Catholic Pilgrimage
To the Holy Land

A Catholic Pilgrimage tours should be different from tours of other Christian Denominations.

Christians Pilgrims come to the Holy Land with one purpose, visit the holy sites and walk on the footsteps of Jesus. But there are certain places that are of more interest to Catholics and other to Evangelicals and here is when we made the difference.

Here is an example of a typical itinerary for Catholic Pilgrims to the Holy land.

The Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth Israel
A must stop on all Catholic Pilgrimage Tours

Catholic Pilgrimage Tour to the Holy Land

Day 1 – Arrival to Ben Gurion International Airport

After a flight from your home city you arrive to Ben Gurion Airport. You will be escorted to your vehicle that will take you to Tel Aviv for dinner and overnight.

Day 2 – Herzliya – Nazareth – Cana – Tiberias

We leave Tel Aviv through the coastal highway, visit Caesarea Maritima and continue for Nazareth and a visit to the Basilica of the Annunciation for Mass. We will then continue to Cana where Jesus performed his first miracle at the request of his Mother; visit the Franciscan Chapel for a renewal of wedding wows. We then continue to the city of Tiberias on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, called Kineret in Hebrew for dinner and overnight.

The Sea of Galilee where Jesus spent most of his Life

Catholic Pilgrimage Tour

Day 3 – Tiberias - Muhraqa – Mt Carmel - Akko

Visit the Muhraqa the site of the Carmelite Monastery of St Elijah and commemorate the triumph of the prophet over the false prophets of Baal. From here we continue to Mt Carmel and the Chapel of Stella Maris for Mass. Take a panoramic view or Haifa Bay from atop of Mt Carmel; in a clear day you may even see Mt Hermon and its snowy top. Continue to Akko or Acre, that was a stronghold of the Crusaders during the 11th and 12th centuries.

On the way back to Tiberias we’ll stop at Yardenit, the Baptismal site on the Jordan River so we may renew our commitments as disciples of Jesus. We arrive to Tiberias for dinner and overnight.

Day 4 – Sites on the Galilee

In the morning we will have a brief boat excursion on the Sea of Galilee. We’ll visit Tabgha where it is believed Jesus fed a crowd of 5,000 with a fish and bread. A short distance from there is a place known as Peter’s Primacy, the site where Jesus appeared after his Resurrection before Peter. We will celebrate Mass in this Holy site and continue to Capernaum, the site where the synagogue of the times of Jesus is located and also the home of Peter. Return to Tiberias for dinner and overnight.

Day 5 – Tiberias- Mt Tabor – Qumran – Bethany - Jerusalem

We begin our day visiting Mt tabor, where Jesus is transformed before John, James and Peter. Following Mass on Mount tabor we travel by bus through the Jordan Valley to visit the Monastery of the Essenes in Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found many decades ago by Bedouin child.

We make a last stop at the tomb of Lazarus in Bethany. Then we proceed for a glorious entry to the Holy City of Jerusalem. We are transported to our hotel for dinner and overnight.

The Church of Elias at the Muhraqa in the Monastery of the Carmelites

Catholic Pilgrimage Tour

Day 6 – Jerusalem - Bethlehem

Today we proceed to the Shepherds’ Field for Mass on the Shepherd’s Cave. We continue to the City of Bethlehem for a visit of the Nativity Church.

We return to Jerusalem for a visit of the Model of Jerusalem as it was in the period of the Second Temple. We visit the Israel Museum and Shrine of the Book where the Dead Sea Scrolls as kept and we will learn to understand the thinking of the Jewish People at the time of Jesus.

Finally we will visit Yad Vashem Memorial to the Holocaust that serves as a reminder of the atrocities committed by the Nazis during World War II. Return to the Jerusalem hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 7 – Jerusalem Old City

A visit to the Jerusalem Old City is one that will remain with you as long as you live. We star by visiting the Western Wall, also known as the Wailing Wall of the Temple.

We will visit the Dome of the Rock, a Muslim shrine. We proceed to St Stephen’s Gate. Visit the Pool at Bethesda where Jesus healed a paralytic and a visit to the Shrine of Ecce Homo.

We continue for a visit to the Cenacle and celebrate Mass as we remember the Last Supper. We are allowed now some free time to visit the Old City on our own and experience the culture of all its inhabitants of many cultures and beliefs. Back to our hotel for dinner and overnight.

View of the Holy City of Jerusalem from Mount of Olives

Catholic Pilgrimage Tours

Day 8 – Mt of Olives - Mt Zion

We travel by bus to the hillside overlooking Jerusalem Old City. It is known as Dominus Flevit, translated from Latin means “The Lord Wept” for celebration of Mass.

Visit the Mt of Olives and walk down the hill to the Garden of Gethsemane and the Church of All Nations. We take the bust again for a drive through the Kidron Valley to St Peter in Galicantu. Return to our hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 9 – Via Dolorosa – Holy Sepulchre

We gather at the Antonia Palace to walk the Via Dolorosa, the Way of the Cross. We continue to the Ecce Homo Arch and the Convent of the Sisters of Zion for Mass and proceed to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the site of the Crucifixion of Jesus and where he was buried.

The remaining of the day will be spent on the new section of Jerusalem Israel for some strolling along Ben Yehuda Pedestrian Mall for souvenirs and refreshments. Back to the hotel for dinner and overnight.

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem

Catholic Pilgrimage Tour

Day 10 – Emmaus – Ein Kerem

We drive to Emmaus for the Mass of the Resurrection. It was on the road to Emmaus that Jesus appeared to his disciples following Resurrection and revealed himself.

We continue to the city of Ein Kerem, home of Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist. It was here that Mary, Jesus’ Mother visited her cousin Elizabeth to tell her the news that she was with child by the Holy Spirit. Return to the hotel for overnight.

In the evening we will have a farewell dinner and talk about our emotional visit to the Holy Land.

Day 11 – Return Home

Today you will be transferred to Ben Gurion Airport for your flight back home. Your heart will be full of memories of a trip that will be with you for years to come.

This is just a sample for Catholic Pilgrimage Tours. It can be rearranged as per the request of the Priest or the travelers.

Image Credits:
basilica by david shank
elias church by james emery
kineret by pasmien
bethany by marion doss
jerusalem by wayne mclean
holy sepulchre n/a

All courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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