PILGRIMAGE TO THE HOLY LAND
November 26th- December 6th, 2018
with Fr. Jonathan Austin
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Day 2 – Nov. 27: Arrive Tel Aviv / Netanya
After arrival at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, we will be met by our guide who will arrange the schedule of our visits and make the scripture come alive as we follow in the footsteps of Jesus and the Prophets. Stay overnight in the seaside resort of Netanya.
Day 3 – Nov. 28: Netanya / Tiberias
This morning, leave Netanya for Tiberias. Drive along the Mediterranean coast to Caesarea, capital of the ancient Roman Procurators of Judea. Here, St. Peter preached and St. Paul was imprisoned for two years. Visit the Roman Theater, Crusader’s Moat, and the Byzantine Churches. Continue to the sparkling port city of Haifa. Ascend Mt. Carmel, home of the prophets Elijah and Elisha. After Mass continue on to Tiberias, our home for the next three nights.
Day 4 – Nov. 29: Tiberias
Following breakfast, we will drive to Cana of Galilee where Jesus, at the request of Mary, performed His first miracle… changing water into wine. It was here also that He blessed marriage and raised it to the dignity of a sacrament. If you wish, you may renew your wedding vows as a lasting remembrance of this holy site. From there, we go a short distance to Nazareth, the boyhood home of Jesus. In the Church of the Annunciation we will celebrate Mass. Just behind the altar, at the Cave of the Annunciation, we will see the actual room in which Mary said “yes” to the angel Gabriel. From there we will visit St. Joseph’s Carpentry Shop and Mary’s Well. In the afternoon, we will take an excursion to the summit of Mt. Tabor where Jesus transfigured himself and revealed his Divine Glory to the apostles (Matt 17:2).
Day 5 – Nov. 30: Tiberias
This morning, we will enjoy a scenic boat ride across the Sea of Galilee and proceed to the Church of Peter’s Primacy (John 21:16). Here on the shore of Galilee, Jesus appeared to the Apostles after His Resurrection and confirmed Peter in the role as Vicar of Christ with the words, “Feed My sheep.” The rock emerging from the center of the church is the actual table at which they ate breakfast. We will proceed onto Capernaum which for three years was the center of Jesus’ public ministry. Here our Lord met his first disciples – Peter, Andrew, James, John and Matthew – and worked many miracles. He healed Peter’s mother-in-law of a fever, brought a child back to life, cured a leper, healed the centurion’s servant, cast out a demon from a young boy and healed all that were sick (Matt 8:16). We will celebrate Mass, visit the synagogue where Jesus taught, and then drive to Tabgha – the site where Jesus multiplied the Loaves and Fishes and fed over 5000 people (Luke 9:13). Next, we will drive to the Mount of Beatitudes the site of the Sermon on the Mount.
Day 6 – Dec. 1: Tiberias / Jerusalem
After Mass at the Mount of the Beatitudes, we will travel around the Sea of Galilee and stop at Kursi. Here Jesus met a possessed man and miraculously cast out a legion of demons into the herd of swine (Luke 8:26). From there we travel to the River Jordan to renew our baptismal vows. The Bible tells us that the Children of Israel crossed the River Jordan opposite Jericho when they came into the Promised Land. The prophet Elijah divided its waters and crossed with Elisha on dry land. Naaman the Syrian dipped in the waters seven times and was cured of his leprosy. And Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan (Mark 1:9). Each year, pilgrims from far and wide come to the Place of Baptism to immerse themselves in these holy waters. From here, we will drive through the Judean wilderness to Jerusalem.
Day 7 – Dec. 2: Jerusalem
This morning we will drive to the top of the Mt. of Olives for a spectacular view of Jerusalem. We will visit the Church of Pater Noster where Jesus taught his disciples how to pray, Ascension Chapel the site where Jesus ascended into Heaven, and then walk the “Palm Sunday Road” to Dominus Flevit, where Our Lord wept over Jerusalem. Then we will proceed to the Garden of Gethsemane to visit the Church of All Nations for Mass on the Rock of Agony. In the afternoon, we will drive through the New City of Jerusalem to Ein Karem, birthplace of St. John the Baptist, to see the Visitation Church where Mary proclaimed her famous “Magnificat”.
Day 8 – Dec. 3: Jerusalem
We will drive to Bethlehem and have Mass at the Shepherd’s Fields. Above the traditional Grotto of Jesus’ birth, we will visit the Nativity Church, built by the Emperor Constantine in the 4th century. Also tour the Manger, Grotto of St. Jerome, and the Church of St. Catherine. Then visit the Franciscan Family Center and the Milk Grotto Chapel followed by some free time before returning to Jerusalem.
Day 9 – Dec. 4: Jerusalem
This morning we will enter the Old City of Jerusalem through St. Stephen’s Gate to visit the Church of St. Anne, where the Blessed Virgin Mary was born. Next to this site is the Pool of Bethesda, where Jesus healed the paralytic man. We will then walk the Via Dolorosa finishing prayerfully in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher where we will have Holy Mass. There we will climb Mt. Calvary and pray at the site of the crucifixion. We will venerate the site where Jesus’ body was anointed, the tomb where he was buried and rose from the dead, and the Chapel of St. Helena where the true cross was found. While in the Old City, we will also see Pilate’s Judgment Hall, the Chapel of Flagellation, the Arch of Ecce Homo, the “Wailing Wall”, and we will view the Temple Mount. Afterwards, we exit the city to visit the Pool of Siloam, where Jesus healed a man born blind. We then go to Mount Zion to visit St. Peter in Gallicantu where Peter denied Jesus three times and the Upper Room, the site where Jesus celebrated the Last Supper. Last, we will pray our Rosary together in the Church of Dormition, where Mary was assumed into heaven.
Day 10 – Dec. 5: Jerusalem
We will drive to Bethany to visit the site of the House of Mary, Martha & Lazarus and the Tomb of Lazarus. Then drive to ancient Jericho, the oldest known city in the Western world. In 1250 B.C., Joshua encircled the city and at the blast of the priests’ trumpets, the walls came tumbling down (Joshua 6). Many times Jesus passed through this city on his way to Jerusalem. The sycamore fig, the tree which Zacchaeus climbed in order to catch a glimpse of Jesus, still grows in this area. From the ruins of ancient Jericho, we will ascend the Mount of Temptation where Jesus fasted and prayed forty days to resist the devil. Return to Jerusalem. This evening we will enjoy a farewell dinner.
Day 11 – Dec. 6: Jerusalem / Tel Aviv / USA
This morning we will transfer to the airport in Tel Aviv to catch our return flight home .