Dec 27, 2017 – Jan 6, 2018
Depart New York via jet service. Dinner and breakfast will be served on board.
Upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport, you will be met by our local Tour staff. A luxury motor coach will transfer you to your hotel in Jerusalem after stopping for Mass at the village of Abu Gosh.
This morning visit the Church of St. Ann, built on the site of the birthplace of Our Lady. Continue to the Pool of Bethesda, where Christ healed the paralytic. Visit the Temple area, the spot where the original temple was built and which was the scene of many episodes from the life of Christ, such as the expulsion of the money changers. We will visit the Western Wall (aka the “Wailing Wall”) of the Temple which is the most sacred spot in the world for the Jews. In the afternoon proceed to the National Museum, the Shrine of the Book. Continue to Mount Zion, visiting the room of the Last Supper, Church of the Dormition and then visit St. Peter in Gallicantu where Peter denied the Lord three times. This Church, built over the ruins of the house of Caiaphas where Christ was kept on Holy Thursday night, will be the site of our Mass.
Drive to the Mount of Olives and visit Beit Fage where the Palm Sunday procession starts. Proceed to the Chapel of the Ascension and the Pater Noster Church where the Jesus taught the Our Father to his disciples. Then proceed by way of the Palm Sunday road to Dominus Flevit, the spot where Christ wept over Jerusalem and then onwards to view the ancient Olive trees in the Garden of Gethsemane and to visit the Church of All Nations which houses the Rock where Jesus was in agony the night before he died. In the afternoon, visit Ein Karem, the place of the Visitation where Our Lady came to visit her cousin Elizabeth. View the plaques with the Magnificat in most languages of the World. After visiting the birthplace of St. John the Baptist where we will have our Mass, return to your hotel for dinner followed by an opportunity to spend a Holy Hour in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Drive to Bethlehem. Visit a shop where the world-renown olive wood religious articles made by Bethlehem craftsmen may be purchased. Visit the Basilica of the Nativity, built over the site of the birthplace of Christ and visit the Cave where we will bless our religious articles by touching them to the sacred spot where Christ was born. A visit is made to the Chapel of St. Jerome, who lived here for many years and translated the Bible into Latin. Continue to the Shepherds field, and sing Christmas Carols as we celebrate our Mass in memory of the “great throng of the heavenly hosts” who appeared to the Shepherds and told them of the birth of the Savior.
In the morning, we will tour the Old City of Jerusalem, visiting the Chapel of Flagellation, the chapel of Condemnation and the Lithostrotos, the site of the Antonia Fortress where Christ was condemned to death by Pontius Pilate. Beginning the way of the Cross here, join the walk along the Via Dolorosa ending at the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher, built over the site of the Crucifixion and the Tomb. Visit Calvary and the Tomb of Our Lord where we will have our Mass. In the afternoon, drive through the Judean Wilderness to Jericho. Visit Elisha’s Fountain and the ancient city of Jericho from which you can view the Mount of Temptation, where Jesus fasted for forty days and forty nights. Continue to Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1947. Stop for a brief dip at the Dead Sea if time permits. Return to Jerusalem for our final night before departing for Galilee.
This morning drive north from Jerusalem to the top of Mt. Tabor, the site of the Transfiguration where we will have our eucharist. Proceed to Nazareth where you will visit the Basilica of the Annunciation enclosing the remains of the house of Marry and the site where the Angel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary to announce that she was to become the Mother of God. Proceed to your hotel on the Sea of Galilee for dinner and rest.
In the morning, we cross the Sea of Galilee by boat from Tiberias to Capernaum, now in ruins but once a thriving town that served as the base of Jesus’s public ministry. See the Church of the Primacy of Peter, where Christ confirmed Peter as Head of the Church. Proceed to the Mountain where Christ taught the Eight Beatitudes to his Disciples where we will have our Mass in the gardens overlooking the sea. Then, after visiting Tabgha, the place of the Multiplication of Loaves and Fish, return to your hotel in Tiberias for dinner and relaxation by the Sea.
Drive where Christ performed his first miracle and where any married couples can renew their marriage vows. Proceed to Nazareth Village to learn more about daily life in the times of Jesus. Drive to Magdala, the village of Mary Magdalene where we will have our Mass. Then proceed to the River Jordan where we will renew our baptismal vows. Return to our seaside hotel for dinner and lakeside relaxation.
Morning departure from Tiberias to Megiddo, location of the battlefield of Armageddon mentioned in the book of Revelation. We then continue to Haifa, visiting Mount Carmel, the Church of Our Lady, Star of the Sea and the Cave of the Prophet, Elijah, where Mass will be celebrated. Proceed along the shores of the Mediterranean to Caesarea Maritima on the Plains of Sharon to visit the ruins of the Crusader’s City, surrounded by a moat. Visit the Roman Theater and Aqueduct. Proceed to a hotel near Tel Aviv for a shower, rest, and our farewell dinner and then drive to the airport for 8pm checking for our late evening flight back to the US.
Arrive early morning in New York where we will go through customs. Those continuing on to Dallas or other cities will then board their domestic flights to their final destination. Welcome home!
“Don’t be worried or scared going to the Holy Land, we NEVER felt unsafe. The BEST guides ever! The BEST trip we ever took! Two years later we still think of the amazing places we visited every time we hear the readings and the Gospel!”