Arrive in Tel Aviv, Israel. After passport control and baggage claim, meet your guide for transfer to your hotel.
Cost of Sharon to Tiberias
Begin the day at Caesarea Maritima, a beautiful seaport on the Mediterranean coast that became the Christian springboard to the West (Acts 10). Proceed to the Carmelite Monastery at Muhraka seated atop Mt. Carmel. View the Plain of Jezreel and listen to the story of Elijah (I Kings 18). Continue to Nazareth for a visit to the ancient spring of the village known as Mary’s Well. Stop by the Church of the Annunciation and perhaps celebrate Mass over the site which tradition holds to be the house of Mary. Travel to Cana, the location of Jesus’ first sign, recorded in the Gospel of John.
Cruise the Sea of Galilee on a boat modeled after one from the time of Jesus. Land on the shores of Capernaum, the headquarters of Jesus’ public ministry. View the old synagogue and the site where Franciscan archaeologists believe they have uncovered the house of Peter (Mark 1 and 2). Visit Tabgha to see The Church of the Multiplication of Loaves and Fishes memorializing Jesus’ first feeding of the multitude (Mark 6) and the nearby shores where the breakfast of John 21 took place. Ascend the Mount of Beatitudes, where Jesus preached his most famous sermon (Matthew 5-7). Mass can be reserved and celebrated at any of the churches on the morning itinerary. Continue to Upper Galilee for a visit to the spring of Caesarea Philippi (Banias), where Peter confessed Jesus as the Christ (Matthew 16).
The morning begins with a visit to the peak of Mt. Tabor, long identified as the “high mountain” of Matthew 17:1, the site of the Transfiguration. Head south to Jericho to ascend the Mount of Temptation (Luke 4) via cable car. Continue up the central mountain range for a leisurely visit to Bethlehem, the town of Jesus’ birth (Luke 2). A Mass may be celebrated at one of these historic locations.
Atop the Mt. of Olives, visit the Church of Pater Noster, where Jesus is believed to have taught The Lord’s Prayer. Proceed to the nearby Place of the Ascension (Acts 1:9), now a small mosque. Follow the traditional Palm Sunday route to Dominus Flevit (“the Lord weeps”), where it is said that Jesus wept over Jerusalem (Luke 19). Continue downhill to Gethsemane and the Church of All Nations. Mass may be celebrated at the church or in the secluded garden nearby. After lunch, visit Mt. Zion and the Upper Room, long considered to be the site of the Last Supper and Pentecost. Next, visit Peter in Gallicantu, a possible location for Caiaphas’ house, where Jesus was questioned on the night of his arrest, and the courtyard where Peter thrice denied Christ. End the day in the New City of Jerusalem with a visit to the Shrine of the Book, home of the Dead Sea Scrolls and an open-air model of Jerusalem representing the city in 66 AD.
Jerusalem/Dead Sea/ Qumran/Bethany
The day begins with a visit to the Western Wall, Judaism’s most holy site. Journey to the famed Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque, perched atop the traditional site of the ancient Temple Mount. Drive to Bethany, the hometown of Martha and Mary, to visit the tomb of Lazarus (John 11). Possibly celebrate Mass in the Church of St. Lazarus. Travel to the Dead Sea for a visit to Qumran. View the ruins of the ancient religious community and the caves where the infamous Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered.
Step back in time as you enter the Old City through St. Stephen’s Gate. Journey to the Pools of Bethesda where Jesus healed a man who was paralyzed for 38 years (John 5). Revel in the remarkable acoustics of nearby St. Anne’s Church, perfectly preserved from the Crusader period. Follow the Via Dolorosa (the Stations of the Cross) to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, commemorating the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Enjoy an afternoon of leisure.
Drive through West Jerusalem to picturesque Ein Kerem, the traditional birthplace of John the Baptist. Proceed to the airport for a flight to Rome. Upon arrival, travel along the ancient Appian Way, remembering the journeys of Peter and Paul.
Celebrate Mass in the awe-inspiring St. Peter’s Basilica. Meander through the expansive museums of the Vatican, taking in the abundance of treasures, culminating in a visit to Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. Next, visit Mamertine Prison, where many Christian martyrs were imprisoned and perished, including Peter and Paul.
Travel to the airport for a return flight home.
Additional days may be added to include more time in Italy, visiting places such as Assisi. A four-day extension may also be added to include a trip to Medjugorje, a small village in Bosnia-Hercegovina where, since 1981, people have borne witness to visions and messages of the Blessed Virgin Mary.