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Order of Malta Australia

Events

Holy Land Pilgrimage – November 2022

09/10/2019 


The International Holy Land Pilgrimage of the Order of Malta,  originally scheduled for November 2020 has now been postponed to 2022 following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Pilgrims from Australia and New Zealand will depart on 4 November 2022.

 

DAY 1: FRIDAY 4TH NOVEMBER 2022 – DEPART FOR THE HOLY LAND

 

DAY 2: SATURDAY 5TH NOVEMBER – ARRIVE THE HOLY LAND

On arrival we will be met and transferred by coach 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 celebrate Mass here.

 

Following Mass, we continue to Jerusalem – ‘the City of our God’ where we will check into our hotel before enjoying a welcome dinner together.

Jerusalem overnight (D)

 

DAY 3: SUNDAY 6TH NOVEMBER – JERUSALEM

We travel to Mt Zion this morning, where we firstly enter the Cenacle room of the Last Supper (Upper Room) where we commemorate the institution of the Eucharist and the later descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Following Mass at the Cenacle Church, continue to the Church of the Dormition identified as the place where the Virgin Mary died or ‘fell asleep’ as the name suggests.

 

We then come to the vicinity of the Temple Mount to view from below the Dome of the Rock, El Aqsa Mosque and the Western Wall.

 

Onwards to the Church of St Anne, built over the birthplace of the Virgin Mary and where we will enjoy the incredible acoustics of this sacred place. See nearby the Pool of Bethesda where Jesus healed the paralysed man (Jn 5:2-9).

 

Finally, we come to the Lithostrotos (pavement) in the Ecce Homo convent and also visit the nearby Flagellation and Condemnation Chapels before returning to our hotel for dinner.

Jerusalem overnight (BD)

 

DAY 4: MONDAY 7TH NOVEMBER – JERUSALEM

We proceed to the Mt of Olives this morning where we will firstly visit the Church of the ‘Pater Noster’ commemorating the site where Jesus taught His disciples the Lord’s Prayer (Mt 6:7-15). We then enjoy a panoramic view over the city and a spectacular photographic opportunity. As we commence our walk down the Palm Sunday Road, we wander past the tombs of the Prophets Haggai, Malachi and Zechariah before arriving at the Dominus Flevit for Mass. This church was built on the site where Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem (Lk 19:41-44).

 

We then visit the Garden of Gethsemane, where we will enter the Church of the Agony containing the bare rock upon which Jesus is said to have prayed before his arrest. The outside garden contains olive trees, the roots of which go back to the time of Jesus.

 

Continue to the Israel Museum where we have an orientation viewing of the Second Temple scale model of Jerusalem as it was in the time of Jesus. This model will help us to understand the layout of the Old City of Jerusalem as it was in the time of Jesus. We will also visit the Shrine of the Book to view the Dead Sea Scrolls.

 

We then visit 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’.

 

We later return to Mt Zion and visit the Church of St Peter in Gallicantu, where Our Lord was interrogated and imprisoned, while Peter denied Jesus three times.

Jerusalem overnight (BD)

 

DAY 5: TUESDAY 8TH NOVEMBER – BETHLEHEM

We travel out this morning to Bethlehem, the City of David, where we celebrate Mass at the Church of St Catherine (9am).

 

We then visit Shepherd’s Field to commemorate the appearance of the angels to the shepherds on that first Christmas night (Lk 2:8–16).

 

We then proceed for a visit to the Holy Family Hospital, where in 1985 the Daughters of Charity entrusted the renovation and management of the Hospital to the Sovereign Order of Malta. (subject to visit confirmation)

 

Continue to the Church of the Nativity, the oldest complete church in the Christian world (6th century) and birthplace of Jesus. Bow low and enter the grotto through the Door of Humility as we descend to the Holy Manger where a silver star in the floor marks the actual spot where Jesus 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). Finally, we come to St Jerome’s Cave where in 386 AD the saint spent 30 years translating the scriptures from Hebrew into Greek and Latin producing the first vernacular version of the Bible!

 

We then return to our hotel for dinner

Jerusalem overnight (BD)

 

DAY 6: WEDNESDAY 9TH NOVEMBER – JERUSALEM & JORDAN RIVER

We commence early this morning our Stations of the Cross, beginning from the Antonia Fortress where Jesus was condemned to death. 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 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.

 

Following an unforgettable Eucharist, we return to our hotel for breakfast.

 

We later rejoin our coach and spend some time by the Jordan River to commemorate the Baptism of Jesus and to renew our own Baptismal promises.

 

Travel then 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”.

 

This evening we attend the International Reception at the Pontifical Institute of Notre Dame (7pm).

Jerusalem overnight (BD)

 

DAY 7: THURSDAY 10TH NOVEMBER – JERUSALEM / FREE TIME

This morning we return to the Garden of Gethsemane where we celebrate a special outdoor Mass (11am) in the Garden.

 

The remainder of the day is at leisure.

Jerusalem overnight (BD)

 

DAY 8: FRIDAY 11TH NOVEMBER – NAZARETH

Departing Jerusalem this morning we travel north and visit the Belvoir Fortress. Sitting high above the Jordan Valley, a strategic position during the Crusades, the land and modest building was sold to the Order of the Hopitallers in 1168, they went on to build a huge castle which proved to be a challenge for the Muslims to seize during the various battles. It finally fell in 1189.

 

We then come to the village of Cana 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.

 

Proceed to Nazareth, the town of Jesus’ childhood. Firstly, we visit Nazareth Village, a recreation 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 that brings to life the environment and atmosphere which shaped Jesus’ early years and ministry.

 

We then visit the Basilica of the Annunciation where a traditional cave becomes the focal point of Mary’s response “Let it be done to me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38). Also see the Church of St Joseph before checking in to our hotel.

 

This evening we return to the Basilica of the Annunciation where we will attend Mass.

Nazareth overnight (BLD)

 

DAY 9: SATURDAY 12TH NOVEMBER – SEA OF GALILEE

Our memorable Galilee day begins in Capernaum, the centre of Jesus’ teaching and healing and home to Peter the Apostle (Mt 4:12-20). After exploring this site, we 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 remains of a 1st century fishing boat as in the days of Christ. We then set off from the shore in a traditional sailing vessel to encounter one of our most memorable pilgrimage highlights – a Private Mass floating in the centre of Lake Galilee with engines switched off (weather permitting). Here we will recall the miracles of Jesus calming the storm and appearing to the apostles walking on this very water. After Mass, we will continue back to the shore for our special ‘St Peter’s fish’ lunch.

 

Travel this afternoon we journey on to Tabgha, site of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes (Mt 14:20), before an important stop at the Church of the Primacy of Peter where Jesus challenged Peter and each one of us ‘Do you really love me, feed my sheep’. Here we will spend some quiet time to reflect and pray by the shore of the lake.

We then proceed to 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), reflecting in the beautiful garden settings of the mountain before returning to Nazareth in time for dinner.

Nazareth overnight (BLD)

 

DAY 10: SUNDAY 13TH NOVEMBER – ACRE/AKKO, HORNS OF HATTIN & MT TABOR

This morning we proceed to Acre where we will visit the Byzantine ruins including the Knights Halls and Crusader tunnels. We also visit the Church of St John the Baptist.

 

We then travel and stop at a vantage point where we view the Horns of Hattin, a steep double-hill where in 1187, Saladin’s forces defeated the Crusader army.

 

Proceed 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). We will have time for reflection here in this breathtaking setting we will better understand Peter’s words ‘Lord it is good for us to be here’.

Nazareth overnight (BD)

 

 

DAY 11: MONDAY 14TH NOVEMBER – SEA OF GALILEE

Following breakfast, we are transferred to Tel Aviv airport for our homebound flight connections.

(B)

 

DAY 12: TUESDAY 15TH NOVEMBER – ARRIVE AUSTRALIA

 

 

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