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Holy Land - Bishop Columba Macbeth-Green

A 20-day pilgrimage to the Holy Land with Bishop Columba Macbeth-Green.

Join one of Australia's youngest Bishops and walk on the Footsteps of Jesus. Experience the profound renewal grace of the Holy Land from Petra to Lake Galilee, Bethlehem and onto the Holy City of Jerusalem. Travel with like-minded pilgrims, build lifetime friendships and enjoy profound Eucharistic encounters. Seats limited!

7–26 January 2019. Amman (2 nights) • Jerash • Madaba • Petra (2) • Wadi Rum Desert Adventure • Dead Sea (2) • Mt Nebo • Jericho • Bethlehem (2) • Caesarea Maritima • Haifa • Mt Carmel • Sea of Galilee (4) • Cana • Nazareth • Mt Tabor • Caesarea Philippi • Jerusalem (5).
Holy Land with Bishop Columba Macbeth-Green
MEAL CODE: B: Breakfast   L: Lunch   D: Dinner
Day 1: Monday 7 January 2019 – Depart for the Holy Land
Day 2: Tuesday 8 January – Arrive in Amman, Jordan

This morning we arrive into the modern city of Amman and will be met by our coach and we will undertake a leisurely tour by coach of the ancient city of Amman (Philadelphia), and the modern city of Amman, before being conveyed to our Amman city accommodation.

Amman overnight (BD)

Day 3: Wednesday 9 January – Northern Jordan

This morning we travel north to visit the ancient preserved Roman city of Jerash, one of the then Ten Cities that were visited by Jesus. In the afternoon we visit the Miraculous Shrine of Our Lady of the Mount in Anjara, and the Orphanage House. The Shrine is the site of a miracle, validated by the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, in which a statue of Our Lady wept tears of blood in 2010. We also visit the ruins of the birth town of Elijah, Tal Mar Elias, before returning to our accommodation in Amman city.

Amman overnight (BD)

Day 4: Thursday 10 January – Amman to Petra via Madaba

This morning we depart Amman and journey south by coach via the Biblical King’s Highway and the Desert Highway, to the magnificent ancient trading city of Petra known as the ‘Red Rose City’ and one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. Petra is positioned in the biblical land of Edom (Judges 11:17-18).

On our journey to Petra we 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. 

Continuing on our journey, we will briefly stop at what is appropriately named the Grand Canyon of JordanWadi Al Mujib, and admire the spectacular scenery. Subject to timing, we may also enjoy a short stop on our journey at Shobak Castle, an early 12th Century Crusader Castle.

Petra overnight (BD)

Day 5: Friday 11 January – Petra Exploration

Enjoy an unforgettable guided walking tour this morning of the ruins from ancient Petra – the city that the Nabateans carved out of solid rock dating back to 300 BC! Our visit will follow a passage through the Siq, a chasm created in a prehistoric earthquake. It is one of the special moments to walk through this canyon which dramatically opens up to reveal the Treasury Building (Al Khasne) - a never to be forgotten experience. We will see also the Roman Theatre, Corinthian tomb along with churches, homes and many other buildings from this fascinating period.

The remainder of the afternoon will be at leisure.

Petra overnight (BD)

Day 6: Saturday 12 January – Petra-wadi Rum-dead Sea

This morning after Mass, we travel from Petra to the desert of Wadi Rum where the movies “Lawrence of Arabia” and “The Martian” were filmed! Here we have an optional 2-hour 4X4 jeep ride in the desert.

In the afternoon we travel by coach to our beautiful resort on the shores of the Dead Sea.

Dead Sea overnight (BD)

Day 7: Sunday 13 January – Mount Nebo and Dead Sea

This morning we will ascend Biblical Mt Nebo for 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 4th & 5th 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.

Free afternoon to unwind and take the optional opportunity to float in the salty waters of the Dead Sea - said to have healing qualities. The experience is quite uplifting!!

Dead Sea overnight (BD)

Day 8: Monday 14 January – Dead Sea to Israel

This morning we depart the Dead Sea accommodation and visit 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 Pope Francis chose this as an essential place to visit on his last pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

We then cross the border into the Holy Land of Israel known as the land of the “fifth Gospel”. Journey on to Bethlehem, the City of David.

Bethlehem overnight (BD)

Day 9: Tuesday 15 January – Bethlehem & Surrounds

This morning we travel out to Ein Karem, the birthplace of St John the Baptist and the site of the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth “Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord” (Lk 1:43). Pilgrims may choose to pray a mystery of the Rosary here as we walk up to this church dedicated to ‘The Magnificat’. At Shepherd’s Field we celebrate Mass in a local cave to commemorate the appearance of the angels to the shepherds on that first Christmas night (Lk 2:8–16).

In Bethlehem we will visit the Church of the Nativity. Enter the church through the Door of Humility and descend into the Grotto of the Holy Manger where a silver star in the floor marks the 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).

We will then visit the Milk Grotto, under the custody of the Franciscans in the Holy Land. The legend recalls how Mary spilt some milk while breast feeding baby Jesus in the cave and this is the reason for the “white” stone of the cave. Tradition also tells us that this site is the burial place of the innocent victims killed by Herod the Great after the birth of Jesus.

Bethlehem overnight (BD)

Day 10: Wednesday 16 January – Sea of Galilee via Caesarea Maritima

We depart Bethlehem and journey north to the crusader port of Caesarea Maritima, built by Herod the Great. The centurion Cornelius was baptized here by Peter, becoming the first gentile convert to Christianity (Acts 10).

Continuing on 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 where we celebrate Holy Mass. Here we will have an opportunity to enrol in the Brown Scapular of Mount Carmel.

Departing Haifa, we journey to the Sea of Galilee.

Sea of Galilee overnight (BD)

Day 11: Thursday 17 January – Cana & Nazareth

Travel out to the village of Cana this morning 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). Here, married couples may take the opportunity to renew their wedding vows, and single and widowed pilgrims will receive a special blessing.

Then to Nazareth where we visit Nazareth Village, a re-creation of the village life of Nazareth as in the days of Jesus. Here enjoy a traditional meal and take a parable walk back in time along the path which brings to life the environment and atmosphere which shaped Jesus’ early years and ministry.

Back in Nazareth township, enter inside the Basilica of the Annunciation where a traditional cave becomes the focal point as we ponder Mary’s response “Let it be done to me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38). Celebrate a touching Eucharist here. Also visit the Church of St Joseph. Remainder of the afternoon at leisure.

Sea of Galilee overnight (BLD)

Day 12: Friday 18 January – Mt Tabor & Caesarea Philippi

We travel this morning 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). After a memorable Mass in this breathtaking setting we will better understand Peter’s words ‘Lord it is good for us to be here’.

From here we journey north to Caesarea Philippi (Banias) near the base of Mt Hermon, where springs form the source of the Jordan. In this tranquil place Jesus spent some quiet time with his disciples and asked the question, “Who do you say that I am?

After some time for reflection we return to our accommodation on the shores of Lake Galilee… “Go to Galilee and you will find him there” (Mt 28:7).

Sea of Galilee overnight (BD)

Day 13: Saturday 19 January – Sea of Galilee

Our day begins in Capernaum, the centre of Jesus’ teaching and healing and home to Peter the Apostle (Mt 4:12–20).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 ‘Jesus boat’. We then embark on a traditional sailing vessel for a memorable pilgrimage highlight – a Private Mass floating in the centre of Lake Galilee. Here we will recall the miracles of Jesus calming the storm and appearing to the apostles walking on this very water. Continue back to the shore for our special ‘St Peter’s fish’ lunch. We pass the cursed town of Korazin, a town with the dubious distinction of being cursed by Jesus.

Journey on to Tabgha, site of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes (Mt 14:20), and the Church of the Primacy of Peter where Jesus challenged Peter and each one of us ‘Do you really love me, feed my sheep’.

Sea of Galilee overnight (BLD)

Day 14: Sunday 20 January – via Jacob’s Well & Taybeh to Jerusalem

Our day begins with Mass at 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).

Continue 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)

Pass by Shiloh, where the Ark of the Covenant was kept. Subject to timing and the availability of the local priest/s, our afternoon brings us to Taybeh, a unique Christian village linked to Ephraim (Jn 11:54) where it is said Jesus and his disciples sought refuge after the Council of Priests asked for his execution. The village has been a Christian outpost ever since and here we will be able to see an ancient farmer’s house. In such a house farmers would have lived in and kept their animals in the manger below as in the time of Jesus’ birth. Visit the church here where local Catholics have practiced their faith for generations. [Here also in the town of Taybeh, in support of local Christian industries, we will pay a short visit to the Taybeh Brewery, the only brewery in Palestine.]

Finally we continue our journey up to Jerusalem – the City of our God.

Jerusalem overnight (BD)

Day 15: Monday 21 January – Jerusalem

Arise early this morning and pray the Stations of the Cross, beginning from the Antonia Fortress where Jesus was condemned to death.

Pass the nearby Flagellation and Condemnation Chapels as we pray the Stations of the Cross and follow in Our Lord’s footsteps along the actual Via Dolorosa. Culminate at the site of Calvary where we will celebrate a great life long moment - Mass in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. After the Stations, we will return to our accommodation for breakfast.

Following breakfast we travel to the vicinity of the Temple Mount to view the Dome of the Rock, El Aqsa Mosque and the Western Wall. See the Lithostrotos (pavement) in the Ecce Homo convent. Continue to the Church of St Anne, said to be built over the birthplace of the Virgin Mary, and visit the nearby Pool of Bethesda where Jesus healed the paralysed man (Jn 5:2–9).

Today we will also visit the Israel Museum where we view the Second Temple Scale Model of Jerusalem and the Shrine of the Book. Some free time this afternoon in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Jerusalem overnight (BD)

Day 16: Tuesday 22 January – Jerusalem

Proceed to the Mt of Olives where we will visit the ‘Pater Noster’ Church where Jesus taught His disciples the Lord’s Prayer (Mt 6:7–15). Enjoy a panoramic view over the city. Walk down the Palm Sunday Road to the Dominus Flevit Church for Mass, built on the site where Jesus wept over Jerusalem (Lk 19:41–44). We then visit the Garden of Gethsemane where we will have some private time for personal reflection. While in the vicinity, we will also enter the Church of the Agony containing the rock upon which Jesus is said to have prayed before his arrest.

In the afternoon, ascend Mt Zion to the house of the High Priest Caiaphas. Enter the Church of St Peter in Gallicantu; continue to the Cenacle, room of the Last Supper and the Church of Dormition where Our Lady was assumed into heaven. After dinner we will have a private Holy Hour to contemplate Jesus’ Agony, and to reflect on our visit earlier today to the Garden of Gethsemane. 

Jerusalem overnight (BD)

Day 17: Wednesday 23 January – Masada / Jericho / Bethany

Travel along the Jericho Road as we remember the parable of the Good Samaritan and journey through desert hills and dry rocky landscape. 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 road 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”.

We then continue on to Bethany where we relive the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Here we will celebrate Mass at the Church of St Lazarus before returning to our hotel.

Jerusalem overnight (BD)

Day 18: Thursday 24 January – Jerusalem

Today enjoy a free day for rest, to explore the Old City of Jerusalem, to visit other sites in Jerusalem or to re-visit some of the wonderful places we have visited over recent days. For our final night of pilgrimage, we will have an (optional) visit to the spectacular Holy Shroud Museum at Notre Dame. At the conclusion of the Museum visit, we will enjoy a special farewell dinner.

Jerusalem overnight (BD)

Day 19: Friday 25 January – Depart the Holy Land
Day 20: Saturday 26 January – Arrive Australia

Tour Code: 9PV05
Pilgrimage Cost: $7,790 per person twin share
Single Room Supplement: $1595
Prepaid Tipping: $270

Airfares: Economy class flying Emirates (N.B. Airline taxes are included on standard itinerary and subject to fluctuations). Accommodation & Meals: Based on moderate standard hotel & accommodation throughout with breakfast and dinner daily.Miscellaneous Inclusions: Deluxe Air-Conditioned Motor coach with driver • Local tour escort/guide • Sightseeing and entrance fees throughout itinerary.Not Included: Passport and Visa Costs (if applicable) • Other meals not stated • Items of a personal nature including phone calls, laundry, beverages, etc. • Travel insurance. NB: All costs are in AUD and are based on twin share rooming and are valid as at 1 February 2018 and must remain subject to possible change in the unlikely event of significant exchange rate variations, airfare increases and minimum group size (20) contingencies.


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