Pilgrimage of Peace

st george

Pilgrimage of Peace

This tour is beyond a simple accolade to biblical sites; it is instead an opportunity for pilgrims to the Holy Land to take part in acts of peace, to help them understand the situation on the ground as well as meet people living there. During the pilgrimage there is also the opportunity to meet organizations involved in campaigning for peace. Palestinian and Israeli speakers allow you to better understand the difficulties that this region faces.

Itinerary

(9 days – 8 nights)

Day 1:

Welcome and transfer to the hotel in Bethlehem.

Day 2: Bethlehem – Jerusalem – Bethlehem

After breakfast, the day will be dedicated to visiting holy Jerusalem. Throughout its history this ancient city has been a place of great bloodshed. From the Mount of Olives, you will enjoy a panoramic view of the city and visit the shrine of the Ascension, Dominus Flevit Chapel, Church of the Pater Noster and the tomb of the Virgin, as well as the Garden of Gethsemane, with the Basilica of all Nations. In the Old City, you will follow the last steps of Christ along the Via Dolorosa and be awestruck by the Holy Sepulchre which houses both the place of Calvary and the tomb of Christ. After this you will see the Wailing Wall. From there you can admire the Dome of the Rock, the gem emblematic of the Holy Land, its golden dome shining brilliantly on the Jerusalem skyline; and next to it, El Aqsa Mosque, the largest mosque in the city. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Bethlehem.

Day 3: Jerusalem

Jerusalem- “Al Quds”- “The Holy”, the city sacred to three faiths whose followers – Christians, Muslims and Jews by the million – come from afar to spend time in her ancient walls, the city twenty times ruined and yet still standing. You will explore Mount Zion, the Cave of the Last Supper and the Dormition Abbey. At Silwan an Israeli archaeologist offers an alternative visit of ancient Jerusalem. In the late afternoon there will be a meeting with a priest in Bethlehem for those wishing to celebrate mass. There will also be discussions and exchange with the priest and his family about the situation in the West Bank over dinner which they will prepare at their home. Accommodation in Bethlehem.

Day 4: Bethlehem – Hebron

After breakfast, there will be a tour of Bethlehem, the place where it all began. You will visit the Basilica of the Nativity, the oldest church in the world, which is built over the cave that housed Christ at his birth. You will also see the Chapel of St. Jerome (who translated the Bible into Latin), the Church of St. Catherine, Milk Grotto. You will meet with a distinguished person from the community in the Bethlehem Peace Centre. You will then travel to Hebron, the city built by the Canaanites around 4000 BC. Here you will explore the Old City, with the Tomb of the Patriarchs which contains the tombs of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and their wives. After this you will tour the famous, ancient glass factories located in the Casbah of the city. Visit the village of Wadi Foukin to meet with members of the association ‘Friends of the Earth, which brings together Palestinian and Israeli activists to campaign for peace, and against the settlements and separation wall. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Bethlehem.

Day 5: Bethlehem – Ramallah – Taybeh – Bethlehem

In the afternoon the small village of Taybeh will welcome you and there will be an opportunity to meet the clergy and the Christian community. The village priest will celebrate Mass and he will also give a lecture on the situation there. After this you will go to a museum, the House of Parables and the ruins of a Byzantine church. In the evening there will be a folklore performance given by the youth of Bethlehem.

Day 6: Bethlehem – Jericho – The Dead Sea

After breakfast, you will cross the desert of Judah and pass by the Inn of the Good Samaritan, of significance because of the famous passage in the Gospels. You will then see the canyon of Wadi Qelt and arrive at the beautiful monastery of St George which is situated on the ochre cliffs of the mountain known as Mount Quarantine. After visiting the city of Jericho, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the indescribable feeling of floating on the Dead Sea. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Bethlehem.

Day 7: Jaffa – Haifa – Acre – Nazareth

After breakfast, you will drive along the Mediterranean coast through the legendary city of Jaffa. After this you will come to the port of Haifa and Mount Carmel where the prophet Elijah challenged the powers of the Earth and the priests of Baal. Following this you will visit Acre, (Akko) coveted since ancient times by the Syrians and the Persians. It was the Crusaders who for two centuries made the city an important base. Its high, fortified walls overlooking the sea are a spectacle to behold… You will visit the El Jazzar Mosque, the ancient Crusader city, the Hammam al-Pasha, the Caravanserai and the oriental Souk dating back to the 19th century. Dinner and overnight at Nazareth

Day 8: Nazareth – Lake Tiberias – Nazareth

A visit to Nazareth, another major site of biblical significance! Here you will explore not only the Basilica of the Annunciation, but also a synagogue and the « tomb of the Just » (an archaeological site looked after by the Sisters of Nazareth). Then you will move onto Lake Tiberias, one of the main places of Jesus’ activities including it being the place he called his first disciples. A day immersed in Biblical significance on the Galilee and on the shores of Lake Tiberias, it’s a fascinating journey through time, reuniting you with events that have shaped and will forever shape the history of our civilization. Around the lake you will visit the beautiful church of Tabgha which is remembered because of the miracle of the multiplication of loaves, and the Mount of Beatitudes and Capernaum, with the house of St. Peter. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Nazareth.

Day 9: Nazareth – Al Hula – Nazareth

After breakfast you will visit Mount Tabor and the Shrine dedicated to the Transfiguration of Jesus. From here you go up the valley of Al Hula to the main source of the River Jordan where there is the Banias nature reserve, ancient Caesarea Philippi, and where Peter recognized Jesus as Messiah. In Nazareth you will meet with a distinguished representative from the community. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Nazareth. After dinner, transfer to the airport in Tel Aviv for the return flight.

All our programs are subject to modification at any time. Each program may, upon request, be adapted to the wishes and needs of your association, movement, organisation, …

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