Footsteps of St Paul with Fr Michael Dyer – Harvest Journeys Catholic Pilgrimages
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Footsteps of St Paul with Fr Michael Dyer

The Acts of the Apostles come alive as we join St Paul and his companions in the places of his Second Missionary Journey and rediscover the faith and struggles of the early Christian communities. Rekindle our passion for the Gospels as we capture afresh the fervour and spirit of the Church’s greatest Evangelist.

FEATURING GALLIPOLI AND ANZAC COVE

Highlights

Athens (3 nights) • Corinth • Meteora (2) • Berea • Kavala (2) • Philippi • Thessaloniki • Samos (1)• Patmos (2) • Kusadasi (2) • Ephesus • Izmir • Canakkale (1) • Anzac Cove • Gallipoli • Istanbul (2)

Featuring Anzac Cove and Gallipoli 

Unesco World Heritage
  • 18 Days / 15 Nights
  • Athens to Istanbul
  • With Fr Michael Dyer
  • Pilgrimage Director Colleen Duffy
  • Daily Mass

itinerary

Meal Code: (B) = Breakfast (L) = Lunch (D) = Dinner

DAY 1WEDNESDAY 23 OCTOBER 2024 - DEPART FOR GREECE

DAY 2THURSDAY 24 OCTOBER - ARRIVE ATHENS

Athens today is the thriving capital of Greece, but, more importantly, we have entered into the world of the New Testament where St Paul and his companions established the first Christian communities throughout his four missionary journeys.

On arrival in Athens we will be met and transferred to our centrally located hotel. This evening we will celebrate our first Mass together.

Athens overnight (D)

Day 3FRIDAY 25 OCTOBER - ATHENS

When St Paul first came to Athens it was predominantly a city which worshipped pagan gods. St Paul was taken before the city council at the Areopagus Hill, a rough outcrop of limestone rock from which he preached the Gospel message to the Athenian philosophers (Acts 17:16-21).

We begin our pilgrimage with a tour of Christian Athens including the Acropolis, the Areopagus where St Paul delivered his famous sermon about the identity of “the Unknown God” (Acts 17:15-34). Visit the Ancient Agora and the Plaka (Old Greece), and explore the Parthenon. Also see the Kallimármaro Stadium, dating back to 330BC and restored for the first modern Olympic Games held here in 1896.

Remainder of the day at leisure.

Athens overnight (BD)

Day 4SATURDAY 26 OCTOBER – ANCIENT CORINTH

Journey out to Ancient Corinth this morning where the apostle Paul lived for almost two years, teaching the people the Word of God and converting many. We visit the ancient ruins and see the site where he preached the Gospel from the Rostrum.  See the Peirene fountain, and the 6th century BC Temple of Apollo before an outdoor Mass in this stunning pilgrimage setting.  Finally we come to Cenchreae, the ancient port from where St Paul said farewell to the believers and departed for Ephesus (Acts 18:18).

Remainder of the day at leisure.

Athens overnight (BD)

Day 5SUNDAY 27 OCTOBER – VIA HOSIOS LOUKAS MONASTERY TO METEORA

Today we depart Athens, travelling west to the remarkable Byzantine Monastery of Hosios Loukas, built in the 11th century on the slopes of Mt Helikon. In 1990 UNESCO included this site on their World Heritage List. On arrival we will celebrate Mass in the grounds of the Monastery and be taken on a guided tour of the Churches, crypt and surrounds where we admire the amazing frescoes and mosaics. 

We continue north this afternoon to the small town of Kalambaka built at the foot of the majestic grey rocks of Meteora.

Kalambaka overnight (BD)

Day 6MONDAY 28 OCTOBER – METEORA EXPLORATION

We spend some time today marvelling at this unique phenomenon of nature – 24 perpendicular rocks where 600 years ago Byzantine monks chose to worship God and build their Monastic community of Meteora. We will visit some of these living monasteries and view the extraordinary collection of priceless religious frescoes and other treasures that will make this a remarkable day.

Enjoy some free time this afternoon.

Kalambaka overnight (BD)

Day 7TUESDAY 29 OCTOBER – VIA BEREA TO THESSALONIKI

Today we journey to Berea (modern Veria). The “Bema” – an impressive monument to Paul – is believed to incorporate the steps from the original synagogue from which he preached the gospel to the Jews, who welcomed the word of God and began to study the Scriptures (Acts 17:10-12). A small church was established here, and we will also view the ‘hidden churches’, a collection of about 20 Byzantine structures, camouflaged in the form of barns from the invading Ottoman Turks.

Continue on to the port city of Kavala (ancient Neapolis), once named “Christoupolis” after being the first European city to accept Christianity. It was here that St Paul, St Timothy and St Silas first landed from Troas (Acts 16:11), one of the great moments in the history of Christianity.

Kavala overnight (BD)

Day 8WEDNESDAY 30 OCTOBER – PHILIPPI & KAVALA

Arise and journey east along the ancient route of the Apostle Paul via Amphipolis (Acts 17:1) and on to nearby Philippi, named after Philip II, father of Alexander the Great. It was here that St Paul won his first European convert, a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira (Acts 16:12-40). Visit the Baptistery of Lydia for a beautiful outdoor Mass in this breathtaking oasis on the River Zygaktis, and to renew our Baptismal vows. Visit the market place (where St Paul and St Silas were brought before the rulers) and the cistern which tradition identifies as the place where St Paul was imprisoned.

Enjoy some free time to swim or rest.

Kavala overnight (BD)

Day 9THURSDAY 31 OCTOBER – TO SAMOS

Today we visit Thessaloniki, Greece’s second city, founded in 315 BC, and where St Paul preached during the winters of 49-50AD and wrote the two epistles to the ancient Thessalonians. It was here that he established the first Christian Church in Europe. See the ramparts of the city, the triumphal Arch of Galerius and the Roman Agora where St Paul once preached.  We visit St Demetrios’ Church with its valuable mosaics and frescoes and will drive up to the upper town, which offers a marvelous view of the city.

In the afternoon we will be transferred to Thessaloniki airport for our flight to the Greek island of Samos.

Samos overnight (BD)

Day 10FRIDAY 1 NOVEMBER– SAMOS TO PATMOS

Following some free time we board our ferry to the Dodecanese Island of Patmos, where St John wrote the Book of Revelation. Lying between the islands of Leros and Ikaria is the ‘ascetic shaped’ Patmos, called the ‘Jerusalem of the Aegean’ due to the overwhelming atmosphere of the island during the great celebrations of Christianity. 

Patmos overnight (BD)

Day 11SATURDAY 2 NOVEMBER - PATMOS EXPLORATION

We begin our day with a walking tour of the main square of the village of Chora. This is the traditional settlement and capital of Patmos, where the narrow streets were designed to ward off pirates over the centuries. Ascend to the Monastery of St John the Beloved, a huge fortress-like building dating from the 11th century, for a visit and celebration of Mass.

Our exploration of this living monastery will culminate with time in the actual Cave of Revelation where God chose to reveal to St John the mysteries of the last book of the Bible – the Apocalypse.  The cave is now at the foot of the monastery, which houses priceless icons and manuscripts, sacred relics, vestments embroided with silver or gold threads and bejeweled with precious stones.

Later continue to the active Convent of Evangelismos (Annunciation) built by the hieromonk Nikiphoros who was cured from the plague after praying to St Luke the Evangelist. Visit the Convent of Zoodochos Pigi with icons dating from the 16th to the 18th century.  Finally we will enjoy a short scenic tour of the island.

Patmos overnight (BD)

Day 12SUNDAY 3 NOVEMBER - PATMOS TO KUSDASI

Early this morning we depart Patmos by private charter vessel to Kusadasi, doorway to Ephesus, the Churches of Revelation and Gallipoli.

On arrival we will be met and transferred by coach to our centrally located hotel for the remainder of the day at leisure.

Kusadasi overnight (BD)

Day 13MONDAY 4 NOVEMBER - EPHESUS PILGRIMAGE

We travel directly to Ephesus this morning, the most famous of the Seven Churches of Revelation (Rev 2:1-7) where St Paul spent more than two years in the course of his third missionary journey.  It was to the Christian community of Ephesus that St Paul wrote his greatest and most challenging letter (the epistle to the Ephesians) and also succeeded in converting many away from worship of the god Artemis.

Our visit today will include the ruins where St Paul lived and preached. See the prison of St Paul; walk through the ancient marble streets founded in the 10th century BC and see this most ‘complete’ Roman city providing us with an excellent window into Imperial Rome. Pass the Temple of Hadrian, the Library of Celsus, the enormous amphitheatre (Acts 19:29-31), and finally come to the ruins of the Christian Basilica where the Third Ecumenical Council took place in 431AD, and where Our Lady was proclaimed “Mother of God”. 

We ascend the hill to the House of the Virgin Mary where it is said Mary spent the later years of her life. We celebrate our group Mass here in one of the chapels. Finally, we visit the restored remains of the 6th century Basilica of St John at Celcuk where a small church was originally built over the tomb of St John the Evangelist.

Kusadasi overnight (BD)

Day 14TUESDAY 5 NOVEMBER - PERGAMUM AND CANAKKALE

This morning we set out towards Izmir, once the site of ancient Smyrna, one of the Seven Churches of Revelation (Rev 2:8-11). This was home to a lively Christian community under the pastoral care of its bishop – the saintly Polycarp. After Mass here we will continue north to Pergamum (Rev 2:12-17), one of the most impressive classical sites in Turkey and another of the Churches of Revelation. Once described by St John as the place “where Satan has his throne”, this too was the site where the first Christians were martyred by Rome (Rev 2:12-17). On arrival we will view the region’s longest building, the Red Basilica dedicated to St John the Apostle.

Reboarding our coach, we continue north, finally arriving in Canakkale in the early evening.

Canakkale overnight (BD)

Day 15WEDNESDAY 6 NOVEMBER – ANZAC COVE & GALLIPOLI TO ISTANBUL

This morning we board a private charter vessel for an inspired journey along the Gallipoli Peninsula (weather permitting) where 7,594 Australian and 2,431 New Zealand soldiers lost their lives in battle during World War I. See the Anzac Cove coastline emerge before our very eyes, giving a rare perspective of the troops landing on 25th April 1915.  After disembarking, we visit Anzac Cove where we will take some time to reflect. We then drive past Courtney’s and Steele’s Post and Quinn’s post. Visit the Nek, Chunuk Bair, the New Zealand Monuments and Lone Pine Cemetery where we will celebrate a touching Eucharist, coming in faith to pay tribute and pray for the souls of the heroes of those tragic months of 1915.

Our journey continues east this afternoon to Istanbul – a glorious city uniquely located on two continents.

Istanbul overnight (BLD)

Day 16THURSDAY 7 NOVEMBER – ISTANBUL

After Mass this morning we will visit the Byzantine Hippodrome, the Blue Mosque and the incredible Hagia Sophia (meaning ‘Holy Wisdom’). Built in 548 AD, Hagia Sophia was the greatest Church in Christendom until 1453 when Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Empire. We then also visit the 6th century Basilica Cistern, the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns that lie beneath the city.

Continue to visit the enormous Topkapi Palace (excluding Harem). Onwards then to the Grand Bazaar, with over 4,000 exotic tiny shops. This evening we enjoy a special farewell dinner.

Istanbul overnight (BD)

Day 17FRIDAY 8 NOVEMBER – DEPART FOR AUSTRALIA

Depart for Australia

(B)

Day 18 SATURDAY 9 NOVEMBER - TRANSIT

Transit

Day 19SUNDAY 10 NOVEMBER - ARRIVE AUSTRALIA

All tour inclusions and order of daily arrangements remain subject to change due to any unforeseen circumstances, which may arise, or at the discretion of the tour leadership.

Dates & Prices

TOUR DETAILS
Tour Code PV2469
Starts Wednesday 23 October 2024
Finishes Sunday 10 November 2024
Air & Land Cost AUD $9590* per person, twin share
Single Room AUD $2220 supplement
Prepaid Tips $280 per person
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* Costs have been based on prices as at January 2024 and must remain subject to possible change in the event of significant exchange rate variations, airfare or tax increases or minimum group size factors (20) beyond Harvest’s control. Refer to Harvest Booking Terms & Conditions for more details.

INCLUSIONS

Airfares: International and local air fares included.

Accommodation & Meals: Based on Superior Standard / 4-Star accommodation • Meals as per itinerary.

Touring & Transportation: Deluxe Air Conditioned Coach touring • Professional Local Guides • Sightseeing and Entrance Fees.

NOT INCLUDED: Other Visas (if applicable) • Prepaid Tipping (invoiced with other services) • Australian domestic flights (if applicable) • Other meals not stated • Items of a personal nature including phone calls, laundry, beverages, etc. • Travel insurance

Chaplain & Tour Director

Fr Michael Dyer

Fr Michael Dyer

Fr Michael is the Parish Priest of St Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Parish in Milton on the NSW South Coast. The Bishop of Wollongong, Bishop Peter Ingham, ordained Fr Michael to the priesthood in April 2016, 11 months after ordaining him a transitional deacon. Prior to that, Fr Michael had been a Christian Brother, teaching in secondary schools and co-ordinating adult faith formation.

Colleen Duffy

I work closely with Parishes, Schools and Special groups and often give talks about my first-hand pilgrimage experiences. This helps to instil confidence and to keep one step ahead of any concerns. Some people save for a lifetime to go so it is really, really important to me that we don’t disappoint.

St Paul's Missionary Journeys

From Athens to Corinth, passing through Antioch and Ephesus, here is a map of St Paul’s missionary journeys. St. Paul spent time in most of the cities that made up the known world during his time.

St Paul Missionary Journey Map
  • “My respect for St Paul was enhanced by his dogged determination and belief in what he was preaching. He was a smart … determined man.”

    Ian Ronchi
    St Paul & the Early Church
  • “Even now, when I recall the particular places that I have entered, I find it too overwhelming to contemplate it for long.”

    Nick Moloney
    St Paul & the Early Church

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