12 Day Pilgrimage to the Holy Lands- Petra, St. Catherines and Cairo
*** DAILY MASSES INCLUDED ***
DAY 01: BEGINNING OUR PILGRIMAGE. Depart North America via jet service. Dinner and breakfast will be served on board.
DAY 02: INTO THE LAND OF THE BIBLE. Upon arrival in the afternoon, you will be met by our representative who will assist you with formalities. A luxury motorcoach will transfer you to your hotel in Herzlia for overnight.
DAY 03: ALL THE PAST YEARS WITH HISTORY. Morning departure to Caesarea Martima in the Plains of Sharon to visit the ruins of the Crusader's City, surrounded by a moat and a city wall enclosing the ruins of the Roman City. Visit the Roman Theater and proceed along the shores of the Mediterranean to Haifa. Visit Mount Carmel and the Shrine of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Visit the Cave of the Prophet Elijah. Proceed to 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 Synagoguewhere 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. Proceed to your hotel in Tiberias.
DAY 04: THE SEA OF GALILEE AND ALONG THE JORDAN VALLEY. In the morning, we cross the Sea of Galilee by boat from Tiberias 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. Continue to the ruins of Magdala where Mary Magdalen lived. In the afternoon, drive to the Golan Heights, overlooking Upper Galilee. Cross the River Jordan via Jacob's Daughters Bridge and return to your hotel. Drive to the top of Mt. Tabor, the site of the Transfiguration where Mass will be celebrated. Continue to Megiddo, Armageddon, a very important point on the Via Maris connecting Egypt and Damascus. It is a city which has witnessed many wars and suffered many destructions throughout the different periods of time. We proceed through the Jordan Valley / 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 which you can view the Mount of Temptation, where Jesus fasted for forty days and forty nights. Dinner and overnight at our hotel in Jerusalem.
DAY 05: MOUNTAINS OF JERUSALEM. This morning 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 - ending at the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre, built over the site of the Crucifixion and the Tomb. Mass at the Basilica on the Holy Sepulchur. Visit Calvary and the Tomb of Our Lord followed by a short tour of the Basilica. This afternoon we 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 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. Dinner and overnight at our hotel.
DAY 06: JERUSALEM. This morning 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. 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. Visit the El Aksa Mosque and then the Wailing Wall which is the most sacred spot in the world for the Jews. In the afternoon 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 sire of the house of Caiphas which encloses the dungeon where Christ was kept on Holy Thursday night and where Peter denied Christ thrice.
DAY 07: JERUSALEM / BETHLEHEM / QUMRAN / DEAD SEA. This morning visit Ein Karem, the place of the Visitation where Our Lady came to visit her cousin Elizabeth. View the plaques with the Magnificat inmost languages of the World. Visit the parish church of St. John the Baptist, and the Grotto of his birth. Drive to Bethlehem. Visit the Basilica of the Nativity, built over the site of the birthplace of Christ where Mass will be celebrated. 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. Proceed to visit Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered by a shepherd boy in 1947. Continue 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. Dinner and overnight at the Dead Sea.
DAY 08: DEAD SEA / PETRA. Today we depart for Petra via the Southern Bridge. 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 Judgement 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. Dinner and overnight at our hotel.
DAY 09: PETRA / ST. CATHERINE’S. This morning we depart Petra on our way to St. Catherine's. We again cross via the Wadi Araba Bridge to Egypt. When we cross the border into Egypt we will be met by our Egyptian guide and driver. Continue to St. Catherine’s at Mt. Sinai. Early dinner and overnight to prepare ourselves for the early morning activities planned for tomorrow.
DAY 10: ST. CATHERINE'S / CAIRO. Very early morning. at 2:00 AM, take a camel ride assisted by a Bedouin guide towards the summit. Then ascend a flight of 3,000 steps to the top of Mt. Horeb. A picnic breakfast is provided. Descending at 8:30 am we will visit the monastery grounds and buildings. The chapel, library and ossuary (bones of the saints of many centuries) will provide a lifetime experience. At 10:30 am, we leave on our way through the Sinai Desert to Cairo for dinner and overnight.
DAY 11: CAIRO / GIZA. Morning visit to the Egyptian Museum to view many specimens of finest antiquities including precious collections from the tomb of Tut-Ankh-Amon. Then drive through the city past Cairo University to Giza. Visit Cheops Pyramid and the Sphinx. Camels or horses will be available to ride to the Pyramid Plateau. Afternoon sightseeing drive along the Nile Cornice past East El Ainin Hospital to "Old Cairo" to visit the Coptic Churches of Abu Sarga associated with the Flight of the Christ Child to Egypt, Ben Ezra Mosque and MAR Mosque. Drive via Republic Square past Abdin Palace to Sultan Hassan Mosque, the Citadel and El Azhar University to the native bazaars of Khan El Khalili where time is allowed for browsing and shopping.
DAY 12: CAIRO / NORTH AMERICA. Morning departure from Cairo to North America. The close of our unforgettable tour of the Bible Lands - to have walked in the paths of the Master and the early Christians.