Mass celebrations will be included throughout the Pilgrimage to Israel according to the group organizer’s (priest/deacon) preferences. The following locations are available for mass. In Galilee: Tabgha: Multiplication of the Loaves and Fish, St. Peter’s House, Capernaum, Heptapegon, Primacy of Peter, Mount of the Beatitudes, Mount Tabor, Nazareth. In Judea/Jerusalem: Church of the Holy Sepulchre: Calvary (First Mass in Jerusalem, if possible), Church of the Holy Sepulchre: Tomb of Christ, Bethlehem – Church of the Nativity, Church of All Nations, Shepherds’ Field, Cenacle (At church adjacent to Cenacle).
Visit Numerous Churches
We being our pilgrimage to Israel by driving north to Caesarea Maritima. Here we visit the Roman Theater, Herod’s Palace, the Palace of the Roman Procurator (Apostles 23: 23 and Apostles 26: 23 – Paul; Apostles 10: 20-48 – Peter and Cornelius), the Amphitheater, the Crusaders’ City and Harbor. Then we proceed to Nazareth, visiting the Church of Annunciation (Luke 26: 28) and Mary’s Well (in the Greek Orthodox Church). Next, we drive on to Cana in the Galilee, the site of the First Miracle (John 2: 1-11 and John 4: 46-54). Here we invite couples to renew their marriage vows. After breakfast, we take a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus walked on the water (Matthew 14: 22-23). The ride will end at Nof Ginnosar Kibbutz, where we include a special visit to the Ancient Boat which dates back to the time of Jesus. Next, we drive to the Mount of Beatitudes (Matthew 5: 7) where we visit the heptagonal church that was built by the Italian architect Berluzzi. Then we proceed to Tabgha, where we see the Church of the Loaves and the Fish (Matthew 14: 14-34) and the Church of Mensa Christi, where Jesus elected Peter as His Representative on Earth (John 21). Driving along the north shores of the Sea of Galilee, we shall reach Capernaum, the town where Jesus lived in the house of Peter and performed his miracles and healings (Matthew 4: 13, Matthew 8: 14-15).
The following day we will drive to Mount Tabor, the site of Transfiguration, and visit the Catholic Church (Matthew 17: 1-8). From the rooftop of the church, we can enjoy a beautiful view of the Lower Galilee and the Plain of Jezreel. Then we travel through the town of Afula and drive to Megiddo, (named also Armageddon) the place where the last battle of mankind is due to take place (the Apocalypse of St. John). Also, we will visit the museum and this 5,000-year-old city with the Gates from the times of King Solomon, the old Canaanite temples and the water tunnel from the time of King Ahab. We continue through Wadi Ara, the ancient road (Via Maris) that connected the old Egypt to Mesopotamia, and reach Tel Aviv where we shall visit ancient Joppa (Jaffa). This was the location of the house of Simon the Tanner (Apostles 10: 9-16) and the place of the Miracle of the resurrection of Tabita (Apostles 9: 36-43).
Walk in His Footsteps in Jerusalem
We will ascend the Mount of Olives to visit the Chapel of the Ascension (Luke 24: 50-53) and the Church of the Pater Noster (Luke 11: 1-4). We will see a panoramic view of the Old City of Jerusalem, with the Temple Mount. Walking down the Mount of Olives, we will reach the Church of Dominus Flevit (Luke 19: 41-44) and then continue on to the Garden of Gethsemane, the place where Jesus was arrested (Matthew 26: 36-58), to see the old olive trees and visit the Basilica of the Agony. We continue through the Lion’s Gate where we walk into the Old City to visit the Church of St. Anne and the Pool of Bethesda (John 5: 1-15). Next, we proceed through the Via Dolorosa walking along the Stations of the Cross from the remains of the Antonia to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
We drive to Mount Zion to visit the Room of the Last Supper (Cenacle) and the Tomb of King David. Walking through the Jewish Quarter, we will reach the Wailing Wall, the holiest place for the Jews, and the Dung Gate. Then we will to drive through the New City of Jerusalem to Ein Kerem to visit the Church of St. John (Luke 1: 1-25). Next, we continue on to Yad Vashem, the Memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. We proceed to Bethlehem to visit the Church of the Nativity (Luke 2: 1-7) and Shepherd’s Field (Luke 2: 8-20). On our last day in Israel, we drive past the Good Samaritan Inn (Luke 8: 25-37) to the mountain fortress of Masada, the stronghold of the Jews in the war against the Romans. We ascend to the fortress by cable car to visit the palaces of Herod the Great with its Roman baths and pools. Then we descend for a possible “dip” and “float” in the salty water of the Dead Sea, the world’s lowest place. On the way back to Jerusalem, we stop in Qumran, the city of the Essenes, where the Dead Sea scrolls were found in a cave by a shepherd. Prior to our return flight back to the U.S.A., we will enjoy a Farewell Dinner in Jaffa.