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Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

 

Watching the international news recently one could be forgiven for thinking that the world is in desperate need of a little moral & spiritual enlightenment. Alas, this journey is exclusively for clients of The World at Braeside Travel!

On 28 September 2020 our 11 night tour, escorted by our very own Silvana Parisi and under the Spiritual leadership of Ange Virgona, will depart for the holy lands where they will take in sights such as the Dead Sea, Haifa, The Sea Of Galilee, Nazareth, Jerusalem, Jericho & Bethlehem. For those looking to explore further, there's also an option to extend for two nights and visit Petra - highly recommended!
 


Contact Silvana for Details
Pilgrimage to the Holy Land Flyer


Itinerary

DAY 1: MON 28 SEPTEMBER 2020 – DEPART FOR THE HOLY LAND

DAY 2: TUE 29 SEPTEMBER – ARRIVE AMMAN – DEAD SEA

This morning we fly into Amman and immediately travel west to ascend Biblical Mt Nebo for a spectacular Mass. Here, at the site where the Old Testament opened its door to the land of the New, Moses looked over into the Promised Land and blessed Joshua who was to lead the Israelites under God’s protection (Joshua 1:6-9). It has been possible for archaeologists to identify this sanctuary, thanks to the records left by two pilgrim visitors of the fourth and fifth centuries of their travels in this region. One of these was Egeria, the pilgrim nun. His Holiness Benedict XVI, on his pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 2009, said this while here on Mt Nebo: “Here, on the heights of Mount Nebo, the memory of Moses invites us to ‘lift up our eyes’ to embrace with gratitude not only God’s mighty works in the past, but also to look with faith and hope to the future which he holds out to us and to our world.” We too can seize this opportunity to thank God for our journey thus far and anticipate the blessings that are to come. We then arrive at the Jordanian side of the Dead Sea to check-in to our beautiful hotel located down on the shore. Here we will unwind and take the optional opportunity to float in the salty waters said to have healing qualities. The experience is quite uplifting!! Dead Sea overnight (D)

DAY 3: WED 30 SEPTEMBER – BETHANY BEYOND THE JORDAN & MADABA

This morning we visit to Bethany Beyond the Jordan, one of the most recent archaeological and religious discoveries. The five springs here form a tributary of the Jordan River, believed to be the Baptismal site of Jesus by John the Baptist. So authentic is this site that His Holiness Benedict XVI chose this as an essential place to visit on his last pilgrimage to the Holy Land. We will celebrate Mass, renew our Baptismal promises and see the beautiful Orthodox Church (also the Catholic Church in construction). We then visit St George’s Church in Madaba with its precious 6th century mosaic map of the Holy Land comprised of more than two million pieces. After this some free time will be afforded to explore the fascinating township of Madaba, the ‘City of Mosaics’, taking the opportunity for lunch and to browse the local crafts. We later return to our hotel for free time. Dead Sea overnight (BD)


DAY 4: THU 1 OCTOBER – VIA CAESAREA & HAIFA TO SEA OF GALILEE

We journey west across the Jordan River border into the Holy Land of Israel known as the land of the “fifth Gospel”. We journey north to the crusader port city of Caesarea to see the maritime city built by Herod the Great and once the Roman capital of Israel. It was here the centurion Cornelius was baptized by Peter, becoming the first gentile convert to Christianity (Acts 10), and where Festus tried Paul (Acts 25: 6-12). Visit the impressive excavations, the amphitheater and the Herodian port. Continuing our journey, we visit the town of Haifa which is the largest city in Northern Israel, and the third-largest city in the country.  The sea wraps around three sides of Haifa with intoxicating blue and gold beaches. In this region we will visit Mount Carmel where Elijah smote the false prophets and where we will visit the Carmelite Monastery, Chapel of the Holy Family and Elijah’s cave. Following Mass, we visit the House of Grace, a Catholic ministry that works with the most marginalised members of Haifa: Christians, Jews and Muslims who are in need of counselling, guidance, and material aid. We will hear a special talk about this ministry (time permitting). We then proceed on to Tiberias on the shores of Lake Galilee … “Go to Galilee and you will find him there” (Mt 28:7). Sea of Galilee overnight (BLD)

DAY 5: FRI 2 OCTOBER – SEA OF GALILEE

Following breakfast, we travel to Capernaum, the centre of Jesus’ teaching and healing and home to Peter the Apostle (Mt 4:12–20). After exploring this site, we travel through Sowers Bay and reflect on the parable of the sower (Mark 4:1–9) before continuing through Magdala, the town of Mary Magdalene. Visit the Nof Ginosar Kibbutz, within which is preserved the remains of a 1st century fishing boat as in the days of Christ. We then set off from the shore in a traditional sailing vessel to encounter one of our most memorable pilgrimage highlights – a Private Mass floating in the centre of Lake Galilee with engines switched off. Here we will recall the miracles of Jesus calming the storm and appearing to the apostles walking on this very water. After Mass, we will continue back to the shore for our special ‘St Peter’s fish’ lunch. Journey on to Tabgha, site of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes (Mt 14:20), before an important stop at the Church of the Primacy of Peter where Jesus challenged Peter and each one of us ‘Do you really love me, feed my sheep’. Here we will spend some quiet time to reflect and pray by the shore of the lake. Sea of Galilee overnight (BLD)


DAY 6: SAT 3 OCTOBER – MT TABOR, NAZARETH & CANA

Departing Lake Galilee, we travel to the foot of Mt Tabor before ascending by taxis up the narrow winding road leading to the majestic summit. Here Our Lord’s divinity shone forth in the Transfiguration (Mt 17:1–2). Here in this breathtaking setting we will better understand Peter’s words ‘Lord it is good for us to be here’. Proceed on to the village of Cana where Jesus, at the request of His Mother, performed his first miracle transforming the water into wine at the wedding feast (Jn 2:1–11). Continue towards Nazareth, the town of Jesus’ childhood. Here we will enter inside the Basilica of the Annunciation where a traditional cave becomes the focal point of Mary’s response “Let it be done to me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38). Celebrate a touching Eucharist here. Sea of Galilee overnight (BD)

DAY 7: SUN 4 OCTOBER – VIA JACOBS WELL TO JERUSALEM

We make a special visit this morning to the Mount of Beatitudes as we take time in this special place to ponder Jesus’ message of happiness – the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5:1– 12), reflecting in the beautiful garden settings of the mountain. Departing Galilee, we journey south through Samaria, a land rich in Old Testament history. We see the twin peaks of Mt Gerizim and Mt Ebal, known in the Old Testament as Mt Blessing and Mt Cursing. Mt Gerizim is today the home of the few remaining Samaritans. Soon we come to the actual site of Jacob’s Well, hewn manually out of solid rock and over 100 feet deep. The water at the bottom of the well is fed by flowing water which is why  ancients gave it the name of “living water”. At this well Jesus met the Samaritan woman and said to her: “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.” (Jn 4:13–14) We continue our journey up to  Jerusalem – the City of our God. Jerusalem overnight (BD)


DAY 8: MON 5 OCTOBER – BETHLEHEM

We begin our day with a visit to Ein Karem, the birthplace of St John the Baptist and site of the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth “Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord”. Pilgrims may choose to pray a mystery of the Rosary here as we walk up to this church dedicated to ‘The Magnificat’. We then continue to Bethlehem, the City of David where we commence our day with a visit to Shepherd’s Field to commemorate the appearance of the angels to the shepherds on that first Christmas night (Lk 2:8-16). We then visit the renowned Bethlehem University, a Catholic co-educational institution providing higher education to the people of Palestine. Continue to the Church of the Nativity built over the stable where Jesus was born. Bending low, we enter the church through the Door of Humility and descend into the Grotto of the Holy Manger. A silver star in the floor marks the very spot where Christ was born. The star’s inscription reads in Latin: Hic de Virgine Maria Jesus Christus Natus Est (Here of the Virgin Mary Jesus Christ was born). Prepare to enjoy tonight our special Breaking the Bread Experience as we enter the homes of local Christians and share in a delicious home-cooked Arabic meal. Jerusalem overnight (BD)

DAY 9: TUE 6 OCTOBER – MASADA, JERICHO & MT TEMPTATION

Travel along the Jericho Road as we remember the parable of the Good Samaritan and journey through desert hills and dry rocky landscape. Soon our coach will pass by the site of Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1947 by a Bedouin shepherd boy. We continue 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. Travel then back to Jericho the ‘City of Palms’ which is said to be the oldest inhabited city and most famous oasis. Across the valley we see the Mt of Temptation, the site of Jesus’ fast of 40 days and there are enough stones to illustrate Satan’s words “If you are the son of God, tell these stones to turn into loaves”. Before returning to Jerusalem we view the Monastery of St George. Prior to dinner we will meet representatives of the Parents Circle – this is a joint Israeli-Palestinian organisation made up of more than 600 bereaved families. Their common bond is that they have lost a close family member to the conflict. Instead of choosing revenge, they have chosen a path of reconciliation. Jerusalem overnight (BLD)


DAY 10: WED 7 OCTOBER – JERUSALEM

We proceed to the Mt of Olives this morning where we will firstly visit the Church of the ‘Pater Noster’ commemorating the site where Jesus taught His disciples the Lord’s Prayer (Mt 6:7-15). We then enjoy a panoramic view over the city and a spectacular photographic opportunity. As we  commence our walk down the Palm Sunday Road, we wander past the tombs of the Prophets Haggai, Malachi and Zechariah before arriving at the Dominus Flevit for Mass. This church was built on the site where Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem (Lk 19:41-44). We then visit the Garden of Gethsemane, where we will enter the Church of the Agony containing the bare rock upon which Jesus is said to have prayed before his arrest. The outside garden contains olive trees, the roots of which go back to the time of Jesus. From here we see the path Jesus was taken along as a prisoner while ascending Mt Zion to the house of the High Priest Caiaphas. Here, at the Church of St Peter in Gallicantu, Our Lord was interrogated and imprisoned, while Peter denied Jesus three times. Continue to the Cenacle, room of the Last Supper and the Church of Dormition where Our Lady was assumed into heaven. Jerusalem overnight (BD)

DAY 11: THU 8 OCTOBER - JERUSALEM

We commence early this morning our Stations of the Cross, beginning from the Antonia Fortress  where Jesus was condemned to death. See the Lithostrotos (pavement) in the Ecce Homo convent. Visit nearby theFlagellation and Condemnation Chapels as we pray and follow in Our Lord’s footsteps along the actual Via Dolorosa to the site of Calvary where we will celebrate Mass in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Walk the stairway climbing to the actual site where the Cross of Jesus once stood. The glass panels reveal the natural rock below which we may come to touch with our pilgrim hands. Also enter the Edicule containing the tomb where Our Lord rose from the dead. After breakfast we travel to the vicinity of the Temple Mount to view the Dome of the Rock, El Aqsa Mosque and the Wailing Wall. Then we come to the Church of St Anne, said to be built over the birthplace of the Virgin Mary, and visit the Pool of Bethesda where Jesus healed the paralysed man (Jn 5:2-9). We then visit the Israel Museum where we have an orientation viewing of the Second Temple scale model of Jerusalem as it was in the time of Jesus. This model will help us to understand the layout of the Old City of Jerusalem as it was in the time of Jesus. We will also visit the Shrine of the Book to view the Dead Sea Scrolls. Jerusalem overnight (BD)

DAY 12: FRI 9 OCTOBER – FREE DAY

Enjoy a free day in Jerusalem to rest, pray, or return to your favourite places in the Old City. For our final night of pilgrimage, we will enjoy a special farewell dinner. Jerusalem overnight (BD)

DAY 13: SAT 10 OCTOBER - DEPART THE HOLY LAND

DAY 14: SUN 11 OCTOBER - ARRIVE AUSTRALIA

Join your personal Tour Escort, Silvana Parisi on this unique and wonderful tour as she takes you on an unforgettable journey.



Under the Spiritual Guidance of Ange Virgona.