Day 1: Welcome to the Holy Land / Jerusalem
After arriving at Ben Gurion Airport, you’ll be welcomed by our Franciscan priest guide or Catholic guide who will make the scripture come alive as you follow in the footsteps of Jesus. We will take you to your selected hotel in Jerusalem, where you will enjoy a welcome dinner.
Day 2: Bethlehem / Jerusalem (including Mass)
After breakfast, we will drive to Bethlehem to visit and celebrate Mass at the Basilica of the Nativity, which was built by Emperor Constantine in the 4th century above the traditional Grotto of Jesus’ birth. We also tour the Manger, the Grotto of St. Jerome, the Church of St. Catherine, the Milk Grotto and the Shepherds’ Fields. We will then proceed to the Israel Museum in the New City of Jerusalem where we will view a scale model of Jerusalem as it was 2,000 years ago. We will then continue on to Ein Karem to see the Visitation Church where Mary proclaimed her famous “Magnificat” and the Church of St. John the Baptist, where he was born.
Day 3: Jerusalem (including Mass)
This morning we will drive to the top of the Mount of Olives, where a breathtaking panoramic view of the Old City awaits you. From there, we will visit the Church of Pater Noster, where Jesus taught the Lord’s Prayer to His disciples, and the Chapel of Ascension, where He ascended into Heaven 40 days after His resurrection. Then we will walk along the “Palm Sunday Road” to Dominus Flevit, where Our Lord wept over Jerusalem. Afterwards, we will proceed to the Garden of Gethsemane and the Church of All Nations for Mass on the Rock of Agony.
This afternoon, we will enter the Old City of Jerusalem through St. Stephen’s Gate. We will visit the Church of St. Anne where the Blessed Virgin Mary was born, the Pool of Bethesda where Jesus healed the paralytic man, the Chapel of Flagellation, Lithostrotos, and the Arch of the “Ecce Homo”. We will then follow the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to visit Golgotha and the Tomb of the Risen Savior.
Day 4: Jerusalem (including Mass)
Today we will visit the Temple area of the Old City of Jerusalem, featuring the Dome of the Rock, el Aqsa Mosque and the Wailing Wall. We will then enter the restored Jewish Quarter and walk along the excavated Cardo, once a main street of ancient Jerusalem, followed by a tour of the Herodian Mansions, a complex of villas from 2,000 years ago.
This afternoon, we will drive to Mount Zion to visit the Upper Room where Jesus celebrated the Last Supper, Dormition Abbey where Mary fell into eternal sleep, and the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu, where Peter denied Jesus three times.
Day 5: Jerusalem (including Mass) /Dead Sea Area
After an early Mass at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, we will return to the hotel for breakfast. Afterwards, we will proceed to Bethany to visit the site of the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus as well as the Tomb of Lazarus. We will continue through the Judean Wilderness to Jericho, the oldest known city in the Western world. From the top of the ancient “tel”, we’ll have an excellent view of Elisha’s Fountain, the Qarantal and the Mount of Temptation.
Afterwards, we will travel to Qumran to see the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, followed by an opportunity to take a dip in the unique mineral-laden waters of the Dead Sea before returning to Jerusalem. This evening, you will enjoy a special “farewell Jerusalem” dinner arranged in your honor in a typical Middle Eastern restaurant.
Day 6: Tiberias (including Mass)
This morning we leave for Tiberias, driving north through the Jordan River Valley to Bet Shean, where we’ll explore the extraordinary excavations of an ancient Roman city. From there, we will continue to the Baptismal Site on the Jordan River where you will have the opportunity to renew your baptismal vows. Following this, we will drive to Tiberias to check in at our hotel located on the shores of the picturesque Sea of Galilee.
Day 7: Tiberias / Sea of Galilee (including Mass)
This morning we will drive to the Mount of Beatitudes, which overlooks the Sea of Galilee. In this scenic setting, where Jesus preached His Sermon on the Mount, we will celebrate Mass. Afterwards we will reach a site along the water named Tabgha (Seven Springs). There, our first stop will be the site of the multiplication of loaves and fishes. Next, we will visit the Church of the Primacy of Peter, where Our Lord bestowed upon Peter the role of leadership of the Church. Here we will pray for the intentions of the Holy Father, followed by a prayerful walk to Capernaum, known as the Second City of Jesus, where we will see the ruins of the 2nd century Synagogue (John: 6). Here our Lord called some of the apostles in Capernaum, taught the Good News of our Redemption, and cured many people of their afflictions. On the site of the ancient village of Magdala a new facility is being built for pilgrims; we will visit this site made famous by its Gospel resident, Mary of Magdala.
After lunch in a restaurant serving St. Peter’s Fish, we will drive to the shores of the Sea of Galilee where we will enjoy a peaceful boat ride, remembering the scripture passages of Jesus and His apostles on this lake. The day will conclude with a drive back to our hotel in Tiberias.
Day 8: Nazareth /Tiberias (including Mass)
Following breakfast, we will drive to Cana of Galilee, where Jesus performed His first miracle – changing water into wine at the wedding feast. Here, we will invite couples to renew their wedding vows. Afterwards, we will proceed to Nazareth, Our Lord’s boyhood town, where Mass will be celebrated at the Basilica of the Annunciation. We will also visit Joseph’s Workshop and Mary’s Well, then take an excursion to Mount Tabor, where Jesus took Peter, James and John and was gloriously transfigured in their sight, from where we will return to our hotel.
Day 9: Haifa (including Mass) / Return to Airport
This morning we will leave Tiberias and drive to the sparkling port city of Haifa, where we will ascend Mount Carmel, home of the prophets Elijah and Elisha, for Mass at Stella Maris. We will then continue along the Mediterranean coast to ancient Caesarea where St. Peter preached and St. Paul was imprisoned for two years. Here we will visit the ruins of the Roman Theater, the Crusaders’ Moat and the Byzantine Churches. The drive will also take us to Old Jaffa to visit the Church of St. Peter and the home of Simon the Tanner. Later on, you will feast during a farewell dinner in a local restaurant, including wine, and then transfer to the airport in Tel Aviv for your evening flight home.
Our Lady of Albanians: November 12 - 22, 2018
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