The Holy Land / Nov 7 - 17, 2017
Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem Eastern LieutenancyLed by: Chorbishop John D. Faris, KC*HS * Jordan Optional Pre Tour: Nov 4 - 8, 2017 EO110717
Your trip includes
- Round-trip airfare from New York or from your desired Airport
- All airport taxes & fuel surcharges
- Centrally located Three & Four Star hotels: (or similar)
- ~ 3 nights - Nov 8 - 11: Mt. of Beatitudes Guest House
- ~ 5 nights - Nov 11 - 16: Notre Dame, Jerusalem
- All Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner daily
- Special Dinner at Notre Dame's famous Rooftop Restaurant - Cheese and Wine
- Wine and Mineral Water with Dinners
- Transportation by air-conditioned motor coach
- Free Wi-Fi on motor coach
- Wireless headsets throughout
- Mass daily
- Ceremony in Cana: Wedding Vow Renewals
- Assistance and sightseeing by licenesed guide throughout
- Transfers as per itinerary and as needed
- Sightseeing and admissions fees as per itinerary
- All Tips: Guide, Driver, Hotel, Restaurants, and Luggage handling (1 piece per person)
- Flight bag & portfolio of all travel documents
- Items and visits not mentioned above
Tuesday - November 7 - Depart for Israel
Make your way to your local airport where you will board your overnight flight. Your meals are served on board.
Wednesday - November 8 - Arrive Tel Aviv Airport - Mt. of Beatitudes
Upon arrival in Tel Aviv, you will be met by the 206 Tours representatives. They will transfer you to your hotel at the Sea of Galilee. You will have some free time to spend at your own leisure before you make your way for the "Welcome Drink Reception", followed by dinner. Return to your room for a restful night sleep.
Thursday - November 9 - Cana - Nazareth - Caesarea Maritima - Haifa - Sea of Galilee
Theme: The Annunciation
This morning, after breakfast, you will start the day by visiting Cana where you will visit the Franciscan Wedding Church. Couples will have the opportunity participate in the ceremony of renewing their Wedding Vows, led by your Spiritual Director. Your next visit will be to Nazareth, where you will visit the Byzantine Church of St. Joseph and Mary's Well. From there, you will walk the pilgrimage train into the Church of the Annunciation to celebrate the Liturgy, and then a quick tour, including the Archeological Garden where you will see 1st century remains of houses from the time of Christ. You will also visit the Museum where we see inscriptions left by pilgrims venerating the Virgin Mary, including the 2nd century A.D. inscription showing Xeria Maria 'Ave Maria', considered to be the oldest venerating signs of the Blessed Virgin. Lunch Included From there, it is on to Caesarea, which was once the ancient capital of the Roman province. Upon arrival, we will stop for lunch. The tour will start by viewing the impressive archaeological remains of the Roman and Byzantine city that once dominated the region. It was at Caesarea that 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. It was from Caesarea that Paul set sail for Rome, an event that eventually brought Christianity to the World. Continue north to Haifa to visit Stella Maris, a Carmelite Monastery dedicated to Our Lady of Mt Carmel and located over the cave where Elijah lived. Return to the Sea of Galilee for dinner and overnight.
*Wedding Vows in Cana:
Each couple will receive a "Special" Certificate to commemorate the ceremony.
Friday - November 10 - Tiberias: Banias - Sea of Galilee
The Ministry of Christ in the Galilee
After breakfast, we will begin the day with a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. After this, see the remains of a boat that dates back to the time of Jesus, found buried in mud. We will then travel north to visit Caesarea Philippi, also known as Banias. It was here that Peter recognized Jesus as the Messiah and where Jesus told St. Peter, "You are the Rock, and upon this rock I will build my Church." Banias is also the source of the River Jordan. Continue to Capernaum, from where Jesus launched his Ministry; see the synagogue which dates to the time of Jesus and the church built over the site of Peter's home. We will stop for lunch Included. We will then celebrate the Liturgy at the Mt. of Beatitude, the scene of Jesus' great Sermon on the Mount. Nearby is Tabgha, where Jesus fed the crowd of 5,000 and onto the site known as "Peter's Primacy". Here, after His resurrection, Jesus met with His disciples and told Peter to "feed my lambs; feed my sheep." [John 21:9]. Then we will see the Sower Cove, located midway between Tabgha and Capernaum, where Jesus was pushed out on a boat by the crowd and taught from the parable of sower. Our last visit will be remains of the fishing village of Magdala (Aramaic for "elegant"). During the time of Jesus it was a thriving place that exported dried fish and garum (a fish sauce reduction popular in Roman cooking). Excavations done by the Franciscans in the 1970s revealed the residential area of the village and the docks where the fishing boats would unload the fish caught in the Sea of Galilee. In 2009 a chance discovery revealed a 1st Century synagogue at the entrance to the village from West. It is also assumed that Mary Magdalene was born here. Then walk to the nearby Valley of the Doves, to see the Jesus Trail, and the ancient road that was walked by our Lord. End the day at Dinner and overnight at your hotel.
Saturday - November 11 - Mt. Tabor - Jordan River - Jericho - Jerusalem
Theme: The Transfiguration
Today, after breakfast, drive to Mount Tabor, the site of the Transfiguration, giving time to reflect on Christ's Humanity and Divinity. Liturgy will be celebrated at the Church of Transfiguration, which is a good preparation for the journey to Jerusalem where Jesus was to suffer the crucifixion and resurrection. Drive to the Jordan River, and visit the Baptismal site on the Jordan River. We will stop for lunch Included , and then visit Jericho. While there, you can view the Mt. of Temptation from where Jesus was tempted by the devil (Matthew 4:8), as well as the Zaccheus Sycamore Tree. It was the tree that created a clear line of vision for Zaccheus, to rise above the crowd and see the Lord clearly. This tree is a symbol of that place in our own lives which enables us to have a clear vision of Jesus. From here, we begin our ascent to Jerusalem. Upon arrival, we will make our way to Notre Dame where we will check-in for dinner, and overnight.
Sunday - November 12 - Malakite Church - Israel Museum - Ein Karem
Today we will begin with Divine Liturgy with the local Malakite community (Liturgy will be in Arabic) at the Melkite Greek Catholic Church (located in the Old City.) Then we will make our way to the Israel Museum which houses the temple to which Jesus was Presented (Luke 2:22). Your group will visit a model of the Second Temple, as it was in the time of Jesus, as well as viewing the Shrine of the Book (where the Dead Sea Scrolls are on display). After lunch we will make a short drive taking us to the village of Ein Karem, birthplace of John the Baptist, to visit the church. This will be followed by a return drive back to Notre Dame for dinner & overnight.
Monday - November 13 - Jerusalem: Temple Mount - St. Anne's Church - Paul VI Epheta Institute - Bethlehem University - Church of Nativity - Shepherds Fields
Theme: The Visitation & Nativity
Following an early breakfast, we will start our day with a visit to Temple Mount, starting with a visit to the Church of St. Anne's, the home of Jesus' maternal grandparents (Anne and Joachim). Nearby, we enter the Old City to see the Pool of Bethesda (John 5: 1 - 9), which supplied the water for the Temple, and where Jesus healed the crippled man. At 10:30 A.M., we will make our way to Bethlehem to visit the Paul VI Epheta Institute. We will tour the Campus, and meet with its students and faculty before continuing to Bethlehem University at 12:00 (Noon). We have prepared a special lunch for your group at the University, followed by a tour and meeting with students and faculty. From there, we will depart to the Manger Square, which stands in front of one of the oldest of Christian churches, the Church of the Nativity. Enter the Church and down to the Grotto of the Nativity which marks the spot of Jesus' birth. Beneath the Altar, there is a silver star with the Latin inscription: HIC DE VIRGINE MARIA JESUS CHRISTUS NATUS (Here Jesus Christ was born to the Virgin Mary.) We will celebrated the Liturgy in the Church of Nativity, and then continue our final stop of the day, the Shepherds Fields. The caves have soot marks of the fires that shepherd's lit to keep warm while watching over their flocks. Return to Notre Dame for dinner and overnight.
Tuesday - November 14 - Jerusalem: Bethany - Mt. Of Olives - Mt. Zion - Solemn Entry into the Church of the Holy Sepulchre - Meeting with Apostolic Administrator (Receive Pilgrim Shell)
Theme: Palm Sunday, the Agony in the Garden, and The Last Supper
We will start the day with visit to Bethany, where Lazarus was raised from the dead. Drive to the Mount of Olives, where we will take in the panoramic view of Jerusalem. Then to the Pater Noster shrine, where Jesus taught His disciples the Pater Noster - The Lord's Prayer (Luke 11:1-4). Walking down the Palm Sunday Road, we will stop at the beautiful little church, Dominus Flevit - "The Lord wept." It was here that Jesus wept over Jerusalem [Luke 19:41]. Then make our way to Gethsemane to reflect on Jesus' final night (Luke 22: 29 - 53). The Garden contains trees, the roots of which go back to the time of Jesus. Visit and celebrate Mass at the Church of All Nations to pray at the "Rock of Agony," a section of bedrock identified as the place where Jesus prayed alone in the garden on the night of His arrest. Following Mass, we will visit the Church of the Assumption, and then make our way to Mt. Zion, overlooking the Kidron Valley. From Gethsemane, Jesus was taken as a prisoner to the house of the High Priest Caiaphas where He was interrogated and imprisoned. Now called Peter in Galicantu ("Crowing Rooster"), this beautiful Church also commemorates Peter's denial of Chris (Luke 22: 33 - 34), his repentance and then being forgiven by Jesus. We will make a stop for lunch Included and then continue on to Mt. Zion, the Upper Room (Matthew 26: 17 - 30) where we commemorate the Last Supper. Nearby is King David's Tomb, and the Benedictine Church of the Dormition. We will visit the Office of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, where all Knights and Dames will receive the Pilgrim Shell from the Most Reverend, Pierbattista Pizzaballa. (He is currently standing as Apostolic Administrator sede vacante of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, until the appointment of a new Patriarchate.). We will then proceed to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher for Solemn Entry. We will return to Notre Dame where you will have some time to stop at your room and freshen up. Then make your way up to the famous rooftop restaurant, Cheese and Wine, that overlooks the Old City of Jerusalem. It is there you will enjoy a "Special" Cocktail Reception and Dinner - hosted by Her Excellency, Lady Vicki Downey. Return to your room for a restful nights sleep.
*Knights and Ladies: Bring your Capes, Gloves, Berets/Mantillas (dress appropriately under your capes, and that your colors are black or dark colors)
Wednesday - November 15 - Jerusalem: Via Dolorosa - Church of the Holy Sepulchre - Meeting at the Pontifical Mission - Our Lady of Palestine - Final Day in Jerusalem
Theme: The Crucifixion
Today will be an early morning, as we will depart the Hotel at 5:30 A.M. and make our way to begin the Via Dolorosa (The Way of the Cross) at the Antonia Fortress. This is the spot where Jesus was condemned to death by Pontius Pilate (John 18:28-19:16). Following His condemnation, He was taken (on the Road to Calvary) to His place of Crucifixion. Your group will reflect upon the Stations of the Cross as you travel through the markets of the Old City to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Luke 23: 26-33). This Sacred destination is the site of Calvary (Jesus' crucifixion place) and, His tomb (Luke 23: 50-55). The Liturgy your group will be celebrating this morning is High Mass at the Tomb of Christ in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Continue to the Western Wall, the holiest site to Jews. Return to Notre Dame for breakfast, and then you will have some free time to relax. We will then meet at the Pontifical Mission with their representative, Mr. Sami El-Yousef. Quick lunch Included and then travel along the Valley of Elah, where the famous encounter between David and Goliath has taken place, reaching Deir Rafat Monastery. This Monastery is dedicated to Our Lady of Palestine. The Latin Patriarchate, Luigi Barlassina, established this Monastery in 1927. The facade in the Convent Church bears the Latin inscription "Reginae Palaestinae", meaning "to the Queen of Palestine". It carries a six (6) meter statue of the Virgin Mary. The Church ceiling is decorated with a painting showing angels carrying banners with the first words of the "Hail Mary" prayer in 280 languages. Return to the Notre Dame for your dinner, and overnight.
Thursday - November 16 - Return Home
Free time to spend at your own leisure before you return flight home. With heartfelt farewells, you will gather on to your bus for your transfer to Tel Aviv Airport for your return flight(s) home.
*Return flights to the US depart between 11:30 P.M. - 12:40 A.M. For that reason, we depart in the evening to arrive at the airport three (3) hours prior to your flight to check-in and go through security.
Friday - November 17 - Arrive Home
Meet your guide - George Stephan
Born in the old city of Jerusalem, he lives very close to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. He was educated at LaSalle Catholic College and Bethlehem University. George is married and father to two (2) beautiful children. He used to be a professional basketball player, but for the past twelve (12) years he works and is respected as one of top tour guides in the Holy Land.