12 Days
Package Includes:

12 Day Easter Pilgrimage to the Holy Land, accompanied by Fr John Parsons

Highlights: Dead Sea (2 Nights), Madaba, Jericho, Sea of Galilee (3), Nazareth, Cana, Jacob’s Well, Taybeh, Jerusalem (5), Bethlehem.
Wonders of Jordan Optional Extension: Masada, Aqaba (1), Wadi Rum, Petra (2)

Departure: 22 March 2018


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

DAY 1: Thursday 22 March 2018 – Depart for the Holy Land
DAY 2: Friday 23 March – Arrive Amman – Dead Sea

Arrive today into Jordan’s capital Amman and travel by coach west to our hotel on the shores of the Dead Sea. 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 (D)

DAY 3: Saturday 24 March – Madaba & Mt Nebo

Theme: From Old to New

Journey south this morning to make a stop at Wadi Mujib, the ‘Jordanian Grand Canyon’. Here we will enjoy a wonderful photographic opportunity.

Continue on to visit 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.

In the afternoon we ascend Biblical Mt Nebo for our spectacular Mass of thanksgiving. 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 usand 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 in the days that follow.

We then return to our hotel at the Dead Sea.

Dead Sea overnight (BD)

Day 4: Sunday 25 March – Dead Sea to the Sea of Galilee

Theme: New Beginnings

We begin our day with a memorable 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, said to be the Baptismal site of Jesus by John the Baptist. So authentic is this site that recent Popes have chosen this as an essential place of pilgrimage when visiting the Holy Land.

We then embark on our travel day as we cross the border into the Holy Land of Israel known as the land of the “fifth Gospel”.

Spend some time in 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”.

Journey north 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)

DAY 5: Monday 26 March – Sea of Galilee

Theme: The Galilean 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 authentic ‘Jesus boat’ as in the days of the Gospels. 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 ponder silently and recall the miracles of Jesus calming the storm and appearing to the apostles walking on this very water.

At Korazin this afternoon we relive the parables of the House built on 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’.

Sea of Galilee overnight (BD)

DAY 6: Tuesday 27 March – Mt Tabor / Nazareth / Cana

Theme: The Transfiguration

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’.

Journey west towards Nazareth, the town of Jesus’ childhood. 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.

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). 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.

Continue on 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.

Sea of Galilee overnight (BLD)

DAY 7: Wednesday 28 March – Via Jacob’s Well & Taybeh to Jerusalem

Theme: Living Water, Living Stones

Our day begins with Mass 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).

Continue south through Samaria, a land rich in Old Testament history. We see the twin peaks of Mt Gerizim and Mt Ebal, known in the Old Testament as Mt Blessing and Mt Cursing. Mt Gerizim is today the home of the few remaining Samaritans.

Soon we come to the actual site of Jacob’s Well, hewn manually out of solid rock and over 100 feet deep. The water at the bottom of the well is fed by flowing water which is why ancients gave it the name of “living water”. At this well Jesus met the Samaritan woman and said to her: “Whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (Jn 4:13–14)

Pass by Shiloh, where the Ark of the Covenant was kept. Our afternoon brings us to Taybeh, a unique Christian village linked to Ephraim (Jn 11:54) where it is said Jesus and his disciples sought refuge after the Council of Priests asked for his execution. The village has been a Christian outpost ever since and here we will be able to see an ancient farmer’s house. In such a house farmers would have lived in and kept their animals in the manger below as in the time of Jesus’ birth. Visit the church here where still today, local Catholics practice their faith as have the generations who have gone before.

Finally we continue our journey up to Jerusalem – the City of our God!

Jerusalem overnight (BD)

DAY 8: Thursday 29 March – (Holy Thursday) Jerusalem

Theme: The Passion, Death & Resurrection of Jesus

8am: We commence our time in Jerusalem by attending the Pontifical Mass (Last Supper and Chrism Mass) in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

We will then proceed to the Mt of Olives 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. 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.

We continue on to an orientation viewing of the Second Temple scale model of Jerusalem as it was in the time of Jesus. Then proceed to the Shrine of the Book to view the Dead Sea Scrolls with our own eyes.

We return to our hotel for dinner before continuing on (leaving at 8pm) to the Holy Hour at Gethsemane which starts at 9pm.

Jerusalem overnight (BD)

DAY 9: Friday 30 March – Jerusalem – Good Friday Ceremonies & Mt Zion

Theme: The Passion, Death & Resurrection of Jesus

We have an early start this morning, returning to the Old City where we 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 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. We will remain here to attend the Celebration of the Passion of the Lord (07:15am).

After breakfast back at our hotel we proceed to Mt Zion to visit the Cenacle, room of the Last Supper and the Church of Dormition where Our Lady was assumed into heaven. In the Church of St Peter in Gallicantu we will commemorate Peter’s denial of Jesus after His arrest.

This afternoon and evening we may have an opportunity to attend the Good Friday ceremonies.

Holy Sepulchre: Divine Office at 4pm
Holy Sepulchre: the ‘Funeral’
Procession at 8.10pm.

Jerusalem overnight (BD)

DAY 10: Saturday 31 March – (Holy Saturday) Bethlehem & Surrounds

We begin our day of pilgrimage in 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 commemorating ‘The Magnificat’.

In the afternoon we travel out to Shepherd’s Field to commemorate the appearance of the angels to the shepherds on that first Christmas night (Lk 2:8–16). In nearby Bethlehem we will visit the Church of the Nativity built over the stable where Jesus was born. Bending low, we enter the church through the Door of Humility and descend into the Grotto of the Holy Manger. A silver star in the floor marks the very 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). Optional – at 11.30pm we can join the Holy Sepulchre Pontifical Celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours at the altar of St. Magdalene, with the Custos of the Holy Land officiating (This is a beautiful ceremony, only half an hour long).

Jerusalem overnight (BD)

DAY 11: Sunday 1 April – Jerusalem – Easter Sunday High Mass at Holy Sepulchre

Theme: The Resurrection of Jesus

At 10am we join the Entrance of the Apostolic Administrator to the Holy Sepulchre Church and attend Pontifical Mass in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

In the afternoon we come to the vicinity of the Temple Mount to view the Dome of the Rock, El Aqsa Mosque and the Wailing Wall. Then we come 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).

Jerusalem overnight (BD)

DAY 12: Monday 2 April (Easter Monday) – Depart the Holy Land

This morning we will cross the border back in to Jordan and continue to Amman airport for our homebound flight connections. (B)

DAY 13: Tuesday 3 April – Arrive Australia
WONDERS OF JORDAN OPTIONAL EXTENSION: DAY 12: Monday 2 April (Easter Monday) – Via Masada to Aqaba
• Guided visit Masada
• Drive south – cross the border into Jordan
• Arrive Aqaba on the Red Sea
Aqaba overnight (BD)
WONDERS OF JORDAN OPTIONAL EXTENSION: DAY 13: Tuesday 3 April (Easter Tuesday) – Via Wadi Rum to Petra
• Free morning at Red Sea resort
• Transfer to Wadi Rum
• View short film; view the mountains
• Free time/option to take a jeep ride
• Dinner in a Bedouin camp
• Late night transfer and arrival to Petra
Petra overnight (BD)
WONDERS OF JORDAN OPTIONAL EXTENSION: DAY 14: Wednesday 4 April (Easter Wednesday) – Petra Exploration
• Guided walking tour of Petra
• Free time in the late afternoon
Petra overnight (BD)
WONDERS OF JORDAN OPTIONAL EXTENSION: DAY 15: Thursday 5 April (Easter Thursday) – Depart Jordan
• Depart Petra
• Transfer to Amman airport for homebound flight connections.
WONDERS OF JORDAN OPTIONAL EXTENSION: DAY 16: Friday 6 April – Arrive Australia

: Economy class airfares from Australia. (N.B. Airlines taxes are included on standard itinerary and subject to fluctuations).
Accommodation and Meals: Based on moderate standard hotel & Religious accommodation throughout with breakfast and dinner daily.
Miscellaneous inclusions: Deluxe Air-Conditioned Motor coach with driver • Local tour escort/guide • Sightseeing and entrance fees throughout itinerary.
Not Included: Passport and any other Visa Costs (if applicable) • Other meals not stated • Items of a personal nature including phone calls, laundry, beverages, etc. • Travel insurance (Harvest will recommend a special group policy rate) • Prepaid Tipping.

* Costs have been based on prices as at May 2017 and must remain subject to possible change in the unlikely event of significant exchange rate variations, airfare increases and minimum group size (20) contingencies. Prices must remain indicative until the airlines release their fares.

All details of sightseeing listed and order of daily arrangements must remain subject to change due to any unforeseen circumstances, which may arise, or at the discretion of the pilgrimage leadership. This overview is based on the standard pilgrimage departure and return dates. Please refer to your personal flight itinerary for more specific details or amendments pertaining to your travel.

Additional information
Return from
NZD 6290
Sales Period:
Until further notice
Travel Period:
22 March 2018
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