12-Days: Holy Land & Rome

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DAY 1: DEPART

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

DAY 2: TEL AVIV / CAESAREA / MUHRAQA / CARMEL / TIBERIAS

Upon arrival in Tel Aviv, we are met by our Catholic Travel Centre representative. We depart to Caesarea, where St. Peter baptized the first Gentile convert (Cornelius) and where St. Paul was imprisoned. Time permitting, we continue to Muhraqa, where the Carmelite Monastery of St. Elijah marks the place where the prophet Elijah set up his altar and triumphed over the false prophets of Ba’al. Then we proceed to Mt. Carmel and the Chapel of Stella Mares, where we celebrate Mass. We arrive in Tiberias for dinner and the evening. (B, D)

DAY 3: TIBERIAS

This morning we begin with a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, and then visit Capernaum, the Heptapegon (Peter’s Primacy), followed by a visit to Tabgha. We ascend by motor coach to the Mt. of Beatitudes to gain a panoramic vista of the Sea of Galilee. Here we celebrate Mass. We continue to the Baptismal Site at the Jordan River to renew our baptismal vows, and then return to Tiberias for the balance of the day. (B, D)

DAY 4: TIBERIAS: CANA, MT. TABOR & NAZARETH

We depart to Cana, site of Jesus’ first miracle at the wedding feast. Here we invite couples to renew their marriage vows. Then onto Mt. Tabor, the sight of the Transfiguration. We continue to Nazareth where we visit the Basilica of the Annunciation for Mass at the Grotto. We then continue to St. Joseph’s Workshop, Mary’s Well, and the Chapel of Charles de Foucould at the Little Sisters of the Poor and the Convent of the Sisters of Nazareth. (B, D)

DAY 5: TIBERIAS / JERICHO / BETHLEHEM / JERUSALEM

Our first today stop is Jericho, the site of Joshua’s first dramatic conquest. From a distance we view the Mt. Of Temptation, now home to a Greek Orthodox Monastery, then continue to Bethany to the site of the resurrection of Lazarus. This afternoon, we visit Bethlehem where we celebrate Mass at Shepherds’ Field followed by a visit to the Church of the Nativity, St. Jerome’s Chapel, and St. Catherine’s Church. This evening we request a meeting with His Beatitude Michel Sabbah, the Latin Patriarch and leader of the Roman Catholic Church in the Holy Land. (B, D)

DAY 6: JERUSALEM

We begin with a ride to Mt. Scopus and to the Mt. of Olives, where we gain a panoramic view of the old City of Jerusalem. We visit the Ascension Mosque, Pater Noster (commemorating the “Our Father”), Dominus Flevit (where Jesus wept over Jerusalem), and the Church of All Nations in the Garden of Gethsemane. Mass will be celebrated at one of these sites. Before returning to the hotel we stop in Ein Karem where we visit the Church of St. John the Baptist and the Church of the Visitation. Our last stop is the Holy Land Hotel, where we view the model of the City of Jerusalem at the time of Christ. (B, D)

DAY 7: JERUSALEM

Today we visit Mt. Zion, beginning with the Church of St. Peter in Gallicanctu
(where Peter denied Christ), the House of Caiphas, the Church of the Dormition of Our Lady, and the Upper Room, commemorating the Last Supper. We then visit the Wailing Wall and the Dome of the Rock, two sacred sites to the Jews and the Moslems, respectively. Then we make our way to Emmaus, where we celebrate Mass. This afternoon is at leisure in the Old City to browse in the shops. Those wishing to visit the Holocaust Museum may do so on their own. (B, D)

DAY 8: JERUSALEM

We begin today entering through Stephen’s Gate, with a visit to the Church of St. Anne, marking the place of birth of the Blessed Mother, visiting as well the nearby Pools of Bethesda. We proceed to the Chapel of the Flagellation (where Our Lord was scourged), and then carry the cross as we follow the Via Dolorosa (Stations of the Cross). Our Mass is at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, followed by a visit to the Ecce Homo Arch and the Lithostrotos. (B, D)

DAY 9: JERUSALEM / TEL AVIV AIRPORT / ROME

We transfer to the Tel Aviv Airport for our flight to Rome. Upon our arrival in Rome our representative of Catholic Travel Centre meets us. We transfer to our hotel for dinner and the evening. (B, D)

DAY 10: ROME: PAPAL AUDIENCE & VATICAN MUSEUM

This morning we begin with Mass. Afterwards, we transfer to the Pope Paul VI Hall in Vatican City for the Papal Audience with His Holiness Pope John Paul II (subject to Holy Father’s schedule). Lunch is on our own in the vicinity of St. Peter’s Basilica. We begin the afternoon with a visit of the Vatican Museum to view Michelangelo’s masterworks, including the Last Judgment and the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. The balance of the day is at leisure. (B, D)

DAY 11: ROME: ST. JOHN LATERAN, ST. MARY MAJOR, FORUM, COLISEUM, CATACOMBS

This morning we begin with a visit to the Basilica of St. John Lateran and the nearby ScalaSanta, the legendary stairs which Christ climbed prior to His condemnation before Pontius Pilate. For centuries, pilgrims have made this penitential climb on their knees. Then we stop at St. Mary Major’s, the largest church in Rome dedicated to the Blessed Mother. We proceed to the sites of Ancient Rome, viewing the Forum and Coliseum, and the Church of St. Peter’s in Chains plus the Catacombs, the underground burial site of the early Christians. Here we celebrate the Mass. Our day concludes at the Basilica of St. Paul’s Outside the Walls. Tonight we gather for a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. (B, D)

DAY 12: RETURN USA

Transfer to 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.