Day 1. Thursday, February 11: Transatlantic flight to Tel Aviv
Embark on a transatlantic flight to Tel Aviv, Israel.
Day 2. Friday, February 12: Tel Aviv – Bethlehem
Upon arrival into Tel Aviv, meet your tour escort, board your private motor-coach and drive to Bethlehem for a welcome dinner and overnight. (WD)
Day 3. Saturday, February 13: Bethlehem: Ein Karem and Shepherds’ Field
Drive to Ein Karem to visit the Church of St. John the Baptist, built over the Grotto of the Nativity of St. John, and the Church of the Visitation that commemorates the Blessed Virgin Mary’s visit to St. Elizabeth. Continue to Shepherds’ Field, where the angels appeared to the shepherds on the first Christmas night. Upon your return to Bethlehem, visit the Church of the Nativity, built on the site where Our Lord was born. Connected to the Church of the Nativity, visit St. Catherine’s Church; descend to the grottoes of the Holy Innocents, St. Joseph and St. Jerome. Next, visit St. Jerome’s Chapel, where the saint wrote the Vulgate. Dinner and overnight in Bethlehem. (BB, D)
Day 4. Sunday, February 14: Caesarea Maritima – Mt. Carmel – Nazareth – Cana
Begin the day with a visit to Caesarea Maritima, where St. Peter established the church in which he baptized the centurion Cornelius. St. Paul often sojourned there and was imprisoned there for two years before being taken to Rome. Continue to Stella Maris Carmelite Monastery in Mount Carmel. Built in an area that for centuries was frequented by hermits, this was a place of worship where the Carmelite order was founded. Below the monastery is Elijah’s Cave, where Elijah lived and meditated before defeating the pagan prophets of Baal. Then, travel to Nazareth to visit the Basilica of the Annunciation, erected over the house of the Virgin Mary. Then, continue to St. Joseph’s Shop, a small church built on the site of St. Joseph’s home and workshop. Finally, visit Cana to see the church built where Our Lord performed His first miracle at the wedding feast. Dinner and overnight in Tiberias. (BB, D)
Day 5. Monday, February 15: Sea of Galilee
This morning begin with a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, where Our Lord Jesus Christ did much of His preaching and many of His Apostles were fishermen. Then in Capernaum, visit the church built over the ruins of St. Peter’s house. Continue to the Church of the Primacy of St. Peter, where Our Lord appeared to the Apostles after His Resurrection. After lunch featuring “St. Peter’s Fish”, visit the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and the Fishes to commemorate the miracle. Ascend by motor-coach to the Mt. of Beatitudes to gain a panoramic view of the Sea of Galilee. This is the place of Our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount. Dinner and overnight in Tiberias. (BB, L, D)
Day 6. Tuesday, February 16: Mount Tabor – Jericho – Dead Sea – Bethany – Jerusalem
The day begins with a visit to Mount Tabor, the site of Our Lord’s Transfiguration. Continue to Jericho, one of the world’s oldest cities, for a distant view of the Mount of Temptations. Here, a Greek Orthodox Monastery of the Temptation was built around the grotto where the devil appeared to tempt Our Lord. In Jericho, Our Lord healed Bartimaeus, the blind beggar, and dined with Zaccheus, the rich tax collector. Our Lord also chose the road to Jericho as the setting for the parable of the Good Samaritan. On the way to Jerusalem, stop by the Dead Sea and the town of Bethany, where Our Lord rose St. Lazarus from the dead. Arrive into Jerusalem for dinner and overnight. (BB, D)
Day 7. Wednesday, February 17: Temple Mount – St. Anne’s Church & Pool of Bethsaida – Mount of Olives – Mount Zion
Today’s sightseeing includes the Temple Mount, traditionally the site of Salomon’s Temple, and since 691 AD an Islamic site. Visit the Church of St. Anne, erected over the traditional site of the birthplace of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Continue to the Pool of Bethsaida excavations, identified as the scene of the healing of the paralytic. Then, enjoy a panoramic view of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives. Visit the Chapel of the Ascension and the Church of Pater Noster, where Our Lord taught His disciples how to pray. On to the Church of Dominus Flevit, where Our Lord wept over the city of Jerusalem, and the Church of All Nations, officially named the Basilica of the Agony, built over the rock on which Our Lord prayed the night before He was crucified. In Mount Zion, see the Last Supper Room, where Our Lord shared the Last Supper with His Apostles. Afterwards, visit the Church of the Dormition, where tradition reveals that the Mother of God was laid in the tomb before her body was assumed into heaven. Your final visit is to the Church of St. Peter in Gallicanctu, where St. Peter denied Our Lord. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem. (BB, D)
Day 8. Thursday, February 18: Via Dolorosa – Holy Sepulcher – Transatlantic flight home
Early this morning, carry the cross and follow the Via Dolorosa, the Way of the Cross, and end with the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Then, enjoy an in-depth tour of this church, including a visit to the tomb of our forefather Adam and the tombs of Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, as well as a tour of the Holy Sepulcher chapels. Rest of the day is at leisure. After enjoying a farewell dinner, transfer to Tel Aviv airport for your homebound flight. (BB, FD)
Day 9. Friday, February 19: Arrival to the USA
Early arrival into New York’s JFK airport for your connecting flight to your final destination.
(BB) Buffet breakfast; (L) Lunch; (D) Dinner; (WD) Welcome dinner; (FD) Farewell dinner
* In case of unforeseen events, this itinerary is subject to change.
To obtain a pilgrimage brochure and registration form, please contact Regina Pilgrimages.