Holy Land Tour Package
People from all over the United States will be joining this pilgrimage to the Holy Land. We will meet at our gateway airport for our overseas flight. Our fellowship will begin early as we board our overnight flight to Israel. In Tel Aviv, we are met by our agent who assists us through customs and security. We transfer to our luxury motor coach for a short drive to our hotel in Netanya in time for dinner. You will want to rise early! We are on the Mediterranean Sea, where the views are stunning! Today, we depart for the Galilee, visiting Biblical sites. First is Caesarea, where Peter proclaimed the Good News to the Roman Centurion and later where Paul made his appeal to Rome, and we visit Herod’s Aqueduct. Next, we drive up Mt. Carmel to see where Elijah brought down the fire of God. From there, we look over the Valley of Armageddon. Then, we go on to Nazareth to visit a remarkable newly authenticated site, the boyhood home of Jesus! We visit the massive Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth, Sisters of Nazareth Convent, and the Church of the Nutrition. We’ll arrive in Tiberias for dinner and overnight at our hotel right on the Sea of Galilee.
Admire the Gate Of Jeroboam
This morning, you will see the sun rise over the Sea of Galilee. It is a spectacular site. Most of today will be exploring the ministry locations of our Lord around the Sea of Galilee. Places you have heard and read about will come to light: Mt. of Beatitudes, Capernaum, Magdala (discovered only a few years ago), Mt. of Transfiguration, the site of the First Breakfast (John 21), and the Sea of Galilee itself. We will be on a boat that day reading, studying, and reflecting on the ministry of Jesus where he did his ministry. We end our day with a dinner and overnight at our hotel in Tiberias. After breakfast, we drive to Caesarea Philippi, where Peter made his faith confession. We will have a short hike/walk to Tel Dan where we will see the gate of Jeroboam. Afterwards, we visit Beit Shean, one of the best-preserved Decapolis Roman cities. Here, the bodies of King Saul and his sons were hung from the city walls after they were defeated by the Philistines. On the way, we will stop at Jericho and visit the original (and newly opened) baptismal site of our Lord along the Jordan. Each of us will take the occasion to renew our own baptismal vows. It is not to be missed. Next, we stop on the way to the majestic city of Jerusalem and look at the ancient monastery of St. George’s at the Wadi Qelt. The quiet, vast expanse of the Judean desert will leave a lasting impression on you. As we enter the Eternal City of Jerusalem, you will notice something. It is quiet. It is the Sabbath. This religious city is observing its Biblical customs. We have dinner and overnight at our hotel near the Jaffa Gate. This is a day like none other. We will have time to make our way to Bethlehem to visit the oldest church in the world, the Church of the Holy Nativity. We will be able to get into the grotto cave where Jesus was born. When we read the Christmas story in Luke 2, it is permanently imprinted in our minds. We have been where Jesus was born. We visit the Cave of St. Jerome as well. Afterwards, we visit the Shepherd’s Field and Church. Then, we make time to climb up the Herodian, a literally Herod-made mountain, where he interrogated the Magi. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.
Explore the Western Wall Of Herod’s Temple
Our pilgrimage will take us back to the Palm Sunday Road beginning at the Mount of Olives and continuing to the Garden of Gethsemane with its ancient olive groves. We will have a special Eucharist this day in a beautiful, private setting near the Garden next to the Church of the Agony (Church of All Nations). We will enter Jerusalem through the Zion Gate and walk to the holiest site in the entire Jewish world, the Western Wall of Herod’s temple (Wailing Wall). From the temple area, we walk to St. Stephen’s Gate, St. Anne’s Church, and the Pools of Bethesda from John 5. Amazed by this day, we will have dinner and overnight in Jerusalem. We begin this day, with a visit to the epicenter of the Christian faith, The Church of the Holy Sepulcher. The church will be mostly ours to explore in these early morning hours. This is the site of the crucifixion, the burial, and the resurrection of our Lord Jesus. Centuries of faith and belief are covered this church in layers of candle soot, smells, and ornamentation, but it is quite moving to be there. Also, since today is Palm Sunday, we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to witness the glorious parade of believers commemorating the glorious entrance of our Lord into the Holy City. We will have dinner and overnight again in Jerusalem.
Footsteps Of Jesus
After breakfast, we continue to the Israeli Museum where we will see a fascinating scale model of Jerusalem at the time of Jesus. We will be at the Shrine of the Book, where the Dead Sea Scrolls are displayed. Then we will take a breathtaking tour of the Western Wall through its archeological tunnels. The beauty of the city, the complexity of the site, and the achievements of the ancient builders will make for an unforgettable day. We will stop at St. Peter Gallicantu and the ancient Roman steps outside the house of Caiaphas. We are certainly following in the footsteps of Jesus. We are in Jerusalem for our farewell dinner. Today we say good-bye to our excellent guide and driver, and we board our flight back to the States. At the close of an unforgettable journey, we will all take home wonderful memories of the Old and New Testament, a renewal of our faith, and a greater understanding of the life of our Lord. Each of us will be already planning to tell our friends.