Holy Land Tour

Tentative Itinerary

This pilgrimage is co-sponsored by Women's Global Connection and provides opportunities to personally meet some of the people of this on-line community.

"Martha, Mary, and Jesus" icon, Emmanuel Convent of Melkite Sisters, Bethlehem. (Photo: Martha Ann Kirk)

Friday, Overnight flight to the Holy Land

Saturday, Arrive at Ben Gurion Airport, drive about an hour and a half to the area of the Shepherd’s Field and meet local Christians who will be our hosts, introduction to Bible Lands.

Sunday, Free morning to rest or worship with local Christians in Beit Sahour (Greek Orthodox, Lutheran, or Melkite Catholic). Afternoon Shepherds' Field in Beit Sahour where the angels' announcement of the birth of Jesus is remembered. Ascend to the church of Nativity in Manger Square. Dinner at Tantur Ecumenical Institute in Jerusalem.

Sarah, Hagar, and Abraham traveled in the Negev desert around Ber Sheva. Excavation of Tel Beer Shiva. (Photo: Martha Ann Kirk)

Monday, Go south to the Negev Desert visiting the area of ancient matriarchs and patriarchs. Tel Beersheba excavation. Tour Hebron visiting the Tombs of Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, and Rebecca with mosque and synagogue; and visit the souq (market place). Meet the Christian Peacemaker Team and learn of their work.

Tuesday, Jerusalem, a center of the three monotheistic religions. Ascent the Mount of Olives for a panoramic view of the old city and then go across the Mount of Olive to the Chapel of the Ascension, the Pater Noster Church, Dominos Flevit (where Jesus looked over Jerusalem and wept), the Garden of Gethsemane, and the Church of Agony. Ascend Mount Zion to visit St. Peter in Galicantu, Dormition Abbey and the Upper room.

"Sharing the City," a painting by Salwa Arnous Elaydi

Wednesday, Visit the church of Bethany remembering Martha, Mary, and Lazarus and the tomb where he is said to be buried. Travel through the Judean wilderness to Jericho, seeing Beduoin encampments and the ancient Monastery of St. George of Koziba. Visit the excavations of Jericho, one of the oldest cities in the world. See the Mount of Temptation, the place Satan tempted Jesus. Explore the excavations at Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Take a swim in the therapeutic waters of the Dead Sea.

Jericho excavation of a tower and wall about 9000 years old. Rahab, the prostitute, helped Joshua and his followers into Jericho. (Photo: Alan P. Bowslaugh)

Thursday, In the Old City of Jerusalem visit the Western Wall of the Jewish Temple, the Holy Sepulchre Church remembering Christ's death and resurrection, the Southern Wall excavations, and the Dome of the Rock and El Aqsa Mosque, masterpieces of Islamic architecture. The Pool of Bethsaida and St. Anne's Church, a small masterpiece of Gothic art built by the crusaders in the 1100's. Overview of modern Jerusalem.

Friday, Bethlehem. Environmental Research Center, Rachel's Tomb, Emmanuel Convent, Bethlehem University. In the afternoon, go into Jerusalem and join pilgrims from around the world walking the Via Dolorosa remembering Jesus carrying the cross to Calvary. Attend Shabat Service at Kol Nesh Hama Synagogue.

Mosaic from the Ukraine in the church in Nazareth built by the Fransiscans in the 1960's over a grotto that early Christians called the place of the Annunciation where the angel came to Mary.

Saturday, free day for people to visit places they choose or to have quiet prayer and reflection in Bethlehem or Jerusalem.

Sunday,  Travel north towards Galilee visiting sites along the way. Arrive in Nazareth where Jesus spent most of his life.  

Possibly the home of Jarius and his daughter. In the background the church built over the house of Peter's mother-in-law. (Alan P. Bowslaugh)

Monday, Nazareth and the Galilee. An excavation of a family dwelling of the time of Jesus at the Church of St. Joseph. The Greek Orthodox Church near Mary’s Well and the Catholic Church of the Annunciation. The Melkite Church with the old synagogue where the story of Luke 4, of Jesus unrolling the scroll, is remembered. Drive to Cana and visit the church remembering the wedding feast. Ascent Mount Tabor and visit the Church of Transfiguration.

Roman aqueduct of Caesarea Maritamia which was probably visited by Helena the mother of the Emperor Constantine, in 326. Eusebius, the bishop of the city wrote of her. (Photo: Jeff Malpiede)

Tuesday, Sea of Galilee area. Visit the excavations of Capernaum, called "Jesus' own town" with the house of Peter's mother-in-law and the synagogue. Ascend the Mount of Beatitudes. Visit Tabgha (the place of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes) and Mensa Christi Church remembering Christ's resurrection appearance by the shore, the excavations of Chorazin, and the Jordan River. Visit the ruins at Kursi, a Byzantine church which remembered Jesus expelling demons which went into a herd of pigs. See Magdala, the home of Mary Magdalene and take a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee.

 

"As a mother hen longs to gather her chicks under her wings, so I long to gather you." Mosaic on the altar of Dominus Flevit Church in the area where Jesus looked down on Jerusalem and wept. (Photo: Martha Ann Kirk)

Wednesday,  Drive northwest to the Mediterranean coast and visit Acre or Akko which dates back to 1500 BCE and has architecture from the Crusader and Ottoman periods and visit Western Galilee College learning of education there.  Go to Haifa with places remembering the prophet Elijah and beautiful views of the sea

Thursday, Visit Caesarea Philippi and Banyas with its beautiful spring. See the road to Damascus and Syria in the distance. Visit Nimrod Castle from the Crusader period.

Friday, Free time to visit places in the Nazareth area or to have quiet prayer and reflection. Prepare for a Saturday departure. 

Steps near St. Peter in Callicantu Church that connect parts of ancient Jerusalem where Jesus would have walked. (Photo: Martha Ann Kirk)

(Sometimes persons wish to stay longer and visit other parts of Bible lands. We can refer you to travel contacts if you wish to come before or stay after the group tour. Sister Martha Ann Kirk’s book Women of Bible Lands has chapters on places of interest in Egypt, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, the Sinai, Syria, Turkey, Tunisia, as well as more places in Israel and Palestine.)