11 DAY TOUR / CHRISTMAS PROGRAM
________________________________________DECEMBER 16th DAY 1 – TEL AVIV / JAFFA / NETANYA: Upon arrival at Ben Gurion airport, you will be met and transferred to Jaffa for Mass. After mass scroll through the restored Artist’s Quarter in Old Jaffa and visit Simon the Tanners House before proceeding Netanya. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
DECEMBER 17th DAY 2 – CAESAREA MARITIMA / HAIFA / MT. CARMEL / MEGIDDO / TIBERIAS: This morning drive to Caesarea Maritima to visit the ruins of the great city mentioned throughout the Book of Acts, including Herod’s Palace and the Roman Amphitheater. Continue to the top of the Mt. Carmel and see the site of the Elijah’s battle with the prophets of Ba’al. Mass. Proceed to Megiddo, the location of Armageddon, the final battle of all mankind. Then continue to Tiberias. Dinner and overnight at Hotel.
DECEMBER 18th DAY 3 – NAZARETH / CANA / MOUNT TABOR / TIBERIAS: Drive to Nazareth; Mass at 9:00AM. Visit the Church of the Annunciations, one of the largest Christian sanctuaries in the Middle East, visit Mary’s Well and the synagogue. Then visit St. Joseph’s workshop , home of the Holy Family. Continue to Cana to visit the site where the first miracle took place. In the afternoon, drive to Mt. Tabor by taxies. Visit the site of the transfiguration. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
DECEMBER 19th DAY 4 – TIBERIAS / MAGDALA: Boat ride across the Sea of Galilee, from Tiberias to Ginossar, visit Capernaum, now in ruins but once a thriving town where Peter lived and where much of public ministry of Christ took place. See the Church of the Primacy of Peter, where Christ confirmed Peter as Head of the Church and we visit the Mount of Beatitudes, where Christ taught the Eight Beatitudes to His Disciples. Mass. Proceed to Tabgha; the place of the Multiplication of Loaves and Fish. Continue to the ruins of Magdala where Mary Magdalen lived. Continue along the shores of the Sea of Galilee to the Jordan River. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
DECEMBER 20th DAY 5 – BEIT SHEAN / JERICHO / QUMRAN / GOOD SAMARITAN / JERUSALEM: Leave Tiberias and drive to Beit Shean. During the reign of Saul, the Philistines occupied this city. Excavations have uncovered eighteen layers of habitation and the Roman Amphitheater is the best –preserved in Israel. We proceed along the Jordan Valley to Jericho Mass then start by visiting Tel El Sultan, ruins of one of the oldest cities in the world, we will also view the Mount of Temptation, where Jesus fasted for forty days and forty nights. We will visit Elisha’s Fountain before continuing into the wilderness of Judea to visit Qumran, the site where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found by a boy shepherd. Continue to the Inn of the Good Samaritan and up to Jerusalem. Dinner and overnight at Hotel.
DECEMBER 21st DAY 6 – OLD CITY “CHRISTIAN / MOSLEM AND JEWISH SHRINES”: This morning visit the Church of St. Ann, built on the site of the birthplace of Our Lady. Mass. Continue to the Pool of Bethesda, where Christ healed the paralytic. Visit the Chapel of Flagellation, the Chapel condemnation and the Lithostrotos, the site of the Antonia Fortress where Julius Caesar reside at the time of Christ and where Christ was tried and condemned to death. Continue to Mt. Moriah to visit the Temple area, the spot where the original temple was built and which was the scene of many episodes from the life of Christ, such as the expulsion of the moneychangers. Here now stands the Dome of the Rock, the third holiest spot in the world for the Moslem faith. Visit the El Aqsa Mosque, and then the Wailing Wall, which is the most sacred spot in the world for the Jews. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
DECEMBER 22nd DAY 7 – MT. OF OLIVES / GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE / VIA DOLOROSA: Drive to Beit fage where the procession of Palm Sunday starts. Continue to the Mount of Olives and visit the Church of the Ascension, the spot where Christ ascended into Heaven; the Pater Noster Church commemorating Christ’s teaching of the Our Father to his disciples; Dominus Flevit, the spot where Christ wept over Jerusalem and onwards to Gethsemane to view the ancient Olive trees in the Garden of Gethsemane and visit the Church of All Nations which houses the Rock of the Agony of Christ; in this Church is a beautiful mosaic donated by the United Stated. Mass. Visit the Cave of the betrayal of Jesus and the Tomb of Our Lady, join the way of the cross, walk along the Via Dolorosa led by the Franciscans – ending at the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher, built over the site of the Crucifixion and the Tomb. Visit Calvary and the Tomb of Our Lord followed by a short tour of the Basilica. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
DECEMBER 23th DAY 8 – EIN KAREM / MT. ZION: This morning drive to Ein Karem, Mass. Visit the place of the Visitation where Our lady came to visit her cousin Elizabeth. View the plaques with the Magnificat in most languages of the world; visit the parish Church of St. John the Baptist, and the Grotto of his birth. This afternoon proceed to Mount Zion, visiting the room of the Last Supper, Church of the Dormition and then visit the Church of Saint Peter in Gallicantu built on the site of the house of Caiaphas, which encloses the dungeon where Christ was kept on Holy Thursday night and where Peter denied Christ thrice. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
DECEMBER 24th DAY 9 – BETHLEHEM / SHEPHERDS FIELD / MIDNIGHT CHRISTMAS MASS: Start your day by Mass at Shepherds Field the Angels Chapel at 9:00 AM. Then drive to Bethlehem. Visit to the Basilica of the Nativity, built over the site of the birthplace of Christ. Visit the Cave where Christ was born and it is the occasion to sing the traditional Christmas Hymns. A visit is made to the Chapel of St. Jerome, who lived here for many years and translated the Bible into Latin. The nearby Church of St. Catherine is the venue for the midnight Mass that is broadcasted all over the World from Bethlehem, on Christmas Eve. Participate in the festivities and the entry of his Beatitude to Bethlehem on Christmas Eve. Participate in the festivities and the entry of his Beatitude to Bethlehem in preparation of the celebration of the midnight Mass. Continue to the Shepherds field, recalling the “great throng of the heavenly hosts” who appeared to the Shepherds and told them of the birth of the Savior. Christmas Eve mid night Mass. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
DECEMBER 25th DAY 10 – CHRISTMAS DAY: MASS AT SAINT ETIENNE CHAPELLE. Rest of the day at leisure. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
DECEMBER 26th DAY 11– JERUSALEM / AIRPORT: This morning drive to airport for departure.