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Day 1 : Depart USA
Board your flight for the start of your journey to Tel Aviv, with complimentary meals and beverages served on board.
Day 2 : Arrive Tel Aviv
Arrival in Tel Aviv, you will be met by the 206 Tours representative and transfer to your hotel in the Tel Aviv area. Dinner will be served at the hotel.
Day 3 : Caesarea - Stella Maris - Nazareth - Tiberias - Cana
Following breakfast, we will drive to Caesarea, the former capital of Judea. You will have the opportunity to visit the archaeological remains of this ancient port, which aided as base for the Herodian navy. Shortly after the time of Jesus Christ, it was revealed to Peter in Caesarea that the Good News (to repent) is not only intended for Jewish people, but also the entire world. This is the place which officially ended the tradition of adhering to the Jewish ceremonial laws. As a result, Peter baptized a group of gentiles, the Roman Centurion, Cornelius, and his family. Continue North to Haifa. In Haifa, you will find Stella Maris, a Carmelite Monastery. The monastery is located above the cave where Elijah, the prophet, once lived. A colorful painting of this "wonder-worker" can be found on the ceiling of the Church. Following this visit, enjoy the scenic drive (with view of the bay of Acco) to Nazareth. In Nazareth you will experience the town where Mary once lived and where Jesus lived as a child (Matthew 2:23). During the visit to Nazareth we visit the church of the Annunciation which includes the church of St Joseph ( It's not Byzantine - it's from 1914-21 built over Byzantine ruins) which tradition identifies it with the workshop of Joseph and the house of the Holy family. We will continue with a visit of the Church of the Incarnation, viewing at Grotto the remains of the house of the Blessed Virgin where the Angel appeared and announced the good news. Following Pilgrims path we visit Mary's well, where often the Virgin Mary would have walked to draw water from the spring. The next stop will be to Cana where you will visit the Franciscan Wedding Church. Couples will have the opportunity to participate in the ceremony to renew their wedding vows. Your first day culminates with a transfer to Tiberias. Upon arrival in Tiberias, you will check-in to your hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 4 : Tiberias: Sea of Galilee
After breakfast we start with a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. After this, see the remains of a boat that dates back to the time of Jesus, found buried in mud. Continue to the Mount of Beatitudes, scene of Jesus’ great Sermon on the Mount. Nearby is Tabgha, where Jesus fed the crowd of 5,000 and onto the site known as “Peter’s Primacy”. Here, after His resurrection, Jesus met with His disciples and told Peter to “feed my lambs; feed my sheep.” [John 21:9]. After lunch, we visit the remains of the fishing village of Magdala (Aramaic for “elegant”). During the time of Jesus it was a thriving place that exported dried fish and garum (a fish sauce reduction popular in Roman cooking). Excavations done by the Franciscans in the 1970s revealed the residential area of the village and the docks where the fishing boats would unload the fish caught in the Sea of Galilee. In 2009 a chance discovery revealed a 1stCentury synagogue at the entrance to the village from West. It is also assumed that Mary Magdalen was born here. End the day at Capernaum, from where Jesus launched his Ministry; see the synagogue which dates to the time of Jesus and the church built over the site of Peter’s home. Dinner and overnight at your hotel.
Day 5 : Jordan River - Mt. Tabor - Jericho - Jordan River - Jerusalem
Today, after breakfast, drive to Mount Tabor, the site of the Transfiguration, with time to reflect on Christ’s Humanity and Divinity. Mass here will be a good preparation for the journey to Jerusalem where Jesus was to suffer the crucifixion and resurrection. Drive down the Jordan Valley to Jericho, the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, where we view Mt Temptation and an example of a Sycamore Tree. Visit the Baptismal site on the Jordan River then to Jerusalem, where you check-in to your hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 6 : Jerusalem: Temple Model - Ein Karem - Bethlehem
Begin the day with a visit to the Second Temple scale model for an overview of Jerusalem as it was at the time of Jesus. A short drive takes us to the village of Ein Karem, birthplace of John the Baptist, to visit the church that commemorates his memory. Pray the Mystery of the Rosary on the walk up the hill to the Church of the Visitation. In the afternoon visit Bethlehem to see the cave at the Shepherds’ Field. The caves have soot marks of the fires that shepherd’s lit to keep warm while watching over their flocks. In the afternoon we will depart to Bethlehem, beginning at Manger Square, which stands in front of one of the oldest of Christian churches, the Church of the Nativity. Enter the Church and down to the Grotto of the Nativity which marks the spot of Jesus’ birth. Beneath the Altar, there is a silver star with the Latin inscription: HIC DE VIRGINE MARIA JESUS CHRISTUS NATUS (Here Jesus Christ was born to the Virgin Mary.) After Mass we will return to the hotel in Jerusalem. Dinner and overnight.
Day 7 : Bethany - Dead Sea
This morning drive down the Jordan Valley to Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Afterwards there may be time for a dip in the Dead Sea for those who want to. Drive through the Judean Wilderness where Jesus spent 40 days fasting, and it is in this area that John the Baptist lived and baptized Christ. Then to Bethany where He raised Lazarus from the dead. Celebrate Mass here before returning to the hotel. Dinner and overnight.
Day 8 : Jerusalem: Mt. Of Olives - Gethsemane - Mt. Zion - Western Wal
From the Mount of Olives take in the panoramic view of Jerusalem. Then to the Pater Noster shrine, where Jesus taught His disciples the Pater Noster — The Lord’s Prayer (Luke 11:1-4). Walking down the Palm Sunday Road stop at the beautiful little church, Dominus Flevit - “The Lord wept.” It was here that Jesus wept over Jerusalem [Luke 19:41]. At Gethsemane reflect on Jesus’ final night. The Garden contains trees, the roots of which go back to the time of Jesus. Visit the Church of All Nations to pray at the “Rock of Agony,” a section of bedrock identified as the place where Jesus prayed alone in the garden on the night of His arrest. Visit the Western Wall, to see all that remains of the Temple compound that dates to the time of Jesus. From here we will continue to the house of the High Priest Caiaphas where He was interrogated and imprisoned. Now called Peter in Gallicantu (“crowing rooster”), this beautiful Church also commemorates Peter’s Denial of Christ, his repentance and then being forgiven by Jesus. After Mass we will go up to Mt. Zion to visit the Upper Room, which commemorates the Last Supper. Nearby is the Benedictine Church of the Dormition. Dinner and overnight at your hotel.
Day 9 : Jerusalem: Via Dolorosa - Holy Sepulchre
This morning we start the Via Dolorosa (The Way of the Cross) at the Antonia Fortress, where Jesus was condemned to death by Pontius Pilate. From there He was taken through the city to be crucified. The Stations of the Cross lead, through the markets of the Old City to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Here is the site of Calvary and the Tomb of Christ. Mass will be in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. After breakfast visit the Church of St Anne’s, the Pool of Bethesda and the Sisters of Zion. This afternoon there will be time to revisit the Old City. Dinner and Overnight.
Day 10 : Jerusalem - Lisbon
Early morning departure for Tel Aviv Airport for flights to Lisbon. Upon arrival in Lisbon you will find your luggage and exit the baggage claim into the arrivals hall where you will be greeted by a tour guide and/or driver. You will be escorted to the vehicle which will then take you on a sightseeing tour of this beautiful Portuguese city. We will visit the Cathedral, St. Jerome's Monastery, Saint Anthony's Church (the patron saint of lost objects), Belem Quarter, the Belem Tower, 25 April Bridge, and Discoveries Monument. Our drive will also take us through the Basilica of the Star, Rossio Square, Commerce Square and Marquee of Pomba Square. We arrive at our hotel in time for dinner.
Day 11 : Lisbon - Santarem - Fatima
After breakfast depart for Santarem, one of the oldest cities in the world. We will walk through its narrow streets to the Church of St. Stephen, containing the oldest recorded Eucharistic miracle. This miracle has been on continuous display since 1269 A.D. We will celebrate Mass at this holy site. We then continue on to Fatima, where the Blessed Mother appeared in 1917 to three simple shepherd children and exhorted mankind to pray for world peace. We arrive in time for dinner and retire for a restful evening.
Day 12 : Fatima
After breakfast, we begin our day celebrating Mass at the Little Chapel of the Apparitions. After Mass we begin our tour of Fatima where we will experience the beauty of this spiritual town. We will see the Basilica, the site of Francesco and Jacinta's graves, the Hamlet of Aljustrel, where the children lived, and Valinhos, the site of Our Lady's appearance after the children's return from prison. Experience Christ's love as you walk and follow the Stations of the Cross along the Via Sacra (The Sacred Way) culminating in the Chapel of Calvary, which overlooks all of Fatima. Join your prayers with those of pilgrims from around the world as you pray for the sick, drink water from the miraculous well. Attend the blessing of the sick and participate in nightly candlelight processions requested by Our Lady. Time for private devotions before dinner and a restful night's sleep.
Day 13 : Fatima - Salamanca
After a filling breakfast we depart towards the city of Salamanca. Salamanca is the most graceful city in Spain and for four centuries it was the seat of one of the most prestigious universities in the world. We will have a chance to see many oft he city's sights including the grand Plaza Mayor, the hub of Salmantine life; the vast Baroque church of La Clerecía; the Casa de las Conchas (House of Shells), named after the rows of carved scallop shells symbol of the pilgrimage to Santiago which decorate its façade; the University; the cathedrals; the Roman Bridge; San Marcos and San Martin churchesBridge; San Marcos and San Martin churches, and more. We will enjoy a delicious dinner in a local restaurant before continuing to our hotel for a restful overnight.
Day 14 : Salamanca - Alba de Tormes - Ávila - Burgos
After breakfast, we will depart to the quaint village of Alba de Tormes. Here we will visit and celebrate Mass at the Carmelite Monastery, where Saint Teresa died in 1582 A.D. and is buried. In the little museum of the Carmelite Monastery we will be able to see the incorrupt heart and left arm of the St. Teresa. We enjoy free time for lunch before we continue our journey to Ávila. Two things distinguish Ávila; the perfectly preserved eleventhcentury walls which surround the old town, and the mystic writer Santa Teresa, who was born here and whose shrines are a must see for all Catholic pilgrims! Ávila's atmosphere has changed very little since the days of Santa Teresa, the first woman to be named a Doctor of the Church, to whom the city is dedicated. During our tour of Ávila we will see the Cathedral and San Vicente church. We will visit the Incarnation Convent, where St. Teresa became a nun and home to the most comprehensive museum dedicated to her life. We also visit La Santa Monastery, built on the site of the house where she was born, and San José Convent, the first monastery founded by the Saint. After walking in the footsteps of St. Teresa we depart for Burgos, the historic capital of Old Castile. After dinner you will have free time to explore Burgos, and admire the magnificent limestone Cathedral.
Day 15 : Burgos - Loyola - Lourdes
After breakfast, we depart Burgos for Loyola, the birthplace of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits. Here, we will see the 17th-century Basilica dedicated to St. Ignatius. We will visit his family home which is behind the sanctuary. We will have time to pray at the most venerated room where Ignatius at age 30, was brought following his serious wounding at the Battle of Pamplona. After free time for lunch we motor through the spectacular Pyrenees Mountains. Nestled in the mountains stands picturesque Lourdes, the birthplace of St. Bernadette to whom Our Lady appeared in 1858 near the Grotto of Massabielle. We arrive in time for dinner at our hotel before retiring for a restful night's sleep.
Day 16 : Lourdes
During the next two days in Lourdes you will have time to pray with your fellow pilgrims from around the world. During your trip you will have an opportunity to: Attend Mass at the Grotto, watch a video presentation telling the story of Lourdes, and walk in the footsteps of St. Bernadette. See Boly Mill where St. Bernadette was born, and the "Cachot," an abandoned prison where Bernadette's impoverished family lived. Join your prayers with those of pilgrims from around the world as you pray for the sick, drink water from the miraculous spring or submerge yourself in the healing baths. Experience Christ's love as you walk the lifesized Stations of the Cross overlooking the holy Grotto. Kneel in the chapel built on the very rock of the Grotto, in obedience to the request of the "Immaculate Conception." Evenings are free for optional Blessed Sacrament Procession before dinner. Your role in the universal church will have new meaning as you join the candlelight procession and group rosary. (candle light procession and group rosary April through October only).
Day 18 : Lourdes - USA
Early morning transfer back to Toulouse, Pau or Lourdes airport for your return flights to the United States. During the course of your flights lunch and a snack will be served onboard.
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