Mass opportunity in Mt. of Beatitudes or Mt. Tabor.

 

Day 04 – Up to Jerusalem

Today travel to Cana, where Jesus performed his first miracle turning water into wine. Here visit the Wedding Church, where married couples can renew their vows. Continue to Nazareth, where Jesus spent his childhood. Visit the Church of the Annunciation, Mary’s Well, where the Angel Gabriel told Mary she would give birth to the Son of God, and Joseph’s Workshop. You will have a few moments atop the Mount of Precipice, believed to the site of the rejection of Jesus by the people of Nazareth.  

From here we drive south to visit the biblical landscape reserve of Neot Kedumim, and to participate in Israel’s reforestation program by planting a tree. You can plant a tree in memory of your loved ones, family or to commemorate a special event. You can plant as many trees as you want, and you will receive a certificate for each tree. Then continue through the Judean Hills en route to Jerusalem for dinner and overnight.

  • Mass opportunity in the Church of the Annunciation.

 

Day 05 – Jerusalem, the Eternal City

After breakfast begin your pilgrimage in Jerusalem. Ascend the Mount of Olives to marvel at the spectacular view of the Holy City of Jerusalem and visit the Chapel of the Ascension. Continue downhill to Pater Noster, the traditional site of Christ's teaching of the Lord's Prayer and where, according to the Gospels, Jesus wept for the destruction of Jerusalem. Then arrive to the Church of All Nations in the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus endured His agony under the ancient olive trees.

Cross the Kidron Valley and visit Mount Zion, starting with the Room of the Last Supper and the Tomb of King David. Also view the Dormition Abbey and the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu. The church takes its name from the Latin word "Gallicantu", meaning cock's crow. This is in commemoration of Peter's triple rejection of Jesus "... before the cock crows twice." This spot is also believed to be the location of the High Priest Caiaphas' palace.
Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.

  • Mass opportunity in the Church of the Annunciation.

 

Day 06 – The Old City

Today is dedicated to the Old City of Jerusalem. Enter by the Jaffa Gate and continue on to the Tower of David Museum, an ancient citadel the name of which is believed to be taken from the Song of Songs of Solomon, son of King David. Continue through the Jewish Quarter and the restored Roman Cardo and arrive at the Wailing Wall, last remnant of the Second Temple of Jerusalem and the holiest place of the Jews.

Start following His steps along the Via Dolorosa at the Church of the Flagellation, and continue to the Church of St. Anne and the Pools of Bethseda. Cotninue walking the Way of the Cross at the Ecce Homo Arch, where Pontius Pilate presented Jesus bound and crowned with thorns to the hostile crowd, using these word translated as “Behold the man!”. Here in the Ecce Homo Convent see the Lithostrotos, where Pontius Pilate had his judicial seat and where Jesus was condemned.

See the 9th Station, where Jesus fall for the third time, and enter the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and Golgotha, where the last five Stations are located. This church was built at the command of the Emperor Constantine I in the 4th Century to his mother, Helena, to build churches on the sites commemorating the life of Jesus Christ.


Inside the Basilica see the Calvary (Golgotha), traditionally regarded as the site of Jesus' crucifixion and the most lavishly decorated part of the church, and the Tomb, just beneath the largest of the two domes and in the center of the rotunda. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher is an inviting place for pilgrims to meditate about the Mystery of Redemption that unfolded at this spot, where time and history have both left their mark.

Continue through the open air Arab Bazaar where you can enjoy free time, buy souvenirs and test your negotiating skills on the local merchants. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.

  • Mass opportunity at the Holy Sepulcher.

 

Day 07 – The New City

Today explore the New City of Jerusalem. Driving by the Knesset (the Israeli Parliament) with its famous Menorah, and by the Supreme Court, we arrive at the Israel Museum. Here see the model of Jerusalem at the time of the Second Temple, and learn about the Dead Sea Scrolls in the Shrine of the Book.

The next stop is Yad Vashem, the Memorial of the Holocaust of the Jewish People during World War II. Here see the Valley of the Communities and the Hall of Remembrance, and walk through the Avenue of the Righteous, a beautiful trail in remembrance of the thousands of non-Jewish people who risked their lives and even lost them, to help Jewish people escape the atrocities of the period.

In the afternoon visit Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus. Start at Manger Square, which stands in front of one of the oldest of Christian churches, the Church of the Nativity. Enter the Church and descend to the Grotto of the Nativity which marks the spot of Jesus’ birth. Beneath the altar there is a silver star with the Latin inscription: HIC DE VIRGINE MARIA JESUS CHRISTUS NATUS (Here Jesus Christ was born to the Virgin Mary). After a stop at the Shepherds’ Fields return to Jerusalem for dinner and overnight.

 

  • Mass opportunity at Church of the Nativity.

 

Day 08 – Departure
Today say farewell to the Holy Land and transfer to Ben Gurion Airport for your departure flight.