8 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 a Tel Aviv suburb for overnight.
DAY 03: ALL THE PAST YEARS WITH HISTORY. After breakfast we drive through the citrus groves and farms of the rich land of Sharon, northward to Caesarea, the Roman city of Herod where sights include Crusader fortifications and the Roman aqueducts and amphitheater. Driving through the Jezreel Valley to the fields of Armageddon (Revelation 16:16) and Megiddo. Continuing northward along the Mediterranean Sea to Haifa for a view of the bay and lunch. Proceed to Mt. Carmel - the biblical site of Elijah's contest with the prophets of Baal (IKings:18) - Bahai Temple and Gardens. 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 Tiberias for dinner and overnight by the Sea of Galilee.
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. Visit Tabgha - the chapel dedicated to the multiplication of the loaves and fishes (Mark 6:34-44). After lunch we depart via Mt. Tabor, the traditional site of the Transfiguration (Matt. 17:1-8), to Ein Dor past Nain to Megiddo. Here we visit Solomon's Stables, the famous tower and secret passages. Continue to Jerusalem and our hotel for dinner and overnight.
DAY 05: JERUSALEM AND BETHLEHEM. 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. In the afternoon, 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. Return to your hotel.
DAY 06: MOUNTAINS OF JERUSALEM. 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. Then 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 - ending at the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre, built over the site of the Crucifixion and the Tomb. Visit Calvary and the Tomb of Our Lord followed by a short tour of the Basilica. This afternoon 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. 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 Caiphas which encloses the dungeon where Christ was kept on Holy Thursday night and where Peter denied Christ thrice.
Tonight we meet with the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Fouad Twal if available. Dinner at our hotel.
DAY 07: THE WILDERNESS OF JUDEA. Early morning Mass at the Basilica on the Holy Sepulchur. After breakfast, drive to Bethany and visit the new Church, built on the site of the house of Mary and Martha. Visit the Tomb of Lazarus. We proceed 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 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 returning to Jerusalem. Dinner and overnight at our hotel.
DAY 08: TEL AVIV / NORTH AMERICA. After breakfast we depart for the Ben Gurion airport for our return flight to North America - the end of our most enjoyable pilgrimage.