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Footsteps of Jesus 2017


Holy Land Pilgrimage – 12 Days / 9 Nights – Bethlehem to Jerusalem

The Holy Land of Israel calls the faithful from the world over to be renewed in its sacred paths. Follow Jesus’ footsteps from his early years in Bethlehem and Nazareth to his public ministry in Galilee onto his passion, death and resurrection in Jerusalem.
Highlights: Bethlehem / Shepherd's Field / Caesarea Maritima / Haifa / Mt Carmel / Nazareth / Cana / Sea of Galilee – Floating Mass on a Boat / Mt Tabor / Mt Beatitudes / Jericho / Jerusalem / Church of Calvary / Gethsemane / Mt Zion.

Optional Extension: Wonders of Jordan: Aqaba (1) / Petra (2) / Dead Sea (1) / Tel Aviv (1)    View Itinerary

Footsteps of Jesus Pilgrimage

MEAL CODE: B: Breakfast   L: Lunch   D: Dinner

Today we fly into the Holy Land of Israel known as the land of the “fifth Gospel”. We will be transferred to Bethlehem, the City of David where we will proceed to our hotel for check-in.

Bethlehem overnight (D)


Theme:  The Infancy of Jesus

We travel out to Ein Karem, the birthplace of St John the Baptist and site of the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth “Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord” (Lk 1:43). Pilgrims may choose to pray a mystery of the Rosary here as we walk up to this church dedicated to ‘The Magnificat’.

Continue to Shepherd's Field we celebrate Mass in a local cave to commemorate the appearance of the angels to the shepherds on that first Christmas night (Lk 2:8–16).

Return to Bethlehem where we will visit the Church of the Nativity. Enter the church through the Door of Humility and descend into the Grotto of the Holy Manger where a silver star in the floor marks the spot where Christ was born. The star’s inscription reads in Latin: Hic de Virgine Maria Jesus Christus Natus Est (Here of the Virgin Mary Jesus Christ was born).

Bethlehem overnight (BD)


After returning to the Church of the Nativity for an early morning Mass, we depart Bethlehem journeying north to the crusader port of Caesarea Maritima, built by Herod the Great. The centurion Cornelius was baptized here by Peter, becoming the first gentile convert to Christianity (Acts 10).

Continuing on our journey, we visit the town of Haifa which is the largest city in Northern Israel, and the third-largest city in the country. The sea wraps around three sides of Haifa with intoxicating blue and gold beaches. In this region we will visit Mount Carmel where Elijah smote the false prophets and where we will visit the Carmelite Monastery, Chapel of the Holy Family and Elijah’s cave. After enjoying lunch here we make our way to the House of Grace, a Catholic ministry that works with the most marginalised members of Haifa: Christians, Jews and Muslims who are in need of counselling, guidance, and material aid. We will hear a special talk about this ministry.

Journey east to Tiberias on the shores of Lake Galilee“Go to Galilee and you will find him there” (Mt 28:7).

Sea of Galilee overnight (BD)


Theme:  The Boyhood of Jesus

This morning we journey west to Nazareth, the town of Jesus’ childhood. In Nazareth township, enter inside the Basilica of the Annunciation where a traditional cave becomes the focal point as we ponder Mary’s response “Let it be done to me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38). Celebrate a touching Eucharist here. Also see the Church of St Joseph and a traditional Jewish synagogue (Synagogue Church) similar to that in which the Holy Family would have worshipped.

We then visit Nazareth Village, a re-creation of the village life of Nazareth as in the days of Jesus. Here enjoy a traditional meal and take a parable walk back in time along the path which brings to life the environment and atmosphere which shaped Jesus’ early years and ministry.

Travel nearby to the village of Cana this afternoon where Jesus, at the request of His Mother, performed his first miracle transforming the water into wine at the wedding feast (Jn 2:1-11). Here, married couples may take the opportunity to renew their wedding vows, and single and widowed pilgrims will receive a special blessing.

We then end our day at the Jordan River to commemorate the Baptism of Jesus and to renew our own Baptismal promises.

Sea of Galilee overnight (BLD)


Theme:  The Public Ministry of Jesus


Our day begins in Capernaum, the centre of Jesus’ teaching and healing and home to Peter the Apostle (Mt 4:12–20).

Travel through Sowers Bay and reflect on the parable of the sower (Mark 4:1–9) before continuing through Magdala, the town of Mary Magdalene.

Visit the Nof Ginosar Kibbutz, within which is preserved the ‘Jesus boat’. We then embark on a traditional sailing vessel for a memorable pilgrimage highlight – a Private Mass floating in the centre of Lake Galilee. Here we will recall the miracles of Jesus calming the storm and appearing to the apostles walking on this very water.

Continue back to the shore for our special ‘St Peter’s fish’ lunch.

At Korazin we relive the parables of the House built on the rock and the persevering widow. Journey on to Tabgha, site of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes (Mt 14:20), and the Church of the Primacy of Peter where Jesus challenged Peter and each one of us ‘Do you really love me, feed my sheep’.

We end our day at the Mount of Beatitudes as we take time in this special place to ponder Jesus’ message of happiness – the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5:1–12).

Sea of Galilee overnight (BLD)


We travel out this morning to the foot of Mt Tabor before ascending by taxis up the narrow winding road leading to the majestic summit. Here Our Lord’s divinity shone forth in the Transfiguration (Mt 17:1-2). After a memorable Mass in this breathtaking setting we will better understand Peter’s words ‘Lord it is good for us to be here’.

Travel then back to Jericho the ‘City of Palms’ which is said to be the oldest inhabited city and most famous oasis. Across the valley we see the Mt of Temptation, the site of Jesus’ fast of 40 days and there are enough stones to illustrate Satan’s words “If you are the son of God, tell these stones to turn into loaves”.

We then continue on to Bethany where we relive the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Here we can take time for reflection at the Church of St Lazarus before journeying up to Jerusalem – the City of our God.

Jerusalem overnight (BD)


Theme:  The Passion of Jesus

Proceed to the Mt of Olives where we will visit the ‘Pater Noster’ Church where Jesus taught His disciples the Lord’s Prayer (Mt 6:7–15). Enjoy a panoramic view over the city. Walk down the Palm Sunday Road to the Dominus Flevit Church for Mass, built on the site where Jesus wept over Jerusalem (Lk 19:41–44).

We then visit the Garden of Gethsemane, where we will enter the Church of the Agony containing the rock upon which Jesus is said to have prayed before his arrest.

Continue on to the Israel Museum where we view the Second Temple Scale Model of Jerusalem and the Shrine of the Book.

Nearby we come to the Yad Vashem (Holocaust History Museum). Here we will learn about this tragic event from a Jewish perspective and pay tribute to those who lost their lives. Following our time here we have the opportunity for private reflection.

Jerusalem overnight (BD)


Theme:  The Passion of Jesus

We begin our day at the Church of St Peter in Gallicantu for Mass. We then ascend Mt Zion to the house of the High Priest Caiaphas; continue to the Cenacle, room of the Last Supper and the Church of Dormition where Our Lady was assumed into heaven.

Enjoy some free time this afternoon to rest, pray or explore the Old City at your own pace.

After dinner return to Gethsemane for a Holy Hour in the Basilica to contemplate Jesus’ Agony.

Jerusalem overnight (BD)


Theme:  The Resurrection of Jesus

Arise early this morning as we enter to the Old City of Jerusalem to commence our Stations of the Cross, beginning from the Antonia Fortress where Jesus was condemned to death. See the Lithostrotos (pavement) in the Ecce Homo convent. Visit nearby the Flagellation and Condemnation Chapels as we pray and follow in Our Lord’s footsteps along the actual Via Dolorosa to the site of Calvary where we will celebrate Mass in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Walk the stairway climbing to the actual site where the Cross of Jesus once stood. The glass panels reveal the natural rock below which we may come to touch with our pilgrim hands. Also enter the Edicule containing the tomb where Our Lord rose from the dead.

After breakfast back at our hotel we return to the Old City.  We come to the vicinity of the Temple Mount to view the Dome of the Rock, El Aqsa Mosque and the Western Wall. Continue to the Church of St Anne, said to be built over the birthplace of the Virgin Mary, and visit the Pool of Bethesda where Jesus healed the paralysed man (Jn 5:2–9).

In the afternoon we travel out to Emmaus (Abu Gosh) where the Disciples recognised the risen Jesus at the breaking of bread and exclaimed “Did not our hearts burn within us as he spoke to us on the road?” (Lk 24:13-35). We then return to the Mount of Olives to view the Chapel of the Ascension, said to mark the place where Our Lord ascended into heaven.  

For our final night of pilgrimage, we will enjoy a special farewell dinner.

Jerusalem overnight (BD)


Today we will be transferred to Tel Aviv airport for our homebound flight connections. (B)



Wonders of Jordan - 5 Night Optional Extension

Travel along the Jericho Road as we remember the parable of the Good Samaritan and journey through desert hills and dry rocky landscape. Soon our coach will pause to view the site of Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1947 by a Bedouin shepherd boy.

We journey south along the Dead Sea to the historical Masada where, on arrival, we will embark on the cable car offering spectacular scenery to the summit. Here we will enjoy a guided tour of Herod’s fortress and the Zealot’s last stand.

Continue south through the border crossing to Aqaba in Jordan dating back 5,500 years and at the junction of land and sea routes from Asia, Africa and Europe.

Aqaba overnight (BD)


The magnificent ancient trading city of Petra known as the ‘Red Rose City’ and one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. Here we are positioned in the biblical land of Edom (Judges 11:17-18).
Petra overnight (BD)


Enjoy an unforgettable guided walking tour this morning of the ruins from ancient Petra – the city that the Nabateans carved out of solid rock dating back to 300 BC! Our visit will follow a passage through the Siq, a chasm created in a prehistoric earthquake. It is one of the special moments to walk through this canyon which dramatically opens up to reveal the Treasury Building (Al Khasne) - a never to be forgotten experience. We will see also the Roman Theatre, Corinthian tomb along with churches, homes and many other buildings from this fascinating period.

The remainder of the afternoon will be at leisure.
Petra overnight (BD)


After a leisurely breakfast we travel north on the Biblical Kings Highway towards the Dead Sea, via Wadi Mujib, known as the ‘Jordanian Grand Canyon’. Here we will enjoy a wonderful photographic opportunity as we gaze at the amazing gorges below that make up part of the Jordan valley trekked by John the Baptist.

Continue north for a visit to St Georges Church in Madaba with its precious 6th century mosaic map of the Holy Land comprised of more than two million pieces. After this some free time will be afforded to explore the fascinating township of Madaba, the ‘City of Mosaics’, taking the opportunity for lunch and to browse the local crafts.

This afternoon we arrive at the Jordanian side of the Dead Sea to check-in to our beautiful hotel located down on the shore and meet up with our fellow pilgrims. Here we will unwind and take the optional opportunity to float in the salty waters said to have healing qualities. The experience is quite uplifting!!
Dead Sea overnight (BD)


We travel out this morning to ascend Biblical Mt Nebo for a spectacular Mass. Here, at the site where the Old Testament opened its door to the land of the New, Moses looked over into the Promised Land and blessed Joshua who was to lead the Israelites under God’s protection (Joshua 1:6-9). It has been possible for archaeologists to identify this sanctuary, thanks to the records left by two pilgrim-visitors of the 4th & 5th centuries of their travels in this region. One of these was Egeria, the pilgrim nun.

His Holiness Benedict XVI, on his pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 2009, said this while here on Mt Nebo: “Here, on the heights of Mount Nebo, the memory of Moses invites us to ‘lift up our eyes’ to embrace with gratitude not only God's mighty works in the past, but also to look with faith and hope to the future which he holds out to us and to our world.” We too can seize this opportunity to thank God for our journey thus far and anticipate the blessings that are to come.

We then make a visit to Bethany Beyond the Jordan, one of the most recent archaeological and religious discoveries. The five springs here form a tributary of the Jordan River, believed to be the Baptismal site of Jesus by John the Baptist. So authentic is this site that Pope Francis chose this as an essential place to visit on his last pilgrimage to the Holy Land. 

We then cross the border back into the Holy Land of Israel and check in to our hotel.
Jerusalem/Tel Aviv overnight (BD)


Today we will be transferred to Tel Aviv airport for our homebound flight connections. (B)





Code Departs Aust AUD
7FJ08A 25 SEP $5190
7FJ09A 9 OCT $4990
7FJ10A 27 OCT $4890
Code Begins/Ends AUD
7FJ08L 26 SEP - 5 OCT $3190
7FJ09L 10 OCT - 19 OCT $3090
7FJ10L 28 OCT - 6 NOV $2890
Fr Justin Ford
Fr Geoffrey Plant PP
Fr Gabriel Ezenwa

Single Room Supplement: $950
NB. An additional mandatory prepaid tipping fund of $15 per day per person will be invoiced in advance by Harvest to avoid regular inconvenience to pilgrims on tour.
Full package based on departure from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth including all airline taxes and levies (subject to change). Tour Only costs include local internal airfares between Start/End dates. Refer to our full price inclusions and Booking Procedures for more information.

Footsteps of Jesus Pilgrimage

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