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Israel The Holy Land: Specials
Biblical Pilgrimage to the Holy Land
Jerusalem ... Bethlehem ... Sea of Galilee ... Nazareth ... Tiberias ... Caesarea-by-
the-Sea ... Jericho ... Masada
Day One - Departure / Today we begin our Holy Land journey.
Day Two - Tel Aviv /Caesarea-By-The Sea: Upon arrival in Tel Aviv, we’ll meet our professional tour manager and begin our journey through the Holy Land. Overnight in Caesarea.
Day Three - Caesarea-by-the-Sea / Tiberias: Today, be prepared to travel back at least 2,000 years, where every mile will tell at least one Bible story as our journey takes us first to Caesarea- By-The-Sea. This ancient city was built by Herod the Great in honor of Augustus Caesar and was the capital of the Romans in the Holy Land for nearly 500 years. Caesarea serves as the backdrop for the Book of Acts, including the many visits by the Apostle Paul, his two-year imprisonment, and the commencement of his journey to Rome. Later we motor along the crest of Mt. Carmel to Muhragen where Elijah engaged in the contest with the false prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:1-40). From an elevated platform it is possible to see the hills of Nazareth, Mount Tabor, the Mountains of Gilboa, the valley of Jezreel (“Armageddon” in Revelation 16:16), and the hills of Samaria. Late this afternoon we’ll arrive in Tiberias, on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, for dinner and overnight.
Day Four - Tiberias and the Sea of Galilee: This morning we cruise on the Sea of Galilee to Capernaum, Jesus’ home for two years. We then visit the Mount of Beatitudes, where we will celebrate Mass before continuing to Tabgha, the Church of the Primacy and Chorazin (a curse on Chorazin, and Bethsaida). Following our special lunch in the Sea of Galilee area, we will have some leisure time. Overnight Tiberias.
Day Five - Golan Heights / Bethsaida / Tel Hazor / Tel Dan / Caesarea Philippi / Hippos: We begin the day by exploring the excavations at Bethsaida, the hometown of Peter, Andrew and Philip. Next, we visit Hazor, a city taken by Joshua. From here, we stop at a unique site called Qatzrin, a partially reconstructed Talmudic village. We will see what a typical village looked like during the days of Jesus. Later, we continue north through the Golan Heights to Tel Dan and its refreshing springs, one of the sources of the River Jordan. Nearby is Caesarea Philippi where Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do you say I am?” (Mt. 16). We end the day by driving along the western shore of the Sea of Galilee to Hippos, site of the 3rd century BC Greco-Roman city. Overnight in Tiberias.
Day Six - Cana / Nazareth / Mount Tabor: This morning we visit Cana where Jesus performed his first miracle. There will be time to renew wedding vows before continuing to Mt. Tabor (site of the Transfiguration). Before returning to Tiberias, we’ll visit Nazareth where we plan to celebrate Mass at the Church of the Annunciation. Overnight in Tiberias.
Day Seven - Bet Shean / Samaria and Jacob’s Well / Jerusalem: This morning, we drive south through the Jordan Valley to Bet Shean, whose Biblical history covers the Canaanites, the Philistines (who hung Saul’s body on the town walls), the Romans, and the Byzantines. Later, we continue through Samaria to visit Jacob’s Well. It is here that Jesus met the Samaritan woman and said: “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.” Arrive Jerusalem in the late afternoon. Overnight Jerusalem.
Day Eight - Mt. Of Olives / Mt. Zion / Bethlehem: Our morning begins on the Mount of Olives where we’ll visit the Church of the Pater Noster, the Church of Dominus Flevit where Jesus wept over Jerusalem according to Luke, and the Garden of Gethsemane where we plan to celebrate Mass. Later, we cross the Kidron Valley passing the Tombs of Absalom, Zechariah, and St. James. On Mount Zion we’ll visit the Church of St. Peter’s in Gallicantu (Caiaphas’ House), and the Upper Room. Our afternoon tour takes us to Bethlehem where we’ll visit the Basilica and Grotto of the Nativity, the Church of St. Catherine, the cave of Jerome (latin translator of the Bible), and to the Field of the Shepherds. Through our visits, input and reflections, we will gain a deeper understanding of the world and circumstances into which the Lord was born. Tonight we will be at leisure in Jerusalem.
Day Nine - Jerusalem / Bethany / Dead Sea / Qumran / Masada: Today we visit the small village of Bethany (home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus) and the church near the grotto in which the Tomb of Lazarus is located. Later, we’ll continue south via the Judean Desert to the Dead Sea, the lowest spot on earth (1,300 feet below sea level). Among our stops will be Qumran, site of the Essene Community where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, and Ein Gedi where a precipitous cliff filled with caves rises some 2,000 feet. It was here that David and his men took refuge from King Saul and here also that David spared Saul’s life. Arrive Masada in the late morning. Our tour will include a visit to the remarkable ruins of the Fortress built by Herod the Great where Jewish zealots made their last stand in revolt against the Roman legions from 70 to 73 A.D. On our return to Jerusalem, there will be time to float in the Dead Sea. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Day Ten - Jerusalem: Our morning walking tour of the Old City begins at the Dung Gate. From here we’ll visit the Western Wall, see the Dome of the Rock, St. Stephen’s Gate, and St. Anne’s Crusader Church with the Pool of Bethesda (where Christ healed the crippled man). We then begin the Via Dolorosa - the Way of the Cross. There are fourteen stations along Christendom’s most sacred route - each one marks an event that took place during the last walk before the Crucifixion. Nine of these stations are actually along the Via Dolorosa, including the Chapel of Flagellation, Arch of Ecce Homo (Behold the Man), Pilate’s Judgment Hall, the Lithostrotos, and the remaining five are inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre where we plan to celebrate Mass. Remainder of afternoon at leisure. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Day Eleven - Jerusalem / Model City / Western Wall: This morning before we enter the Old City we’ll visit the Israeli Museum and the Model City depicting Jerusalem as it looked 2000 years ago. We then enter the Western Wall and its tunnels ... one of the most popular tourist sites in Jerusalem. These underground tunnels connect the western wall prayer area to the northwest side of the temple mount. Along its path are remains from the second temple period, as well as structures from later periods. The experience of walking along the tunnels is like taking a time machine back to the time of the second temple. Later, we’ll visit the Cardo, a Byzantine road, roughly the equivalent of an eight-lane highway that ran through the heart of the city. We will gather for Mass at St. Anne’s Crusader Church, after which we will have the remainder of the afternoon at leisure in the Old City. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Day Twelve - Tel Aviv / We depart Tel Aviv and begin our journey home.
Israel The Holy Land: Text
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