November 4th - November 14th, 2023
Spiritual Director: Father Alexander Muddu
Day 1: Depart U.S.A.
Our pilgrimage begins today as we depart on our flight to Israel.
Meals and drinks are served aloft.
Day 2: Tel Aviv
After arrival at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, we'll be welcomed by our knowledgeable tour guide who will accompany us throughout our pilgrimage and make the Scriptures come alive as we follow in the footsteps of Jesus.
Board our motorcoach and drive to our hotel in Tel Aviv. B/D
Day 3: Tel Aviv / Tiberias
This morning depart Tel Aviv and drive along the Mediterranean coast to Mt. Carmel to visit the Stella Maris Convent and the site of Elijah’s Sacrifice at a shrine called Muhraqa. Our journey takes us next to the lower Galilee to Mt. Tabor, the mountain where Jesus was transfigured before Peter, James, and John. Our day comes to an end with a drive to Tiberias, our home for the next two nights. B/D
Day 4: Tiberias
This morning we drive to Cana, the site of the first miracle. Couples will have the opportunity to renew their marriage vows here. It’s a short drive to Nazareth, Jesus’ hometown. Here we visit the Basilica of the Annunciation and St. Joseph’s Church, the site of the home of the Holy Family. The Synagogue Church is about a ten-minute walking distance from the basilica. In the afternoon, we return to the Sea of Galilee for a boat ride to Capernaum, the site of many of Jesus’ miracles and profound teachings on the Kingdom of God. Nearby are the shrines of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes and the Primacy of Peter (both situated in a region referred to as Tabgha). Drive up to the Mount of the Beatitudes, of the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus preached to the people. B/D
Day 5: Tiberias /Amman
Depart Tiberias and drive to the Sheikh Hussein border crossing, where we will cross from Israel into Jordan. Travel to Jerash, founded by the soldiers of Alexander the Great in 300 B.C. Jerash now stands as one of the best-preserved ruins of a Greco ‐ Roman city in the world. Along a 2‐mile stretch, we'll see the oval-shaped forum encircled by 56 graceful Roman columns, Hadrian's Arch, the Temples of Artemis and Zeus, and a massive Roman theatre. Next, continue to Mt. Nebo, which is the site where Moses first viewed the Promised Land. We will then drive to Amman, the capital of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, and check-in at our hotel. B/D
Day 6: Amman / Petra / Amman
This morning we will drive south to Petra, one of the most magnificent sites in the Middle East and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. The “Rose Red City” of Petra is carved into the sides of a deep gorge, and the only entrance is through the “Siq,” a narrow slit in the rock enclosed by beautiful limestone cliffs. Riding on horseback (no riding experience required) between the 100-foot cliffs, we will see a remarkable sight: temples, tombs, and dwellings chiseled right into the limestone walls. Following our sightseeing of Petra, we will return to Amman overnight. B/D
Day 7: Amman / Jerusalem
This morning we will check out from our hotel and drive to the Allenby Bridge border crossing to cross from Jordan back into Israel. Proceed to ancient Jericho, which has sites connected with the Old Testament and the Gospels. Near Jericho, we go to the Jordan River to recall Our Lord's Baptism by St. John and renew our Baptismal Promises. Driving up to Jerusalem, but before arriving in the Holy City, we will stop at Bethany, home of Martha, Mary, and Lazarus. B/D
Day 8: Jerusalem
This morning we drive to the summit of the Mt. of Olives to visit the Chapel of the Ascension and the Church of Pater Noster. Walking the Palm Sunday Road, we will visit the chapel of Dominus Flevit. There we have a fantastic panoramic view of the city of Jerusalem. We continue down the road to the Garden of Gethsemane and visit the Basilica of the Agony. Nearby is the Grotto of the Judas’ Betrayal and Mary’s Tomb, the site of Mary’s Assumption. In the afternoon, drive through the Judean Wilderness and along the Dead Sea (the lowest spot on earth) to Qumran,
the site where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, and see the ruins of the buildings of the Essene community. Afterward, we will have the opportunity to dip in the salty, mineral‐laden unsinkable waters of the Dead Sea before returning to Jerusalem. B/D
Day 9: Jerusalem / Bethlehem
Traveling a short distance south of Jerusalem, we arrive in Bethlehem. We begin our visit to the countryside at Shepherds’ Field to remember the angels’ glad tidings to the shepherds. Within the town of Bethlehem, we go to venerate the Holy Grotto of the Nativity, the Manger and the Grotto of St. Jerome. We will also visit the Franciscan Church of St. Catherine, the site of Bethlehem’s Christmas Midnight Mass. This afternoon we travel to Ein Karem to visit the Church of St. John the Baptist, the birthplace of the Precursor of the Lord, and the Visitation Church, where we recall Mary’s prayer of praise: the Magnificat. B/D
Day 10: Jerusalem
This morning, we enter the Old City of Jerusalem at St. Stephen’s Gate, where our first stop is at the Church of St. Anne and Bethesda's Pools. Next, we make our way to the Church of the Flagellation which marks the beginning of the Way of the Cross (Via Dolorosa) ending on Calvary. We enter the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and within the church, we visit Golgotha and complete our devotions at the Sacred Tomb of Jesus. In the afternoon, we go to the Western Wall or Wailing Wall, where prayers are offered up at these remaining holy stones of the glorious Second Temple compound. We are aware that now the only structures standing on the Temple Mount are the Moslem Shrines of the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa Mosque. We drive along the walls of the Old City to Mt. Zion. Next, we visit the Upper Room's nearby traditional site, remembering the Last Supper, a post‐Resurrection appearance, and Pentecost. Nearby we see Dormition Abbey Church that honors Mary’s “falling asleep.” We end the day with a visit to St. Peter in Gallicantu, which marks Peter’s denial. B/D
Day 11: Tel Aviv / U.S.A.
Drive to Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv to catch our early morning return flight home.