A Pilgrimage to The Holy Land & Istanbul
Join Fr. Martin Pina on a pilgrimage to The Holy Land & Istanbul!
We are greeted upon arrival by our Holy Land Travel Center Representative who will accompany us throughout the pilgrimage. We then transfer to our hotel for a welcome dinner and overnight.
Bethlehem/ Ein Karem
On our first day in the Holy Land, we present an overview for a better understanding of its geography and some of the key sites surrounding the area and what makes it such a unique area to the three major religions – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. We then head to the village of Ein Karem, the birthplace of St John the Baptist and to the Church of Visitation where the Blessed Virgin Mary visited her cousin, Elizabeth, and proclaimed the ‘Magnificat’. In the afternoon we drive to the Shepherd’s Fields where the angels announced the birth of Jesus. Then we visit the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem that stands upon the site where Jesus was born. Return to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
After breakfast, we head to Caesarea by the Sea to visit the Roman Crusader remains before we continue to Haifa. Upon arrival in Haifa, we will visit Stella Maris, a Carmelite Monastery with the Madonna of Mt Carmel. Next, we stop at the Baha’i Gardens, which includes a staircase of nineteen terraces extending all the way up the northern slope of Mount Carmel. We visit the Basilica of the Annunciation where we will celebrate Mass. We then continue to our hotel.
Today we will take boat ride across the Sea of Galilee to Capernaum to see the synagogue and St Peter’s house, a visit to the Mount of the Beatitudes where the Sermon on the Mount was given, to Tabgha to see the splendid mosaic about the miracle of the loaves and fishes, and to the nearby Church of Peter’s Primacy where Peter was told “Feed my lambs, feed my sheep.” There will be an unforgettable Mass near the shores of the Sea of Galilee at the Primacy or Mt Beatitudes. Next, we head the Magdala Center, the village of Mary Magdalene, where we visit the newly built church on site and the newly excavated ruins.
After breakfast, we drive to Cana, where couples will have the opportunity to renew wedding vows. Continue to Mount Tabor, the site of the Transfiguration. We then drive to the Jordan River to remember our Lord’s baptism. Then to the town of Jericho and visit the excavations of the oldest city in the world and view Mt. Temptation where Jesus fasted and was tempted by Satan. On the way back there is time for a swim (or rather a float!) in the mineral-rich waters of the Dead Sea, renowned for its healing properties.
Mt of Olives
We begin our day with a visit to the Mount of Olives where Jesus prayed, continue to the church of Pater Noster where Jesus taught the disciples the Lord’s Prayer. Next, we walk the Palm Sunday Road, stopping at Dominus Flevit, where Jesus wept over Jerusalem. Then to Gethsemane, the Rock of Agony where Jesus prayed His last prayer before his arrest.
Today we head to Mount Zion, visiting the cave of Assumption (Dormition Abbey) of Mary to heaven. We visit the room of the Last Supper, and the Church of St. Peter Gallicantu, where Peter denied Jesus three times. We end our day visiting the Wailing Wal before we continue to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Old City Jerusalem
After breakfast we head to Jerusalem and start our visit with St Anne Church (the traditional birthplace of the Virgin Mary). Continue to view the Sisters of Zion, Ecco Homo where Pilate proclaimed “Behold the man.” Next, we retrace the last steps of Jesus as we walk along the Via Dolorosa (Way of Sorrow), through the markets of the Old City praying the Stations of the Cross at each station shrine, we reflect on the greatness of His sacrifice. Finally, we arrive at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for Mass. Free time in the Old City of Jerusalem for prayers. Dinner and overnight at our hotel.
Depart Tel Aviv
This morning we board our short flights to Istanbul. After visa formalities, we immediately begin our pilgrimage with a visit to the Topkapi Palace, overlooking the Sea of Marmara. We then visit the Grand Bazaar for shopping. The Grand Bazaar is an amazing place – literally a maze of streets. It is one of the largest undercover bazaars in the world and is even divided into areas like the leather section, or the rug section.
This morning we head to the Sultanahmet district. This World Heritage-listed district is crammed with historic buildings and enough magical atmospheres to keep you enthralled for days. Full day at the Sultan Ahmed (Blue) Mosque with its six minarets and thousands of blue tile, the Basilica of St. Sofia, (church of the sacred wisdom), now a museum, converted to a mosque from a Christian basilica after the fall of Constantinople in 1453. Next we see the century Basilica Cistern to learn how it protected the palace water supply, and why it was lost for hundreds of years.
WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED
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