11 Day Holy Land
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 the Tel Aviv suburbs for dinner and overnight. Celebrate Mass at the hotel.
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 Cana, where Christ performed his first miracle, the Transformation of Water into Wine, and where any married couples can renew their marriage vows. Continue 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 Synagogue where Jesus preached. Check-in at our hotel in Tiberias for dinner and overnight.
DAY 04: THE SEA OF GALILEE AND UPPER GALILEE. 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. Mass will be celebrated at the Mount of Beatitudes. 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 our hotel for dinner.
DAY 05: ALONG THE JORDAN VALLEY. After breakfast, we leave Nazareth and 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. 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. Proceed to visit Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered by a shepherd boy in 1947, before continuing to Jerusalem. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.
DAY 06: JERUSALEM - BETHLEHEM. Today we will visit Bethlehem andjoin the local Palestinian catholic community for Mass, followed by a meeting with at the Local parish to hear first hand from the priests and the parishioners about the daily life of the Palestinian Catholics in the West Bank. 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. Dinner and overnight at our hotel.
DAY 07: JERUSALEM. This morning we 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. This afternoon we request a meeting with his Beatitude, Fouad Twal, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem. Return to your hotel for some time at leisure before dinner.
DAY 08: 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 of the Holy Sepulchre. 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 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. Dinner and overnight at our hotel.
DAY 09: 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 and the Church of the Dormition. 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. Dinner at the hotel.
DAY 10: JERUSALEM - JOPPA – EMMAUS - Airport. This morning we travel to Tel Aviv for some sightseeing. Stop at Ancient Joppa on the Sea where Jonah set sail and where Peter raised Dorcas from the dead. Joppa was also the home of Simon the Tanner. Then, on to Tel Aviv for a visual visit. After lunch return to Jerusalem via Emmaus where Jesus appeared after the Resurrection (Luke 24:30-31). Celebrate Mass. Then, on to a local restaurant for our Farewell Dinner. Continue to the airport for our late evening flight to the U.S.
DAY 11: ARRIVE USA. Arrive early in the morning and continue home - the end of a most enjoyable pilgrimage.