Holy Land Pilgrimage
Spiritual Leader: Deacon Matthew Levy
May 15 - 25, 2020
Your trip includes
- Round-trip airfare with direct flight between Newark and Tel Aviv
- All airport taxes & fuel surcharges up to $700
- Accommodations at centrally located First Class Hotels: (or similar)
- ~ 4 nights | May 16 - 20: Sea of Galilee, Tiberias
- ~ 5 nights | May 20 – 25: Hotel Olive Tree, Jerusalem
- Tour Escort throughout (Usama is requested)
- Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner daily
- Wine and mineral with dinners
- Transfer by Private Motor coach
- Wi -Fi on Bus
- Unlimited water bottles on the Bus
- Sightseeing as per itinerary
- Entrance fees, Visit to Masada and Yad Vashem
- Mass daily & Spiritual activities
- Luggage handling (1 piece per person)
- Flight bag & portfolio of all travel documents
- Beverages unless mentioned, Tips to your guide & driver.
Friday, May 15: Depart for the Holy Land
Make your way to your local airport where you will board your overnight flight. Your meals will be served on board.
Satursday, May 16: Arrival Tel Aviv - Jaffa - Caesarea, Muhraka – Stella Maris Baha
Upon arrival in Tel Aviv, you will make your way to Baggage Claim and to the Arrivals Hall where you will be visit Church in Jaffa, continue to Caesarea , Lunch stop, travel north we will drive to Mukhraka and visit the Monastery that commemorates Elijah confronting the prophets of Baal continue to Muhraka then Stella Maris and a Carmelite Monastery with the Madonna of Mt Carmel. After enjoying the view of the bay of Acco. Dinner and overnight in Tiberias.
Sunday, May 17: Magdala- Meggido - Jordan River
Theme: The Intruduction
This morning, after breakfast, visit the fascinating new excavations at Magdala. We will end the day at the very spot where the Jordan river flows from the Sea of Galilee, leaving time to reflect on the Baptism at the Jordan River (There will also be time for you to renew your own Baptism.) Drive through the Jezreel Valley, referred to in the Bible as the scene of Armageddon. Visit the fascinating Tel Megiddo, once a town that overlooked strategic trade routes. Check-in to your hotel by the lake. Dinner and overnight.
Monday, May 18: Nazareth – Cana - Mount Arbel
Theme: The Annunciation
After breakfast, we will drive to Nazareth, the site of Mary’s home and the town where Jesus lived as a child. In Nazareth, we will celebrate Mass in the Basilica of the Annunciation, followed by a visit the Church of St. Joseph and Mary’s Well. Also see Nazareth village, a careful recreation of what a Galilean village would have been like at the time of Jesus. We continue with a visit to Cana, where Jesus performed His first miracle at the request of His mother [John 2:1-11]. Return to visit the Franciscan chapel for those who wish to perform the renewal of their wedding vows. Make our way back to Tiberias, with a stop at Mt Arbel, where you take in a beautiful panoramic view of the Sea of Galilee region where Jesus started His ministry. End the day with a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. Return to your hotel for dinner and overnight.
Tuesday, May 19: Tiberias – Sea of Galilee – Banias - Korazim
Theme: The Ministry of Christ in the Galilee
Your day starts at the Mount of Beatitudes, the scene of Jesus’ great Sermon on the Mount. A short drive away is 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. Celebrate Mass in this special place. We will drive up to the Golan Heights and stop at Caesarea Philippi, location of the testimony of St. Peter and where Jesus answered him “You are the Rock and upon this rock I will build my Church”. Continue to visit one of the ancient towns that were featured in Christ’s life around the lake such as Korazim. Dinner and overnight at your hotel.
Wednesday, May 20: Wed, Nov 7: Mt. Tabor – Samaria - Jerusalem
Theme: The Transfiguration & Jesus in Samaria
Today, after breakfast, we will drive to Mount Tabor, the site of the Transfiguration, with time to reflect on Christ’s Humanity and Divinity, and a good preparation for your journey back to Jerusalem, where Je-sus was to suffer the crucifixion and resurrection. Mass will be celebrated here, at the Basilica here designed to represent 3 tents. Continue south through Samaria, a land rich in Old Testament history. Near Jenin is the Church built over the cave where the 10 lepers healed by Jesus had been banished to. Continue on to Sebastia to see this fascinating site that is rarely visited. Under Herod it was a major city as evidenced by the impressive remains. It is here that Salome danced for Herod and asked for the head of John the Baptist as a reward. The Byzantines built a large Basilica and monastery in his memory. Drive through the valley between the twin peaks of Mt Gerizim and Mt Ebal, known in the Old Testament as Mt. Blessing and Mt Cursing. Stop at Jacob‘s Well, hewn out of solid rock over 100 feet deep. As it is manually dug out, it is most certainly the same well mentioned in the Gospel of John. The water at the bottom of the well is fed by flowing water, which is why ancients gave it the name of “living water”. It is at this well that Jesus met the Samaritan woman and said to her: "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." Many pilgrims today like to drink from the well. We will continue on towards Jerusalem, passing Shiloh, where the Ark of Covenant was kept and through the beautiful Levonah valley, referred to in Judges as the Valley of the Dancers. Arrive to Jerusalem, check-in to your hotel for dinner and overnight.
Thursday, May 21: Temple Mount – Ancient Churches- Bethlehem
Theme: Jesus in Jerusalem
Today we will explore Jerusalem. At the steps of the Southern Wall of the Temple Mount, ponder the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple, the finding of Jesus at the Temple and the healing of the blind man at the Temple. See the Western Wall of the Temple Mount. Visit the Davidson Centre where you can learn how daily life in Jerusalem in the time of Jesus, revolved around the Temple rituals. Continuing to visit the new City of David excavation, the heart of Biblical Jerusalem, and the Pool of Siloam. Continue to Ein Karem where you will visit the Church of the Visitation. Then continue to Bethlehem, beginning at 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.) In the afternoon, drive through the Judean Wilderness to view the Desert Monasteries of Mar Saba*.Dinner and overnight. (Only men are allowed to enter the Monastery at St Saba’s.) Mar Saba if time allows. Return to hotel for dinner and overnight.
Friday, May 22: Desert Monasticism – Masada – Ein Gedi
Theme: Early Years in Jerusalem & the Wilderness
After breakfast we will visit St. George in Wadi Kelt, and the Monastery on the side of Mt Temptation. It is in this desert that Jesus fasted for 40 days and where thousands of hermit monks lived in the wilderness during the early years of Christianity We proceed south along the Dead Sea to the historical Masada where, on arrival, we will embark on the cable car offering spectacular scenery to the summit. Here we will enjoy a guided tour of Herod’s fortress and the Zealot’s last stand.. to Ein Gedi for a walk to a spectacular oasis/waterfall where David hid from Saul. Return to hotel for dinner and overnight.
Saturday, May 23: Mt of Olives
Theme: Palm Sunday and the Agony in the Garden
This morning, we will visit the Israel Museum to see the model of the Old City. Proceed to visit the Mount of Olives to take in the panoramic view of Jerusalem. While in route, visit the Church of the Pater Nostre (Our Father). While at Gethsemane, we will reflect on Jesus’ final night. The Garden contains trees, which the roots date back to the time of Jesus. Visit 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. Nearby is the unusual underground Church of the Tomb of Mary. Then up to Mt Zion to visit the Upper Room, and the Church of Peter in Gallicantu. In the after-noon we drive to Bethlehem to see the caves at the Shepherds’ Field. The caves have soot marks of the fires that shepherd’s lit to keep warm while watching over their flocks.
Sunday, May 24: Jerusalem: Via Dolorosa – Holy Sepluchre - David Citadel - Emmaus
Theme: The Way of the Cross, The Crucifixion, The Resurrection
This morning we start very early, as we make our way to the Via Dolorosa (The Way of the Cross) at the Antonia Fortress, where Jesus was condemned to death by Pontius Pilate. From there, He was taken through the city to be crucified. The Stations of the Cross lead through the markets of the Old City, to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Here is the site of Calvary and the Tomb of Christ. Mass in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. On for a visit to Church of St. Anne's, Pool of Bethesda and the David Citadel to enjoy the stunning views over the Old City, and see the fascinating museum of Jerusalem. In the afternoon, we will make a visit to Abou Ghosh, probably the site of Emmaus, where Jesus appeared to the two Disciples after the Resurrection. Here, visit the lovely Crusader church and meditate in the beautiful gardens tended by the nuns. Drive through the Valley of Elah, mentioned in the Old Testament as where the events of Samson & Delilah and David & Goliath took place. Also, here is the Monastery of Beit Jimal, which dates to the 5th century and is where St Stephen is buried. Walk through the alleyways of the Old City, and stop at two of the oldest churches in Christendom, St Mark’s Assyrian Orthodox Church and St James Armenian Orthodox Church. On for a visit to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial. Dinner and overnight.
Monday, May 25:
Following breakfast, you may enjoy a free day at your own leisure. Transfer to Tel Aviv airport for your return flights home in the evening.
About your trip
Wheel Chair Access in the Holy Land
About The Holy Land - In the footsteps of Jesus:
If you desire to draw closer to Jesus of Nazareth, come, as we follow in His footsteps. Each day of your pilgrimage you will have time to renew and affirm your faith; to pray and reflect. The Scriptures will come alive as you visit Our Lord's homeland. You will be inspired by the natural beauty of the landscape, in addition to its rich historical heritage It is an encounter that has changed the lives of many pilgrims, an act of faith and prayer. Pilgrims have been traveling to the Holy Land for hundreds of years, and as part of your pilgrimage, we include many of the rich traditions that have evolved over time. The maxim at the entrance to the Church of the Nativity says: “We are hoping that: If you enter here as a tourist, you would exit as a pilgrim. If you enter here as a pilgrim, you would exit as a holier one.”We pray that same will occur when you join 206 Tours pilgrimage.