14-Days: A Holy Land Experience

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DAY 01: DEPART USA

We depart Los Angeles en route to Tel Aviv with complimentary meals and beverages served aloft.

DAY 02: ARRIVE TEL AVIV / TRANSFR TO HERZLIA

We reach Tel Aviv in the late afternoon. Our guide and driver will meet us at the airport and drive us to a near-by hotel just north of Tel Aviv in seaside Herzlia. Dinner awaits us at our accommodations. (D)

DAY 03: HERZLIA / NAZARETH / TIBERIAS

After a sleepover and a good breakfast, we will travel to 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 celebrate Mass in the Church of the Annunciation and have an opportunity to visit sites in the city. From there we will travel to Cana, where Jesus performed his first miracle at the request of his mother [John 2:1-11]. In Cana we will visit the Franciscan chapel for a renewal of wedding vows. Then on to Sepphoris, the Roman free city and the capital of Galilee during Jesus’ youth. 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 04: TIBERIAS: MUHRAQA, MEGGIDO, NAIN & JORDAN RIVER

We will visit Muhraqa and a Carmelite Monastery located on the spot where Elijah confronted the priests of Ba’al in the 18th chapter of 1st Kings. There we will celebrate Mass. Then we’ll go to the port city of Accho [Acre] to see remains of Western Christian Crusader efforts to retake the Holy Land by force from the Muslims [1099-1291 AD]. Next we will visit the ruins of Meggido, an ancient city located in the Jezreel Valley. You may be most familiar with it as Armageddon [Har Meggido—”Hill of Meggido”], the place of the final battle of good over evil spoken of in the Book of Revelation [16:16]. We visit as well the village of Nain. From there we will go to the Jordan River to renew our baptismal vows in the River where Jesus was baptized by John [Mark 1:9]. We will return to our hotel in Tiberias for dinner and the evening. (B, D)

DAY 05: TIBERIAS: MT. OF BEATITUDES, TABGA & CAPERNAUM

In the morning, we will take a boat out into the Sea of Galilee for a morning meditation. From there we will visit the Mount of the Beatitudes, Tabga [where Jesus fed the 5,000]. We will take a morning walk down from Mt. of Beatitudes to Mt. Eremos and visit the Cave which Egeria mentions in her writing and then on to Capernaum where Peter lived and where Jesus began his public ministry [Matt. 4:13]. We return to Tiberias for dinner and the evening. (B, D)

DAY 06: TIBERIAS TO JERUSALEM

Today we depart the scene of the early ministry of Jesus in Galilee and head for Jerusalem where he suffered, died and rose from the dead. But first we stop, as he did, on Mount Tabor, the site of the Transfiguration. There we will celebrate Mass. Then we head down the Jordan Valley. En route we will stop at Jacob’s Well in the town of Nablus [Shechem]. It was there that Jesus encountered the Samaritan woman in the 4th chapter of John’s Gospel. Passing through Jericho, we begin to climb the mountain to the Holy City of Jerusalem. We will proceed to our hotel for dinner and a leisurely evening. (B, D)

DAY 07: JERUSALEM: JERICHO, MASADA & QUMRAN

Today we follow the old road down from Jerusalem to Jericho to get the flavor of the Judean Wilderness where Jesus fasted 40 days and 40 nights before beginning his public ministry. We celebrate Mass in the Desert overlooking Wadi Kelt. Then we travel south to Masada, [the mountain fortress of King Herod] and the Dead Sea [for a swim, bring your swimsuit]. On our return we will visit Qumran, the site of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. A final stop in Bethany will provide an opportunity to visit the traditional tomb of Lazarus. Then back to our hotel for dinner and the evening. (B, D)

DAY 08: JERUSALEM: BETHLEHEM & HOLY LAND MODEL

We begin today with a visit to the Shepherd’s cave near Bethlehem where we will celebrate Mass; then on to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. We’ll then return to the City of Jerusalem to visit a large model of the Holy City at the time of Jesus in order to better understand our walking tour of the Old City tomorrow. 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. The final stop of the day will be at the Dead Sea Scrolls Museum where the ancient scrolls are on display. We’ll return to the hotel for dinner and the evening. (B, D)

DAY 09: JERUSALEM: VISIT WITH A LOCAL PARISH

Today is the day that we plan to partake in a work project in support of the local Christian community. Dinner is at our hotel. (B, D)

DAY 10: JERUSALEM: WESTERN WALL, TEMPLE MOUNT & OLD CITY

The first stop today is at the Western Wall of the ancient Temple destroyed in 70 AD. This is the most sacred place for Jews and a place of prayer. Then we visit the Temple Mount [in the time of Jesus the site of the Jewish Temple and now a major Muslim Shrine, the Dome of the Rock]. From there we will visit the Church of St. Anne for Mass, the Pool of Bethesda where Jesus healed the paralytic, the Shrine at the Ecce Homo Arch and the site of the scourging of Jesus. We will then have time to walk in the Holy City and experience the culture of Old Jerusalem at our leisure. We return to the hotel for dinner and the evening. (B, D)

DAY 11: JERUSALEM: MT. OF OLIVES, CAIAPHAS’ HOUSE & GETHSEMANE

Today begins with a trip to the Mount of Olives to celebrate Mass in a beautiful little church, Dominus Flevit [“The Lord wept”]. It was here that Jesus wept over Jerusalem [Luke 19:41] prior to his death. We then walk down the Mount of Olives to the Garden of Gethsemane, visit the garden and the Church of All Nations located there. We then cross the Kidron Valley where Jesus was lead and up to the Palace of Caiaphas for his first interrogation by the High Priest. The site is known today as St. Peter in Galicantu [“crowing rooster”]. We return to the hotel for dinner. This evening we will go back to the Garden of Gethsemane for prayer and meditation at the site where Jesus spent his last few moments before he was taken to be crucified. (B, D)

DAY 12: JERUSALEM: VIA DOLOROSA, HOLY SEPULCHRE & OLD CITY

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 return to the hotel for breakfast and orientation. After breakfast, we return to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for Mass and a tour of Calvary and the Tomb of Jesus. There is much history connected with these sites that will be explained to us by our guide. Following the visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, pilgrims are free to walk through the Old City and return at their leisure to our hotel in walking distance of the Old City. (B, D)

DAY 13: JERUSALEM: EMMAUS & CAESAREA

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]. From there we travel to Caesarea, where Peter came to understand that the Good News was not for Jews only, but for the whole world. Here he baptized the Roman Centurion, Cornelius, and his family. We enjoy a festive farewell dinner at a local restaurant. (B, D)

DAY 14: RETURN USA

Transfer to 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.