10 Day Holy Land with Petra & Dead Sea
DAY 01: USA / EUROPE. Tour members will gather at the ticket counter at the airport two hours prior to the departure to Europe. Dinner and breakfast will be served in flight.
DAY 02: EUROPE / TEL AVIV. Upon arrival, we will be met and transferred to our beautiful hotel in a Tel Aviv suburb where the thrilling journey of following in the footsteps of Jesus will begin. Dinner will be served at our hotel. Weather permitting, we suggest a walk after dinner on the beach.
DAY 03: THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA / CAESAREA / MOUNT CARMEL / HAIFA / PLAIN OF ARMAGEDDON /TIBERIAS. After a good nights rest and a hearty breakfast we will begin the thrilling journey of following in the footsteps of Jesus. Ancient At Caesarea by the sea we'll visit the Crusader's Castle, the Roman Amphitheater and waterduct, and the port from which the Apostle Paul sailed to Rome. We will continue northward along the Mediterranean coast to visit Mount Carmel and the Shrine of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Visit the Cave of the Prophet Elijah. After Haifa we'll continue to Megiddo and Armageddon - a very important point on the Via Maris connecting Egypt and Damascus. It is a city that has witnessed many wars and suffered many destructions throughout different periods of time. Visit Nazareth where we visit the Basilica of the Annunciation enclosing the remains of the House of Joachim and Ann and the site where the Angel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary to announce that she was to become the Mother of God. Mass is celebrated here followed by a visit to the Home of the Holy Family, St. Joseph's workshop, Mary's Well and the Synagogue where Jesus preached. Continue to Cana, where Christ performed his first miracle, the Transformation of Water into Wine, and where any married couples can renew their marriage vows. Drive to Mt. Tabor, the site of the Transfiguration. Eastward we will arrive in Tiberias for dinner and overnight at our hotel and get our first glimpse of the beautiful Sea of Galilee.
DAY 04: TIBERIAS / THE SEA OF GALILEE / CAPERNAUM / MOUNT OF BEATITUDES / TABGHA / CAESAREA PHILIPPI / MT. HERMON / GOLAN HEIGHTS / THE JORDAN RIVER. In the morning, we cross the Sea of Galilee by boat to Capernaum, now in ruins but once a thriving town where Peter lived and where much of the public ministry of Christ took place. See the Church of the Primacy of Peter, where Christ taught the Eight Beatitudes to his Disciples. Mass is celebrated on the Mount of Beatitudes. Continue to the ruins of Magdala where Mary Magdalen lived. Then to Tabgha, the chapel dedicated to the multiplication of the loaves and fishes (Mark 6:34-44). We will then proceed to Upper Galilee and the site of Peter's Confession (Matthew 16:16) at Caesarea Philippi and to Mt. Hermon (Psalm 89:12), the probable site of the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-8) and the present day Golan Heights where Israel, Lebanon and Syria come together. We will follow the fresh mountain waters of Mt. Hermon to the Sea of Galilee and to the outlet passage at the southern tip of the sea. We will stop at the beautiful Pilgrims Park at the Jordan River. Return to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
DAY 05: TIBERIAS / MT. NEBO / PETRA. Today we depart Tiberias via the Northern Bridge and cross into Jordan. We visit the Catholic Church at Mt. Nebo. Mass is celebrated here. Then on to Petra "The Rose Red City - Half as Old as Time". Dinner and overnight at our hotel.
DAY 06: PETRA / DEAD SEA. Mass is celebrated at a local church. This morning after breakfast, we visit Petra. This ancient Edomite and Nabatean capital is an amazing city of prophecy. See this spectacular "City of the Dead" with its famed gorge, ancient street, temples, dwelling places and tombs carved from the solid rock. Arrive at El Ji Post and continue the one-mile journey on horseback, or walk, passing through the famous SIQ (natural gorge) and arrive at the "Treasury". Visit the ancient theater. In the Nabatean Judgment Hall, Place Tombs, famous Urn Temple and the Roman amphitheater. Those willing to climb may view the monastery, Jebel Harun (Mountain of Aaron), supposed to be the burial place of Aaron. Horseback journey back to El Ji Post. Continue our return to Israel via the Southern Bridge. Travel to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth, where we will spend the night at our resort hotel. Dinner and overnight at our hotel.
DAY 07: THE DEAD SEA / EIN GEDI / THEQUMRAN CAVES / JERICHO / OLD JERICHO / THE MT. OF TEMPTATION / BETHANY / JERUSALEM. A beautiful new road takes us along the shores of the Dead Sea to Ein Gedi where a precipitous cliff, filled with caves, rises some 2,000 feet. Time is allowed for a float on the Dead Sea. Proceed to visit Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered by a shepherd boy in 1947. We will continue through the Judean Wilderness to Jericho stopping at the site of Inn of the Good Samaritan. Visit Elijah's Fountain and the ancient city of Jericho from where we can view the Mt. of Temptation, where Jesus fasted for forty days and forty nights. On to Jerusalem stopping in Bethany, site of the resurrection of Lazarus. Mass is celebrated here. Dinner and overnight at our hotel.
DAY 08: MOUNTAINS OF JERUSALEM. Early this morning we visit the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher, built over the site of the Crucifixion and the Tomb. Celebrate Mass here. Visit Calvary and the Tomb of Our Lord followed by a short tour of the Basilica. Then drive to the Mount of Olives and visit the Church of the Ascension, the spot where Christ ascended into Heaven; the Pater Noster Church commemorating Christ's teaching of the Our Father to his disciples; Dominus Flevit, the spot where Christ wept over Jerusalem and onwards to Gethsemane and the Church of All Nations which houses the Rock of the Agony of Christ on Holy Thursday. In this Church is a beautiful mosaic donated by the United States. Visit the Cave of the betrayal of Jesus and the Tomb of Our Lady. Drive to Bethlehem. Visit the Basilica of the Nativity, built over the site of the birthplace of Christ. Visit the Cave where Christ was born and it is the occasion to sing the traditional Christmas Hymns. A visit is made to the Chapel of St. Jerome, who lived here for many years and translated the Bible into Latin. The nearby Church of St. Catherine is the venue for the midnight Mass which is broadcast all over the World from Bethlehem on Christmas Eve. Continue to the Shepherds field, recalling the "great throng of the heavenly hosts" who appeared to the Shepherds and told them of the birth of the Savior. Visit Ein Karem, the place of the Visitation where Our Lady came to visit her cousin Elizabeth on the way back to our hotel for dinner. This evening we request a meeting with the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem (if available) after dinner.
DAY 09: JERUSALEM / Airport. This morning, we visit the Church of St. Anne, built on the site of birthplace of Anne (Hanna), the mother of Our Lady, where Mass will be celebrated. Continue to the Pool of Bethesda, where Christ healed the paralytic. We then visit the Temple area, the spot where the original temple was built and which was the scene of many episodes from the life of Christ, such as the expulsion of the money changers. Here now stands the Dome of the Rock, the third holiest spot in the world for the Moslem faith. View the El Aksa Mosque and then the Wailing Wall which is the most sacred spot in the world for the Jews. Proceed to the Shrine of the Book, enclosing the Dead Sea Scrolls. Continue to Mount Zion, visiting the room of the Last Supper, Church of the Dormition and then visit the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu built on the site of the house of Caiaphas which encloses the dungeon where Christ was kept on Holy Thursday night and where Peter denied Christ thrice. This afternoon, we tour the Old City of Jerusalem visiting the Chapel of Flagellation, the Chapel of Condemnation and the Lithostrotos - the site of the Antonia Fortress where Julius Caesar resided at the time of Christ and where Christ was tried and condemned to death. Beginning the Way of the Cross here, join the walk along the Via Dolorosa led by the Franciscans. Stop for dinner at a local restaurant before we drive to the airport for our flight home.
DAY 10: Arrive NORTH AMERICA. Arrive North America and continue home - the end of our most memorable pilgrimage.