|Starts||9 July 2020|
|Finishes||22 July 2020|
|Air & Tour||AUD $5,690 multi share *|
|Single Room||AUD $1,230 Supplement|
|Prepaid Tips||$220 per person|
|Deposit||$800 non-refundable deposit|
|Download Flyer||BOOK NOW|
*Prices are based on a minimum group size of 30 paying pilgrims, calculated as at 2 SEPTEMBER 2019. Prices remain subject to possible changes in the unlikely event of significant exchange rate variations, airfare increases or minimum group size contingencies.
|ACCOMMODATION & MEALS: Based on moderate standard hotel / religious house accommodation throughout with breakfast and dinner daily • lunches as listed
TOURING & TRANSPORTATION: Deluxe Air Conditioned Coach with driver • Professional Pilgrimage Escort • Sightseeing and Entrance Fees throughout itinerary • Porterage at hotels • Harvest Backpack, Pilgrims Journal and Tour Wallet
OTHER: Fully Escorted by Priest Chaplain • Porterage at hotels • Harvest Backpack, Pilgrim Journal and Tour Wallet
NOT INCLUDED: Passport and visa costs • Other meals not stated • Items of a personal nature • Travel Insurance
Watch the Gospels come alive as we set out on this true pilgrimage of faith and retrace the progressive stages of the life of Jesus from his Nativity in Bethlehem to his Passion on Calvary. Be deeply moved as we behold with our eyes what our minds for so long attempted to imagine.
11 Nights / 14 Days: Dead Sea (2 Nights) • Ancient Petra • Jericho • Bethany • Bethlehem (2) • Nazareth • Cana • Sea of Galilee (3) • Mt Tabor • Mt Carmel • Haifa • Jerusalem (4)
Theme: Overlooking the Promised Land
Arrive this morning into Jordan’s capital Amman. We will be met and travel west by coach to ascend Biblical Mt Nebo for a spectacular opening 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). While here we will view the stunning collection of Byzantine mosaics preserved within the shrine.
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 as we anticipate the blessings to come in the days that follow.
We continue to our hotel on the shores of the Dead Sea. Here we will unwind and take the ideal opportunity to float in the salty waters said to have healing qualities.
Dead Sea overnight (D)
Theme: Ancient Worlds
Journey south along the Biblical Kings 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. Here we are positioned in the biblical land of Edom (Judges 11:17-18).
Enjoy an unforgettable guided walking tour through the ruins of 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- Khazneh) – 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.
Return to our Dead Sea hotel for a poolside splashout before dinner!
Dead Sea overnight (BD)
Theme: New Beginnings
Begin today with a visit to Bethany Beyond the Jordan, one of the most recent archaeological and religious discoveries. The five springs here form a tributary of the Jordan River and are believed to be the Baptismal site of Jesus by John the Baptist. Here we will celebrate Mass and renew our Baptismal vows as we remember the powerful commission from the Fatherly voice of Heaven: ‘This is my Beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased’ (Mt 3:17).
Transfer west to the Allenby bridge border to cross into the Holy Land of Israel, affectionately known by Christians as the land of the “fifth Gospel”. We soon come to Jericho the ‘City of Palms’ and said to be the oldest inhabited city in the world dating back to the first hunter- gatherers around 9000 BC.
Stop by the famous Sycamore tree used to commemorate the story of the tax collector Zacchaeus who climbed the tree to see Jesus, only to be singled out above the crowds. (Lk 19:1-10).
Across the valley we view the Mt of Temptation, where Christ was tempted by the devil during his 40 day fast.
Travel west through the dry rocky landscape of the Judean Desert. Here there are enough stones to illustrate Satan’s words “If you are the son of God, tell these stones to turn into loaves” (Mt 4:3).
Continue on to Bethany where we relive the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. After taking the narrow steps down into his tomb we will arise and visit the adjacent Church of St Lazarus.
Finally we arrive into Bethlehem, the City of David and the birthplace of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Here we will formally begin our journey in the Footsteps of Jesus.
Bethlehem overnight (BD)
Theme: The Birth of Jesus
We firstly travel out to Ein Karem, the birthplace of St John the Baptist. Our highpoint here will be our visit to the Church 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 as we walk up to this church dedicated to ‘The Magnificat’ – ‘My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord’ (Lk 1:46). Journey on to the Church of St John the Baptist, built over a natural grotto identified as the saint’s actual birthplace.
Returning to Bethlehem, we enjoy a fascinating visit to Bethlehem University to engage with local students in discussion before visiting the beautiful chapel and Cultural Heritage Centre within the grounds. To cap off our visit, the students from the Hotel Management Institute will prepare and host a special home cooked meal for lunch. (Note: Visit here subject to semester operating dates)
Continue to Shepherd’s Field to 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).
Our day will culminate at the Church of the Nativity, the oldest complete church in the Christian world (6th century) and birthplace of Jesus. Bow low and enter the grotto through the small Door of Humility as we descend to the Holy Manger where a silver star in the floor marks the actual spot where Jesus 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). Finally we come to St Jerome’s Cave where in 386 AD the saint spent 30 years translating the scriptures from Hebrew into Greek and Latin producing the first vernacular version of the Bible!
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 (BLD)
Theme: The Formative Years of Jesus
We farewell Bethlehem this morning and journey directly north to Nazareth, the town of Jesus’ childhood. Firstly come to nearby Nazareth Village, an authentic non-profit re-creation of the village life of Nazareth as in the days of Jesus. Here we will take a parable-rich walk back in time along the path which brings to life the environment and atmosphere which shaped Jesus’ early years and ministry. Complete our memorable visit with a fascinating first-century meal in a stone-dining area typical of the days of Christ.
Back in Nazareth township, we soon enter 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). After celebrating Mass we will visit the nearby Church of St Joseph before entering the nearby Synagogue Church, a Crusader structure said to be built on the site of the synagogue where Jesus read the Messianic passage in Isaiah 61 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me” …
Travel on to the village of Cana this afternoon 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).
Journey east to Tiberias on the shores of Lake Galilee … “Go to Galilee and you will find him there” (Mt 28:7).
Sea of Galilee overnight (BLD)
Theme: The Public Ministry of Jesus
Arise and set out on a spectacular day of pilgrimage as we come to Capernaum, the once fishing village of the first apostles Peter, Andrew, James & John which also became the home town of Jesus and the scene of many of his miracles. Here he worshipped and taught in the synagogue where he promised the Eucharist by saying: ‘I am the bread of life … unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you’ (John 6:48-53).
Continue on to Nof Ginosar Kibbutz, within which is preserved the 1st century ‘Jesus boat’ painstakingly raised and restored from the muddy Galilee lake-bed in 1986.
Set off from here on a traditional sailing vessel for a spectacular Harvest highlight – a Private Mass in the centre of Lake Galilee. Here we will pause and float in quiet tranquillity while reflecting upon the miracles of Jesus calming the storm and appearing to the apostles walking on this very water.
Continue back to shore to enjoy a traditional ‘St Peter’s fish’ lunch to commemorate our Galilee experience.
Journey north around the lake to remember the Galilean cities of Bethsaida and Chorazin eventually cursed by Jesus. These two cities along with Capernaum became known as the ‘evangelical triangle’ because most of Jesus’ teachings and miracles occurred there. In Chorazin we will enter the 3rd century synagogue constructed of local black basalt stone.
Visit Tabgha, site of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes (Mt 14:20) and pray within the 4th century church displaying Byzantine mosaics considered to be some of the best in the Holy Land. Beneath the altar is the rock believed to be where Jesus placed the loaves and fish before blessing them. Finally we come to the Church of the Primacy of Peter down by the shores of the lake. Here Jesus challenged Peter and each one of us ‘Do you really love me? Feed my sheep’.
Sea of Galilee overnight (BLD)
Theme: Mountains of Grace
We begin our day at the Mount of Beatitudes for Mass as we take time in this special place to ponder Jesus’ message of happiness – the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5:1–12). Surrounded by prayerful gardens overlooking the north western shore of Lake Galilee, the eight sides of the Church represent the eight beatitudes given by Jesus.
Today we step into Jesus’ sandals and join parts of the Jesus trail which winds its way between Nazareth and Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee.
This well worn shepherd’s path offers a genuine experience for pilgrims to encounter the steps of Jesus in a way that is authentic, adventurous and educational as we traverse through parts of the rugged and beautiful landscape of the Galilee. Begin at Arbel to firstly visit the Ancient Synagogue visited by Jesus before continuing on to the breathtaking Cliffs of Arbel providing a panoramic view stretching from the Golan Heights along the entire Sea of Galilee and the Jordan River valley.
Our morning’s highlight will culminate as we join the most authentic stretch of the Jesus trail down from Arbel village through the pass between the mountains along the ancient trade routes frequented by Jesus and his disciples.
Afternoon at leisure. (Optional waterslide fun park located on the shores of Lake Galilee)
Sea of Galilee overnight (BD)
Theme: Living Stones
Prepare for yet another pilgrim highlight this morning as we set off to a secret location down by the shores of Lake Galilee to enjoy Breakfast with Jesus in the spirit of John 21:12 when Jesus said to his disciples “Come and have breakfast”.
We then come 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 Mass in this breathtaking setting we will better understand Peter’s words ‘Lord it is good for us to be here’.
Travel west to Haifa, the largest city in Northern Israel. Here the Mediterranean Sea wraps around three sides of Haifa with intoxicating blue and gold beaches. In this region we come to the Stella Maris Monastery at Mount Carmel where in the lower cave, Elijah was said to have meditated on his victory over the false prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:1-40).
We then make our way to the House of Grace, a Catholic ministry that works with the most marginalised members of Haifa: Christians, Jews and Muslims who are in need of counselling, guidance, and material aid. Here we will share lunch and hear an inspired talk about this powerful ministry to rehabilitate released prisoners.
Finally, we journey south on and up to Jerusalem – the City of our God.
Jerusalem overnight (BLD)
Theme: The Passion of Jesus
Begin our Jerusalem pilgrimage as we proceed up to the Mt of Olives to visit the ‘Pater Noster’ Church where Jesus taught His disciples the Lord’s Prayer (Mt 6:7–15). Enjoy a panoramic view and photographic opportunity over the city. Walk down the Palm Sunday Road as pilgrims to the Dominus Flevit Church for Mass, built on the site where Jesus wept over Jerusalem (Lk 19:41–44).
We then come down to the Garden of Gethsemane, where we will enter the Church of the Agony containing the rock upon which Jesus is said to have prayed before his arrest. Prepare then for a memorable pilgrim highlight as we move to the private garden for a secluded time of prayer and reflection surrounded by ancient olive trees.
From here we set out by coach across town to the Israel Museum for a lunch break. Continue then on a fascinating outdoor orientation viewing of the Second Temple Scale Model of Jerusalem as it was in the time of Jesus. In the adjacent Shrine of the Book Museum we view the Dead Sea Scrolls with our own eyes.
Finally today we come to Mt Zion to the house of the High Priest Caiaphas and into the Church of St Peter in Gallicantu commemorating Peter’s triple denial of Jesus. On its roof rises a golden rooster atop a black cross recalling Christ’s prophecy that Peter would deny him three times ‘before the cock crows’.
Jerusalem overnight (BD)
Theme: The Passion of Jesus
Return to Mt Zion this morning, described by the psalmist as ‘holy mountain, beautiful in elevation, the joy of all the earth’ (Ps 48). We firstly enter the Cenacle room of the Last Supper (Upper Room) where we commemorate the institution of the Eucharist and the later descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. After time here to sit and reflect we will continue to the Church of the Dormition identified as the place where the Virgin Mary died or ‘fell asleep’ as the name suggests.
We then come to the vicinity of the Temple Mount to view the Dome of the Rock, El Aqsa Mosque and the Western Wall (once known as the Wailing Wall).
Prepare for the memory of a lifetime as we take the opportunity to wade by foot through the 8th century BC Hezekiah’s Tunnel (2 Kings 20:20) by flashlight in waist-deep spring water flowing intermittently from a natural cave in the Kidron Valley. Axe and chisel marks can be seen along the entire 533 metre length of this historic tunnel built by King Hezekiah to bring water from the spring into the city via the Pool of Siloam where Jesus healed the blind man (Jn 9:7).
Before dinner we will meet with representatives from the Bereaved Families Forum in our hotel meeting room. Here we will take the opportunity to listen to the courageous stories of bereaved Israeli and Palestinian family members as they share their extraordinary journey of loss on the path of true reconciliation.
Jerusalem overnight (BD)
Theme: The Death, Resurrection & Ascension of Jesus
Arise very early this morning as we return to the Old City of Jerusalem to commence our Stations of the Cross, beginning from the Antonia Fortress where Jesus was condemned to death. We pray and follow in Our Lord’s footsteps along the actual Via Dolorosa to culminate at the site of Calvary where we will celebrate Mass here in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Walk the stairway climbing to the actual site where the Cross of Jesus once stood. The glass panels reveal the natural rock below which we may come to touch with our pilgrim hands. Also enter the Tomb of Christ, the site believed to be where Our Lord lay buried for three days before rising from the dead.
After breakfast back at our hotel we re-enter the Old City precinct to the Church of St Anne, said to be built over the birthplace of the Virgin Mary.
Continue to the adjacent Pool of Bethesda where Jesus healed the paralysed man (Jn 5:2–9). See the Lithostrotos (pavement) in the Ecce Homo convent and the Flagellation and Condemnation Chapels which so vividly commemorate the last hours of Jesus’ life.
Finally return to the Mt of Olives to the Chapel of the Ascension which is believed to mark the place where Jesus ascended into heaven. The small round church/mosque contains a stone imprinted with what is said to be the footprints of Jesus.
Here we will close our pilgrimage and remember the Lord’s final words to the eleven disciples as He made the Great Commission:
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Mt 28:18-20
Jerusalem overnight (BD)
Return via Jericho into Jordan and on to Amman airport for our homebound flight connections. (B)
Meal Code: (B) = Breakfast (L) = Lunch (D) = Dinner
“Life-changing. To walk where Jesus walked, taught, suffered & died was beyond my wildest dreams. Deeply moving – a renewal of my spirit which I will never forget.”