Day 1 – Oct. 19
Evening departure from Toronto to Rome.
Day 2 – Oct. 20
Early afternoon arrival. Transfer to our hotel, time for rest, dinner and overnight.
Day 3 – Oct. 21
This morning we attend the Audience with the Holy Father. Afternoon free time for leisure, Mass, dinner and overnight.
Day 4 – Oct. 22
Full day in Rome. In the morning we visit the Vatican Museum and St. Peter’s basilica. Afternoon sightseeing tour takes us to views of the Coliseum, Forum Romanum, Trevi Fountain and visit to the Basilica of St. Peter in Chains and magnificent Santa Maria Maggiore basilica. Mass, dinner and overnight.
Day 5 – Oct. 23
After breakfast we are transferred to the airport in Rome for a morning flight to Tel Aviv. Upon arrival transfer by bus to our hotel in Judea for Mass, dinner and overnight.
Day 6 – Oct. 24
Today’s journey takes us to the ancient city of Jerusalem: St. Ann’s Church, Pool of Bethesda, Pilate’s Judgment Hall, the Chapel of the Flagellation and the Arch of Ecce Homo, the convent of the sisters of Zion. We continue with the Stations of the Cross – Via Dolorosa to the Holy Sepulchre. Mass will be celebrated in one of the many churches of Jerusalem. In the afternoon we visit the Western Wall, also called the “Wailing Wall”. We see the place of the Mosque of Omar and El Aksar and move on to the Church of Pater Noster and the Garden of Gethsemane.
Day 7 – Oct. 25
In the morning we visit Bethlehem – where Jesus was born, celebrating Christmas Mass in one of the grottos. We visit the Manger, the Crusaders’ Cloister and the Grotto of St. Jerome – Shepherd’s field. In the afternoon we continue our visit of Jerusalem’s Mount Zion with the Upper Room (Room of the Last Supper) and the Church of St. Peter’s in Gallicantu. Dinner and overnight.
Day 8 – Oct. 26
After breakfast we leave for a full day excursion to Masada, the Dead Sea, Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1947, and Jericho. Time for swimming before our return to Jerusalem for dinner and overnight.
Day 9 – Oct. 27
Today we visit Haifa and Mt. Carmel, the “burning place” where Elijah called fire down to confound the prophets of Baal. Here we celebrate Mass. We continue via Cesarea by the Sea to Nazareth for our dinner and overnight.
Day 10 – Oct. 28
Today we celebrate Mass at the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth and we visit Mary’s Well and St. Joseph’s Carpentry Shop. In the afternoon we ascend Mount Tabor – the Mount of the Transfiguration. We continue to Cana – the site of Jesus’ first miracle. Here we celebrate a marriage renewal ceremony. Return to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 11 – Oct. 29
This morning we depart for Tiberias. We travel by boat on the Sea of Galilee, visit Capernaum, home of St. Peter and the site of Jesus’ preaching, on to Tabgha to see the Church of the Multiplication with its beautiful 5th century fish mosaic. We also visit the Church of the Primacy and celebrate Mass on the Mount of the Beatitudes. On our way back to the hotel we stop at the Jordan River where Jesus was baptized. Return to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 12 – Oct. 30
In the morning we depart to Tel Aviv airport for a flight to Toronto. Evening arrival.