12-Days: A Holy Land Pilgrimage

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DAY 1: DEPART USA

Depart en route to Tel Aviv with complimentary meals and beverages served aloft.

DAY 2: ARRIVE TEL AVIV / TRANSFER TO HERZLIA

On arrival in Tel Aviv we will be met by our Catholic Travel Centre representative and proceed to our hotel in Herzlia on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Dinner is at our hotel this evening. (D)

DAY 3: HERZLIA / NAZARETH / CANA / TIBERIAS

With a bit of a sleep over, we leave for Nazareth, the site of Mary’s home and the town where Jesus played as a child, learned a trade, and grew to manhood. We will have Mass in the Church of the Annunciation, and an opportunity to visit sites in the city. We will then travel to Cana, where Jesus performed His first miracle at the request of his mother [John 2:1-11]. There we will visit the Franciscan chapel for a renewal of wedding vows. Then we continue on to our hotel on the shores of the Sea of Galilee in the city of Tiberias for rest, dinner, and a relaxing evening. (B, D)

DAY 4: TIBERIAS: MUHRAQA, MT. CARMEL & AKKO

Today we focus on the impact of the history of Israel and the Old Testament on Jesus and his mission. We will begin by a visit to Muhraqa
where the Carmelite Monastery of St. Elijah marks the site of this holy prophet’s triumph over the false prophets of Ba’al. Afterward, we will make our way to Mount Carmel and the Chapel of Stella Maris for Mass. We will then return by way of the port city of Akko, the last stronghold of the Crusaders in the 11th and 12th Centuries, and learn of their impact on the Holy Lands. On our way home, we will stop at the Jordan River to recall how Jesus himself experienced the baptism of John at the beginning of His ministry. There we will renew our own Baptismal commitment, through which we have become disciples of Jesus and sharers in His divine life and mission. We will then return to Tiberias for dinner and the evening. (B, D)

DAY 5: TIBERIAS: SEA OF GALILEE SITES

After an early breakfast, we will board a boat for a brief excursion on the Sea of Galilee. We will visit Tabgha where it is believed that Jesus fed the crowd of 5,000. A short distance away is what is known as “Peter’s Primacy”, the site where, after His resurrection, Jesus met with his disciples and told Peter to “feed my lambs; feed my sheep.” [John 21:9] There we will celebrate Mass. From that place we will visit Capernaum where Jesus began his Galilean ministry, see the synagogue which dates to the time of Jesus and the site of Peter’s home. We return to Tiberias for dinner and an evening of relaxation. (B, D)

DAY 6: TIBERIAS / MT. TABOR / QUMRAN / BETHANY / JERUSALEM

Today we begin our journey with Jesus to Jerusalem where He is condemned crucified and is raised from the dead. We begin that journey as Jesus did by a trip to Mount Tabor where Jesus is transformed before Pete, James and John and they glimpse a sign of his glory before they witness His passion and death. Following Mass on Mount Tabor, we travel by bus down the Jordan Valley, where Jesus walked with His disciples, to Jericho. We will visit the ruins of the Essenes Monastery at Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Our final stop for the day will be at the Tomb of Lazarus in Bethany. Then up to Jerusalem, where we will have dinner and spend the night. (B, D)

DAY 7: JERUSALEM: BETHLEHEM & DEAD SEA SCROLLS

Today we travel to the Shepherds’ Field for Mass in the Shepherds’ Cave. We enter the town of Bethlehem to visit the Church of the Nativity and then return to Jerusalem for a background lesson on the history of the Holy City as we visit the Model of Jerusalem in the 2nd Temple Period. The Old Walled City today has changed since the time of Jesus. We then visit the museum where the Dead Sea Scrolls are kept and learn about their importance in understanding Jewish thinking and life at the time of Jesus. You may wish to include a group visit to the Yad Vashem Memorial Museum, telling the story of the Holocaust and serving as a sober reminder of man’s inhumanity to man. Finally, we return to our hotel for dinner and the evening. (B, D)

DAY 8: JERUSALEM: OLD CITY

We will visit the Western or Wailing Wall of the Temple, the Temple Mount and the Dome of the Rock [a Muslim Shrine] and then move to St. Stephen’s Gate and the Church of St. Anne. We will visit the Pool at
Bethesda where Jesus healed the paralytic, visit the Shrine at the Ecce Homo Arch and the site of the scourging of Jesus. We will visit as well the Cenacle, where we celebrate Mass and recall the Last Supper. We’ll then have time to walk in the Holy City and experience the culture of Old Jerusalem at our leisure. Dinner is served at our accommodations. (B, D)

DAY 9: JERUSALEM: MT. OF OLIVES & MT. ZION

This morning the bus takes us to a hillside overlooking the city of Jerusalem where Jesus wept over the city. It is known as Dominus Flevit [Latin for “The Lord wept”]. There we will celebrate Mass. Afterward, we will walk down the hill and at the bottom visit the Garden of Gethsemane along with the Church of All Nations. We will then travel by bus across the Kidron Valley to the site of Caiaphas’ Palace where Jesus experienced the Jewish portion of His trial. The site is known today as St. Peter in Galicantu [“crowing rooster”]. We return to our hotel for rest and dinner. This evening we will have the opportunity to spend some time in meditation in the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prayed the night before he was crucified. Dinner is at our hotel. (B, D)

DAY 10: JERUSALEM: VIA DOLOROSA & HOLY SEPULCHRE

We begin the morning early as we gather at the Antonia Palace to walk the Via Dolorosa, the Way of the Cross. Following the Via Dolorosa, we will return to the hotel for breakfast and orientation. We return to the Ecce Homo Arch and the Convent of the Sisters of Zion for Mass and then proceed to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the site where Jesus was crucified and where he was buried. The remaining portion of the day will be free to walk in the Old City or to return to the hotel for rest and dinner. (B, D)

DAY 11: JERUSALEM: EMMAUS & EIN KAREM

Today we drive to Emmaus for Mass of the Resurrection. It was on the road to Emmaus that Jesus appeared to his disciples following his resurrection and revealed himself in the breaking of the bread [Luke 24:13-35]. Our final stop will be in the city of Ein Karem, the home of Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist. It was here that Mary, the Mother of Jesus, visited Elizabeth, her cousin, following the news that she was with child by the Holy Spirit. We will return to the hotel for our departure dinner and early retiring (B, D)

DAY 12: JERUSALEM / TEL AVIV / USA

We transfer to the Tel Aviv Airport for our return flight to the USA. (B)

NOTE: While no changes are anticipated, there might be occasions when certain alterations become necessary to this itinerary due to changes in airline schedules or for other reasons. All Masses are subject to final church schedules.